BBC Bitesize

Are frequent Braxton Hicks contractions hurting you or serving to you? The uterus is likely one of the strongest and adaptable muscle tissues in a woman’s body. As you close to the tip of your pregnancy you might find yourself wondering ‘have my contractions began, or is that just Braxton Hicks – or even wind?’ with each twinge you feel in your tummy. This is a guide to what varieties of contractions you may expertise, what they’re going to feel like, and the right way to tell when it’s time to head to the hospital.

Unlike the earlier painless and sporadic Braxton Hicks contractions, which brought about no apparent cervical changes, these contractions may help your cervix skinny out (efface) and perhaps even open up (dilate) a bit. You may in all probability feel these double-peak contractions as you attain the point the place your cervix is sort of absolutely dilated. Anesthetics like epidurals fully block the ache, together with all feeling and muscle motion.

I’d describe the contractions as uncomfortable for hours before it lastly registered with me. It additionally form of appears like it’s worthwhile to have a bowel motion. In case your stomach were a hand, contractions really feel like your abdomen making a very tight fist. Even you probably have given birth before, as you near your due date, you’re practically onerous-wired to think ‘contractions starting!’ with even the slightest ache or pain – notably if you have not had another early labour indicators like a show or your waters breaking.

Although you’ll at all times be looking out for indicators of labor toward the top of your pregnancy, timing your contractions is the best way to make sure that they’re true labor contractions and not a false alarm. It felt just like the child was stretching and placing loads of strain on my uterus, and my abdomen acquired actually exhausting which I assumed was her.

As your labour progresses, your contractions are more likely to become extra powerful and extra frequent. If something just appears totally different and new, ache or comfort smart, then ask should you might be having contractions. For me, back labor felt like this: I would start a contraction and would really feel my belly tighten as regular. Contractions can feel different for each girl, it is perhaps that the pain stays in your decrease again space however will often move in a wave like motion towards the abdomen.