Am I experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions?

What do Braxton Hicks feel like? Braxton Hicks contractions are painless tightenings of the uterine muscles and normal throughout your pregnancy as long as they’re painless and irregular.

You may not experience Braxton Hicks at all, but they can signal the start of early labour. You may feel your bump start to harden and relax in waves, towards the end of pregnancy you may find them quite uncomfortable similar to a period type pain.

Usually Braxton Hicks contractions are not as strong or as regular as labour. It can be hard to tell the difference between the two. The main difference between Braxton Hicks and real labour contractions to look out for is that Braxton Hicks may develop a regular pattern and stop and start over a period of time. Unlike the coming and going of Braxton Hicks, when its the real deal, your contractions will steadily become more intense over time and won’t go away.

If you’re experiencing Braxton Hicks try and stay relaxed, sometimes a warm bath can help you to feel more comfortable, drink plenty of fluids and eat regularly to keep your energy levels up.

It’s important you ring your maternity hospital for some advice if your contractions are becoming stronger or painful, if you have fluid leaking from your vagina, if you have any vaginal bleeding or if there’s a reduction in your baby’s movements.