Braxton Hicks Contractions: Approaching Labor



Dr. Anna Suarez Davis, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Baptist Hospital of Miami, explains the term “the baby dropped” is when the baby is engaged in the pelvis, the head is low enough in the pelvis it can cause a little bit more discomfort for mom. “But it doesn’t necessarily mean that labor is upon them, it really can happen a few weeks before labor occurs and it can happen certainly just during labor,” she says.

According to her, Braxton Hicks contractions are a way of the body and the uterus practicing and getting ready for her labor and they are typically irregular.

Transcript
Doctor I want to ask you every once in a while you hear people talking about the baby dropped and I’m just wondering does that mean anything in in the medical world or what does that mean if you hear someone say the baby dropped that’s a good question we get that question all the time in our office as well basically for the medical professional that means the baby is engaged in the pelvis that the head is that is low enough in the pelvis it can cause a little bit more discomfort for Mom a little bit more aches and pains and the joints and in the in the pelvis but it doesn’t necessarily mean that labor is is upon them it really can happen a few weeks before labor occurs and it can happen certainly just during labor it doesn’t necessarily have to happen ahead of time okay that’s good to know now a doctor of course you mentioned contractions are kind of a big sign of labor I think most people know that but we also hear about Braxton Hicks contractions sometimes refer to as practice contractions and I’m wondering is that a valid term or and also what exactly are these Braxton Hicks contractions sure so Braxton Hicks contractions are named after the person who discovered them basically as a lot of things are in science they’re basically are a way of the body and the uterus kind of practicing and getting ready for her labor they don’t really necessarily get the cervix ready but they just kind of get the receptors and the the hormonal milieu ready for her labor they’re typically irregular so they do not come at consistent intervals usually their intensity is less although they may be perceived as painful they’re typically more discussed as uncomfortable if they do become painful they certainly are a reason to go into the hospital and if they respond to pain medications typically it’s not true labor.
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