15Confusing Pre-Labor With Active Labor
Not all pregnant women experience Braxton Hicks contractions.They are sporadic, painless contractions of the uterus. We owe the term to John Braxton Hicks, the first doctor to explain these intermittent contractions. Some women begin to feel a tightening midway through their pregnancies.
Approaching delivery, they can become rather intense, and difficult
to distinguish between real labor contractions.
When they hit, a first-time mom may be scared into thinking she’s in preterm labor, but Braxton Hicks are like trial runs; the uterine muscles are warming up for the big day. These are non-productive contractions. They are not powerful enough to force out a baby. However, if Braxton Hicks were stronger and much more painful, they would be comparable to labor pains.
Don't hesitate to contact the maternity team if there is a worry about contractions or pain. If there's a concern, contact the doctor or midwife, they will take a mom-to-be through the steps to determine if she is, in fact, the early stages of labor.