Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Braxton-Hicks contractions are contractions of the uterus that occur during the third trimester of pregnancy. They are perfectly normal and have been said to represent contractions that occur as the uterus is preparing to give birth. In some women, they occur as early as the second trimester. Sometimes, Braxton-Hicks contractions have been referred to as "false labor."
In contrast to true labor contractions, Braxton-Hicks contractions do not occur at regular intervals, do not get stronger over time, and do not last longer over time. They do not occur at predictable times and may disappear altogether for a time. They tend to become more frequent toward the end of pregnancy.
Common events can sometimes trigger Braxton-Hicks contractions, such as increased activity of mother or baby, touching the mother's abdomen, dehydration, sexual intercourse, or having a full bladder.
Braxton-Hicks contractions are named after an English doctor, John Braxton Hicks, who described the condition in 1872.