I'm 36 weeks pregnant with second child, my first was born at 38 weeks. I'm a little concerned as I never experienced Braxton-Hicks on my first and I believe I have been having then on this pregnancy.
I have been having tightenings and a lot of pushing down pressure where I feel like my body is pushing on its own. I'm slightly concerned as to what is going on. Is this Braxton Hicks or is this early labor?
I'm not actually having any pain; it just feels very uncomfortable like she is pushing down on a full bladder and it makes me feel like I could wee loads even when I have just been. I have been getting this for the last week. What could it be do you think?
Most women feel many more Braxton-Hicks with a second child than with a first, and they feel them earlier. This is normal. If you didn't stop picking up your toddler at 20 weeks like you were supposed to, now would be a very good time; it's not good to wait until the baby is born to stop picking up the older child anyway, but it can also cause extra Braxton Hicks contractions.
The best predictor of when your second child will come is when your first child came, but every pregnancy is different, so there is a lot of variation. How you can tell whether it is B-H or early labor is that labor contractions get longer and stronger and closer together (even if they don't hurt), and there are usually more than 4 in an hour. If that happens two hours in a row, it is a good idea to check in with your provider and let her/him know what is going on. Good luck!
Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.