Labor with a preemie is easier than with a full term child?

S - posted on 04/13/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I had my daughter at 24 weeks and got all sorts of comments along the lines of being lucky because my stomach didn't get big or not having to go thru "real" labor because she was smaller. These comments REALLY pissed me off. It's not like your body only goes thru half the contractions because the baby is small or like your body only dilates halfway. Obviously pushing wasn't as painful because she was smaller but I really hated how folks discounted like experience like it was nothing more than going to the bathroom.



I am now pregnant again and have to see a perinatologist, hopefully to prevent early labor again. The perinatologist mentioned during one of the visits that contractions are stronger when the baby is bigger and basically made a comment indicating that labor with my daughter must have been easy. This was kind of discouraging to hear although I really wanted to retort that I'd like to see a man go thru any form of labor and then have the nerve to comment that it was easier than "x,y or z". So I'm wondering have any of you had a preemie (micropreemie) then gone on to deliver a full term baby? Were the contractions different or more painful? Was pushing harder? Would you call one easier than the other or are the experiences fairly similar?

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Evelyn - posted on 03/12/2015

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Cat-

All we can do is tell people in a way that makes it hard for them to diminish what labor and delivery was like for us all who have babies. But I think they need to take a step back and look at it more so or stop thinking and speaking at once. I have no idea what its like to have a premature child, but I am not going to assume things because the baby is smaller either. My friend had her kids a few weeks early but she was past the 30 to 32 week mark with them. I think her kids were just ready to come faster than others. She was lucky in that she did not have to have them stay for a long duration in the hospital like a lot of babies have to. Her kids are grown and healthy today...all 3 of them. But I was there to support her in what she needed.

Cat - posted on 03/11/2015

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I completely agree Evelyn. I have only once had someone say 'a contraction is a contraction' to someone who was saying 'yes, but you had a small baby' to me. So it's nice to hear from this post that there are others out there :-)

Evelyn - posted on 03/11/2015

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Neither of mine were premature babies but I can not believe the audacity of people who think that because your child was born early and small think you had less of pain and other things that go with birthing a baby. How do they even know? I am sure some women have harder pains no matter what the birth is going to be (premature or on time). I am sure some women are going to have it go faster than others. But I would think that a baby born premature, there are a lot of risks in that because of the situation and that makes it more dangerous to the mother or baby causing maybe more pain in other ways such as emotionally besides physically and health wise.

I am sorry people think that way. I hope that you have your children grow up healthy and happy.

Cat - posted on 03/11/2015

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So how did you go S & Sarah?
I had my first at 29 weeks, and yes, got the small baby bs from people. It really feels like they are belittling your experience. I'm pregnant with bub #2, so I'd be interested to hear your comparisons.

Joanna - posted on 04/13/2011

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I am so sorry that you are being treated that way. I have never had a preemie, but I could not imagine the emotion that would be involved. I would think that the labor would be harder because of it. Every labor is hard work, whether it is a tiny little preemie, or a 10lb full term baby.
My first was 5lb 15oz, and he was my most difficult birth. My contractions were more uncomfortable with him than my 9lb 8oz baby.

Jodi - posted on 04/13/2011

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It's not very fair of people to assume your labour was easier for you. I also can't believe they used the term "lucky". Do they have ANY idea what you went through AFTER the birth? I wouldn't say you were "lucky" at all, and it must have been an extremely difficult time for your family.

With regard tot he smaller baby, however, my youngest was only 5lb, and she was out in 2 very easy pushes. I DID have an easier time of that stage. I also found my labour a bit easier. But I can't be sure if that is because she was so small or if it was because she wasn't my first.......

Anyway, good luck with the current pregnancy. If they know what caused you to have your daughter at such an early stage, you may be fine carrying to full term. I wish you the best!!

Kathryn - posted on 04/13/2011

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My first was born at 35wks he was barely 5lbs, I know that isn't a real young premie like yours but I can offer a comparison. The first was intense but fairly short like one 30 min long contraction that didn't let up just got worse. I tore terribly and had a painful recovery time. Every one kept telling me next time would just be worse, I should be thankful that things went so fast. But I think they were wrong. My second child was born at 38 wks but almost 8lbs. Labor was longer (about 3 hours) but more under control. I could breathe and relax between contractions, My body was able to stretch and loosen up a bit so I didn't tear as much. I'd say the second time was def easier.

Sarah - posted on 04/13/2011

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LMAO! My daughter was 3lbs 3oz 16"long and I got all the same nonsense told to me! Funny part is, the hospital kept trying to stop me from having her so I was in labor for 6 days. I don't care how big the baby is, 6 days of labor Sucks! Additionally, and this may be TMI, but when I finally had her, I tore sideways and about ripped my labia off. I'm sick and tired of the patronizing attitude of so many people who think birthing a preemie is like taking a walk in the park.

Currently, I am 20 weeks preggo, so I too am interested in finding out whether or not a bigger baby hurts more (if it does I'm totally screwed!) I do kinda figure that once you get to that all-encompassing pain point it really stops mattering, I mean you can only feel so much pain, right? To be honest, I just hope this one Huge and even if it hurts even worse (hard to imagine) it will be worth it. Although if it hurts less I'm Definately going to tell all those smug bitches that!!

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