Like any muscle, your uterus gets stronger with exercise. While pregnant, you will experience uterine exercise known as Braxton-Hicks contractions. These are usually not a problem, as they are mild contractions that do not usually last for very long. They may seem to have a regular rhythmic pattern, such as every 10 minutes, but they will not get more intense, closer together or longer like labor contractions will.
Some Women Have Tried…
- Change your activity. If you have been moving around, sit and rest. If you have been sitting or resting, get up and walk around. Changing your activity may stop Braxton-Hicks contractions.
- Eat something. Your body can start contractions if the baby needs food.
- Drink water. Dehydration can start contractions that look like labor, but are non-productive (they do not open the cervix).
- Ignore them. They are not an indicator of when you will begin labor, so if possible, just ignore what is happening and go about your regular routine.
- Relax and do abdominal breathing. These contractions are good for your baby (the massage helps respiration), good for you (they make the uterus stronger for labor) and will end shortly. It might be a good time to practice your relaxation.
- Contact your doula for some reassurance. She can help you understand the difference between pre-labor and contractions that will become labor.