Every woman, being pregnant, is very sensitive to the smallest changes in her condition. And this is correct, since these changes entail the next stage in the development of pregnancy, and mean that the long-awaited meeting of mother and baby is not far off. For example, closer to the end of pregnancy, expectant mothers begin to worry about sensations similar to light contractions. For many, this is alarming, but is it worth it to worry? Let’s figure it out.
Brexton Hicks Contractions – What Is It?
This phenomenon got its name in 1982 in honor of its discoverer, an English doctor – John Brexton Hicks. Oddly enough, but it was the man who noticed and described this process. It is a contraction of the uterine muscles lasting from 1 to 2 minutes.
Such contractions become noticeable after the 20th week of pregnancy, and are characterized as a short-term increase in uterine tone. Over time, the number of such fights increases, but the duration remains the same.
Why is this happening
The contractions of the Brexton Hicks are justifiably also called training. The uterus undergoes changes during the entire period of pregnancy, in connection with the maintenance of the life of the fetus and the fulfillment of the protective function. In addition, during pregnancy, its size increases 500 times. Uterine muscles tend to contract and be in good shape, so they just need training in order to perform their main function in childbirth – to push the fetus out. In addition, with the help of such contractions, the expectant mother gets an excellent opportunity to learn how to breathe correctly during labor pains, performing special breathing exercises.
Another useful and necessary function of Hicks contractions is to increase the flow of oxygen to the placenta. This also occurs due to increased muscle tone.
What does a woman feel
Training fights, as a rule, are painless and do not cause strong discomfort. Getting to know them is easy. Their signs can be considered: a slight numbness of the abdomen, periodic tension of the muscles of the uterus and light pulling pains in the lumbar region. Such sensations do not bring pain, rather inconvenience, gradually disappear, and then completely disappear. The fetus during such contractions most often behaves actively.
How to get rid of discomfort
There are several methods to help yourself with Brexton Hicks contractions and to relieve discomfort:
- A calm walk will help to relax the muscles of the uterus;
- A warm bath or refreshing shower also helps relieve muscle spasm;
- Comfortable body position;
- A glass of water, fruit drink or juice will calm your condition as a whole;
- Breathing exercises will help not only the mother, but also increase the flow of oxygen to the fetus.
Reason to see a doctor
If a woman notices an increase in training contractions and an increase in their soreness, then this may be a signal of the onset of labor. These contractions are the harbingers of childbirth, which contribute to the disclosure of the cervix. Childbirth is a process that occurs in each woman individually. Therefore, whether these contractions are false or generic can only be determined by a doctor.
So, you need to see a doctor immediately if you notice that:
- Contractions have become intense, regular, prolonged and frequent.
- Bloody vaginal discharge appeared.
- The bleeding started.
- There was an obsessive pain in the lower abdomen, radiating to the lower back.
- The waters have gone.
- Weak fetal movement or complete lack of movement.
The contractions of the Brexton Hicks are a normal process of preparing the body of the expectant mother for childbirth. Thanks to him, we can conclude that the pregnancy is going well, and soon the main event in the life of a woman will happen – the birth of her baby. If a woman notices an increase in contractions or an increase in soreness in the body, this may be a signal of the onset of childbirth. In this case, you should immediately go to the hospital.