braxton hicks

What do Braxton Hicks contractions feel like?

Sometimes called false contractions, Braxton Hicks are usually relatively painless and similar to menstrual cramps. They happen when your uterus tightens and then relaxes again and are irregular. Towards the end of your pregnancy they might feel a bit more painful, especially if your baby is getting head down into position. You’ll know it’s the real thing because the contractions will become closer to each other (but still with a steady pattern) and last for longer.

You'll also feel them becoming more intense and painful. On the other hand, Braxton Hicks will wear off and do not have a steady pattern. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt, please contact your midwife.

Coping with Braxton Hicks

If you find your Braxton Hicks painful then maybe you're doing too much? Try having a sit or lie down on your side. If that doesn’t work try gently moving around a bit or relax in a warm bath. It's also possible you could be a bit dehydrated, so drink plenty of water.

Back to top

Looking for something else?