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Do really awful menstrual cramps equal a really awful labor? - Page 2

post #21 of 34
I think they are just totally different. Before having DS, I had horrible horrible menstrual cramps -- I would always have to call out sick, I (who never ever took meds for even migraines) would take 14 ibuprofen a day or a handful of aleve, and would still be sitting in a hot bath doubled over in pain & nauseous, pain in my back & legs, the whole deal.

Labor was almost entirely in my back & I felt (TMI) like I was constipated with the world's largest BM for 48 hours straight. I felt the contractions in my stomach too but that didn't really hurt, at least not in comparision. Even though I wanted a 100% drug-free birth, I ended up getting stadol & an epi & some other weird thing (that was supposed to make me sleep but didn't) -- but there were other reasons for the drugs too (history of sexual abuse & they "needed" to check me & I was dumb) -- but yeah, labor was horrible, but totally different.

On the plus side, post-baby, AF is barely noticable!! I haven't had to take a single pain reliever in the 7 months since my cycle returned, most I ever needed was a heat pack & some extra rest!
post #22 of 34
Menstrual cramps never really bothered me and my labor was all in the base of my spine.
post #23 of 34
I have PCOS and my periods would range from gut wrenchingly bad to barely there at all.

Labour, for me, was nothing like menstral cramps. The contractions started off like them and I was sucked into thinking that it was fairly easy. Then active labour hit and boy did I change my mind. Both my babies were spine to spine labours and my contractions were pretty much continous with little break in between. Entonox became my friend! Even just sucking on the mouthpiece helped calm me down enough to go with it. It turns out, both my babies were born with their hands on their faces making even the pushing stage fun!

But it is different to menstral cramps, at least for me. I found labour very empowering, even when I had contractions that made me want to crawl out of my skin. I can't really explain it but in the end, the second my girls were born, all the pain immediately went away and the rush I got was phenomenal, which I didn't get with menstral cramps LOL.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
On the plus side, post-baby, AF is barely noticable!! I haven't had to take a single pain reliever in the 7 months since my cycle returned, most I ever needed was a heat pack & some extra rest!
Yes, labor cures menstrual cramps for life for many women.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by caned & able View Post
Yes, labor cures menstrual cramps for life for many women.
Oooo for life?!? Really?! That is the best news I've heard all month!!! I figured after a year or two it would go back to being incredibly painful.
post #26 of 34
To answer the OP title question -

Not necessarily, but for me, yes. And my afterpains were horrendous with both - including the first time, when no one believed they could be bad enough that ibuprofen and tylenol were worthless.

I can relate to what zinemama said. My menstrual cramps were hell that I could only tolerate lying in bed crying, or drugging myself into oblivion to escape; and labor was about a billion times worse. Not right at first - but ultimately, yes, much worse.

GL - I hope your labor is one of the easy ones!

ETA: - crunchymommy, my periods got MUCH better after having kids, but they did slowly go back to being quite bad, even though I haven't menstruated long between pregnancies (about 9 mos both times). I have endometriosis.
post #27 of 34
My IBS is worse than labour lol!!!!!!!! And I go through it pretty much EVERY morning.

Also, my after pains with DD3 were pretty horrific.

Before I had children, I had the worst periods, heavy bleeding, diarrhea, vomiting and awful cramps, first birth was pretty awful due to it being an unnecessary induction but the births after were fine.

Maybe there is a psychological aspect to it? If my periods are this bad, labour has got to be so much worse, and then you go into labour expecting it to be awful and because of that mind set it kinda turns out that way????? I don't know?
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tireesix View Post
Maybe there is a psychological aspect to it? If my periods are this bad, labour has got to be so much worse, and then you go into labour expecting it to be awful and because of that mind set it kinda turns out that way????? I don't know?
Maybe for some but not for me. I had read an article about a woman with such bad periods & how she found labor almost painless by comparison. So I went into it thinking I'd have a similar experience, I really did not expect labor to be as painful as it was. I don't think I had ever been in so much pain in my life (though for me, immediately after birth was even worse).
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
Oooo for life?!? Really?! That is the best news I've heard all month!!! I figured after a year or two it would go back to being incredibly painful.
But the afterpains get worse with each child....sorry....
post #30 of 34
I had always had really bad cramps before Ds was born. My labor was overwhelmingly painful. I didn't know it was possible to feel that much pain and still live to tell about it. My period came back only 2 months later even though Ds was nursing. But I didn't have any cramps to speak of until after he weaned. Then my cramps came back but they didn't seem as painful. I worked on trying to tolerate them without drugs (an attempt at preparing to give birth again) and eventually I found a coping technique that allowed me to not medicate them and they really weren't that painful anymore. I'm hoping that technique helps me through this next labor, but I'm not too confident that it will.
post #31 of 34
Yeah I personally don't think you can compare. Its like apples and oranges. I had TERRIBLE pms and it was NOTHING like giving birth! It's a totally different feeling!
post #32 of 34
I'm another with terrible menstrual cramps. They would wake me up in the middle of the night, radiate from my uterus down my thighs and were so bad 600mg or more of ibuprofen wouldn't even touch them. I was worried my uterus would go into overdrive when I gave birth.

I had 24+ hours of prodromal labor a couple of days before my son was born and though irritating, it was completely manageable. I had 17 hours of "real" labor with him, and the only thing I wanted was a heat pack on my back the last few hours. Transition was the only time that compared with my period (only 1 hour) but it was more of a feeling of being out of control than real pain. And my uterus was back to its normal size by the next day--not sure if that had anything to do with the periods "training" it or not, but there you go.
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by caned & able View Post
But the afterpains get worse with each child....sorry....
Not for me. My last two babies (4 and 5) were my easiest. I had mild cramping for 24 hours and then pretty much nothing. It was great!
post #34 of 34
I had the bad cramps that radiate down into my legs. And I agree, labor is a totally different sensation. It started out like bad cramps that I couldn't sleep through and then within the span of a few hours it had transformed into this sensation, almost like your midsection being in a vice grip, that I had to concentrate on breathing through so it didn't suck the air out of me. It's not that they were horrible, at least not until the last few hours out of the 20 I was in labor, but I just had to actively concentrate on staying on top of them. That being said, ds was born sunny side up so it also came with some wicked back labor and part of my cervical lip was stuck for awhile. I keep telling myself that the next one will be a little easier (I hope)! After pains for me were just like mild menstrual cramps.

ETA: I will say that at least during labor, you have the break in contractions whereas menstrual cramps are more constant. Well that was until my contractions were right on top of each other, it's not horrible when you do have that time in between to sort of regroup and rest.
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