(3) Braxton-Hick's contractions. This involves painless uterine contractions
occurring throughout pregnancy. It usually begins about the 12th week of pregnancy
and becomes progressively stronger. These contractions will, generally, cease with
walking or other forms of exercise. The Braxton-Hick's contractions are distinct from
contractions of true labor by the fact that they do not cause the cervix to dilate and can
usually be stopped by walking.
d. Basal Body Temperature. This is a good indication if the patient has been
recording for several cycles previously. A persistent temperature elevation spanning
over 3 weeks since ovulation is noted. Basal body temperature (BBT) is 97 percent
e. Positive Pregnancy Test by the Physician. This may be misread by doing
it too early or too late. Even if the test is positive, it could be the result of ectopic
pregnancy or a hydatidiform mole (an abnormal growth of a fertilized ovum) (see figure
Figure 3-4. Hydatidiform mole.
f. Fetal Palpation. This is a probable sign in early pregnancy. The physician
can palpate the abdomen and identify fetal parts. It is not always accurate, a mass in
the abdomen may be palpated and mistakenly identified as an infant.
POSITIVE SIGNS OF PREGNANCY
Positive signs of pregnancy are those signs that are definitely confirmed as a
pregnancy. They include fetal heart sounds, ultrasound scanning of the fetus, palpation
of the entire fetus, palpation of fetal movements, x-ray, and actual delivery of an infant.