Kind of Early for B-Hicks contractions?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2006
Kind of Early for B-Hicks contractions?
13
Thu, 07-08-2010 - 5:42am

I'm at 18 weeks and feeling very tired (but not sick anymore, hooray!). For the last 4 or 5 days I have been feeling Braxton-Hicks contractions in the afternoons and evenings -- they are quite noticeable. Never in the mornings though. Is it not kind of early for me to be feeling these? Could it be that my fatigue is making them more noticeable? True, it is my 4th pregnancy so maybe that's part of it too.


Ladies who are beyond first pregnancies, what are your experiences with these contractions? Thanks in advance for any answers!


Take care, everybody.


Molly

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2005
Thu, 07-08-2010 - 10:04am

Molly, I don't think it is B-H -- that starts at about 36 weeks I am told. I think it is round ligament pain which happens in trimester two. Apparently, this is more noticable (and often happens earlier) in subsequent pregnancies. If it is muscle tightening or feels crampy, you could be dehydrated -- so try drinking more each day.


I think you need not be worried.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2006
Thu, 07-08-2010 - 1:39pm

Thank you eli2005 for the reply. I am notorious for not drinking very much, so maybe you are right. Still, I feel like I can tell the difference between round-ligament pain (I have that quite a bit, too) and this other feeling which is more like crampiness/pressure. But maybe I'm wrong..... well, today I was sufficiently spooked to call my friend wondering if I should go to the doctor's..... and my friend was totally urging me to go, or at least to call..... I wimped out and didn't do either, but instead lay down in my bed for several hours and I will have myself checked tomorrow morning. Will update here if tomorrow brings any important news.


Molly

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2005
Thu, 07-08-2010 - 3:20pm

You know, if you show up in triage, the first thing they will do after they hook you up to a monitor is push fluids (orally or IV) -- so drink drink drink. Eating can also help. I am terrible for not drinking enough too and had this issue with my first PG and with this one too (although I am only 12 weeks).


make sure you take it easy when this happens. BUT, you are the one feeling it, you know your body best...and if you're worried, by all means call your doc or go to the ER. The nurses and docs are used to this and won't make you feel bad for wanting reassurance.


KUP


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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-08-2009
Thu, 07-08-2010 - 5:14pm

Molly,

They could be BH, but at this early stage they shouldn't be painful.

This is my 3rd pregnancy and I did start feeling the BH much sooner than with #1 and #2. In fact, I remember not feeling my first BH until about week 38 or so. No pain, just the tightness that can with overexertion such as vacuuming, picking up from the floor, etc.

With #2, I had more BH, but also not really painful. They did seem to come sooner. Maybe around weeks 28 or 30ish.

With #3, I've been having BH since about week 24 and painful BH since about week 32. In addition, I've been having a lot of cramping and contractions that wrap from the front all the way around to my lower back. They make me catch my breath!

My OB was not overly concerned...said this was typical with Babies #3 or more...as long as I was not having more than 10 BH a day or 4 in an hour, she said all was normal. Also, she mentioned the dehydration and said that was probably the reasoning behind the cramping...it was my body's way of saying I'm not drinking enough fluids. Ugh!

Hang in there...your uterus has been experiencing contractions for some time now, you just haven't felt them until recently!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2006
Fri, 07-09-2010 - 6:38am

Krista and kcmom, thank you for your responses!


Update -- I was able to see the doctor this morning. She said, "Well, if the contractions (she did not use the term Braxton Hicks) aren't painful, they are nothing to worry about. If they are painful, then you should worry." She gave me a prescription for some medicine that I think is a muscle relaxant, and said that I can use my own discretion in judging when to use it. She also knows that I'm leaving in 11 days for

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
Fri, 07-09-2010 - 8:42am

Molly,

I am a first-time mom to be, so can't offer you any experience about whether B-H can start earlier in subsequent pregnancies, but from what I've read, and my own experience, it's not uncommon for B-H to start at some point during the second trimester (my health care providers and the experiences of many indicate this-- mine started towards the very end of the 2nd trimester, well before 36 weeks), though I have not heard of them starting as early as 18 weeks. I'd ask your OB about this, along with the ladies here, to get the best sense of what could be going on.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2005
Fri, 07-09-2010 - 10:43am

Hmmm. Maybe the drinking thing applies to later in PG -- I even saw Dr Hill on "Deliver Me" tell a pt with suspected pre-term labor (30 weeks)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
Fri, 07-09-2010 - 11:01am

eli,

Guess I'm confused about what kind of contractions you're referring to. B-H contractions aren't a sign of imminent labor at all, they're said to be just the uterus "practicing" for later, and only cause great tightness/hardness of the belly with little to no pain. Mine began in the end of May and have definitely been stronger/more frequent lately. My doc did say a month ago to drink extra water if I'm having a lot of them (we were also having a hot spell then as now, so they always recommend even more water during those times), but did not suggest B-H are a sign of actual impending labor.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2005
Fri, 07-09-2010 - 3:07pm
I wasn't sure if Molly was really having B-H at this stage...but it turns out
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
Fri, 07-09-2010 - 10:36pm

Actually, from what I've been reading, Braxton-Hicks can change later in pregnancy and may become a sign that labor's becoming imminent. The feeling of the contractions I've been having has suddenly changed today, and I'm starting to feel some cramping along with the tightness in my belly. I also had what felt like a back contraction this evening. What I'm not sure of is whether this is a sign I'll go into labor soon.

I won't mind him arriving a few weeks early, but I'm still not quite prepared for him yet, so I hope this guy can hold on for just two more weeks! There's so much extra fluid around him, I feel like it could happen any time now. Don't think he has any more control over when he arrives than I do, though.

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