Monday, July 11, 2011

Braxton Hicks...

Ok, so leave it to a first time pregnant person (me) to not know what's going on with my expanding stomach.  I've never been very good at describing what's going on with my body, so when my Dr asked me at our last appointment if I had been having any braxton hicks contractions I naturally said...."I don't know, what do they feel like?"  She told me they feel like a tightening in my abdomen.  That description didn't really help me to grasp what I should be looking for, so I just figured I wasn't having them.

The other night when we were visiting my sister Kelsey, she asked me if I had been having any BH.  I said I wasn't sure and asked her what they felt like.  She said it feels like your stomach gets really really hard and tight.  Hmmm, I think I've felt a hardening?  Then she said it feels like the baby curls up into a tight ball and you can feel it on the surface.  Ok, I've definitely been feeling that!  I just thought it was a cute trick the baby was doing in there and I was pointing it out to Steve every time it happened- "Come feel, the baby's all bunched up in a super hard ball!"  (Thank you to my sister for helping me figure out what BH contractions are!)

So I've been feeling them from time to time over the past few weeks, but last night I had quite a few of them and I'm wondering....should I be counting them? Can you have too many BH contractions?  I counted four in an hour from 8:30-9:30 last night and then I went to bed.  I'm not sure if they were brought on by the extremely hot day or what?  From what I could find in my pregnancy books, dehydration and a full bladder can bring them on and as long as they aren't painful they are normal.  Right around when I have a BH contraction, I have trouble catching my breath or getting a full breath, is this normal?

Anyone have any advice?


  1. OMG...I just wrote out this super long comment and then blogger had an error! UGH!!!

    Anyway, I have been having them for about a month I guess. My dr said they are totally normal. The thing to look for is any regularity....more than 4-6 in an hour...or any pain associated with them. He also said that you can have them when baby is moving around a lot.

    This may sound weird but I seem to start having them if I am sitting in a reclined position (like in our recliner). I don't do that anymore....I lay on my side on the couch and I don't have any.

    Also, I notice that I have them if I am uncomfortable. For example, we were at my mother-in-law's house sitting around the table in these SUPER awful chairs with no lumbar support...I started having them. I got up and started walking around and I was fine.

    They used to totally freak me out (still do a little) but I can now tell what makes me have them and I have these things to do to make them stop. If in doubt drink a glass of water and lay down for a bit. Staying hydrated is very important. If I did these things and they didn't stop you better believe my dr would be getting a call!

    I also get them when my bladder is full.

    Dr also said that it is hard not to have them during the summer because it is so hot and pregnant women are so uncomfortable...hard to stay hydrated.

    Hope this helps....

    Oh, and I wouldn't have known what the heck they were but once I had my hand on my belly and I could feel the outline of my uterus because it was so hard....hubby then informed me what it was :)

  2. I had no idea that BH is what I've been feeling too! Thanks for your post! I had been thinking that the tightening was the baby's head or butt! Lol and so I'd try to poke it to make him move because it was uncomfortable and hurt to breathe!
    WOW! I too am curious if you can have to many because I have several each day...hmmm....

  3. dehydration will increase BH too. so yeah, being too hot will increase them if you are not drinking enough:-) i have been getting them for about 2 weeks now, and I am a little over 21 weeks.

  4. I know nothing, but one of my good pregnancy books says that if you're having more than six per hour, it's time to call the doctor. I'm not sure if that info helps, but there you go!

  5. Haha, I was so similar! I had to ask my doctor what was happening when my stomach got really tight!!
    Yes, my doc said to call them if I am having them more than once every five minutes.
    I have found mine get worse adn are more frequent when I am pushing myself, or I am stressed.
    My doctor did say that it was good that I had them this early, it shows my body is practicing and preparing for birth . . .so that's good I guess!

  6. I wasn't sure what they felt like either at first. My best description is tightness also. But I usually can feel her butt up high and it's always hard, and the rest of my stomach is somewhat squishy (I can poke it and it gives a little). When my entire abdomen gets tight and not squishy at all, that 'I think' is a BH contraction. I also noticed several in the last few days and I think it has to do with the heat - if it's hot where you live - and being slightly dehydrated. Also a full bladder makes them worse.

  7. Good thing you found my blog today, I was the queen of BH! :) And I can tell you that unless they hurt or are coming frequently (over 6-8 for more than an hour) you're fine. If you think they seem like a lot, go and drink a big glass of water and lay on the couch on your left side for an hour. They should subside. I had them when I would stand, move, go to the bathroom and other random times as well.

    Its hard not to be concerned though! :)

  8. No advice Bridget... I'm reading all of this and learning myself... but it sounds like everything is normal and there are some good suggestions in these comments. What would we do without advice through blog world? Take care!


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