As expecting women it is a must to know the difference between Braxton hicks and labor contractions. Braxton hicks or false labor pains is very common close to the due date.
Braxton hicks and contractions are quite similar, hence the confusion, but they can be differentiated by noticing some key features. Some differences between the both are mentioned below. They will help you get a better understanding that whether you are having contractions or a false labor.
Braxton hicks are pre-labor contractions. They don’t last more than a minute or less. They are basically preparing the uterus for the real labor contractions. During Braxton hicks the carrier feels their uterus tightening and hard to touch. They usually start occurring from the end of 2nd trimester or the start of 3rd trimester.
Moreover, they are usually painful and cause discomfort. They can be controlled or you can decrease the pain by walking and breathing exercises.
It happens between 37th to 40th weeks of the pregnancy. Labor contractions tighten the top of the womb and soften the bottom to allow the body to push the baby into the birth canal. The baby bump becomes very hard during contractions and softens after it.
Labor contractions are very painful and often the carrier needs pain medication to calm down. These medications are however not recommended as they may result in complexity or may have side effects but in the case of extreme pain, it cannot be avoided.
Difference Between Braxton Hicks and Labor Contractions
You can tell the difference between hicks and contractions by few features. Like hicks are infrequent and happen once or twice per hour a day. However, labor happens between ten to thirty minutes and pain increases with time.
Also, the virginal examination can reveal that if the cervix is dilated then its labor or else its hicks.
Braxton hicks can be calmed through the warm shower. A shower or other activities may result in strong labor contractions.
During labor contractions, the water breaks proving that cervix is dilating. Labor contractions, unlike hicks, is also consistent.