The woman, who is pregnant with her fifth child and goes by the username @5thbabybump, posted the video during her 33rd week of pregnancy. "Tummy is super hard and uncomfortable," she wrote over the video, which showed her pushing on her bump that was visibly hard to the touch.
In the comments section, other mums-to-be had plenty to say about the clip. "They're a nightmare," wrote one TikToker, with another putting, "I am 32 weeks and dealing with this. Also intense cramping." A third user commented, "These don’t hurt [they are] just uncomfortable."
According to pregnancy charity Tommy's, "Braxton Hicks are when the womb contracts and relaxes. Sometimes they are known as false labour pains. Not all women will have Braxton Hicks contractions, but if you do, you’ll usually feel them during the second or third trimester."
Reassuringly, Tommy's advises that: "Braxton Hicks are completely normal and many women experience them during pregnancy. Your midwife will probably talk to you about them at some point, and you can ask questions at any time. You may also learn more about them during antenatal classes." As for what Braxton Hicks contractions feel like, the NHS says they are usually painless and "for some people, contractions may feel like extreme period pains."
So, do Braxton Hicks contractions mean it's time to head to the maternity ward? "Your midwife will probably advise you to stay at home until your contractions become frequent," the NHS advises. "Call your midwife or maternity unit for guidance when your contractions are in a regular pattern and: last at least 60 seconds, come every five minutes or you think you are in labour."
Describing what Braxton Hicks feel like, in a separate TikTok the mum-to-be said: "You'll feel your tummy tense and harden."
She went on, "It's not the baby moving, it's the muscles in your lower abdomen contracting." Although, she points out, "everyone perceives pain and discomfort differently." In the comments section, she elaborated more about Braxton Hicks, explaining that: "Braxton Hicks aren't a bad thing, it's partly your body getting ready for the real deal."
To learn more about Braxton Hicks, and read other women's experiences with them, head to the Tommy's website, here.
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