As an expecting mother, one of the most exciting moments of your pregnancy is feeling your baby move for the first time. However, as you get further along in your pregnancy, these movements can change to contractions. It is important to understand what early onset contractions feel like and how to tell the difference between them and Braxton Hicks contractions.
Early onset contractions, also known as preterm labor contractions, can occur before 37 weeks of pregnancy. They are the body`s way of preparing for labor, but if they happen too early, they can lead to premature delivery and potential health risks for both the baby and the mother. So, what do early onset contractions feel like?
Early onset contractions feel similar to menstrual cramps, a constant tightening or pressure in your lower abdomen that may come and go. They can also feel like a low backache or pelvic pressure. Unlike Braxton Hicks contractions, which are irregular and can feel like a tightening of the entire uterus, early onset contractions are regular and tend to increase in frequency, intensity, and duration over time.
It is important to differentiate between early onset contractions and Braxton Hicks contractions since the latter is normal and often occur throughout pregnancy. Braxton Hicks contractions are usually short-lived, infrequent, and do not increase in intensity. They are often described as feeling like a tightening of the belly that goes away when you change positions or rest.
If you think you may be experiencing early onset contractions, it is important to contact your healthcare provider right away. They can perform tests to determine if labor has indeed started and develop a plan to manage it and potentially delay delivery.
In conclusion, early onset contractions feel similar to menstrual cramps, a constant tightening or pressure in your lower abdomen that may come and go. They are different from Braxton Hicks contractions, which are irregular and do not increase in intensity. If you suspect you are experiencing early onset contractions, do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation and management.