Braxton Hicks Contractions: Care Instructions

Skip Navigation

Your Care Instructions

Braxton Hicks contractions prepare your uterus for labor. Think of them as a "warm-up" exercise that your body does. You may begin to feel them between the 28th and 30th weeks of your pregnancy. But they start as early as the 20th week.

Braxton Hicks contractions usually occur more often during the ninth month. They may go away when you are active and return when you rest. These contractions are like mild contractions of true labor, but they occur less often. (You feel fewer than 8 in an hour.) They don't cause your cervix to open.

It may be hard for you to tell the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and true labor, especially in your first pregnancy.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Try a warm bath to help relieve muscle tension and reduce pain.
  • Change positions every 30 minutes. Take breaks if you must sit for a long time. Get up and walk around.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Taking short walks may help you feel better.

Your doctor needs to check any contractions that are getting stronger or closer together.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter Z402 in the search box to learn more about "Braxton Hicks Contractions: Care Instructions".

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.