What do labor contractions feel like? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 10-15-2008, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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With my first, I went into labor at 25 weeks. The contractions started out very much like menstral cramps, and were in the same location. Now I'm in my second pregnancy--at nearly 39 weeks--and I've had lots of Braxton Hicks; these are above my belly button.

So I wonder, what do contractions during labor feel like when you're full term? Are they low, like menstral cramps, or up above the belly? Or does it vary from woman to woman?

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#2 of 14 Old 10-15-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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Ahh.. the last contraction I have had was 6 years ago with my daughter.

I remember it being like menstral cramps, it was all over from my stomach to my lower back. It was painful. Thats all I can really remember. I think, its a good idea for you to contact your doctor or the labor & delivery area at your hospital to make sure that you're not "laboring".

Good luck!


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Originally Posted by kriswrite View Post
With my first, I went into labor at 25 weeks. The contractions started out very much like menstral cramps, and were in the same location. Now I'm in my second pregnancy--at nearly 39 weeks--and I've had lots of Braxton Hicks; these are above my belly button.

So I wonder, what do contractions during labor feel like when you're full term? Are they low, like menstral cramps, or up above the belly? Or does it vary from woman to woman?

Kristina
www.MiracleBabyAnastasia.com

I heartbeat.gif my  9/22/02  dd who likes to blahblah.gif, 4/29/09 mos old. silly & adventurous girl twins twins.gif ,  11/15/l0 girl baby.gif & my coffee drinking DH!
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#3 of 14 Old 10-15-2008, 06:49 PM
 
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I think everyone experiences them differently, but for me they were very low like menstrual cramps, but much deeper and intensified.
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#4 of 14 Old 10-15-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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For me I felt like my back was about to break - I think when people say you'll know - you really will know. IME most women don't get the easy going labor I wish I was one of the lucky ones.

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#5 of 14 Old 10-15-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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It varies from woman to woman. I went into labor at 41 weeks. I woke up from a nap with horrible pains in my lower back, more painful than menstrual cramps. They moved from my lower back to my middle back to my stomach. After awhile they were all over the place. They got a little harder, but not by much since they were very hard from the begining.
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#6 of 14 Old 10-15-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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I'm still trying to figure out what Braxton-Hicks feels like. I'm 36 weeks now, and my midwife asked me if I've been having BH contractions. I said I really didn't know. Sometimes there are lots of sensations that i feel in the uterus area, but I really don't know what is classified as what. I have felt a sort of burning/ crampy sensation all over my belly and I originally thought it was some kind of heartburn. Now I think it might be contractions. But since I've heard them described as a "tightening up" feeling, I'm not so sure. I hope I know without a doubt when labor begins.
anyway, I'm sorry I can't help-- I'm watching though to see what comments come up.
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#7 of 14 Old 10-15-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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well, I went to 42 wks with my first and it was like REALY REALLY REALLY bad menstrual cramps...but I was surprised with her, I had back labor and I never got the "waves" people talk about, it just seemed constant...I'm interested to see how this pg goes.
good luck!

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#8 of 14 Old 10-15-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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When labor started with contractions 5 minutes apart, it felt exactly like menstrual cramps. They didn't really hurt at that point. As labor went on, they got more intense.

I had a 29 week birth the first time, and those contractions actually felt more like gas pains. The full term birth didn't feel the same, BUT I was also upright for the full term birth, and that likely made a huge difference in my pain level. My full term birth was much easier and less painful than my preemie birth.

ETA: Congratulations on getting full term!!!!!

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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#9 of 14 Old 10-15-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowers View Post
I think everyone experiences them differently, but for me they were very low like menstrual cramps, but much deeper and intensified.
This is what the contractions were like thru both of my labors.

S, mama to L(DD)-12/04, K(DS1)-12/06, C(DS2)-03/09 & B(DS3)-05/11

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#10 of 14 Old 10-15-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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BH to me feels like one of those blood pressure cuffs tightening, only it's all the way around my belly.

My labor contractions started off mildly enough, but progressed to (TMI incoming) the point where it felt like someone had stuck a giant sharp metal screw into my back and were twisted and pushing it every few minutes into my back. It was horrific and nothing like a menstrual cramp at all, really. (And despite it being definite back labor, baby was not sunnyside up.)

Sorry.

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#11 of 14 Old 10-16-2008, 11:53 AM
 
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I remember mine being like menstrual cramps, except less painful (yeah, I know).
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#12 of 14 Old 10-16-2008, 01:43 PM
 
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My bh felt like menstrual cramps, but my contractions went from my back to my belly. Also the midwife had warned me when it was the real thing I might be more crabby and that might be a sign. My 4 yr old was almost 2 at the time and his voice was driving me nuts. I usually loved to hear him talk so that was a clue to me. I called the midwife and told her what was going on and she agreed it was probably it. She came over and sure enough I was dil. to a 6.
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#13 of 14 Old 10-16-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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Mine started out like menstrual cramps (but I have really bad menstrual cramps, so that is fairly painful in itself), only over a larger area - whole torso up to the rib cage and through to the back - and just got more intense. It's sort of a feeling of being crushed. My BH feel exactly like my contractions in early labor, so it's difficult to say where actual labor begins.
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#14 of 14 Old 10-16-2008, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I should clarify that I'm not going into labor. I'm just curious! (I'm actually having a C-section tomorrow, because I had a C-section at 25 weeks previously and nobody but nobody wanted to do a VBAC...which isn't a big deal to me.)

I'd describe Braxton Hicks as a tightening above my belly button. Sometimes I don't notice them at all unless I happen to have a hand on my belly. Other times, they make me uncomfortable...although they aren't painful.

Thanks, ladies!
Kristina
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