Steven Samawi, MD OB/GYN: Often times women experience contractions prior to their due date. These are usually Braxton Hicks contractions.
Kathy Wood, MD OB/GYN: Braxton Hicks contractions are your uterus practicing for the real deal. It basically feels like tightening throughout your abdomen.
Rachel Walker, MD OB/GYN: Braxton Hicks contractions are common as you enter the third trimester. They're generally short contractions.
Steven Samawi, MD OB/GYN: They're more related to your body's dehydration status and not related to preterm labor. Often times by increasing your hydration and resting, you can see them resolve.
[Rachel] It's not always easy to tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and real preterm labor contractions.
Stella Dantas, MD OB/GYN: When you're preterm and starting to have contractions, and preterm would be anywhere between 25 and 37 weeks, you need to start thinking about when you would contact your healthcare provider.
Steven Samawi, MD OB/GYN: If you're experiencing contractions and you don't think they're Braxton Hicks contractions, for instance, contractions that are associated with bleeding, leaking of fluid, like your bag of water may be broken.
Kathy Wood, MD OB/GYN: Pelvic pressure or tightening.
Angela Chiodo, CNM Certified Nurse-Midwife: You can feel them in your thighs or in your lower back.
Stella Dantas, MD OB/GYN: And that's happening more than four to six times an hour. You need to rest, drink some water, empty your bladder, and if it's persistent the next hour.
Rachel Walker, MD OB/GYN: That's concerning for preterm labor and you need to contact your doctor.