Braxton Hicks Contractions

Iris has been experiencing Braxton Hicks (B-H)  for since her 29 weeks midwife appt. The midwife told us Iris was having one when she was trying to determine Lily’s position.

Braxton Hicks Contractions were first defined by British gynecologist John Braxton Hicks in 1872. The biggest distinguisher between B-H and other contractions is they are not painful (but possibly uncomfortable like an average period). The second is B-H are infrequent, irregular and inconsistent. Third, Braxton Hicks have not effect on the cervix.

It is believed that Braxton Hicks contractions are preparation “exercises” for the uterus; building strength and practicing for true labor contractions.

Prelabor contractions will differ from B-H when they become more frequent and rhythmic. These Prelabor contractions are working to shorten (efface), soften (ripening) and widen (dilate) the cervix. What distinguishes real labor from prelabor is after a few moments, prelabor does not intensify and eventually stops.


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