Giving birth

How to relieve Braxton-Hicks contractions

Are you experiencing painful "practice" contractions? Read on for helpful tips on easing Braxton-Hicks contractions at home.

By Today's Parent
How to relieve Braxton-Hicks contractions

Photo: iStockphoto

According to Deanna Stirling, a public health nurse with the Middlesex-London Health Unit in London, Ont., “practice” contractions (which, in contrast to the real deal, don’t dilate your cervix) may be eased by these measures:

Apply warmth

Often, pre-labour contractions will disappear if you take a warm bath or cuddle up with a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.

Take a break

Braxton-Hicks can signal you’re doing too much; rest may offer relief.

Pregnant woman sitting on a brown couch experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions Photo: iStockphoto

Drink some water

Mild dehydration can trigger cramping, so drink up. (But don’t forget to pee. A full bladder can irritate the uterus, thereby increasing the intensity of Braxton-Hicks.)

Practice deep breathing

Braxton-Hicks provides a perfect opportunity to practise your strategies for coping with labour.

And how do you know if those cramps are Braxton-Hicks or bona fide labour? “With true labour, things like a warm bath or rest won’t change the contractions—they’ll just get stronger,” Stirling says. If you’re still uncertain, check with your caregiver.

This article was originally published on Feb 26, 2017

Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with your baby's development, get the latest parenting content and receive special offers from our partners

I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.