Pregnancy and Parenting Features

When Do Braxton-Hicks Contractions Start?

Technically speaking, you may begin to have Braxton-hicks contractions starting well before the second trimester.  Braxton-Hicks contractions can start as early as somewhere around your sixth week of pregnancy.  Having said that, these early Braxton-Hicks contractions are generally so mild that you aren’t even going to be able to notice them.  Typically, it is sometime much further into pregnancy, often somewhere in the middle of the second trimester, before you start to be able to feel and to recognize Braxton-Hicks contractions.

Just about every pregnant woman is going to feel Braxton-Hicks contractions start in the second trimester.  However, Braxton-Hicks contractions can indeed be so mild for some women that they won’t feel them at all.  If you haven’t started having Braxton-Hicks contractions some time in the second trimester, or even if you are not having any Braxton-Hicks contractions later on in pregnancy, there is not necessarily anything to worry about.  There has not been any research that suggests any sort of connection between Braxton-Hicks contractions that start in the second trimester, or not having them, and any sort of problems with pregnancy, labor, or birth.

Braxton-Hicks contractions can be a little bit unnerving at first.  A woman may be well into her second trimester when Braxton-Hicks contractions start.  She may think, at first, that she is going into labor.  However, Braxton-Hicks contractions differ from labor contractions in that Braxton-Hicks contractions are irregular and vary in intensity.  Labor contractions are rhythmic, and they will continue to increase in intensity as well as frequency from the time that they start until labor occurs.  If you are unable to tell if the particular contractions that you are feeling are Braxton-Hicks contractions or if they are indeed genuine labor contractions, you should call your health care provider.  If you are indeed having labor contractions in your second trimester, you will want to immediately get to the hospital and get under the care of your physician so as to prevent a situation of preterm labor and birth.

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