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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).

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Pain or discomfort in your groin or lower abdomen that comes and goes
  • Your contractions are short, and do not last longer each time they happen
  • Your contractions do not get closer together each time
  • Your contractions do not get stronger or more painful each time
  • Your contractions stop when you change your position or rest

Seek care immediately 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.

Call your doctor or obstetrician if:

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

Treatment for Braxton Hicks contractions

may include pain medicine to relieve discomfort or pain or sedatives to relax the muscles of your uterus. If you are dehydrated, he or she may give you fluids through an IV or tell you to drink liquids.


  • 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 liquids 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 doctor or obstetrician 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.

Learn more about Braxton Hicks Contractions (Ambulatory Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.