Q&A: I'm having Braxton Hicks contractions at 29 weeks.
I am currently 30 wks. and last Tuesday (29 weeks) I was having 10+ braxton hicks cx an hour for 6+ hours. I called my dr. and he told me to go to the hospital and be monitored to find out the strength and frequency of the cx. I did have some cx that registered significant on the monitor. The rest were considered 'mild' or braxton. The nurse also manually checked me and said that I wasn't dialated but that I was 50% effaced. She called my Dr. and the treatment was a shot of morpheine to stop the contractions. Well, they didn't stop immediately or even within 4 hours of the shot. I went to bed and sometime during the night they stopped. I continued to have contractions through Friday at the rate of 6-8 an hour with the intensity of a medium braxton. Finally, on Sat. all contractions stopped. My question is how common are clusters of braxton hicks like the ones I had? I also want to know if being 50% effaced can be considered "normal" for 29 wks. This is my second pregnancy. The first was normal and I was induced at 39 wks. It may be interesting to note that at 35 weeks I was 100% effaced and at a +2 and dialated 1-2. I stayed that way until 39 wks (talk about painful carrying Jake around at a +2 for 5 weeks!). When I was induced it was a 7 1/2 hour labor. My water was broken when i was dialed to 4 and 3 HOURS LATER Jacob was born. So going back to currently being 50% effaced at 29 wks. The nurse said that it could be perfectly normal to be effaced and even dialated to 1 with a second baby at 29 weeks. I understand that you cannot and will not make a diagnosis or offer medical advice, however, I would like to know your honest opinion and experience with this type of situation. I do have another appt. next week with my dr. and plan on asking him again.
First of all, your doctor was right on to send you for monitoring with that type of contraction pattern. You just can’t diagnose that over the phone. I would be a little nervous if a patient of mine were 50% effaced at 29 weeks; I disagree with the nurse that it “could be perfectly normal to be effaced and even dialated to 1 with a second baby at 29 weeks.” However, such an assessment is very subjective, and her 50% may be someone else’s 30%. The real diagnosis of labor isn’t necessarily the results of an exam, but whether anything changes over time. A 50% effacement should be re-examined with any more episodes of contractions. If you end up running for monitoring everytime you get a pattern going, that’s the right thing to do. My book, “The Anxious Parent’s Guide to Pregnancy” talks about this a great deal (sorry for the plug).
Ask about a urine test to rule out a urinary tract infection. Sometimes a silent bladder infection can cause these types of contractions and even preterm labor.