What Do Labor Pains And Contractions Actually Feel Like

186 Replies
Geraldine. - January 12

I am 36.5 weeks pregnant and have had Braxton Hicks contractions for over a month now. When I asked my doctor how I would be able to tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and "real contractions" he told me that there is no difference in feeling. They are both contractions..."real ones" may be more intense, but the real difference is simply the timing of them. Braxton Hicks are irregular and "real ones" are regular, and when they last one minute and are 5 minutes apart for at least an hour it's time to go to the hospital. As for what they feel like, I'm sure it's different for everyone. For me, they are primarily located on my upper abdomen and to the sides, but it is basically a strong tightening of the muscles. You can feel this on the outsde if you touch my abdomen, but I am also aware of them, without toughing my stomach. For me they are not actualyl painful but rather intensely uncomfortable. Imagine tensing your neck muscles really tight and holding that for about a minute, and then releasing your muscles...it's kind of like that. I have also been told, by someone who has given north, that when she actually wnet into labor she had pains which she described to be "gas-like" pains. So, that's my contribution. hope that helps someone out there with what they're feelign or what to expect. I know how frustrating it can be trying to find answers to what you're feeling.


Amy - January 26

My husband has me on video tape describing what contractions feel like. I described it as being thrown into an extremely cold pool and then thrown into a warm pool and the pain of every muscle in your body tightening and then letting go just to tighten again. My son is now 20 months old and I am due any day now with my second. It is true you forget the pain the minute that baby is in your arms and like me, you decide to do it all over again. But that is how I would describe labor pains.


Jodie - January 27

With my first child I had a shot called an intrathecal fentanyl. It also goes in your back and lasts about two or three hours. I loved it. I was always afraid of getting an epidural and asked the doctor what my other options were. They also give you staydol which helps a lot. After I got the intrathecal shot I went right into pushing and had my daughter within the hour. Good luck and don't focus on all the scary painfull stuff. Just remember that this is the best experience in your life and enjoy evey second of it.


Bigbelly#2 - January 27

I, too, had an intrathecal done and it worked out great for me. The difference between that and an epidural is that you are able to feel your legs with an intrathecal. They last anywhere from 2-4 hours. For me, it was 2 hours, so I had to get a second one done. They would only do two at my hospital. Worked out perfect though cuz just as the second one was wearing off, it was time to push. I wouldn't recommend Nubain for pain though- it is a narcotic they use and for me, it was awful. Firstly, I felt very very tired and could barely stay awake, then, I had this incredible itchy sensation all over my chest and face.....they told me if I itched it, it would only get worse!! The only reason I had Nubain is because it was going to be awhile before the anesthesiologist arrived to give me my first intrathecal and I was in a great amount of pain and ready for something. Good luck and happy delivery!!


Ida - January 30

I'm 31,never had children....2 miscarraiges and now on my 3rd attempt at 25 wks..The last child was a bit of a blur,but remembering the contractions I had aren't..if you've EVER had a mega charlie horse in the calves of your legs to me it was like that but multiplies 8 times.Along with pms cramping and gas mixed,a twisting of your organs inside,non stop.Breathing helps somewhat..and staying in one spot( not moving much),good luck!!


Nurse Sady - February 7

im a midwife and hav 4 kids. Labor is different for each women. Sum women can say it wasn't as bad as evryone says, and sum say it was worse!!! In my babies, it feels like sum 1 was pullin my belt in tightly for a few moments, its was painful, but i didn't think it was as bad as i thought it was gonna be. It looks more painful to watch trust! and wen u push u feel like u really really need to do the biggest poo ever!


Jen - February 7

Hi!! I had an epidural with my first. She was 9 pounds 2 ounces. I didn't really feel anything except for the urge to push. I had a natural birth with my son. What hurt the most was the contractions leading up to the birth. When I started to push I felt like that was actually helping with the pressure. I also recovered faster when I did it naturally. Good luck to you!!


sasha, - February 9

what labour feels like, that is hard to explain, for me, the contractions took over my whole body, i couldn't do anything,, when the baby comes, i thought it felt like i was on fire, as for pain i had a shot of demeral, it made me sick didnt take much of the pain away, but hot water from the shower did help. good luck


Jeanine - February 11

I started out with contractions that felt like menstrual cramps, however that changed after they administered Pitocin (which I have renamed liquid evil). It brought on the contrations so hard and strong that I couldn't do anything but contract. I was not prepared for that kind of intense pain. Once the epideral was administered I was in heaven. There was a severe thunderstorm that night with tornados. The only thing I was worried about was a power outage that could disrupt my epidural. Tornados I could handle!!! Funny thing is I would do it again in a heartbeat!!!! Good luck


keira - February 11

Hi my bub is almost 3 mnths he was my first child.. and i would describe the pain of labor as OUCH! but of course every labor is different and i had surgery about 3 day b-fore i had my son to remove a cyst blocking the birth cannel so i could have him naturally, so that added to the pain. just make sure u have a good support team with you (i bit my partner) and plenty of water because it is so easy to get dehydrated, i found the warm shower to be very calming. Oh and another thing try to get your breathing under control from the start because i lost control and had all sorts of problems but once i got it under control again i felt so so much better. Pushing is a whole new pain compared to the contractions well i recall saying as the baby was coming out... "i feel like im giving birth 2 a huge a__s watermelon" and yeh thats how i would describe how that feels.... but as soon as they handed me my son i forgot all about my pain it was the most amazing gift anyone could give me, good luck to everyone excpecting a little one!


me - February 12

trust me, you'll know what real labor is when it comes.


monica - February 23

For me contractions feel like a radiating tightening starting in my lower back and then around to my front and up into my stomach. You can feel it start and pretty much know it will get tighter and hurt more to a point and then it will come down till its gone. But boy while its there it hurts.


kim - February 24

When the baby comes out, I would describe the pain as a intense burning. I have had narcotic pain releif with my first son. It was ok for the pain but I was so out of it I don't remember the things I really wanted to. When it was time to push I had trouble concentrating on what the Dr. was telling me to do, which made the pushing much longer. I had an epidural with my second. It hurt real bad going in but what a great releif it was. I couldn't even feel a contraction. It can make it harder to feel where you need to push though. I would have an epidural before narcotics so you can enjoy your baby coming into the world.


one question - February 24

Hi, some of you describe pushing as an urge to poo, do you actually poo (or pee)? (I hope not becasue I don`t want to be embarrased in front of my husb& family members while in labor)Thank you..


kara - February 27

OK first of all...if you poo or pee...so what!?! nurses see it EVERYDAY!! they will just take it away fast and clean it all up...you wont even know you have done it..that is nothing to be embarrased about ok..you have other more important things too worry about..just get that out of your head..because once all them nurses and your family see your bits then all your pride feels like its been taken away..so having a poo or a wee isnt so bad!


gerri - February 28

I always say it feels like my body is ripping in two...........lol that's what i said in the delivery room to my hubby! but in the same breath i would do it all over again.......they are sooo precious when born



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