Contractions in Pregnancy

I think I am having contractions! Is that ok?

A pregnant woman will often become aware of uterine contractions to a varying extent during the course of her pregnancy, especially as it gets more advanced.

Such contractions are irregular, tend to be infrequent and not intense. They can cause discomfort. These contractions are Braxton Hicks contractions and are a normal physiological happening.

cartoon characters phone_thumb The uterus is a muscular organ with a skin on the outside (called peritoneum) and a lining  on the inside (called endometrium or decidua in pregnancy). The normal activity of a muscle is to contract. The uterine muscle contracts even when a woman is not pregnant. A woman may be aware of uterine contractions at the time of her periods. Contractions at that time are to facilitate the expulsion of shed lining and blood in the uterine cavity.

What can be done?

Rest. Activity will tend to make uterine contractions worse.

If you feel the contractions are getting stronger and more regular please advise me or the Labour Ward / Birth Unit midwife immediately. This is in case they are not Braxton Hicks contractions but preterm labour contractions. If it is preterm labour you will need to attend the hospital immediately so that appropriate steps can be taken to stop the uterine contractions.

Posted by Dr Gary Sykes on -

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