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What are Braxton Hicks?

Who remembers this episode of friends? ‘The one where…’

Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic uterine contractions that occur during pregnancy. These contractions can start as early as the second trimester but are more commonly felt in the third trimester.

They are often described as a tightening or hardening of the uterus and can occur for varying amounts of time, ranging from a few seconds to several minutes. Braxton Hicks contractions are generally painless and do not signify labor; however, they can be uncomfortable and may occasionally be mistaken for preterm labor.

Importantly, you can differentiate between Braxton Hicks and contractions by the timing of the tightenings. Braxton Hicks are sporadic and can be a fleeting second or can last for minutes. Early Labour contractions come and go in a wave-like pattern.

What should I do if I’m having Braxton Hicks?

1. Stay hydrated: Ensure that you are drinking enough fluids, as dehydration can trigger Braxton Hicks contractions.

2. Change positions: Changing positions can help shift the baby's weight and relieve pressure on the uterus.

3. Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation or Hypnobirthing may help to ease the discomfort caused by Braxton Hicks contractions.

4. Take a warm bath or shower: A warm bath or shower may help to soothe your muscles and alleviate the contractions.

5. Check with your Midwife: If you experience more than six contractions in an hour, or if they become increasingly painful or regular, contact your healthcare provider immediately as it could be a sign of preterm labor.

When should I contact my midwife?(excerpt below from

It’s always best to contact your midwife or maternity unit for advice if you are not sure whether you are having Braxton Hicks or labour contractions.

It's also a good idea to call them if the tightenings continue, especially if you are less than 37 weeks pregnant.

Call your midwife or maternity unit straight away if:

  • you have any vaginal bleeding

  • your waters breakyou have strong contractions every five minutes that last 30-60 seconds)

  • these twinges become very painful

  • you have any concerns about your baby’s movements.

Have you ever felt Braxton Hicks?

What did they feel like? How did they compare to the conytractions of early labour for you? Was it long before you had your baby?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!




What is Birth Prep in a Box?

Birth Prep In A Box (BPIAB) is a comprehensive toolkit of resources that expectant parents can use to prepare for their birth, however and wherever they plan to birth.

It is the only birth preparation and Hypnobirthing course that flexes to the way that you learn best and your budget too.

BPIAB can be accessed in the following formats:

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