A Reproductive Lexicon


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Braxton Hicks contraction

Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as practice contractions or false labor pains, are irregular uterine contractions that may begin as early as the second trimester of pregnancy but are more commonly felt during the third trimester. These contractions are usually experienced as an uncomfortable cramping sensation in the lower abdomen. They do not lead to the onset of labor and usually disappear with rest. Braxton Hicks contractions are acknowledged as the body’s way of preparing for the birthing process. The term “Braxton Hicks” dates back to the first description of these contractions by an English doctor named John Braxton Hicks in 1872.