What are False Contractions?

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What are False Contractions?
What are False Contractions?

Fake contractions are generally felt by pregnant women in the final trimester, although they can actually occur at an earlier gestational age. What are false contractions like and how are they different from labor contractions?

Fake contractions or known in the medical world as Braxton Hicks contractions are normal things that happen to pregnant women. Such contractions are a preparation of the uterus for labor and will appear more frequently as a sign that labor is approaching.

What Are False Contractions? - Alodokter

Recognizing the Signs of False Contractions

The uterus has actually been experiencing contractions since seven weeks of pregnancy, but the size of the uterus is not too big, so pregnant women don't feel it too much.

Although it starts early in pregnancy, false contractions generally only start to be felt since 16 weeks of gestation. When these false contractions occur, they may not have a significant effect on pregnant women.

Fake contractions are characterized by tightening of the uterine muscles. To recognize it, you can place your hand on your stomach and feel how tense the abdominal muscles above your uterus are. False contractions generally last for about 30 seconds, no more than twice per hour and can occur several times a day.

How to Distinguish False Contractions and Labor Contractions

It is not uncommon for pregnant women to have difficulty distinguishing false contractions from labor contractions. You can tell the difference between real and fake contractions by looking at the time they occur, how they feel, as well as the duration and frequency of contractions.

To make it clearer, you can see the differences in detail, as follows:

  • Fake contractions only occur 1-2 times an hour and only occur a few times a day, are irregular, and the intervals of contractions are not close together. While labor contractions will be closer to the time of delivery, regular, and the time between contractions will shorten.
  • Fake contractions last less than 1 minute, while labor contractions can last more than 1 minute.
  • Changes in physical activity will stop the false contractions, but it won't have much effect on labor contractions.
  • Fake contraction strength does not increase. On the other hand, labor contractions will increase, accompanied by increasing pain before delivery.
  • Fake contractions are only felt in the front of the abdomen, while labor contractions start from the lower back and spread towards the front or vice versa.

Do This If A Fake Contraction Occurs

Although rarely painful, false contractions can still cause discomfort in pregnant women. There are several ways to solve this problem:

  • Change body position

Try to go for a walk. It could also be the other way around, resting when false contractions begin to be felt while on the move. Relaxation techniques such as taking deep breaths can be practiced to help restore a sense of well-being.

  • Drink or eat

Drinking a glass of water, tea, or eating food can also be done to minimize discomfort during false contractions.

  • Warm shower

Pregnant women can take a warm bath for about 20-30 minutes to relax the body.

Fake contractions can happen at any time and are not dangerous. However, if the gestational age has not reached 37 weeks and contractions occur more than 4 times an hour, then be aware of the possibility of premature labor.

Also pay attention if amniotic fluid comes out of the vagina, which is a more watery and slimy fluid, blood spots, bleeding from the vagina, or increased pressure in the pelvis like a baby pushing to be born. If these things happen, you should immediately contact your midwife or doctor.

Mothers need to recognize the difference between false contractions and contractions that are a sign of impending labor, especially when the stage of pregnancy has entered the final trimester of pregnancy.

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