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Thread: 1st time mum - What does labour feel like?

  1. #1

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    Default 1st time mum - What does labour feel like?

    Just wondering if anyone can anyone try to explain what labour actually feels like....on a tv show I was watching the other day one lady said contractions feel like when you do a really bad chinese burn on your arm?! Just trying to get some info and prepare myself as best I can as to what it feels like. What kind of pain it is? Both the pushing and contractions, what does it feel like? I am hoping to labour drug-free so just want to know what I will be dealing with....I know it's going to hurt!!


  2. #2

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    I think contractions feel like really bad period pain. And yes, it really does hurt most people, but people do it every day and come through unscathed, - And then go back for more. I have 7 and I think I have the lowest pain threshold ever handed out, lol.

    Good luck!!

  3. #3

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    It really is hard to describe to someone else, cause everyone will have a different analogy of what it 'feels' like. For me, it felt like a really bad period pain, but that someone also had a good handfull of my uterus and was squeezing harder and harder and harder and then let go and then they would do it again LOL. HTH

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    Hi Jaz, where abouts in Qld are you?

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    Hi Jas, it is really hard to compare to anything. I guess period pain is the obvious one. That's not the most accurate for me because my period pain is easily controlled and frankly not very painful! Contractions were just more intense, I suppose and they didn't let up for very long, and they got more and more intense as they went on.
    As for the pushing, wow, that was an amazing feeling. My second stage seemed to go on and on... It was really emotionally charged. In the lead up, I couldn't help pushing during most of the contractions - the urge was really strong. Pushing felt good because it was something I could consciously do - I didn't have to just breathe and wait it out. Then the stretch of the perenium during crowning is really amazing too. I felt the burn of it everywhere, but it was so fascinating - I don't think I registered that as pain.
    All the best for your labour and birth. For a drug-free one, I'd recommend having yourself some really good, strong support.

  6. #6

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    I found that yes it did hurt....to a degree......but i cant remember it being overly painful. It depends on what u call pain?

    I have low pain threshold.....but heres me now sayin it dont hurt as much as people make it out too....
    I never felt the crowning much.... DD just wouldnt come out... so had vac extraction and she flew out then... so no burning sensation for me.

    Pushing i enjoyed. I had gas but rarely used it so was in control most, if not all the time.

    All the best for your labour

  7. #7
    kiki Guest

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    I felt the contractions as if someone was squeezing my stomach so hard I couldn't breathe but remember it only lasts a minute then fades away and you get a rest. The pushing for me was different for each baby. With my first it felt fantastic to push and really took the pain away, I had a water birth so I didn't feel any burning like some women do. With my second baby it was hell, it felt like I was ****ting a watermelon!!! I felt like my arse was just gonna split in half but the baby was posterior so I think that had a lot to do with it. In any case don't be scared and remember that women do it everyday and then go back for more!!! some women don't even have pain (lucky) and as soon as the baby comes out you forget which is why it'sso hard to explain. Above all have faith in your body and be as prepared as you can. have fun!!!!

  8. #8

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    Thanks everyone for your replies....that helped a lot I cqn imagine it a lot more now. I am feeling more confident now! Mummabear79 I'm in the redlands why do you ask?

  9. #9

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    It's true you forget the pain! BUT if I think hard enough I can remember it I didn't have the waves of pain starting at the top and working down (I remember reading somewhere that that is how you tell if it's a real contraction?) Mine was kind of a burning period pain type pain. I held a heatpack under my belly the whole time, and that seemed to help. My pain was definitely all down low.. but then that makes sense, as that's where it's opening up to let the baby out! hehe.

    But definitely remember that it peaks.. and goes away! That's nature's way of helping us cope I think. Now if I get period pain, I'm crippled over and crying like a big baby LOL. But you dont' get a break from period pain!

    Going drug free - my advice is be aware of transition! (the last 1/2hr or so before pushing) When you're ready to scream for drugs.. wanna go home.. want to sleep.. just can't go on.. chances are you're almost there. Make sure your support can recognise it, so they can keep telling you you're nearly there and that you can do it! Also, I found that focusing on why I'm having the pain, and picturing it doing it's job of opening up for bub helped heaps too. It wasn't a senseless pain.. like a migraine is kinda an unknown pain, with no particular reason.. so I don't cope with them very well... but knowing the contractions have a purpose helps HEAPS.

    Pushing for me was a complete relief, and I felt no pain with it at all.. just a pushing sensation like doing a massive poo. Crowning.. I don't really remember any burning.. only at the very point that the head actually came out, the dr was helping the skin over his head a bit, and that hurt.. but it was so momentary compared to the rest of the labour.

    All the best for your preparations Hope your pg goes along well, and don't fear the pain of childbirth.. it's great!

  10. #10

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    It is true it's different for everyone. I totally agree with what everyone has written, but I didn't think it was so bad....in fact it took me two days to realise I was in labour and that was only cos the OB told me...

  11. #11

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    I asked this question with my first baby and someone said to know how it feels, simply ...

    "Grap the bottom lip of your mouth and ...
    pull it over the top of your head!" I did not laugh at that joke!

    Other people told me it was like pooing a watermelon - that freaked me out.

    But quite honestly having given birth 4 times since, its a very natural process. Simular to extra strong period pain that comes in waves of intensity. There is alot of pressure on your lower back and the lips of your vagina can feel they are stretching during the pushing stage of labour.

    The greatest piece of advice I could give you is to remember that panic / fear based emotions only intensify the pain. (Just like being stressed :eek: and tense with period cramps). Try to trust your body and stay as calm as possible. I like to go into my own little 'zone'. (Not some trippy hippy zone - I just concentrate on my body and ride out contaction waves and rest my body in between each wave).
    Practicing relaxing your mind and breathing (simular to meditation) is a great way to prepare.

    All the best.

  12. #12

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    As the PP mentioned - like period pain x100. It is a "working" pain, and your mind has a huge impact on how you handle it! I never really believed that until I had my second daughter. Believe that you CAN do it, and ride the contractions like a wave - they come in, and they go out. Breathe slowly through it, and think about your baby getting closer. Do your best to relax your body and work WITH the contraction, instead of fighting it. I highly recommend getting in the water in some way - the bath, the shower, whatever. Walk as long as you can, and stay upright as much as possible. Moving around really helps keep things going. Also, make sure you will have good support during labour. Maybe consider a doula?
    All the best!

  13. #13
    paradise lost Guest

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    I would totally agree with the chinese burn analogy, and that's exactly how i describe it to people who've asked.

    It was low low down, and was probably the feeling of my cervix stretching. It did hurt, but like a wobbly milktooth - it kind of hurt good, and when the contraction is over the pain is GONE, totally and utterly, not even an echo, and i actually felt quite refreshed by that and never felt it was unbearable.

    They do sometimes say a pain that comes all over the uterus is a "proper" contraction, but my midwives kept feeling my belly and asking and i never did get pain anywhere apart from my cervix. SHe was born without my pushing so i don't know how a hard push would have felt, the few little grunty-pushes i did when i'd run out of breath to shout with were odd. The baby's head felt very hard - i could certainly feel the hardness of it, but again, it wasn't unbearable. Crowning stings like f***! Those were my exact words to the midwife (sorry moderators, i've starred but do remove if it's still inappropriate). I could feel my pelvis cranking open to let her out, and this big hard lump coming through. There was immense pressure on my perineum, and a deep hot burning burning burning. BUt i can remember touching my hoohaa as her head came through and i couldn't feel my fingers there - the skin is actually mainly numb by then, i certainly didn't feel my little tear.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my birthing, it was one of the best days of my life, from start to finish. And i'd go back for more tomorrow. Fear not, it will be wonderful

    Hana
    Last edited by paradise lost; December 19th, 2007 at 10:48 AM.

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