What do contractions feel like? ... Other than painful :P

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jennifer - posted on 07/01/2010

6

47

0

well the best that i can explain it is 1st..everyone experiences different ones! i was in HARD ACTIVE labor for 96 hours!!! I dont care what anyone says, dont let then tell you that YOU WILL KNOW because if this is your first, NO YOU WONT! They feel like INTENSE period cramps along with tightening and releasing of your stomach! The period cramp feeling is actually u dilating! now u dont dilate fast with your first child, HOWEVER like i mentioned...some women are different! Not to sound weird or gross but you know how when u have an orgasm and ur stomach tightens and u can feel baby in a ball, well that tightness in ur tummy plus cramping is contractions...some women also have them in thier back..some have them in thier bottoms(rectum) which also feels like a cramp in ur butthole! im not trying to be gross, im being honest...so when i say period cramps, they will start off light and mild and get so intense that you almost cannot breath...i was ALL NATURAL DRUG FREE untill i had to have Emerg C-section (another story) but in a way, u kinda will know but dont think that your going to stop everything and say "this is it" cuz u will ask urself 100 times..."is this it?" "ok are these braxtons" "no this is just a cramp" ull try and talk urself outta knowing lol but good luck and hope this helped!

[deleted account]

Kind of gross but in my case they felt like a bowel cramp - like if you held in your gas/bowel movement for awhile and you get a cramp in your stomach. I had a few of them at home in the weeks before giving birth & really had NO idea they were contractions and just thought it was the baby on my bowels since I carried really low the whole time. I went to the hospital when my water started leaking and was 7 cm dialated and had no idea, no contractions until I was put on Pitocin. With the Pitocin the contractions were much more intense & painful. But like PP have said, everyone is different and I, too, though that I would "know" when I was having contractions and did not!

SAC - posted on 07/06/2010

37

6

0

Each labor is different. My 2 daughter-in-laws didn't even know they were in labor...both came here...both were made to stay so I could watch them...both were sent to the hospital within a few hours. One, just said she felt sick to her stomach, the other had back labor problems and "an uncomfortableness between her legs". For me, I had the pleasure with my first, to feel it from the very beginning (I suppose). It started out feeling like butterflies floating all in my ab. Then, slowly progressed until it became very painful, but to me it was a wonderful pain...it meant that I would finally get to hold that precious life in my arms. Fortunately, between my 1st and 2nd, I broke my tailbone...fortunately? you might say...well, fortunately, because it apparently damaged the nerve that controls the pain...I had pain free labor with the other 2...felt the pressure, but no pain! I had the wonderful chance to have a friend who was a midwife long before getting pregnant so I was familiar with childbirth and viewed it in a beautiful manner instead of all the horrible scary things that people will say. Yes, it is painful at some point, but not like any pain you will ever understand until you are there. Don't be afraid...be very joyful!!!! It means that life is coming and the most awesome thing ever is about to happen. Some can be short, some can be long...mine were long.
Pay attention to what your body tells you...being aware of your body will help you recognize what is happening. You may just get sick to your stomach, you may have the worst back ache ever, you may start cramping, you may break water first...if water breaks...you will know that is what it is because you seem like you are peeing but can't stop it and it seems to go on forever...and it is a definite sign to get to the doctor whether you feel the labor pains or not...you do not want a dry birth...I understand they are extremely painful and hard.
Congratulations! I pray that you and the baby do well together through this new adventure called life!

Charlena - posted on 07/06/2010

134

18

7

Every labor is soooo different its hard to give a set definition other then its just really painful , my only advice is if you dont have a high tolerance for pain then start looking at pain reliever options now , so when you go to the hospital the can all ready be ready

Holly - posted on 07/06/2010

74

36

1

right now, small cramps, like period type and then charlie horse in one spot! its all down in the abdominable area.. most of the time the baby will cause them! im 34 weeks.. im almost there :)

This conversation has been closed to further comments

93 Comments

View replies by

Mariah - posted on 11/07/2013

19

0

0

My name is Mariah I'm 17 I have a daughter had her in 2012 I gt a birth control the mirena but all of a sudden I'm getting cramps from my dummy nd back nd dw there I feel sick can any one talk to me

Brittany - posted on 07/07/2010

45

7

2

Mine felt like gas/diarrhea cramps. I still did not know it was labor though! I told me sister I felt like I had diarrhea and kept going to the bathroom but nothing was happening and she laughed and said it was contractions and not to keep trying to push. This all started slightly after my bloody show. I had them mild for 2 days and on the 3rd day I was just soo tired and they were so close that I went in to the hospital. Now looking back I could have stayed home longer but I just wanted it to be over..not because of the pain but because I wanted to sleep..lol Two things that helped me where to feel your belly when you think you are having one. Your belly should get very hard with a contraction. Also, when you are having a contraction focus on your breathing and when you breathe out imagine the baby moving down. Sort of pushing your pain down with the baby. Just breathe and relax as much as possible. No matter how bad it hurts you forget it all as soon as you see your baby! The worst part of my labor was the epidural..SO I cannot wait for baby #2 and look forward to going all natural. Good luck

Susan - posted on 07/07/2010

6

12

15

well for me i had then from saturday until he was born. Not bad at first and wicked far apart but it basically felt like i was being stabbed in the back ( i had back labor) then radiated to my lower stomach. I had gone to the hosiptal two times prior to giving birth one at 21 weeks for a uti then again at 31 weeks with early labor and a uti so i refused to go back until my water broke. My story is kinda funny actually but that wasnt the question. I was in active labor for 11 hours. After my water broke the contractions just got worse. When i was in active labor it felt like someone was twisting my stomach like u would do to ring out a towel or something.

Britton - posted on 07/07/2010

29

7

1

Well the non painful ones feel like someone is squeezing your belly without your control! Once the painful contractions start it is a combination of the squeezing and then the pain. Worse that a period cramp but the same feeling. For mine the painful part of my contraction was where my stomach was the tightest. There was no pain when it first started.

Lisa - posted on 07/07/2010

6

45

0

For me like most people here they felt like strong period cramps and walking about helped, I also used a TENS machine when they got very strong (at one point I had less than a minute between contractions). When I was in established labour they were so much stronger but I used gas and air - I kept thinking I'm not going to be able to do this, and I'm going to end up begging for an epidural! But the gas and air kicked in and it just makes you not care about anything (it's great!), and I never did ask for any other pain relief. Once I was in second stage like someone said before the urge to push was the only thing I felt so even stopped the gas and air...

I know everyone's different and the sensations they have are different and their pain tolerance is different so my only advice is to go with the flow and what your body is telling you at the time...

Good luck xxx

Courtney - posted on 07/06/2010

11

43

0

From what I can remember it felt like something was squeezing really tight on my belly and poking me reallt hard on my back....Good luck, U will forget all the pain after u see your little darling for the first time, It will all b worth it!!

Melissa - posted on 07/06/2010

20

29

3

It was like I had to poop hard core. Almost constitpated. Horrible horrible cramps too. But the hardness of your stomach before your water breaks is pretty neat. Good luck

Kelly - posted on 07/06/2010

24

19

4

i think for every1 its different, sum dont even feel a thing they just push and pop a baby out in seconds for others its much harder lol my labour was ok, i had a LOT of pain in my bum, the nurses drugged me and then i didnt feel a thing until i had my baby thats when i felt every emotion my body could feel hahaxx just enjoy it whatever way it goes, its all worthwhile in the end. best of luckxx

Jennifer - posted on 07/06/2010

26

50

1

like period cramps, though they come minutes apart. You will know when it's time. You will be fine. I've had 3 children. First normal, 2nd and 3rd a c-section. You will do just fine..

Nicole - posted on 07/06/2010

99

27

9

I am sure you are probably wondering...How will I know that it's a contraction. I felt the same way. All I can say it that you just know. It is painful and all you can do is breath. It will start suttle than worsen. Your belly will feel really hard too and you wont be able to tell if you are hurting in you lower back, your stomach. But the pain it worth it in the end. :)

Elizabeth - posted on 07/06/2010

34

33

3

I've been having contractions since 6/25 (28wks) and they are just like what I'd imagine menstrual cramps would be like. Never had menstrual cramps before but for me the contractions make my entire uterus harden and pain in the lower half of my tummy. For me it started with back labor where I was having really bad back spasms. Wasn't sure what they were but I knew it was annoying and the back spasms hurt. I went to L&D to be checked out and sure enough they were every 15mins and I was dilating. Since I'm way to early I was given a shot to stop them and sent home. The shot lasted 3 hrs so I've been feeling them since and they are deff getting stronger.

I'm a first timer but I knew what I was feeling wasn't normal. Everyone always told me that they feel like menstrual cramps with some dull low back pain. Deff had the cramps but bad back pain. That just shows it's different for everyone.

Angela - posted on 07/06/2010

18

27

0

My contractions felt like a bad caseindegestion. I would have a mild pain, then a strong pain and then and stronger pain, all within 5 mins, and then nothing for 2-3 mins. And from start to finish my labor felt the same, just with alot of pressure at the end.

Jasmin - posted on 07/06/2010

10

5

2

I think that they are different for everyone and it really depends on your level of pain tolerance too. For me, they were sharp pains shooting from my stomach to my back and then back to my stomach and so on. All I can recommend is a birthing ball. That helped me out SOOOOO much.

Rachel - posted on 07/05/2010

16

48

2

mine started out like mild period cramps then gradually got worse and felt like very bad gas pains the rest of the time. but once u get the epidural if u want 1 u feel pressure in stomach them u will get the feeling that you have to poop and then its time to push :) m u push like u r pooping..lol

Ashley - posted on 07/05/2010

8

25

0

I didn't feel mine at first as far as pain goes...but if you touch your stomach it'll get hard. As others said, once it hurts it feels like intense menstrual cramps

[deleted account]

I didn't have a hell as to what they felt like till I was in labour, it was only then that I realised they were just like period pains! I wish someone had told me that sooner as I would've realised I was getting contractions a few weeks before!

Kimberly - posted on 07/05/2010

15

17

0

Like a bolt of lightning flashing in your tummy! For me the contractions was the worst part of giving birth so if you can get past those you'll be fine.

Carly - posted on 07/05/2010

220

24

10

Like a tightening sensation. It's different for all women though, to be honest I know you said other than painful but it hurt that much I didn't stop to think about it! Haha x

Becci - posted on 07/05/2010

13

13

0

my labour was very easy the contractions felt like i had a trapped nerve then when she was ready to see the world i felt like i needed a poo it didnt feel like anything else just needed a poo. i had it east though and it was my first x

Heidi - posted on 07/05/2010

4

31

0

When I went into labour with my first, it felt like menstrual cramping + constipation, I felt like I had to go do #2 every 8 minutes, but nothing would happen when I got to the bathroom. It hurt, but it was a weird pain, like I knew nothing was going to make it stop in the near future, but I was more irritated with everything around me.

Kerri - posted on 07/04/2010

5

40

0

For me, at first, it felt like I had to go to the bathroom. And not in a pleasant way!! After about 10 minutes of extreme pain, I called my mom and she told me to go to the hospital, by the time I got there, they were soooo painful, I couldnt hold myself up when they would hit. It starts off as a minor pain, then get serious real quick!!

Jamie - posted on 07/04/2010

5

8

1

they feel like really bad cramps. bad part is they are like 10 x more intense, but they are not constant. although it feels like it the closer you get to delivery

Jessie - posted on 07/04/2010

722

60

54

I think everyone is a little different. I had back labor (that happens when the babies face is the wrong way-my son had his face turned up instead of down towards by butt. at first I thought I was just having a bachache and twinges until my water broke. I went to the hospital and the nurse sent me home - said it wasn't 'watery' enough to be my water... well I also lost my mucus plug then too. anyways got sent home around 11pm - was leaking a little and having contractions in my back all night. painful tightening and cramping above my tailbone and lower back. I also (not to be gross) was on the toilet all night diarreaha. I think my body was just trying to flush itself out, lol. I started timing the contractions around 5am until I went to the hospital around 10am or so. The nurse still did not believe I was in labor since the contractions didnt not register on the monitor belt thing. my contractions were about 4 min apart right now. two nurses checked me and said I wasnt dilated and I got yelled at for 'tensing up' because it was just my baby 'sitting on my spine'. Well the doctor came to check me before they sent me home again ( I was scheduled for a checkup later that day anyway) turns out I was 4 cm and fully effaced and oh I WAS having contractions. The doctor also wanted to know when my water broke and why I hadnt been in sooner. uh yeah cuz half the nurses we clueless. sigh. time your contractions for awhile before going to the hospital. you'll be more comfy at home (I was!) with your partner. best of luck mama

Christy - posted on 07/04/2010

46

44

3

For me I woke up early in the morning went to get out of bed and just started leaking, I thought I was peeing myself, went to the bathroom peed, walked away and kept leaking. It was crazy I had no clue what was going on. I only had like one friend who's water actual broke on it's own and they said it was just a little leaking. Not for me it just kept coming! Oh and I was 34 in a half weeks along. I called into my doc and they said to come in to the hospital and get checked. Yep my water broke and I had preeclampsia, which I didn't know. So even though my water broke on it's own the risks with preeclampsia put me at a high risk so I was induced. It's really sad to say but that day went so fast I'm not sure what all they had me on. At first they induced me, then because of the progress and the preeclamsia and the contractions they needed me to stay relaxed so they gave me narcotics which knocked me out..I did NOT like them at all. After a while the doc came in and they talked to me about getting an epidural to help with the pain and yes I felt pain...cramping CRAZY cramping. I would lay sleeping in between contractions but they do hurt. Well I went in the hospital around 6am and by 8pm my son was born with about 5 pushes. I will tell you this though...as much as it hurt even on drugs as soon as it was over and I held my son I would of done it all over again a minute later!

CARA - posted on 07/04/2010

1

1

0

Like really bad period cramps and that you have to got to the bathroom. It's just really uncomfortable!!

Sabrina - posted on 07/04/2010

115

18

9

very very very bad periode cramp .... and ur bum hurts it feels like u have to poo but u dont actually...i also had back labour! ur back hurts like pulled something in ur back almost.. lol.. but its all worht it in the end! :)

Jackie - posted on 07/04/2010

576

61

70

Mine felt like really bad cramps that just slowly got worse. However when your lil one comes out you no longer care how they feel. You'll never forget the pain but it is worth it.

Jessica - posted on 07/04/2010

986

20

64

Its different for everyone! Also, everyone says that you "will know" when it starts, but that's not necessarily true. I started labor at around 7 am, but went most of the day not realizing it. I woke up with bloody show and felt kind of crampy- like I was going to get my period. There were no start-and-stop contractions- just an on-going crampy feeling with back pain and a lot of pressure. The pain was so mild for most of the day I didn't think I was *actually* in labor! Late afternoon is when the pain got worse and I was able to actually pick them out and time them. When I went to the hospital I was 5 cm and gave birth 2.5 hours later.

Steph - posted on 07/04/2010

17

19

0

mine were just period cramps at first, i didnt know i was in labour i rang the baby unit to see if i was being booked in be started off, and was told no, she asked if i was ok as my voice sounded stressful i said i was fine, just having cramps again, she told me come in to get checked with my voice sounding a lil in pain, and 7 hours later i had my baby boy i was already in labour when i got there! mine were just annoying at the start like the braxton ones, but id had them none stop for a good 4 hours, but they didnt get painful til i got to the hospital!

Tara - posted on 07/04/2010

64

42

1

I would say they are like menstral cramps times a billion!!! They hurt so bad I started crying and was holding onto the 'oh shit bar' in the car saying 'Noooo, not another one!!!' each time another one was coming on. With my first baby, I got an epideral before I really felt the really bad contractions but with my last one, I got the epideral right before I had to start pushing! So I felt the worst of it!! Might as well have not got the epideral. But....it was all so worth it to have my kids and I would do it again for them. :D good luck to you!!

Ashley - posted on 07/04/2010

8

25

0

I did not feel any contractions at all until they broke my water then it just felt like intense period cramps to me. They do feel different each pregnancy each woman but that is what they felt like to me.

Denise - posted on 07/04/2010

2

0

0

I had a lot of back labor. I can't really tell you what it felt like. Every woman is different. I have only one child and I got lucky, I was only in hard labor for 4 hours. Good luck.

Elaine - posted on 07/04/2010

1

30

0

Hi Yasmin, If you experience cramps during your period, multiply that by 50 .. hew! But they said it differs with each birth, but mine was really awful!

[deleted account]

I gave birth 10 weeks ago today and it is all quite a blur. I remember i went to bed the night before with slight pains that felt like light period pain and then i was woken at 5am with stronger period pain and knew it was labour. My husband woke up and asked if it was for real and i said yes but was quite comfortable at this stage. By 9am in the morning the pain was so bad i had gone back to bed and every time i got pain i grabbed the bedhead and moaned, i did walk around outside before this time trying to take my mind of the pain. I went to the hospital to the women's assessment unit and waited til 1.00pm before they moved me to the birthing unit. My waters hadn't broken but i was in a lot of pain. The nurses in the assessment unit gave me panadeine forte which made me drowsy and was probably worse because i still had pain but was so tired i wanted to sleep and couldn't. Once i got to the birthing unit i was asked if i wanted gas which i did and at about 2pm they asked me if i wanted an epidural which i was glad to have, as they tried to get it ready i started pushing, well it wasn't me my baby girl was on her way and i could not stop, no breathing would stop her. My stomach as my husband said looked like an alien was going to come bursting out of it and he was so freaked out he cried cause he knew i was in so much pain. I started pushing as it was too late for the epidural and i had gone from 5cm to 10cm in one contraction. The first stage of my labour had only lasted 4.5 hours and i pushed my baby girl out in 35 mins and she was born at 3.25pm on ANZAC day. Unfortunately she came out with her hand up by her face so i had third degree tears and the stitches took 2 hours to do as they were right down to the muscle, i think this was the worst part and hurt a lot.

Everyone is different, but all the pain is so worth it in the end!

Sara - posted on 07/03/2010

9

27

0

i read some of the other ones and i wanted to tell you that not all first babies are so hard! i just had a little boy in december and i went into labor at 2:30 and he was born at 9:20 not so bad! my water broke right after the kentucky game that day!! it took about an hour for my contractions to kick in and at first it was just a little cramp and i didnt think it was going to be so bad but then the cramp got worse... it was almost so bad i couldnt sign the hospital admission papers! just remember that when the pain begins to get bad (if you dont get an epidural before the contractions start) you have to breathe! i kept trying to hold my breath. i had an epidural though so as almost as soon as they gave me the epidural i stopped feelin any pain and my son was born just a few hours later! the pain is easily forgettable after you see your little ones face!

[deleted account]

painful gas pains like right before you have dirriah the pains except maybe 5 times worse i know it sounds gross but also it depends if you are being induced that hurts worse than contractions on your own but the breathing thing seemed to work...or you can get someone to do something uncomfortable like the nurse i had rubbed my leg toward my vagina and that made me feel uncomfortable lol so i focused on that but the min she had to leave it was over haha but i also had 9 pound baby with no meds all natural and im not built big so i hope this helps

Laressa - posted on 07/03/2010

303

4

15

I got an epidural to help with the contractions but what they can't do anything for is the almost unbearable pressure as the baby moves down. But Its all over eventually and you rarely think of it after the baby comes safe and sound. Before long you'll be ready for the second round. lol

Amanda - posted on 07/03/2010

15

47

0

you're gonna hate this...but I don't remember...and I just had my son in January. What I do remember is that it felt completely different than the Braxton Hicks I had at 7.5 months. The Braxton Hicks were much more painful oddly enough... I just woke up at 3 am the day my son was born...at 3:07 I had what I KNEW was a real contraction...which is why I looked at the clock. Then 9 minutes later...another one...I hopped in the shower right away cause I knew I was having my son. For 1 hour they were 9 min apart...then by 4 they were 7 minutes apart...by 5:30 my water broke at home, I called my midwife...the contractions were 5 minutes apart...we lived 6 minutes from the Children's Hospital I was delivering at so we left. Lol...by the time we got there I was 3 minutes apart. By the time they got me in a room...1 minute. Then I stayed like that until they forced the pitocin at 5 pm. I was to 9 cm by 9 pm and my son was born at 9:28. All that to say...you'll know and it will go quickly. You'll go from preggo to mother at mach speed and it will be the first day of the rest of your life and you'll LOVE it. Hopefully... =) I still cry when I say stuff like that. I am generally an unhappy person...well, I thought I was. But, here comes my son...and I've never had so much love in my life ever. I've never felt so complete. I used to worry myself sick (literally) that I was going to wreck my children. God would send him perfect and I was going to wreck everything. But, my son has proven that theory bunk. Its HIM that is changing me, and for the better. Forever. Lol...you'll know it when you feel it Yasmin.... Enjoy! =)

Kristin - posted on 07/03/2010

6

24

0

Well to be honest just think of the last time you had a to use the bathroom very badly and then multiply that feeling by 10 and you have labor

Jessie - posted on 07/03/2010

216

12

23

every women is different and every pregnancy is going to be different, I never got the back pain during labor mine was all in the abdomen and it felt like a combination of the worst period cramps you could possibly imagine with the stomach pain of having food poison and it seemed like nothing I tried would ease it all the way, also for the early stage of both my last ones i felt just plain uncomfortable like I couldn't find a position that was good enough to be in, but almost without a doubt you will know ur in labor when u hit it, as for trying to get an idea to prepare urself nothing anyone can tell u will do that only because it is different for all of us we all have different pain tolerances and with each pregnancy the variables tend to change a little. good luck and trust your body remember women have been doing this since the beginning of time

Olivia - posted on 07/03/2010

41

0

26

I gave birth naturally at a birth center. Thirty-four hours before I was able to get into the tub when I started labor the contractions felt like cramps.

Iv had bad beginning cramps every time I started my period for the past 5 years or so. Also my last four months of pregnancy I had sciatic pain. Also the last month I had pressure in my lower back, some women don't feel this but it makes sense to experience this since there is a baby on your pelvis.

Going into labor I felt the pain in my back well more all around I could feel my whole pelvis stretching. It was stronger and kept getting stronger till I started pushing. It wasn't painful though, what helped threw the really bad ones was my fiancee rocking my belie gently with a scarf during contractions.

Laci - posted on 07/03/2010

30

62

2

every pregnancy is different

with my first it felt like I was full of gas, with a belly ache. My water just broke with her, I didnt really know what it would feel like, but it wasnt very painful until they gave me Potosin to speed up the process.

with my second, I had horrible "pre-labor" back labor for about a week. I ended up being induced with him.

with my third, I went through full blown contractions every two minutes while they made me walk until I could no longer take it.

The safest thing to do is call your nurse or doctor on call and tell them how you are feeling and they will have you do kick counts and time your contractions, If you think you are really in labor go to L&D.

Best of luck to you and congrats!!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms