Can You Get Braxton Hicks at 15 Weeks

Your body will go through a lot during your pregnancy, and sometimes some things might not feel right. Like contractions at only 15 weeks of pregnancy. A lot of times, you should listen to your body, and if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. This is not the case here though, and what you could be experiencing is the normal “practice contractions”. These contractions are called Braxton Hicks contractions. Braxton Hicks at 15 weeks are fairly common and are nothing more than false contractions that do not lead to labor.

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    Braxton Hicks at 15 weeks

    As your body prepares for one of the most stressful natural events in your life, it undergoes certain changes quite fast and quite dramatically. Due to the rapid nature of these changes, your body needs to adapt quickly to be able to cope with all of them. Braxton Hicks, then, is a way for your body to prepare, “test the system” if you will. These are practice or fake contractions that will feel like a tightening in your belly, accompanied by some pain. These are thought to be the evolution’s way to prepare your body and mind for the coming real contractions. 

    It is important to understand that these contractions do not lead to labor, and are not signs of the early arrival of the baby. In the vast majority of cases, they should not be a point of concern, as they are a natural part of any pregnancy. On the flip side, if you don’t experience the Braxton hicks contractions at 15 weeks, this is also normal, as each pregnancy progresses differently, and your experience might vary greatly from other people’s. In fact, you might experience, for example, the Braxton Hicks contractions during your third pregnancy, but not the previous two.

    As for the name, this phenomenon is named after a doctor who first identified and described it, called Dr. John Braxton Hicks.

    What Causes Braxton Hicks Contractions in the first trimester

    It is widely believed that the Braxton-Hicks contractions are a way for your body to prepare for real labor. Unlike real contractions, these contractions do not dilate the cervix but are believed to soften it and make it more ready for delivery. Most women cannot really say what makes them appear, but some commonality does exist. Many women say that the Braxton-Hicks contractions are frequent after 

    • Intercourse
    • if they’re dehydrated or overhydrated 
    • if they’ve been active all-day
    • If the bladder is full

    Painful Braxton Hick contractions at 15 weeks are not uncommon, although the pain is much milder than it would be during real labor. Also, these false contractions may get more frequent and more intense as you get closer to the due date.

    Treatment of Braxton Hicks contractions

    While there isn’t a specific treatment for these false contractions, there are some things that could be done to alleviate symptoms. 

    Start with eliminating the triggers. If you’ve been active all day, get some rest by lying down and relaxing sometimes. Drinking more water may also make things better if the cause was dehydration. Try a bath for about half an hour, this will usually help with the relaxation of your whole body. 

    Some teas and techniques that work to bring overall calmness to your body are also a good idea: prenatal yoga, herbal teas, and mediation are a good place to start. 

    Keeping your bladder empty will also help as this is a trigger that may cause the false labor to commence.

    Should you see a doctor?

    While they may be harmless for the most part, it is important to keep an eye on Braxton Hicks contractions and do contact your doctor any time you feel uncomfortable with them. 

    For example, having more than 8 contractions in an hour could be a cause for concern, as would vaginal bleeding, amniotic fluid leakage, or if you feel less movement than usual from the baby.

    Uterine irritability

    Braxton Hicks contractions are similar to irritable uterus symptoms, and it is valuable to know the difference in order to know how to react. 

    Uterine irritability is a condition in which a sporadic and unpredictable activity of the uterine muscles can be observed during an examination. These resemble the pain of menstrual cramps and are more frequent and more powerful than Braxton Hicks contractions. As alarming as they may be, they are considered to be harmless and are usually gone by themselves. These also usually do not respond to the same treatment as the Braxton Hicks contractions such as rest and hydration.

    Some of the causes of uterine irritability could be stress, dehydration, an untreated infection, and others.

    Speak with your doctor if you feel concerned or if irritable uterus symptoms or Braxton Hick contractions won’t stop.

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