Friday, March 21, 2014

What Does Labour Feel Like? Honest Descriptions from Real Women

Many women prefer to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to learning all about what to expect from labour. However, learning about all of the technical aspects of childbirth can be very valuable when it comes to preparing for your baby’s birthday. There’s one question on every mum to be’s lips: what will labour actually feel like? The answer to this question could go on forever. No medical textbook could describe it down to a T. Every woman is different, and every labour is totally unique, so the only way for you to find out is to experience it for yourself. No one can sit you down and tell you exactly what your labour will be like, but learning what other women went through can help you come to terms with the possibilities. Let’s take a look at some honest descriptions from real women:


So, as we’ve established; labour is different for every woman. The pain can range from mild to extreme. Even reactions to the epidural varied. Let’s take a look at some of the different general pain experiences from real women:

  • The pain was irritating but not unbearable for me.
  • I was in excruciating pain.
  • My contractions just felt like muscle spasms - they weren’t that painful.
  • The pain was all encompassing.
  • I didn’t realise I was in labour - I thought I just needed a bowel movement. The pain wasn’t that bad.
  • I thought a train had ran me over.
  • I wanted my husband to throw me out of the car when we were going to hospital - that’s how bad it hurt!
  • It was close to painless for me, thanks to hypnotherapy and hiring a tens machine! I did a lot of preparation.
  • I was induced and had an epidural quite early, so it was pretty easy.
  • The epidural didn’t get rid of everything for me. I felt the pain of the contractions and the head crowning.
  • My cramps felt like period pains until I had the epidural.
  • The epidural saved my life!
  • I was still in a lot of pain even after the epidural.


A lot of moms report that their contractions felt like menstrual cramps, while some compared them to cramps caused by gas.

  • My contractions were like menstrual cramps - on steroids!
  • The cramping went from the very top of my stomach, down to my pubic area.
  • It was like gas pains, times 1000.
  • I had a horrible cramp that started in my back right the way around my stomach.
  • I had painful cramping and tightening in my stomach.
  • I had strong period like cramps that came and went.
  • Mine were like the cramps you get with a bad stomach flu, except they lasted longer.

To put it bluntly, you just aren’t going to know what to expect until it’s happening to you. Some women don’t feel in control of their bodies, while others had to put in a lot of work. Some women even felt calm and empowered! We suggest you learn as much as possible about labour to be prepared...this will make it easier!

Photo Credit: Flickr

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