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March 26, 2016
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1 Introduction
Braxton Hicks



For the album Braxton Hicks by Jebediah see Braxton Hicks (album).

Braxton Hicks' contractions, also known as false labour (British English, false labor in American English) or practice contractions, occur during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. It is a tightening of the uterus|uterine muscles for up to one minute and is thought to be an aid to the body in its preparation for childbirth|birth. Not all expectant mothers have these contractions which can start as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy. They are thought to be part of the process of effacement, the thinning and dilation of the cervix.

Braxton Hicks are named after the England|English doctor that first described them. In 1872, John Braxton Hicks investigated the latter stages of pregnancy and noted that many women felt contractions without being anywhere near birth. This process was usually painless but caused confusion to the women as to whether or not they were going into actual labour. It has since been found that Braxton Hicks' contractions are much less noticeable during exercise, real contractions, however, are not.

Dehydration is thought to be a contributory factor in extended Braxton Hicks contractions.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Braxton Hicks".

Last Modified:   2005-12-23

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