Dealing with Braxton Hicks? Drink More Water!

by Melanie Edwards on September 7, 2010 · 7 comments

in Pregnancy

Pregnant Exactly one week ago, I began to get cramps, pains, and overall discomfort. I have been dealing with Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks now, something that took some getting used to since I didn’t really experience them with my first pregnancy. But, these pains were different. They were happening more often and hanging around a lot longer. I just wasn’t comfortable.

So, on Tuesday evening, I stretched out on our chaise, feet up, and stayed there all night until I went to bed. The pains eased a bit and I thought nothing more of it. Until 24 hours later.

On Wednesday afternoon, things kicked up again. While I had been feeling ok during the day, once again the pains and discomfort had returned. Tired of guessing if these were normal pains or something more, I called my OB/GYN. They felt the pains were more on the normal side from the way I described them, but encouraged me to make a visit to the hospital if the cramps returned and I was still uncomfortable. So, an hour later, I was on my way to the hospital.

Strapped to the monitoring machine at the hospital, we could hear not only our baby’s heartbeat, but could hear him kicking and moving up a storm. So much so, that when the doctor came in to talk with us, she turned down the machine’s volume and laughed about how active our baby was. They of course searched for infections and preterm labor signs, but suspected that the reason I was having fake contractions was due to a lack of water in my system.

Dehydrated? I looked at my husband and said, “How can that be? I drink lots of water!” Of course, the nurse and doctor didn’t believe me, but I assured them that I drank close to my 64oz each day. It didn’t help that my body was proving me wrong, though, and that my urine test was “off the charts,” as they said.

After an ultrasound and pelvic exam showed that my cervix was not beginning to dilate, but was in fact, extremely long (save the jokes!), the dehydration theory was brought up again. As the doctor explained to us, the hormone that your body releases when you’re dehydrated, is almost an identical twin to the hormone released when you’re ready to have the baby. So, your uterus mistakenly thinks it’s time to go into labor and begins to have contractions. All because you need to drink more water! Who knew?

A couple of hours and a $200 copay later, I was on my way home with instructions to drink at least 2L of water every day. I was also told that when I get cramps, I should stop what I’m doing, lie down on my side, and drink water until it passes. Thankfully, now I know what to do and all doubts regarding complications were put to rest.

Did you experience Braxton Hicks contractions or any preterm labor symptoms in your pregnancies? This is my first time going through any of this – my first pregnancy was pretty easy going.
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September 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm


1 Amanda December 23, 2011 at 2:03 am

I got the stomach flu and right after i started feeling better i started getting contractions but they were braxion hicks… and they were coming ever 10 mins for 30 to 45 sec… and It was quite painful. i still havent had my baby yet … saddly. but she will be here soon

2 modernmami December 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Glad you’re feeling better! Your baby will be here before you know it! :)

Melanie Edwards
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3 Heartburn During Pregnancy May 9, 2012 at 7:54 am

These contractions throughout being pregnant occurred within the afternoon or evening, particularly when the pregnant lady is hungry, exhausted, stressed, or after an exhausting day bodily.  However, these contractions are often painless, which disappears when a pregnant girl to vary place or consuming heaps of water.  Some even do not discover these contractions. 

4 Tawn Smith November 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I went to the hospital yesterday afternoon for the exact same pain issues – same outcome. How long after your visit did you find relief? I have been drinking TONS of water non-stop since I came home, but I am still uncomfortable. Waiting for the triage nurse to call me back…

5 Lacey January 2, 2013 at 11:20 pm

I was just released from the hospital today for the same thing. This is my first pregnancy, so I wasn’t sure what was going on, the contractions were pretty painful. They said I was severely dehydrated, I don’t drink a ton of water, but still had no idea that I was dehydrated. I’m going to try and drink A LOT for the next few weeks so it doesn’t happen again. 

6 modernmami January 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm


Even though this happened to me with my 2nd pregnancy, it was new to me and like you said, painful. I hope it gets better for you!

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