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Braxton hicks vs contractions?

Any advice on how to tell the difference between the two? I'm 37wks, 3 & 1/2 cm dialated for 2 weeks and I've had braxton hicks since I was 6m preggers. I'm not sure how to tell the difference between braxton hicks and the real thing though.....sometimes they are painful, sometimes not. Thanx in advance for your help!

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Asked by JenPrincess88 at 9:26 AM on Jan. 19, 2011 in Pregnancy

Level 9 (286 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • I always hated the answer "you will know when they are real contractions." It is true though. The real ones won't go away, and they'll start off slower and get stronger.

    Answer by EverydayMomma at 9:37 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • Braxton Hicks ARE contractions, they're just not consistant. When you start having real contractions they will start to come a certain amount of minutes apart. They usually start off light and progress in pain as they become closer and closer together. When you can start timing them regularly within an hour (even if it's 10 minutes apart) then you know you're having real contractions. Now, those can stop just as easily as Braxton hicks can. Real contractions though they start don't always continue right away. However, that is how you tell the difference is when you can start timing them regularly.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 9:44 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • I've heard that the real contractions are REAL painful, and that they take over your back and stomach. BH I believe is just contracting in your stomach area.

    Answer by shanapiv at 10:25 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • Consistency is key. If you can't tell any other way (i.e., pain, intensity, etc.), look for regularity. A general rule of thumb, too, is that you can't walk or talk through "real" contractions.

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 1:09 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

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