What Does Giving Birth Feel Like?

Thinking about labor can fill any soon-to-be mother with feelings of excitement, fear or trepidation. Each delivery and labor is unique, so what does giving birth feel like is no doubt the question that every expecting woman anxious to know. Here are a few ideas can help a pregnant woman understand what giving birth feels like.

What Does Giving Birth Feel Like?

Each delivery is different. The feeling of giving birth can be described as a box of chocolates, where a woman never knows what she is going to get. Even the reaction to epidural can vary widely. You may get some ideas from other mom's experiences.

1. Cramping

Many moms said that labor contractions may feel like a severe form of menstrual cramps that come and go, or may be compared to cramps resulting from gas or stomach flu.

  • The camps may start from the stomach and go down to my pubic area.
  • My feeling of cramp started in the back and radiated into the stomach.
  • I had very severe pain and tightening feeling in the uterus that went down and back.
  • The contractions may also feel like charley horses in the lower abdomen!

2. Tightening

As described by many women, labor contractions may feel like tightening than cramping.

  • Some feel it as clenching of the whole body.
  • I had tightening of the uterus muscles or the belly which radiated into the lower back and rectum.
  • Contractions like on and off squeezing of belly or insides are reported.

3. Pounding

Punching feeling or pounding is what few women describe labor pains.

  • Each contraction felt like getting punched so hard in the stomach that it knocked all the air out.
  • It felt like being hit with something really hard.
  • As epidural wears off, it may feel like getting punched both in the back and stomach.

4. Stabbing

What does giving birth feel like? It feel like stabbing!

  • Feel like being stabbed by a knife through the cervix.
  • It felt like repeated stabbing by a serrated knife into the stomach that gradually moved towards my pubic bone.

5. Burning

Rather than intense menstrual cramps, several moms feel it as a burning sensation during the crowning and contraction.

  • I felt burning sensation across my lower abdomen that eased up as the contraction ended.
  • There was burning sensation during crowning, but as I tore, it felt much better.

6. Back Pain

Many think labor pains occur only in the abdomen and it's wrong. Some pains happen in the back too.

  • I didn't have the contractions as seen in movies, instead I had severe back pain.
  • It was like a terrible backache.
  • I felt like a truck is running continuously over the spine.
  • There was a feeling of a knife being stabbed in my back with each contraction.

7. Pain in Other Areas

Pain may also be experienced in other body parts like legs, rectal area or hips.

  • I had an experience of rectal pain with each contraction since the very beginning.
  • I felt sharp pain in the hips.
  • There was feeling of a heavy man pressing down my each hip or stabbing in the butt and hips from the inside.

8. Waves

Like waves in the sea, labor contractions are described as waves of contractions, though they are not as pleasant as beach waves.

  • Each contraction felt like intense wave of pain that arise, reaches peak and then subsides.
  • I felt contractions building on each other, reaching a peak and then coming down, giving a complete relief.

9. Pressure

Many women feel lots of pressure even before the pushing stage starts.

  • Some describe it as a bowel movement rather than pressure in the vagina.
  • Feeling of pressure pushing down gives a sensation of poop.
  • Pressure over the groin, rectum tailbone or vagina is experienced.

10. Pushing

What does giving birth feel like when you are pushing? Many women describe pushing as a relief, while others find it painful.

  • Once you start pushing, huge pressure is felt which seems unstoppable.
  • I felt great like I finally got to do something.
  • I felt awful like I was constipated for long.
  • Contractions during pushing felt really bad, but it made them less hurting.

11. Losing Control of the Body

Women have different feelings in their body while in labor. Some feel detached and having out of body experience, while others have a feeling of being very much inside their bodies.

  • I felt out of control of my body or had this out of body experience.
  • I felt empowered and calm working with my body and going with the flow.
  • Being less feared makes pain less grueling.
  • It felt like I was pushing against a freight train.

12. Exhaustion

Labor itself is a lot of work. Moms definitely understand how much work it involves.

  • It was very consuming as I was not able to think or do anything else once it started.
  • It feels like doing heavy weight training at the gym involving a lot of physical work.
  • A few describe it as the hardest and exhausting work.

13. It's Not That Bad

For all the suffering we mentioned in the above content, here comes the sunny side.

  • Though painful, some define it as the most beautiful and amazing experience of their life.
  • I enjoyed between contractions by cracking jokes and had a good time without being afraid.
  • Though it was painful, it was a different feeling and with a purpose. Knowing the end result makes it easier to bear.
  • Emotionally, it is the most amazing experience. Pain disappears when your child is in your arms.

If you still worry about labor and want to know "What does giving birth feel like?" watch the following video and listen to the story of the new mom Emma:

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