Many moms, whether first time moms, previous scheduled cesarean or induced moms get anxious wondering if they will prematurely go to their midwife or hospital due to Braxton Hicks, which are irregular contractions or “false labor”. While some Braxton Hicks are often unnoticeable, some can feel like real contractions, so this is a great tool in determining if those truly are labor producing contractions.

With Braxton Hicks, they are infrequent, irregular and not usually intense. They also have no pattern, don’t intensify, aren’t predictable and will taper off and disappear. Some women don’t ever feel them and some only report feeling “uncomfortable”. It’s important to know they aren’t usually painful.

There are things that can prompt Braxton Hicks such as not drinking enough fluids, physical activities such as walking, hiking, gardening, having sex and having a full bladder. (This is not a complete list.)

The following is a list of things to do to determine whether or not this is true labor:

If you’ve been overexerting yourself, your body sends a message reminding you to slow down, rest and drink some water. If any one of the things on the list, or a combination of them stops your contractions, they may very well have been Braxton Hicks. If they don’t stop, get more intense, get closer together, or start to develop a pattern, congratulations! You are probably in labor! Contact your doula, midwife or birth team to let them know things are happening!

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: IF THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, PLEASE IMMEDIATELY CALL EMERGENCY PERSONNEL (911) TO GET PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION. DO NOT RELY ON ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE IN REGARD TO YOUR IMMEDIATE, URGENT MEDICAL NEEDS. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. It is for informational purposes only.