The changes that a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy can be frightening. The growth of the uterus , for example, is one of the greatest examples of strangeness that many have with their own bodies. Around the third trimester of pregnancy , it is that the external transformations become more and more apparent and more quickly. And because of them, we were able to notice some things in the woman’s body, such as the hard belly during pregnancy. And that is something that ends up causing concern in many fathers and mothers.
Is it normal for the belly to be hard?
But, contrary to what many imagine, having a hard belly in pregnancy is normal and happens in practically all pregnancies. The phenomenon occurs for several reasons and is not a cause for concern of the parents.
However, there are cases in which it is recommended to seek medical attention to find out if everything is normal with the mother and baby. But when is it common to know how long the belly lasts in pregnancy? Let’s try to explain it better.
Why Does a Tough Belly in Pregnancy Happen?
After the 20th week of pregnancy , it is common for the woman’s belly to become momentarily stiff. This happens because of training contractions , called Braxton Hicks contractions, which are nothing less than contractions that the body makes to prepare for labor .
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There are also specialists who believe that this type of phenomenon occurs to erase the cervix and that it can collaborate in the dilation process. This type of dilation is commonly known as false dilation , precisely because many women end up confused and believing that they are going into labor when they experience one of Braxton Hicks’ dilations.
When to go to the doctor?
The Braxton Hicks contractions may happen several times during the day and usually do not cause any pain to the woman. But although it is something common in every pregnancy, there are some cases where it is recommended to see a doctor, they are:
- When Contractions Happen Too Soon
- When there is Pain
- When Contractions Get Too Frequent
For each of these cases, the reason for visiting the doctor will be different and that is why we need to talk about each one separately.
When Contractions Happen Too Soon
As previously mentioned, the belly is usually hard due to the contractions that start to occur after the 20th week of pregnancy. But there are cases where this type of phenomenon happens too early, which can cause concern.
In such cases, the doctor usually prescribes magnesium supplements for the woman and recommends that she get more rest. The supplement serves mainly for the uterus to have more controlled contractions.
IMPORTANT: Although many doctors prescribe magnesium for women with these symptoms, each case must be treated in isolation. This means that you should not self-medicate under any circumstances, as it can put your health and that of your baby at risk.
When There Is Pain
The hard belly usually does not present pain, so it is recommended to visit the doctor if the woman starts to feel too uncomfortable with the contractions and pain, especially in the lower part of the belly.
As the pregnancy is coming to an end, doctors usually recommend that the woman rest , because the body is preparing for labor, but in some cases they may also prescribe medication to relieve pain.
If they persist, it is important to make a more accurate analysis of the reason for the pain in order to take the correct steps.
When Contractions Get Too Frequent
As already mentioned, the hard belly and Braxton Hicks contractions are common phenomena of late pregnancy and, therefore, it is necessary to be aware of contractions over time. When they start to get very frequent, it can be a sign that your baby is about to be born.
How to Differentiate True from False Contractions
To distinguish training contractions from labor contractions, it is necessary to check some things like:
- Contractions are regular
- Contractions are progressive
- There is an abdominal open in each contraction
- Contractions increase the frequency, duration and intensity
Each of these things can point to labor coming up. Therefore, attention should be paid especially when the pregnancy is coming to an end.
Many things worry us during pregnancy, especially when we notice something too different happening in our body. But we must remember that the biggest mark of pregnancy is precisely the transformation and, therefore, it is more than normal for things to happen that you will find strange.
The hard belly is one of those things and, even if there are cases where the help of a doctor is needed, it is a normal process and that every pregnant woman needs to go through so that the body is ready for labor.
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See Also: How to Accelerate Labor ?
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.