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What Do.contractions.feel like

Some say that labor contractions look a bit like menstrual cramps at first, but then they intensify. Then the contractions look like a dull pain, associated with pelvic pressure. Discomfort goes down from the top abdomen – think of it as pushing your baby down and outward. Since each mother has a different pain threshold and each pregnancy is unique, the way she describes the feeling of contraction can really vary. Contractions during the push phase resemble the urge to have a bowel movement. During the third phase of labour, contractions continue to allow the administration of the placenta. This usually takes between five and 30 minutes. They are often less intense than the contractions you felt during the other stages of labor. These contractions often resemble menstrual cramps.

“When I was first born, they started as menstrual cramps and gradually became more intense as extreme intestinal cramps. However, it was this feeling of menstrual cramps at first that distinguished them from the Braxton Hicks cramps I had during pregnancy and let me know that they were “real” contractions. Once I was about halfway through the expansion, it was like a big constant contraction, with no pause in between, although the monitors showed a short pause between them. However, labor was different when I was second born, and I wasn`t sure if I was really in labor. They didn`t feel like they were doing it the first time, and my bra contractions were so intense and uncomfortable (painful, not just the feeling of tightening) in the last month or two months of my pregnancy that I constantly felt like I was at the beginning of labor. My baby was also “on the sunny side” this time, so there was more pain in my back. My mother and mother-in-law had told me that they never knew when they were in labor, that they only felt the pressure to push in the end. That surprised me. My mom literally never knew when she was in labor, she just knew she felt funny. “I`m an old woman, and my children are 14 and a half and almost 11, so it`s hard to remember the details of the feeling of contractions.

I had a caesarean section after 5 hours of non-medication with my fat, 9lb 37 weeks of direct surgical baby (posterior occiput – baby pointing upwards instead of back) and a non-medicated VBAC with my second, so I feel like I really got an idea of how things felt. They started with menstrual cramps and pain in my lower back that moved and increased in intensity deep in my pelvis. I didn`t have back work with both, not even with the surgical baby. I have to say I didn`t think they were so bad, I mean, intense, yes, which required deep concentration and adaptation, yes, but the worst pain I`ve ever felt? No! It was very liberating to indulge in work and do everything that was good, no matter how crazy or stupid it seemed. From my two data points, it seems to take me forever to work/expand to 3cm, then I go from 3 to 10 very quickly! The contractions last about 36 hours each, in both contractions I was completely immersed in the bathtub, except for my nose where I had the intense contractions, removed any sensory stimulation, the ears underwater, the eyes closed, remained really loose. Alternatively, I did a lot of deep vocalization. As I said, hard, yes, intense, yes, encompassing, yes, tearing the body apart, yes, but incredibly painful – no. If I could, I would work and give birth once a year! No pregnancy, no baby to keep, just a big old job and a birth! It was the hardest, most intense, but most doable job I`ve ever done! It`s hard to predict or describe how the actual contractions of labor will feel for you.

This is partly because everyone`s experience of pain is different. To you, early contractions may seem quite painless or mild, or they may be very strong and intense. The pain you feel can also be different from pregnancy to pregnancy, so if you`ve already given birth, you may experience something completely different this time around. As a rule, true labor contractions look like pain or pressure that starts in the back and moves forward. Unlike braxton Hicks` ebb and flow, the actual contractions of labor are more intense over time…