As you enter your second trimester, prepare yourself for experiencing new set of symptoms. Most pregnant women start feeling pain, discomfort and contractions around this time. Although these are nothing to worry about, you are likely to spend some sleepless nights as things tense up, literally!
Again, it’s not a matter of concern and not all pregnant women experience discomfort during their nine month. Contractions can begin to appear as early as second trimester and may continue to occur any time throughout the pregnancy period.
Round ligaments contractions
You may feel sudden twinges of pain and movement of uterine muscles, starting from the early stages of pregnancy itself. These hardening sensations are a common symptom experienced by most expecting moms and are nothing to worry about. By second trimester you may be used to them and they continue to appear now and then till you reach the end of last trimester.
These contractions occur as a result of belly expansion, so that the fetus has room to grow. The discomfort you experience is caused because of the stretching of round ligaments that support the uterus. These mild contractions may appear anytime and are triggered by gastric problem, constipation or dehydration. These only last for a short period and are usually harmless. In case if you notice spotting or intense stomach pain along with these contractions, you need to consult your doctor immediately, as these symptoms may indicate miscarriage.
Braxton Hicks contractions
These are also known as false labor, because Braxton-Hicks contractions may start anytime during second semester and may feel real, as the uterine muscles contract, causing pain, but last briefly. These are believed to prepare you for real labor and delivery, on completion of your full term.
You may feel pain, when the muscles tighten, but most of the times, it’s a false alarm. These occur irregularly and go away, when you take deep breaths or stop doing whatever you’re doing and relax. These show up mostly at night time, lasting a short while and do not increase in frequency or intensity on observing. You may experience Braxton-Hicks contractions as only mild initially, but they can turn more intense as your pregnancy advances. Know the difference between true and false contractions here.
Braxton-Hicks contractions can be triggered because of dehydration, intense exercise, intercourse, full bladder or by simply touching your baby belly. You may experience some level of discomfort due to these contractions, but it doesn’t mean that you should avoid exercising or having intercourse altogether. Regular physical activity is recommended for you and intercourse is considered safe throughout pregnancy, unless your doctor advises against it. So, instead of panicking, when you feel the contractions, try to keep calm, change position, hydrate yourself or drink tea till the pain fades. It is better to practice breathing exercises at this time, as these can prove to be useful during real labor time.