Braxton Hicks are involuntary contractions of the uterus, which help to get the cervix to expand and increase blood flow through the placenta. All pregnant women have Braxton Hicks, but it varies how much they feel them.

Braxton Hicks do not hurt, but you may feel a little uncomfortable. They are not regular and tend to happen more often after physical activity, if you are dehydrated, under stress or have constipation. They can also occur during sexual intercourse or orgasm. They should go away if you find somewhere to lie down and try to relax.

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If you think you are having a lot of these contractions and they don’t appear to slow down or stop while you are relaxing, you should contact your midwife or a doctor. Contractions which continue while you are relaxing or hurt the front or lower back should not be ignored.

Do you remember how far into your pregnancy you were when felt these for the first time? How did they feel to you?