What does it feel like to have labor pain?

Labor pain or contractions as you may call it – this is probably a question every pregnant woman has in her mind. So did I when I was expecting. And so did a lot of my friends and members of the family.

Labor pain is definitely not something that women can’t endure. Our bodies were always meant to do this and women have been doing it for centuries. Our bodies surpass the abilities of male bodies. We create life, help it grow inside us and then nurture it for the rest of our lives.

In the end labor pain is all in the mind.

My experience with labor pain

In my experience, given the pain one has to endure, giving birth seems like the hardest thing for many moms and it is indeed true. But for me, it was a  positive experience, something that I’d do all over again.

Labor pain for me was like something I had (obviously) never experienced before. It was a pain like no other. It worsened when I was 6-7 cm dilated and the intensity kept building up after that. I mostly had a back labor which many people say is the worst form of labor pain. I remember asking my husband and mother in law to keep rubbing my back the hardest they could. At one point I even held my husband’s hand so tight I swear I could’ve broken it.

The hardest part was pushing though. I could literally feel my female parts were going to tear the hell out. But the good thing was that it was a very natural response of my body to push. More than me it was my body that was doing the pushing itself. My labor lasted 10 hours and the outcome of it was just beautiful.

What mommies have to say

Is the pain bearable? Is it excruciating? How long does it last? I asked a few mommies to describe what the experience of labor pain was like to them and here is what they had to say –

Let alone it being the toughest thing that I have been through, labor pain was confusing as much as it was exhausting. All the Google look ups and past experiences are useless. You just don’t know what you are going to be in, until you are in it. It felt like getting all your bones broken at the same time. 14 hours in labor and I realized that I had been pushing hard the wrong way. As amusing as it sounds, it was only when I was directed the right way did I have my little one out after 16 hours. And I felt free and healthy to walk my way to the first floor of the nursing home, because the lift decided to conk off.

– Rishu, 32

Labor, for me, wasn’t so bad. It lasted only about 8 hours, 3 of which I didn’t even know about. I reached the hospital and I was already 3 cm dilated and I only realized how bad it was when I was 5 cm. I thought an epidural would be better but I kept saying to myself that it is only a matter of time.  It was not as if I was going to die! The pain was the worst during pushing when it felt like an extremely strong bowel movement. The moment I held my little baby in my arms, it was as if the pain was never there.

– Abhilasha, 29

People say that labor pain feels like strong menstrual cramps and I thought it was rubbish. The pain that I felt was mostly vaginal. It was as if everything was going to tear apart. My contractions lasted 18 hours and boy was I glad it was over.

– Kanika, 29

The worst pain I remember was when my boy’s head was crowning. Other than that labor was pretty much bearable. My body was doing the pushing itself and I thought it was amazing what women bodies are capable of doing. They just know what they have to do.

– Meenal, 30

I struggled from beginning till the end. I did not know when was the time to push so I pushed at all the wrong times making my contractions even worse. It was only after I was actually told how and when to push did I get it right. But by that time I was only 10 minutes away from holding my baby. You just have to know then when’s and how’s of pushing. This will make your experience better.

– Kavita, 33

My labor was not as bad as everyone says it is. Even though I was in labor for good 18 hours. It just got better when I had the epidural. And I’m so glad I took it.

– Meher, 30

The contractions started late evening n my baby girl was delivered at around 7 in the morning. They started as an ache in the middle of my back n grew in intensity progressively. Unlike the usual distribution of pain in back, abdomen n thighs mine remained concentrated in the back.

It was only in the last few hours that the pain grew intense and the duration between contractions reduced. There was enough time between contractions to recover and catch my breath. The last few were accompanied by an uncontrollable urge to push almost like passing motion. Breathing exercises n massage helped a lot. The pain was intense but not unbearable.

– Reeva, 40

They say you forget the pain of childbirth… this is crazy! I am very aware of the ordeal of birthing a small human and the pain that accompanied it! However, the unconditional love that you feel for your baby outweighs any pain. My labour was, in the grand scheme of things, relatively easy, I was only in 6 hours of active labour. Still, I screamed louder decibels than I even knew I was capable of. My contractions started around the front and felt like really strong period pains, they eventually moved to my back where they felt like unbearable back spasms. I intended to have only gas and air, but about half way through I opted for the pethidine injection, which really helped ease the intense pains.

Although I said I wouldn’t put myself through that again, being a mummy to this perfect little thing has given me purpose. So it perhaps wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if I was to fall pregnant again 🙂

– Bianca, 26 @ thebhivelifestyleblog.com

So how has your experience of labor pain been like? Is it something you’d do all over again or not at all?


30 Comments on Labor Pain – What it Feels Like – Different Women Different Opinions

  1. Angie Scheie
    February 14, 2017 at 7:52 am (1 year ago)

    I’m due with my first this June, so this was very interesting (and a little terrifying)! I’m trying to go in it with an open mind and not worry if things don’t go exactly as planned.

    • Tee
      February 14, 2017 at 11:36 am (1 year ago)

      Congratulations Angie! Having a baby is one of the most wonderful things ever. And yes it is no doubt a little terrifying but it truly is not as bad as it seems. You’re right about keeping an open mind. That certainly will help things a lot!
      Good luck to you for June though! Xx

  2. Sophie Gillum-Webb
    February 14, 2017 at 9:55 am (1 year ago)

    I had never had a baby but when the labour pain started it was exactly how I knew it would feel. That probably makes no sense at all but I knew that it would feel like it did. I think the best thing to do is go into labour with a loose idea of what you want and be prepared and ok with going with the flow!

    Sophie x

    • Tee
      February 14, 2017 at 11:34 am (1 year ago)

      Thats absolutely right! One should simply let things flow. Anyone who wants to have a child has to deal with it sooner or later. So might as well be prepared for it!

  3. Lianne
    February 14, 2017 at 10:25 am (1 year ago)

    Well, not looking forward to it. I´m not pregnant though (yet). Very interesting and kind of scary to read, but I guess you only really know what it’s like when you’re doing it.

    • Tee
      February 14, 2017 at 11:32 am (1 year ago)

      It is nothing to be scared of. You just have to be properly informed before you get into it. The better informed you are the better your experience is.

  4. Robin
    February 14, 2017 at 11:18 am (1 year ago)

    4 labors, each one different. Pain was different on all levels each time differently. How weird right? My hardest labor, the one I nearly threw my husband over the bed was my quickest 4 hours!

    • Tee
      February 14, 2017 at 11:31 am (1 year ago)

      Wow I always thought it was th same every time! 4 hours of labor? That’s unbelievable. Hats off to you for pulling through each one of them.

  5. Kirsty
    February 14, 2017 at 11:44 am (1 year ago)

    It is so difficult to find anything useful online about labour. I’ve had 4 children and I remember with my first not being able to find anything at all. Everyone’s experience is different but it is helpful to know a little bit.

    • Tee
      February 14, 2017 at 11:47 am (1 year ago)

      If anything helped me at all, it was all the mommy bloggers I used to follow during pregnancy. They did give me an idea about what to expect and what not to! You’re right about everyone’s experience being different! There has not been two people with the same birth stories.

  6. bianca
    February 14, 2017 at 8:31 pm (1 year ago)

    This is such a great idea for a post! EVERYONEs labour is so so different and sometimes you just need to hear it how it is! My birth was probably on the easier side of the scale, but painful none the less!

    • Tee
      February 15, 2017 at 3:21 am (1 year ago)

      Yes, Bianca! Everyone’s experience is different when it comes to labor pain. Would love to hear about how your experience was easier though.

  7. Kimberly
    February 14, 2017 at 11:34 pm (1 year ago)

    This is such a fascinating topic as it’s different for everyone. I love hearing about it all the time. I found out I have a pretty high threshold for pain apparently but because of a medical condition, I was high risk and there was more risk to my babies to go without an epidural but I think if that wasn’t the case I would have tried it. My contractions were never painful and I lasted till about 6 cm before needing anything and again, it was mostly because it was already determined I should have it, not because of pain. Great article!

    • Tee
      February 15, 2017 at 2:01 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks Kimberly! Every woman has it in her to deliver the babies without an epidural. Though situations may change things a bit.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Mary Jane
    February 15, 2017 at 12:13 am (1 year ago)

    This was a fascinating read, as I’m having my first baby in June. I honestly don’t know what to think! I suppose I will find out 🙂

    • Tee
      February 15, 2017 at 1:58 am (1 year ago)

      Congratulations Mary Jane! You’ll do just fine.

  9. Bonnie
    February 15, 2017 at 2:09 am (1 year ago)

    Labor pains totally did feel like horrible menstrual cramps for me, but after ten hours of zero progress after my water broke I had a c section so I can’t really say what it feels like after the 3cm mark

    • Tee
      February 15, 2017 at 3:23 am (1 year ago)

      Wow! 10 hours and only 3 cm? That’s something!

  10. Hannah
    February 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm (1 year ago)

    I love hearing other women’s labor stories. I have one baby and am pregnant with my second one. My daughter’s labor was very easy (comparatively to stories I’ve heard) and I am so nervous about giving birth to the next baby! These stories remind me that it’s different for everyone and with every pregnancy and its all doable.

    • Tee
      February 16, 2017 at 1:27 am (1 year ago)

      Congratulations on your second Hannah! It’s the best thing in the world. I can relate with you so much as even my daughter”s labor has been pretty much on the easier side. I’d love to have another kid but am kind of nervous when I think about how it is going to be the next time! But yes, in the end it is all possible! xx

  11. Brit Strawbridge
    February 15, 2017 at 2:41 pm (1 year ago)

    I had a pretty rough labour with my little guy. 27 Hours! & I opted for the epidural but then I stopped dilating! By the time my son came the epidural wore off and I was beyond exhausted!! Fingers crossed for this baby! haha Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Tee
      February 16, 2017 at 1:31 am (1 year ago)

      Congratulations Brit! Being a mom to a second baby is absolutely beautiful! I must say that you’re so strong for having been through 27 hours of labor pain. But when I think about it, it is all worth it in the end. xx

  12. Sarah Althouse
    February 15, 2017 at 4:05 pm (1 year ago)

    OH man. My husband and I Hope to have kids soon and these comments are both encouraging and terrifying. haha Good to know it’s always worth it 🙂

    • Tee
      February 16, 2017 at 1:34 am (1 year ago)

      Yes Sarah! You’re right that it is both encouraging and terrifying at the same time. But when you hold that precious little human in your hands, all the pain goes numb and you feel is love! Good luck to you 🙂 xx

  13. Kim
    February 15, 2017 at 4:32 pm (1 year ago)

    Each experience can be so different. My first was horrible back labour for 39 hours that had me barely able to walk and I vomited the whole time. Then my second I was in labour less than 5 hours and the pain was more intense at the end because I was at a 4 for almost all of it, they broke my water and I went from a 4 to 10 in 20 minutes. So one big contraction! It is amazing how truly different and unique each experience it is for every person!

    • Tee
      February 16, 2017 at 1:45 am (1 year ago)

      Every time I hear about women going through labor for 20+ hours, I can’t help but think how strong you all are! And yes, every time there is a different story and it’s amazing to see how truly wonderful women bodies are and what they’re capable of doing! xx

  14. Sirri
    February 15, 2017 at 7:47 pm (1 year ago)

    My labors were extremely painful! Especially towards the end! They were exhausting but worth it!

    • Tee
      February 16, 2017 at 1:36 am (1 year ago)

      That is usually the case. Contractions intensify towards the end. And it is, without a doubt, worth it when you hold your baby in your arms. 🙂

  15. adriana
    February 16, 2017 at 2:24 am (1 year ago)

    It’s such a beautiful thing looking past the labor! I’m not a momma yet but this was such a great read!

  16. Vibeke Johannessen
    February 16, 2017 at 4:03 pm (1 year ago)

    I have never given birth, but I truly respect the women that have done it, it is supposed to be some of the most hurtful things you can feel while alive. It is great to read other peoples experience. Thank you for sharing this 🙂


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