What Do Contractions Feel Like?

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
13 posts

Braxton hicks contractions start as early as the first trimester (though you usually can’t feel them so early). They felt like an overall tightness in my abdomen and lasted for a few seconds. 

Labor contractions tend to radiate all around you — some women may feel it only in the back or front though. Though, prelabor contractions, which may feel like BH, may be a concern if you have more than 4 an hour, especially after drinking water and sitting with your feet up (or lying on your left side).


Congratulations, by the way! Over half way there 😁

Post # 4
3009 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

weightwatchers152 :  Having a full bladder always gives me lots of Bracton Hicks contractions. They can be annoying and even uncomfortable, but are nothing to worry about! How was your scan??? 

Post # 5
1825 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

My labor started with the vague feeling like maybe my period was coming.  Escalated to what felt like strong period cramps.  Then they started to come and go with an obvious pattern.  At their height, they felt kind of like getting a charley horse, except through your entire abdomen/body instead of your leg.

I never really had Braxton hicks contractions, but I know many people who did.

Post # 6
1450 posts
Bumble bee

weightwatchers152 :  mine just feel like my stomach getting tight and the tech was right you can get them at this stage.  I have heard that for many women BH feel like cramps.  Just make sure you are drinking enough water

Post # 7
737 posts
Busy bee

I had the same thing at my 20 week ultrasound. I followed the drinking instructions and my bladder was extremely full. As soon as I was on the table for the scan, I got muscle cramps/discomfort/tightness throughout my abdomen. It was very uncomfortable, but not stabbing pain or anything like that. The tech said it was braxton hicks due to the full bladder – no concern whatsoever. I was fine an hour or so later when everything emptied out. 7 weeks later, I haven’t had anything like that since.

Post # 8
2123 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - DD born 2015 DS born 2017

Braxton Hicks were a tightening of the front of my bump,  and I could feel my belly become rock hard. Would last up to 30 secs. Labour was a more wrapping feeling from sides to front, deep and uncomfortable like diarrhea cramps.

Post # 10
191 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I am a nurse on a high risk obstetric unit. I have never been pregnant myself, but I can tell you the signs I tell my patients to call my for.

Sometimes menstrual like cramping can be contractions. Pain that starts in the back and wraps around to the lower abdomen is often contraction pain. Patients labor in different ways, though. Some patients may even feel intense discomfort in their thighs and that may be due to contractions. As a general rule, if it’s something you’re really noticing throughout the day or something you can’t talk through comfortably you may want to give your doc a call. A lot of women won’t be able to hold a conversation through contractions that are causing labor and cervical change to occur. If you feel anything weird in your body I am totally for giving your OB a call! I have not worked for long as a nurse on an antepartum unit, but in the 9+ months I have been working, I have learned that pregnancy does some weird stuff to your body!

Post # 12
9172 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

when i was 36w4d, i had to go in for non stress test due to IVF and my age.  everything looked good on the ultrasound.  then i was hooked up to the monitors.  after a little while, the nurse comes back and asks me how long i’ve been having contractions.  i told her i wasn’t.  she said, well you are having one right now.  those, i said, i’ve been having those for weeks. 

it’s funny because i had asked some people the day before what braxton hicks felt like. and what they described wasn’t what i was feeling.

these so called contractions felt like DS had his foot stuck high in my ribs and was just pushing on it.

hope you are doing well and the contractions are nothing to worry about.

Post # 13
762 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

They feel like Braxton Hicks, but more intense and they keep getting more intense and occur more frequently. Basically, you will know you are in labor when it stops you dead in your tracks and you are holding onto the wall. If the contractions do not go away after drinking a lot of water, you may want to contact your dr.

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