Can you please give me any information on Braxton Hicks Syndrome?
Braxton Hicks Syndrome is what is otherwise known as "false
labor". Sometime during the middle of a woman's pregnancy, she
may experience relatively painless, random contractions. These
contractions are false labor. As the pregnancy progresses, the
contractions may get more uncomfortable, but they remain equally
as random. Some people believe that these contractions are the
body's way of preparing itself for labor, and getting the process
into motion. These contractions can provide a good opportunity for
a woman to practice her breathing exercises!
It can be difficult to tell the contractions of false labor apart from the
real thing, especially when so much of a pregnant woman's
attention is directed towards the unpredicatable moment of labor.
There are a few things though that help a woman differentiate false
labor from true labor. Braxton Hicks contractions will be consistent
in intensity and frequency, whereas true labor contractions will
grow progressively more intense and more frequent. True labor will
also be accompanied by lower back pain, and the appearance of
blood streaked vaginal discharge. False labor is felt more as a
pain in the abdomen than the lower back. The contractions will
occur but will then taper off and disappear, whereas with true labor,
the contractions don't stop. Unlike true labor contractions the pain
or discomfort of false labor contractions can be managed by
drinking a glass of water or getting up and walking around. Some
women say that lying down helps the contractions subside.
If a woman feels contractions that indicate true labor at any time
during her pregnancy she should call her doctor or midwife
immediately. It is also not a bad idea, if there is some doubt to
simply gain reassurance by placing a call.