Contractions at 24 Weeks

You are halfway through your pregnancy when you are 24 weeks pregnant. While you know there is still time for your pregnancy to end, you need to take special care of yourself at this stage in pregnancy because you and your baby are already going through some serious changes. Your uterus will start growing rapidly and you may even be able to feel it a couple of inches from your belly button. You may also experience some new symptoms and some of which can be alarming, such as contractions. When should you worry about your new symptoms?

Is It Normal to Experience Contractions at 24 Weeks?

It is quite normal to experience some irregular, occasional contractions at 24 weeks. You experience a uterine contraction when the entire surface area of your uterus tightens or becomes hard. When timed from the beginning of one contraction to the next, most women have these contractions around three times an hour with each contraction lasting up to 45-90 seconds. These are usually Braxton-Hicks contractions or false labor, and they may become noticeable from the 20th week of your pregnancy.  Most women start to panic when these contractions become more intense and painful, but they are usually Braxton Hicks only if they ease off eventually.

The main purpose of having these contractions is to make your body familiar with how the whole thing works when you eventually go into labor. You can learn to breathe right while having these contractions and then use your skills during labor. Try to breathe out long and slow when having a contraction to feel more comfortable. Keep in mind that these contractions at 24 weeks will gradually become more intense which is mainly because your uterus becomes stronger with each passing day.

How Can You Feel for It?

Contractions can sometimes be quite subtle and painless too. Knowing what a contraction feels like and how regular your contractions are is important.

To feel your contractions better, get a pillow, prop it under your shoulders and lie down on your bed. Tilt your body a bit to the left side and place your hands on your uterus. Do the same thrice a day at 10-minute intervals and continue to do the same if you feel your uterus tighten a bit at least once in this 10-minute session. Your uterus will become soft once again after the contraction is over.

How Can You Relive Contractions?

Contractions at 24 weeks can be quite uncomfortable for you, so it is natural to look for ways to relieve them. For starters, avoid becoming dehydrated because not drinking plenty of fluids may increase the intensity of Braxton Hicks contractions. Learn to relax when you have your contractions. Simply lie down on your bed and relax. You may even feel better by practicing your breathing exercises until your contraction pass.

Could It Be Premature Labor?

You are in premature labor if your labor begins more than three weeks before your due date – it can be any time after your 24th week of pregnancy. You should watch out of certain symptoms of premature labor. If you experience those symptoms at 24th week, you are more likely to have a miscarriage than premature labor. It is more likely to be premature labor if you are between 24 and 37 weeks and have regular and painful uterine contractions with changes to the cervix.

You will notice a number of symptoms when you are about to have premature labor. For instance:

  • You may have contractions in the uterus every ten minutes.
  • You may have low, dull pain in your back that can be constant or come and go at regular intervals.
  • You may have cramps in your lower abdominal region.
  • You may have increased pressure in the vagina or pelvis with back pain and pressure.
  • You may experience menstrual-like cramps close to your pubic bone.
  • You may have vaginal discharge that could be brownish, pinkish, or bloody.
  • You may experience vomiting, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms with decreased fetal movements.

If you have more than four contractions in an hour or experience any of the abovementioned symptoms, you should call your doctor immediately. Your doctor may ask you to time your contractions or come for a checkup.

Who Is At Risk?

A premature baby is more likely to need hospitalization and have long-term health problems. Keep in mind that about 12% of births in the U.S. are preterm, which means that any woman can experience symptoms of pre-term labor. However, you are at an increased risk of pre-term labor if you have had a previous pre-term birth, are carrying multiples, or have cervical or uterine abnormalities.

It is equally important to bear in mind that it is possible to stop pre-term labor with the help of certain medications. You will require plenty of rest too. Your doctor would want to delay the birth until your baby's lungs develop completely. Be sure to talk to your doctor to know about different signs of preterm labor when you have contractions at 24 weeks. You may also want to talk about your treatment options, such as the hormone therapy if you have had a premature baby in the past. 

 
 
Current time: 12/13/2017 09:47:16 am (America/New_York) Memory usage: 2929.54KB