What do contractions feel like when you go into labor?

How do expectant mothers know if they're going into labor?

31  Answers

387 0

I had a run of contractions without labor that ran a contraction every 2 mintues. The way I describe it is, imagine you are vomiting. You know how the muscles in your back & abdomen contract & you have no choice to stop it, I think it feels like that. Your whole belly will become taught tense to the touch & it will relax once again when the contraction stops. I felt like I was doing crunches without the crunches! It is like a spasm you can't stop that uses all of your back muscle & abdominal muscles at once. After 4 hrs of contractions every 2 mintues I felt like I had been beaten with a bat the next day.

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16 9

I held my daughter for 41 weeks. My grandparents came out from CA to AZ, just to meet my little girl. So they stopped by before they went to their hotel. And while we were talking I started to feel really uncomfortable. I'd tried to sit down but didn't feel ok, then I'd stand and my thighs would feel like they were throbbing. I never felt "the break" in the contractions. So when I called my OB/GYN and he asked "how far apart are they?" I couldn't get him and answer, I just told him it felt like one long cramp. He said to go ahead & come in, but if there was no break chances are I wasn't in labor. I went to the hospital, turned out I was already at 6cm. But the before they got me into triage, I was hurting bad, it honestly felt like I had to go to the bathroom. I walked up and down the halls with my BF & my BFF. I'd squat, bend over, sit, stand, nothing felt comfortable. Then when they took me into triage to check me, they said get comfortable, I wanted to hit someone, haha! It did hurt, but it was hard not to feel happy.

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353 0

Contractions are different for every woman. I was having them and kept telling the doctor, but she said Oh no you can't talk during them and etc etc. Well they put me into the hospital for high blood pressure. They noticed I was contracting and I was like yup that is what I have been feeling!!

My stomach would just get hard as rock and I felt like everything was just so tight and hurting. Not bad just like a small cramping. Then it would ease up and start again a few minutes later.

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1 0

they start off feeling like a cramp.... then they start feeling like a really bad cramp and you might want to bite or punch some thing till the pain eases.... but as they return within minutes ;they get stronger and stronger and stronger ......you might be lucky and your labour could be over in no time or be like me get in juiced my son was 2 weeks over due ;therefore i had no fluid so it was a dry birth ... that hurt.... but i gave birth naturally which i feel is important for mother and baby bonding and only a mother love for her child knowing what pain she went through giving birth and reminding them for the rest of there lives......i refused to have a epidurial unless it was life threating...... over all labour pains feel like its coming out your backside and some thing like an elephant was coming out of it

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2 0

Well I'm 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant and I'm having a hard time walking and even sitting cause of alot of pressure and pain. This is my 3rd child and I'm so ready for him to come out!!! I honestly can't take anymore of this pain! I had my dr appointment yesterday and a ultra sound and they told me he was 7lbs 4 oz with 2 weeks to go. Is the pain normal? And do you think I could be close to labor with all the pain and pressure I'm having or is it just a normal thing?

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2 0

I had also had some contractions but nothin major they were really light and I could see and feel my stomach tightening up but that didnt hurt what did hurt was the pain in my back at the same Time my stomach was tightening

38 23

OK for me with my 1st I felt like I had the WORST POSSIBLE constipation all day long. I was totally clueless that since early that morning (which was a Thursday btw =p ) I was having contractions lol!! I didn't feel that "vomiting" muscle-tightening feeling, but it felt more like intense constipation. Just imagine being constipated and multiplying that by 100!

I just thought it was a typical pregnancy woe, and called out of work, cancelled a lunch date with my BFF, and just stayed home trying to stay as comfortable as possible--which I will say was next to IMpossible lol!

Once it was later in the day I notice the pain came in waves so I started to time it, but the times were all over the place so I put the labor aspect out of my head. Then after a whole day I finally had a BM early that evening, and thought I was going to be fine. Boy was I wrong! Not even 2-3 minutes later the pain was back and I had that light bulb go off =p I timed the pains again with still no real pattern, but it just kept getting worse and worse. Finally, at midnight my hubby and I went to the birth center, and at 10:35am Friday my lovely son was born hehe =p

Knowing me I'll be clueless again (#2 is due in September lol) but hopefully I'll be wiser this time =]

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2 0

Although i had my son 6 1/12 years ago i can remember the pain. Felt like a period pain!! Times a 100 and my son came out looking the wrong way, think that had something to do with it.
The pain went the moment i had him.
Very strange feelling.
Most amazing moment of my life!! :)))

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7 7

I didn't know I was in labour. I thought I was constipated. I had now cramps or stomach pain. I called my midwife after spending a day unable to go to the loo and she offered to come and take a look. I was 7 1/2 cm dilated by that point.

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200 54

the girl who said its like throwing up is right. when i asked this question ppl told me it feels like intense cramps.. although it is.. thats also what braxton hicks feels like.. and when ppl say cramps, i think of just in your lower abdomen.. but real contractions are in your whole stomach!

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47 14

i agree that the closest way to describe it is like throwing up...you have no control of it. To me i could feel the pain of a contracion growing and than it peaked and than stoped and i had 30 seconds of almost no pain. than all over again. I would decribe the pain as very very tiring but and very frusterating. But you can deal with it and should not be seen as scary

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0 0

I'm 39 weeks & 2 days pregnant if u feel ur lower back & ur whole tummy getting really tensed up & have to go pee every time it happens & having the feeling to vomit is that normal? & If so what do I do? This is my first baby...

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1

it hurts like hell, Ive had 5, including a natural twin birth, i think only a woman who has given birth truly knows how it feels, it feels like giving birth!

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0 0

I have been wondering about his as well.I'm 35 weeks pregnant and I have never had a natural period or cycle without birth control or other medications. I have never experienced cramps so I don't know if what I'm feeling is normal menstruation cramps or braxton hicks or actual labor. It feels like someone is stabbing me one one side of my stomach and then cutting me all the way across my lower stomach.

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70 5

contractions ; Well it is sort of a funny feeling in your somach and at the same
as it gets closer to the head of the baby coming out it feels like you really got to go to the bathroom really bad .

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42 0

weeing alot, need to go to the loo for number 2 :/ Feel like your insides are going to fall out. Baby pushing head down alot. Baby normally goes pretty quiet b4 to conserve their energy.
But when it's time you will know :D

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2,233 12

have you ever had really bad food poisoning that you were too cheap to go to the doctor for? contractions are like that only a little further down in your abdomen. like really REALLY bad constipation.

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4 0

For me It started out feeling like the worst of the worst period cramping I'd ever felt, then got worse and worse... Cramping, pulling, tightening, and involuntary are words that come to mind when remembering my labor. It is like uncontrollable cramping that you know is going to be back in a flash once one subsides. I had a 19 hour labor and didn't get an epidural until about 18th hour, this time I hope to get it way before the last hour! When baby is in your arms, everything stops and you see why you had to go through that and it no longer bothers you or matters :) But now that I am pregnant again and getting close... my memory is somehow refreshed and I remember what felt like lightning bolts striking my body for hours, head to toe. Here we go again!

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178 0

For me, it was an intese pulling feeling across my belly, and I felt a strong urge to have a bowel movement, but didn't actually need to. Honestly, I wasn't sure I was in labor, because 5 years before I'd had salmonella poisoning, and the cramping and pain felt so similar, I was so sure I was sick again! If you start having pains, you'll probably figure it out, but don't be afraid to call your doctor and ask.

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57 8

It felt like a hot coal in my back. It hurt - really really bad.

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8 16

My contractions felt like my tummy getting tight! they didnt hurt at all at first and I really had to be watching for them to feel them! but as the got closer together they started hurting a little more.. but really to me it was just felt like my tummy getting really tight!

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2 0

Its undiscribable it really is crap but after the baby is out you completely forget about it

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1 0

Like menstrual cramps, but ten times more intense! If you have good pain tolerance, you'll be able to last a while. I only got to experience up to 4cm dialated cause then I needed to have an emergency c-section.

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818 24

I've had two kids and the labors were so different. With my first I didn't know I was in labor for two days. My lower back hurt and I felt a constant dull ache in my lower abdomen. With my second there were clear contractions - I would be fine, then my belly would tighten up, then I'd be fine again after about a minute.

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382 10

Contractions for me felt like a dull, aching, stretching feeling. It did not feel anything like menstrual cramps or stomach cramps. Those cramps are a sharp pain, labor was a dull ache. The pain felt similar to holding my mouth open very wide for a long time. Shelly must have been cramping with her contractions. I have had four kids and my uterus was never sore afterwards.

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2,620 0

This is not a silly question. I wasn't sure if I was in labour for 2 days before I hit "active labour". The early signs for me were basically the same as a stomach bug: cramps, diarrhea, feeling kind of nauseated and yucky. I had contractions anywhere from 7 to 15 minutes apart, except when I took some Tylenol and slept for most of the second day. They hurt enough to make me bend over and stop talking, but not REALLY bad.

When I did really go into labour I stopped feeling yucky, and I could really feel the contractions on the lower part of my belly and on the lower part of my back. In between contractions I felt great, just a bit tired.

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15 0

i was wondrering the same thing im having sharp pains shoot thru my left leg and in the vaginal area and im constanly having bowel movements and lower abdomonial pains i dont know whats wrong with me

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10 20

I had the same thing with all of my babies - upon further testing it was shown that I had SI dysfunction (pelic bone opening to far) & a dynamic cervix which means my cervix opens & closes the entire pregnancy. We would watch it open on the ultrasound & then close. I would always know when it was opening because I would have a sharp shooting pain in my cervix, and when I was getting ultrasounds it always coincided with my cervix opening. We discovered them through transvaginal ultrasounds to monitor cervical shortening. With the SI dysfunction/pelvic separation I had this horrible pressure like the baby was right on top of the bone from 5mo on, it just kept getting worse. I got shooting pains that went down my legs as well. Most of the time this resolves itself After your postpartum period but in my case it didn't. I herniated 2 lumbar discs & herniated the vertical abdominal muscles so my back can't get stronger because my abdominal muscles are shot. Go to your OB & demand they check the spacing of your pelvic bone & check for a dynamic cervix. I lost a child from an amniotic fluid infection because my dynamic cervix let in bacteria, then I had a placental abruption & my water broke early. We lost her because she was to premature & it was all caused by the dynamic cervix. Most ob's are not equipped to deal with such rare complications and even after 7 pregnancy losses they tried to convince me not to switch to high risk - I did anyway, I'm convinced that if I hadn't I would have lost my last daughter. Be your own advocate & stand up for yourself! When you feel something is wrong & your getting blown off DEMAND they take you seriously - if they don't get a second opinion at high risk!

147 31

for me it starts as a lower back pain like some one has their knee in my back annoying but not crazy painful and the grows to be lower abdominal pain like weak cramps and begin to rise up my belly and feels like stronger and stronger cramps that was my natural birth. My induction is unreal pain that goes from vagina to just below my ribs. I will NEVER have an induction again and knowing what I know about danger to me and baby I feel like a jerk for ever having one in the first place.

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33 23

With my first son I was having contractions and I didn't even know it. They did the NST and told me I was. With this pregnancy I've been having a lot of Braxton Hicks lately brought on from simple things just walking short distances. With them my stomach just gets really tight and I'll have sharp pains in my sides. I've also been feeling cramps for the past two month similar to a bad period. In the past few weeks I've been having horrible back pains. I think each person is different in what they feel and experience. Only thing with mine is that I don't feel much lessen in the intensity of the pain at all other than the sharp pains I get. The rest stay pretty constant. I'm very high risk and they have told me if I have 4 in an hour to go in, but it's kinda hard to judge how many I am having win an hour when it stays constant lol.

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6 43

I think it depends on the individual. A friend of mine suffered from back ache, mine were like very severe period pains...

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2,843 7

I agree, I never got the period pain thing since I never had pains during my period. Basically for me it was a tightening through out my entire abdomen along with a lot of pelvic pressure.

82 47

I knew i was in labour because of the annoying pain i was having every 10mins... just time ur pain i had a bub at 4o weeks exactly & twins at 32 weeks the pain tells you your in labour!!!

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44 22

ITS LIKE MENSTRUAL CRAMPING THT GETS WORST AND WORST EACH TIME YOU HAVE ONE.

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