What Do Labor Pains And Contractions Actually Feel Like

186 Replies
Aliya - November 16

hi, I'd like to know how women would describe what the pain of labor feels like. I once heard someone say it felt like rrally bad constipation. What does it feel like when the baby actually begins to come out? Also, has anyone here used pain relief other than epidural? please could you describe the effectiveness of other methods? thank you


Christine - November 16

I have had two children..on my third...but I'm not sure that I can explain what labor feels like...it hurts...lol...but we get through it and it is worth it...I had demorol (I believe) when I was pregnant...it did not stop the pain from the contractions, but put me in a sleepy state in between them..I have though about epidural...not my choice..though not being in pain does sound nice...I dont want to take any chances no matter how small they may be...As for any other sort of pain relief...I dont know...The pain when the baby is actually coming out is probably the worst pain you will ever feel...it feels like everything is burning up down there...I know it sounds mean...but I'm just trying to be honest...like I side we all get through it..and so will you but it is going to be painful....in my experiences once the baby is out...it took me 3 pushes each time...there was very little pain after that...and the feeling of holding the baby...it was the best feeling I have ever had in my whole life....good luck aliya


Aimee - November 20

With my first pregnancy I had back labor, so I couldn't really feel the contractions because I was having so much pain in my back. I had an epidural and there was no pain at all for the next few hours of labor. I could feel the tightening of contractions but it wasn't painful, and when it came time to push, it didn't hurt at all. After a couple pushes, she was out and I was ready to go home. My experience with the epidural was great. I'm 39 weeks pregnant now and I'm definetly planning on an epidural again.


Dez - November 20

I am 40.5 weeks pregnant, and I would really, really like to know what a contraction feels like, I dont think I have had one, although I feel all types of pains right now at this time. but nothing that comes and goes, that would seem to be a contraction. I am just curious why with this question (which is always asked) know one could give a straight answer as to how a contraction feels.


Christine - November 22

Dez, it is hard to explain what a contraction feels like...It is a tightening of you stomach...really tight...but if you have never felt one for yourself you wont know what it means until you do...good luck to you...you will know soon if you dont yet...


naomi - November 24

i am 39 weeks pregnante and i would really like to know the answer to that question myself. i have searched every where and asked every one i know what contractions feel like and they either tell me you'll know, or that it feels like constipation. i really wish some one could come up with a good answer, because i have felt pains all through my pregnancy and now, i am experiencing what i guess is braxton hicks contractions, wich i have felt for the past two weeks, it feels like my stomache gets really tight, and sometimes feels likes really bad gas pains, but isn't that what they say real ones feel like? haha...i don't know, but if some one comes up with a really good explination of what they feel like, let me know. i am driving myself crazy tring to find out!


katherine - November 26

well i am due like anyday now and i have had contractions and i say they feel like really bad menstrual cramps and my stomach tightens thats what i would say they feel like


nbp - November 29

as for the menstrual cramps, i have had those, i have been having those for a couple of weeks now, and they have gotten so bad that i have to sit still and breathe through them, and i am very good with pain, but i was told that that was what braxton hicks felt like, so i a__sumed i was having real bad braxton hicks. i feel the pain through my lower back and my stomache tightens up and i get really bad cramps in my lower stomache. i was told that real contractions come in your upper stomache not your lower though.


Jessica - November 29

For me, labor felt like really strong menstrual cramps, so strong that you have trouble walking or talking during them. When I was pushing, it felt like I was forcing really intense bowel movements-the pressure was in the back by my rectum for me. This was with an epidural. The epidural helps the contractions but you still feel the pushing. Good luck. Just keep thinking....it'll all be over in one day. YOu can get through it.


niki - November 30

with my first child i didn't know i was in labour i felt constipated for few days, and tand my appet_te had gone .The day i went in hospital i had what felt like constipation or trapped wind on left side of tummy which gradually got worse, but was every few minutes, even though i wasn't dilated (they thought i had urine infection, and sent me home)I also had shooting pains up my bum (like trapped wind) which hurt the most, i had a bloody show when i dilated to 2cm, and finally knew i was in labour, and can honestly say up untill i got on meptid and gas and air i felt like i was dying. But you soon forget. During labour i felt relaxed and enjoyed the experience, cus you sleep on and off, the gas and air made me feel sick, and all i wanted was to drink water. I wasn't keen on pushing baby out, you have uncontrollable urge to push (feels like you need a poo-sorry) it stings a little when head is coming out, but it's pretty quick once out. Hope this helps


Stacy - January 5

I found this answer really helpful - "Labor contractions are felt low in the groin or in the lower back. They may radiate from front to back or back to front or down your legs. They are dull and crampy like menstrual or gas cramps. Prelabor contractions, which you may have been experiencing for months, feel like a tightening across your belly or like the baby suddenly stretched in all directions." -from parentsplace.com


MINDI - January 6



cheryl - January 9

for my 22hours of labor it hurt so bad. I can't even describe the pain. I think I went into a form of shock because I didn't say one bad thing to anyone, in fact i didn't really talk. The worst part is not knowing when the pain will end but once my son was born I forgot everything about the pain. I am pregnant again and i know that I made it through labor once and I can do it again, hopefully with no medication again. Good luck to each of you and know that every labor is different and we all get through it!


Dove - January 9

I have had two children (pregnant with my 3rd). For my first I had an epidural but felt that it only helped for about a half and hour. for my second the labor and delivery was so short 3 hrs 15 min that I did not have any meds. I would describe the pain as a very bad strong charliehorse in the torso with it the worst in your lower abdomen. have you ever exercised to fast without stretching? or have gotten a foot cramp? it similar to that, the muscles keep getting tighter and tighter and your hips feel like they are being pulled apart. (at least that is what it felt like to me)


KM - January 9

Lindsey, I had a c-section while I was awake and felt no pain at all. Contractions, i find feel like tightening in your stomach.it is like everyone says, hard to explain.I used demerol for my labour, and it made me sleep and relax between contractions. i really liked it and found it effective. but it does not take away any of the pain. Laughing gas, did nothing for me. I wasnt able to get the epidural because there was a trauma accident and no one there to give it to me.When I got my c-section they gave me the epidural finally after 13 hrs of labour and 4 hrs of pushing..It was AMAZING. the best feeling ever, so relieving. the needle itself, I felt nothing and it was instant pain relief.I recomend it for sure.I can't say what it feels like when the baby actually comes out because I never got that far :p


Suzy - January 10

Sometimes it feels like menstrual cramps, sometimes like really bad gas and other times like pressure. It's really hard to define, but it does feel different from anything you've ever felt before.


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.



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