How To Handle Contractions
Know Your Braxton Hicks Contractions
Once you are near your due date, the slightest ache is easily mistaken for the start of labour. But the pains could be a sign that your body is in the limbering up phase with Braxton Hicks contractions. At this stage there is no need to rush to the hospital.
What does Braxton Hicks feel like?
Braxton Hicks feel like period pains that come and go. They are not too painful, and do not come at regular intervals.
What about true contractions?
They vary between women and even pregnancies. They can feel like a dull ache, and cause pain in your abdomen and lower back, as well as feelings of pressure in your pelvis. Also, they’ll get closer together and last longer.
When you have contractions, whether Braxton Hicks or true labour, you’ll feel your uterus, lower abdominal area, or groin tighten or squeeze, and then relax.
What can I do if my Braxton Hicks contractions are uncomfortable or painful?
If you’re within a few weeks of your due date, try these:
*Change your activity or position.
*Take a warm bath.
*Drink a few glasses of water, as the contractions can be brought on by dehydration
*Try relaxation exercises or slow, deep breathing. (Suggestion: Practise the exercises learnt during your antenatal classes)
When should I go to the hospital?
Go to the hospital right away if you haven’t reached 37 weeks and your contractions are becoming more frequent, rhythmic or painful, or if you have any of the following signs of premature labour:
*Cramping or abdominal pain for more than four contractions in one hour
*Vaginal bleeding or spotting
*An increase in vaginal discharge
*More pressure in the pelvic area (a feeling that your baby is pushing down)