Signs of Premature Labour: What are Braxton Hix Contractions?


Steven SamawiMD OB/GYN: Often times women experience contractions prior to their due date. These are usually Braxton Hicks contractions.

Kathy WoodMD OB/GYN: Braxton Hicks contractions are your uterus practicing for the real deal. It basically feels like tightening throughout your abdomen.

Rachel WalkerMD OB/GYN: Braxton Hicks contractions are common as you enter the third trimester. They're generally short contractions.

Steven SamawiMD 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 DantasMD 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 SamawiMD 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 WoodMD OB/GYN: Pelvic pressure or tightening.

Angela ChiodoCNM Certified Nurse-Midwife: You can feel them in your thighs or in your lower back.

Stella DantasMD 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 WalkerMD OB/GYN: That's concerning for preterm labor and you need to contact your doctor.