Braxton Hicks contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions

:"For the album "Braxton Hicks" by Jebediah see Braxton Hicks (album)."

Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as false labour (British English, false labor in American English) or practice contractions. Braxton Hicks are sporadic uterine contractions that actually start at about 6 weeks, although one will not feel them that early. Most women start feeling them during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

Cause

Braxton Hicks contractions are a tightening of the uterine muscles for one to two minutes and is thought to be an aid to the body in its preparation for birth. Not all expectant mothers have these contractions. They are thought to be part of the process of effacement, the thinning of the cervix.

History

Braxton Hicks are named after the English doctor who first described them. In 1872, John Braxton Hicks investigated the latter stages of pregnancy and noted that many women felt contractions without being near birth.cite journal |author=Dunn PM |title=John Braxton Hicks (1823-97) and painless uterine contractions |journal=Arch. Dis. Child. Fetal Neonatal Ed. |volume=81 |issue=2 |pages=F157–8 |year=1999 |pmid=10448189 |doi=] This process was usually painless but caused women confusion as to whether or not they were going into actual labor. It has since been found that Braxton Hicks' contractions are much less noticeable during exercise, whereas real contractions are not.

Worsening factors

# Dehydration can make muscles spasm, bringing on a contraction, and is thought to be a factor in extended Braxton Hicks contractions. Adequate hydration can alleviate Braxton Hicks contractions.
# Rhythmic breathing may alleviate the discomfort of Braxton Hicks contractions.
# Lie down on the left side can help ease the pain of contractions.
# A slight change in movement sometimes makes the contractions disappear.
# A full bladder can sometimes trigger Braxton Hicks, so urination may end the contractions.

Notes


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions — Irregular contractions of the womb (the uterus) occurring towards the middle of pregnancy in the first pregnancy and, earlier and more intensely, in subsequent pregnancies. These contractions tend to occur during physical activity. The uterus… …   Medical dictionary

  • Braxton-Hicks contractions — Brax·ton Hicks contractions .brak stən hiks n pl relatively painless nonrhythmic contractions of the uterus that occur during pregnancy with increasing frequency over time but are not associated with labor Hicks John Braxton (1823 1897) British… …   Medical dictionary

  • Braxton Hicks contractions — n. sporadic painless contractions of the uterus that occur toward the middle of pregnancy or even earlier (named after John Braxton Hicks) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Braxton Hicks contractions — [ˌbrakstən hɪks] plural noun Medicine intermittent weak contractions of the uterus occurring during pregnancy. Origin early 20th cent.: named after the English gynaecologist John Braxton Hicks …   English new terms dictionary

  • Braxton Hicks contractions — irregular painless contractions of the uterus that occur during pregnancy and may become stronger towards term. [Braxton Hicks (1825–97), British obstetrician] …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • braxton-hicks contractions — ˈbrakstənˈhiks noun plural Usage: usually capitalized B&H Etymology: after John Braxton Hicks died 1897 English gynecologist : relatively painless nonrhythmic contractions of the uterus that occur during pregnancy with increasing frequency over… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Braxton Hicks contractions — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Contractions, Braxton Hicks — Irregular contractions of the womb (the uterus) occurring towards the middle of pregnancy in the first pregnancy and, earlier and more intensely, in subsequent pregnancies. These contractions tend to occur during physical activity. The uterus… …   Medical dictionary

  • Braxton Hicks — n. Braxton Hicks contractions, sporadic painless contractions of the uterus that occur toward the middle of pregnancy or even earlier (named after John Braxton Hicks) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Contractions de Braxton Hicks — Contraction de Braxton Hicks La contraction de Braxton Hicks (ou fausse contraction) est une contraction isolée de l utérus qui survient à partir de la sixième semaine de grossesse, quoique la plupart des femmes la ressente seulement à partir du… …   Wikipédia en Français

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