Stomach tightening? What does it mean? Well, stomach tightening is more than a normal phenomenon that starts at about 20 weeks in the pregnancy. The medical term for the same is Braxton Hicks contractions. The name Braxton Hicks contractions is given after Dr. John Braxton Hicks first described them in the year 1872. These are the practice contractions by the uterus as a way of toning your muscles and stimulating the growing baby in the uterus. For most women in their 2nd trimester, Braxton Hicks contractions are a feeling of hardness around the belly with mild contractions. There may or may not be pain but they are certainly uncomfortable.
This feeling can be eased by changing the position. These Braxton Hicks contractions are usually painless and are not a cause of worry. Some women may feel slight pain here and there but they do not come in a repeated pattern and usually subside once you change your posture. For some lucky women, there is no feeling at all and they get to know about them only through the medical practitioner during examination.
Did you know that Braxton Hicks contractions start as early as 6 weeks in to your pregnancy but at that early stage you would not be able to feel them? But as your pregnancy progresses in to the 2nd trimester, they are somewhat felt more often and strongly for some women. They are generally, frequent, painless and do not occur in a regular pattern.
There may be times when these Braxton Hicks contractions may make you very uncomfortable. By following some tips listed below you can help ease them instantly.
- Drink plenty of water and fluids. Braxton Hicks contractions may also occur due to lack of water and body dehydration.
- Sometimes certain physical activities even as light as shopping may trigger these contractions. It is always better to lie down or if that’s not possible sit back and relax for a while. This may help you a lot in getting rid of these contractions.
- Change your position. Braxton Hicks contractions may also occur if you’re in one position for a long time. Changing position generally helps in instantly relieving the pain.
- For many women, taking a long hot bath proves very helpful in Braxton Hicks contractions.
- Deep breathing is also a good way of relaxing your body and easing these contractions.
The Braxton Hicks contractions should not be repetitive with a pattern. If changing position is not helping and the pain is quiet severe, medical help should be immediately called for as it may be a preterm labor. But such possibilities are quiet unlikely during the 2nd trimester.