In this episode of Taking Back Birth, Maryn talks about how your uterus “practices” for birth!
In this podcast Maryn discusses how and when the uterus warms up for birth, the fear around these practice contractions, the variation in women’s experiences, what you can do for comfort and prevention if needed, plus much more. Maryn weaves in real-life stories and anecdotes throughout the podcast to help shine some light on this often misunderstood organ!
Some topics covered and questions answered:
- Understanding practice contractions a.k.a. Braxton-Hicks
- What is true preterm labor?
- Variation from woman to woman (and across pregnancies)
- Common fears women have
- What do the terms irritable uterus and excitable uterus mean?
- How we can use nutrition to support a healthy uterus
- How a posterior baby can effect the uterus
- What can cause contractions
- Is bedrest effective for preterm labor?
- How to lessen practice contractions if you want to
The uterus gets ready for birth by having practice contractions – commonly known as Braxton Hicks contractions – during pregnancy. Many first time moms aren’t sure about what they are feeling and wonder “is it a practice contraction or am I in labor”? As the muscles of the uterus tighten in pregnancy the function and sensation can feel different than labor contractions. The baby moving on a full bladder can kick of a practice contraction, without the hormones that labor brings.
A fear of preterm labor is normal, and Maryn talks about her pregnancy with Deva where she experienced lots of practice contractions throughout the pregnancy, and what she did to understand them.
Maryn also talks about two other women’s experiences with contractions in pregnancy, how they were treated, and possibly causes.
So, what exactly are practice contractions?
- Warming up of the uterus
- Do not change the cervix
- Random, inconsistent
- Stop-start with change in movement
- Can be annoying
What causes them?
- Infections like a UTI to BV
- Poor nutrition
- Stomach flu
- Gas, bloating, constipation
- Super active baby
- Full bladder
- Moving and resettling into a new home
- Actual uterine stimulation like sex and breastfeeding
- Time of day
What can we do to lessen them if we want to?
- Drink electrolytes
- Avoid caffeine
- Change position
- Take a bath and relax
- Use herbals, homeopathics, essential oils and relax
- Drink alcohol
Maryn closes by discussing the term “excitable uterus” as an alternate to using prodromal labor. She found an interesting article online written by a midwife who talks about the excitable uterus needing more tone and circulation. Maybe there is a mineral deficiency in our modern diet causing this, possibly babies aren’t positioning as well as they have in the past. Posterior babies seem to be connected to the excitable uterus as well. Veterinarians are seeing the same thing in animals they care for – what’s the connection to us? Can Vitamin D, magnesium, and walking for 20 minutes a day make a difference?
Answers to these questions and much more in this podcast so tune in! Also check out all that Indie Birth has to offer online:
- Visit our website https://www.indiebirth.com
- Join our Wise Woman Circle https://www.indiebirth.org/circle/
- Check out Indie Birth Midwifery School http://www.indiebirthmidwiferyschool.org
- Explore our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/indiebirth/