Contractions : Is it Labour or Braxton Hicks? - MumsVillage

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Pregnancy & Parenting

Contractions : Is it Labour or Braxton Hicks?

21 weeks and counting, every time I check my app to see how far along I am, I often feel like time is not moving, I feel like it was a month ago since I last checked and it said 19 weeks 5 days and today it said 21 weeks 3 days, anyway the journey continues.

You know it’s not the first pregnancy when you have to rely on an app to remind you how far along you are, with my first, I knew which day the week ended and I knew to check my mail because Baby Center will send mail reminding me that my baby is the size of a banana.

If I ate a banana now, my stomach would not even bulge, even if I added another and another, but if you see the size of my bump right now you would be convinced I swallowed my son’s football and topped up with a banana just because I could. My bump is not the average size that we seen on Google at week 21, yeah Google lies at time.

Just yesterday Baby centre sent me a mail telling me that I would start feeling the baby kick this week, we are past feeling stage, I sit back and you will see her kick, very fascinating, children are indeed different, I felt Mugi first kick at 21 weeks, now I am watching little Ms. M Mwaura kick through my shirt at 21 weeks, she had better be good at athletics in school.

I can only imagine this is how Serena Williams kicked at 21 weeks.


I am not sure what Dr. Braxton was doing when she discovered the contractions, now you know you are heading somewhere in your career if contractions are named after you, like I discovered that contraction and it’s named after me, I discovered the waddling and its named after me, well Braxton discovered the Braxton Hicks Contractions. They typically start from 6 weeks but are not felt until one is in their 2nd trimester and become more apparent in the third trimester.

Braxton Hicks contractions are a tightening in your abdomen that comes and goes. They are contractions of your uterus in preparation for giving birth. They tone the muscles in your uterus. They also help blood circulate through your uterus.


These contractions are not labour or even a sign that labour is near.

Braxton Hicks contractions:

  • Usually last for about 30 seconds to a minute
  • Are uncomfortable, but not painful
  • Come at irregular times
  • Occur no more than once or twice an hour, a few times a day
  • Usually stop if you change position or activity.

Unlike labour pain, Braxton Hicks contractions:

  • Don’t become closer together
  • Don’t last longer over time
  • Don’t get stronger or come more often when you walk
  • Don’t get stronger over time.

As of now I am looking for something that will be named after me, the Faith Mwaura Swaddle, The Faith Mwaura Colic Relief method…

More about pregnancy on Faith Mwaura’s Blog.

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