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Braxton Hicks Contractions


Braxton Hicks contractions are tightening and squeezing of the muscles of your uterus (womb) during pregnancy. The uterine muscles control the uterus. Braxton Hicks contractions stop on their own. They are not true labor contractions and do not cause your cervix (opening to your uterus) to dilate (open).


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have bleeding from your vagina.
  • You have fluid leaking from your vagina that does not stop.
  • You feel a gush of fluid from your vagina.
  • Your contractions happen every 5 minutes or sooner, and last for more than 60 seconds.
  • Your contractions begin to feel stronger or more painful.
  • You feel a change in your baby's movement, or you feel fewer than 6 to 10 movements in an hour.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Medicines , such as sedatives, may help relax the muscles of your uterus. Your healthcare provider may give you pain medicine to relieve discomfort or pain.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Self care:

  • Change your activity or your position when you feel contractions begin. Walk if you have been lying or sitting. Lie down if you have been standing or walking. True labor will not stop by changing your position or activity.
  • Take a warm bath to relax your body.
  • Drink more fluids to prevent dehydration. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
  • Practice your labor breathing to decrease your discomfort. This may help you get ready for true labor. Take slow, deep breaths, or fast, short breaths. Ask your healthcare provider how to practice labor breathing.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.