Braxton Hicks Contractions - False or True Labor

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What are Braxton-Hicks contractions?

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 all together 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.

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