In the last few weeks of pregnancy many women experience Braxton Hicks, or false labor, contractions. They can actually begin as early as 20 weeks but are less noticeable at first. They become more apparent in the ninth month.
Braxton Hicks contractions were first described by Dr. John Braxton Hicks in 1872 as irregular, sporadic contractions of the uterus. They do not cause cervical change and therefore as often referred to as false labor. They mostly occur in the late afternoon or evening after a long day of physical activity or after or during intercourse. Sometimes you can see them and your belly may look lopsided or pointy. They can also be triggered by the baby’s movement, dehydration or position. They are usually painless but can sometimes cause mild to moderate discomfort. Changing your position, getting a good rest, or drinking water can help them stop.
Distinguishing Braxton Hicks from true labor can be relatively simple. Braxton Hicks are generally painless or weak and do not become more intense over time. They are irregular in timing and usually disappear over time unlike true labor contractions which are regular and become more intense and frequent over time. Keep in mind, however, that every woman and every pregnancy is different so if you are unsure of what is happening, it is best to contact your healthcare provider. The following is a list of warning or danger signs that can signal true labor or something more serious:
As many of you already know, morning sickness can be a real drag in early pregnancy. Instead of enjoying your early weeks of pregnancy, you spend your mornings (and often most of the day) retching in the bathroom and having aversions to foods that used to make you happy. The good news is that morning sickness is usually limited to the first trimester, peaking between 5 and 7 weeks. Also there are many ways to improve or prevent your symptoms. This article will review 10 ways to ease your nausea.
1. Keep saltines/crackers bedside. Most women who have nausea upon awakening benefit from having a small snack that is easy to digest as soon as they wake. A salty cracker will often do the trick.
2. Avoid hard-to-digest foods throughout the day. Greasy or spicy foods can trigger nausea. Instead eat more bland foods such as soups, potatoes, toast or granola. Eating small frequent meals throughout the day also helps.
3. Take a Vitamin B6 supplement. Vitamin B6 has been used for morning sickness for many years. A dose of 10 mg to 25 mg, two to three times a day has been shown to greatly reduce nausea in pregnancy. If the thought of taking another pill makes you nauseous, look for a prenatal vitamin containing extra Vitamin B6 or try consuming foods high in Vitamin B6 such as avocados, bananas or many breakfast cereals. If Vitamin B6 alone doesn’t work, ask your health care provider about adding Unisom sleep tabs for more resistant nausea. Continue reading