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Difference Between Braxton Hicks and Labor Contraction

Braxton Hicks vs Labor Contraction

Braxton Hicks and labor contraction are significantly different when it comes to the severity of pain. Though it comes along with pregnancy and childbirth but their occurrence varies from each other. It is important for pregnant women to know the difference to avoid confusion.

Braxton Hicks

Braxton Hicks will start to manifest usually on the second trimester of pregnancy. It may be brought upon by increase activity or during full bladder. It is often not painful and pregnant women may not even realize that they have contractions. However, once the woman is nearing her due date, the Braxton Hicks contraction may get painful but this can be alleviated by change in position or walking.

Labor Contractions

Labor contractions are considered to be painful and progressive. It is described as a pain that starts from the back moving towards the front. During this period the abdomen is relatively hard to touch. This signifies the start the tightening of the uterus and the stretching of the cervix, these actions aids the body prepare for child birth.

Difference between Braxton Hicks and Labor Contraction

The reason for the Braxton Hicks contraction is not clear, though it is believed that it helps the body adjust to the pain of a real labor. It happens irregularly and at most, causes discomfort, which sometimes confuses the women if they are actually going through labor pains or not. It is also connected with dehydration and in fact pregnant women are encouraged to drink lots of fluids to help avoid these contractions. Real labor contractions however have more intensity when it comes to pain, does not subside and with its interval is at a much closer range.

These contractions happen to all pregnant women and it is their and their doctor’s responsibility to educate them on situations in which these appear. Not only does this helps them prepare better but also eases their mind from unnecessary tension.

In brief:

•Braxton Hicks will start to manifest usually on the second trimester of pregnancy. t is often not painful and pregnant women may not even realize that they have contractions.

•Labor contractions are considered to be painful and progressive. This signifies the start the tightening of the uterus and the stretching of the cervix, these actions aids the body prepare for child birth.


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