2nd Pregnancy – Week 30: Braxton Hick's Contractions

Back Pain

It will be another week before I see the doctor again.  The back pain is worse and affects me every time I lie down.  I get both lumbar back pain and posterior pelvic pain which descends to my behind and back of my thighs. The back pain was somewhat alleviated by the Pregalates exercises I started doing.  Since Gavin has been off school, I’ve stopped – which might explain the reason for the increase back pain.  Guess it’s time to get started again.

I find the best position to nurse Gavin now is when we’re lying tummy-to-tummy on our sides – similar to when I nursed him back when he was a newborn.  Gavin, unfortunately, isn’t that keen on this position but accepts it when he’s started to doze off to sleep.

I can no longer prop myself up with a pillow under me because my bump is so large the weight of it pulls rather uncomfortably on my back.  I can’t lie on my back directly because it makes me feel breathless – not to mention it’s not good for womb circulation anyway.

Braxton Hick’s Contractions

I recently had Braxton Hick’s contractions – at least, that’s what I think they are.  Since I never had any contractions with Gavin until they started inducing me, this is kind of a new experience for me.  I guess what they say is true – every pregnancy and every child is unique.  Just because you’ve been through it once before doesn’t make you an expert on the subject.

Braxton Hick’s contractions – if they are that – feels like a tightening in the abdomen just above the pubic area.  It happens most commonly while I’m walking.  I have been told that it can occur when you’ve been exerting yourself too much.  Unfortunately, I can’t really say I have been exerting myself all that much.  On the contrary, I’ve been taking it over easy…

I had about five contractions a couple of days ago – all, I would say within 15-30minutes.  After that, it went away.  Aside from the tightening of my abdomen, they were okay – they didn’t hurt at all.

A friend of mine shared her experience that though she didn’t have any BH contractions with her first pregnancy, she felt them in her second.  I suppose this is another one of those symptoms that crop up because the body has been “loosened” by the first pregnancy and is now more susceptible?

According to American Pregnancy, Braxton Hicks contractions are believed to have a role in “toning the uterine muscle and promoting the flow of blood to the placenta. They are not believed to have any connection with dilating the cervix, but may have some effect on the softening of the cervix. However, as Braxton Hicks contractions become more intense closer to the time of delivery, the contractions are considered false labor, which can help in the dilation and effacement process.”

I wonder if the fact that I am having them means that Gareth might not need inducing and might even arrive on time?

Braxton Hicks contractions can occur:

  • When you or the baby are very active
  • If someone touches your belly
  • When your bladder is full
  • After sex
  • Dehydration

I was particularly thirsty that night I had them so perhaps that’s why I got them?

There are several things you can do to alleviate Braxton Hicks contractions:

  • Change positions; lie down if you have been standing or go for a walk if you have been sitting or laying
  • Take a warm bath for 30 minutes or less
  • Drink a couple of glasses of water, because contractions may be brought on by dehydration
  • Drink a warm cup of herbal tea or milk

If none of these help, it is recommended that you see your doctor.

Nipple Sensitivity During Nursing

During the earlier part of the pregnancy I mentioned that my nipples were more sensitive during nursing but not unbearably so.  After a while, the sensitivity subsided until I barely noticed it, though it was still a tad sensitive especially initially when Gavin first takes the breast.

Lately, the sensitivity has gone up again.  It probably hasn’t helped that Gavin has taken to biting me in his sleep.  Though it is more sensitive, I’m glad to say that it is still bearable and not sufficiently a deterrent for me to want to quit nursing at this stage.

Gavin’s Breastfeeding Frequency

Initially, it appeared as if he would self-wean because there were nights when he would tell me he didn’t want the breast.  Somewhere along the way, the nursing frequency picked up again and though I’m sure there is hardly any milk now, Gavin still continues to nurse and drink cow’s milk together before bedtime.

He still wakes up to nurse in the middle of the night.  I usually try to offer him milk but more and more, it appears it is the breast he wants because he won’t stop fussing until I give it to him.  Though his eyes are usually shut when this happens, he still seems to be aware of the difference between the offer of cow’s milk and a breast.

Baby Bump Size

I ran into my old Pilates instructor at Fitfor2 today.  She thought I was almost due because of how large I was and was surprised to hear I still have two more months to go.  Quite frankly, I wish I was almost due – or I don’t.  I’m not sure.  I’m feeling somewhat more anxious about the delivery this time – not so much the pain since there’s always the epidural – but whether I’ll have it in me to push out another big baby.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

2 thoughts on “2nd Pregnancy – Week 30: Braxton Hick's Contractions

  1. I had very difficult braxton hicks contractions that got so tight and close together my midwives thought they were real contractions for a while. The only thing that helped was drinking camomile tea with Calm (magnesium citrate powder) mixed in. This made all the BH contractions go away within one hour, when the real contractions started, it didn’t help them much. If you drink too much magnesium citrate it will act like a laxative.

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  2. Thanks for the tip. So far the BH contractions have been quite mild – nothing that required any intervention on my part. I’ll be sure to remember this tip if they do get worse further down the line…

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