- 11 hrs ago Padma Awards 2022 Winners: Complete List Of Recipients Of The Prestigious Government Honour
- 12 hrs ago Expert Opinion: Mental Health And Behavioural Issues In Female Victims Of Violence Or Sexual Assault
- 21 hrs ago Pisces Horoscope 2022: Yearly Astrological Predictions About Life, Love, Career, Health And More
- 22 hrs ago Neglected Infectious Diseases May Be Tomorrow's Pandemic: Bharat Biotech Chief Dr Krishna Ella
- Technology Amazon Accessories Days Sale: Discount Offers On Headphones, Data Cards, Hard disk, Mouse, And More
- News Tatas take first step in Air India, to introduce ‘enhanced meal service’ in 4 flights on Thu
- Movies Melody Song Of The Year From Mahesh Babu’s Sarkaru Vaari Paata Will Be Out On February 14
- Sports India ODI, T20I Squads Against WI: Rohit to lead, Kuldeep, Bishnoi in; Bumrah, Shami rested, Ashwin dropped
- Finance Motilal Oswal Recommends To Buy This Technology Stock For 29% Return
- Automobiles Tork Kratos & Kratos R Electric Motorcycles Launched In India: Prices Start From Rs 1.07 Lakh
- Education Republic Day 2022: Interesting Facts About Republic Day Parade
- Travel National tourism Day 2022: Explore South India And Reclaim Your Post-Lockdown Freedom
Braxton-Hicks contractions or false labour pain are referred to as contractions of the uterus that occurs mainly during the second or third trimesters. Experts say that it is basically the body's way of preparing for true labour. However, it is not an indication of the beginning of the labour.
Many pregnant women are not aware of this contraction type and often end up with unnecessary evaluation and management of the condition. This makes educating the patient very important about the condition. Also, the condition can be uncomfortable for pregnant women, although not painful.
In this article, we will discuss Braxton-Hicks contractions in detail. Take a look.
Causes Of Braxton-Hicks Contractions
The exact cause of Braxton-Hicks contractions is unknown, however, experts suggest that it is mainly caused due to tightening and relaxing of the uterus muscle fibres. Some of the factors that may trigger this contraction type are full bladder, sexual activity, being active for longer hours and dehydration. 
Braxton-Hicks contractions occur mainly with the motive to increase blood flow to the placenta and improve their oxygenation. It may also help in toning the uterine muscles and preparing them for the birth process. Some studies also say that Braxton Hicks contractions help in cervical softening for easy delivery of the baby.
How Do Braxton-Hicks Contractions Feel?
- Braxton Hicks contractions are occasional, less in strength, unpredictable and irregular in duration, intensity and frequency. 
- It may feel like a tightening of the stomach, like a mild period cramp.
- The tightening is mainly on the top of the uterine muscle that spread to the bottom areas.
- Changing positions or activities may cause these contractions to stop.
- Sometimes, the stomach tends to become abnormally pointy due to the contractions.
Difference Between Braxton-Hicks Contractions And True Labour
Some of the differences between Braxton-Hicks Contractions and true labour may include: 
|Braxton-Hicks Contractions||True Labour|
|It is irregular.||It comes at regular intervals.|
|With time they do not close together, meaning the second contraction comes after a long gap.||With time, they get close together and occur within a short time gap.|
|They are unpredictable as sometimes they last for less than 30 seconds and sometimes for up to two minutes.||They are predictable and often lasts between 30-90 seconds and become longer with time.|
|They are weak and may get weaker or disappear with progress in gestation.||They get stringer with progress in gestation.|
|They are felt only in the stomach or a specific area.||They are felt all around the stomach.|
|With a change in position or activities, they may disappear.||They may get stronger with movement or change in position.|
|It may start at around six weeks of pregnancy, but felt after the second or third trimester.||It usually starts around 40 weeks of pregnancy. When it starts at the 37th week, it may indicate preterm labour.|
Note: In extreme cases, examining the cervix may reveal whether the contractions are Braxton-Hicks or true. If there is no dilation of the cervix along with no uterine bleeding or rupture of the amniotic membrane, it is Braxton-Hicks Contractions.
In true labour, the upper portion of the uterus may get tightened to allow the baby to be pushed downwards for delivery. Also, the cervix will dilate.
- kidsAll About Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED): Serious Mental Health Disorder Found In Adolescents
Diagnosis Of Braxton-Hicks Contractions
There are no specific radiographic or laboratory tests to diagnose Braxton-Hicks contractions. A medical expert may physically examine the stomach of pregnant women and look for signs of contraction. 
Sometimes, the condition may also get confused with other conditions like ascites (too much fluid build-up in the abdomen), ovarian cysts or uterine fibroids.
Treatment Of Braxton-Hicks Contractions
Braxton-Hicks contractions are not a life-threatening condition related to pregnancy. It is often considered a normal process during gestation and a sign of healthy pregnancy. The best treatment a medical expert may offer is informing or teaching pregnant women about the occurrence of such contractions, which could help prevent sudden anxiety.
Other methods to manage the condition may include taking a warm bath, changing positions, taking a nap, listening to music, drinking water or taking a good relaxing massage.
Though Braxton-Hicks contractions are considered a part of pregnancy with no severe outcomes, it is suggested to consult a medical expert if the contractions get intense and strong much before the delivery date. Also, if you notice signs of vaginal bleeding, discharge of vaginal fluid or noticeable fetal movement, consult the expert soon.
Image Sources: Freepik and Pexels
If the contraction is irregular, not close together, unpredictable, in the stomach front portion and less in strength, it could be Braxton-Hicks contractions. These contractions mainly start around six weeks of gestation and get weaker as the gestation progresses.
No, Braxton-Hicks contractions do not indicate early labour or that the labour has begun. It is mainly a way for the body to prepare for delivery. Unlike Braxton-Hicks contractions, true labour can be more intense and strong.
Braxton-Hicks contractions can be concerning if they get intense, frequent and stronger, especially in the mid of trimesters, followed by vaginal bleeding or discharge and noticeable fetal movement.
- basicsExpert Article: Do's And Don'ts After An Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) Procedure
- prenatalWhat Does It Mean To Have Placenta Previa Or Low Lying Placenta? Symptoms, Causes And Treatments
- basicsPregnant, Lactating Mothers Made Aware Of Side Effects Of Covid-19 Vaccination, Centre Tell SC
- prenatalWhat Is A Mucus Plug? What Does Losing Your Mucus Plug Mean During Pregnancy?
- prenatalPregnancy And Skin: What To Know About Linea Nigra And Its Causes, Symptoms And Management
- healthParliament Passes Surrogacy Bill; Seeks To Constitute National Surrogacy Board
- basics10 Effective Pregnancy Care Tips During Winters
- prenatalExpert Article: Diabetes Mellitus And Fertility - Myths And Facts
- kidsOver 33 Lakh Children In India Malnourished; Maharashtra, Bihar And Gujarat Tops The List
- prenatalCommon Gastrointestinal Problems During Pregnancy
- wellness11 Possible Reasons Why You Crave Spicy Foods
- basicsRound Ligament Pain During Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatments