Your Birth Pain and Your Weight/Fitness? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What is your size and was your birth painful?
I am thin/smaller and had a low-moderate pain birth. 39 36.45%
I am thin/smaller and had a very painful birth. 21 19.63%
I am larger/overweight/fluffy and had a low pain birth. 29 27.10%
I am larger/overweight/fluffy and had a very painful birth. 12 11.21%
Other. 6 5.61%
Voters: 107. You may not vote on this poll

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#31 of 49 Old 12-03-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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I am a size 4, 5' and I weighed 108 at the beginnning of each pregnancy. I jogged, lifted weights, and bicycled throughout my first two pregnancies. They were 27 and 9 hours respectively, both posterior, with the second one having a deflexed head and asynclitism. Both were very painful, but I had the stamina to get through the pain I think because of the endorphins my body made for me and I recovered very well.

The third I exercised not so much; I had two little ones to chase around and I went to a chiropractor more regularly. It was easy. Number four was easy also.

My midwife said that heavier women have looser tissues that have more give. Who knows?

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#32 of 49 Old 12-03-2008, 10:46 PM
 
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I have watched a lot of women birth (in addition to having two of my own) and this simply does not hold water in my experience.

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#33 of 49 Old 12-04-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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I was fluffy but I exercised a lot and ate a wonderful diet. Thin doesn't equal good diet/exercise. I'm fat because of decisions I made years ago. I think nutrition does have something to do with labor pain and exercise/endurance does have something to do with how well a women tolerates a long labor.

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#34 of 49 Old 12-04-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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I would think that it doesn't have much to do with physical fitness. I would think that if a woman is obese, then she may tend to become exhausted more easily than a woman who is of reasonable weight. Labor is hard work on the body and mom has to work hard so that would seem true to me. Otherwise, I am an thin woman but I am not terribly active or athletic. I don't think there would be much difference in a labor I might have and a seriously athletic thin woman.

So, unless a woman is obese, I don't see it making a difference.

Now, that is refering to DIFICULTY. I would think that PAIN is about personal perception and tolerance level and possibly the babies position,etc.

By the way, your MIL is pretty obnoxious to say something like that to you anyway!!! Sheesh!!

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#35 of 49 Old 12-04-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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Yeah, what a rude, simplistic thing to say!
I didn't vote in the poll, either, because like other posters I think size has little to do with it.
I do think fitness does help, especially if it is the kind that causes you to challenge yourself physically and mentally. I had in mind during my labor a 100 mile bike ride I had done in which there was 10 thousand feet of climbing. It helps discipline the mind and body to endure long physical/mental ordeals ... like labor.
I do think that pain tolerance plays a part, and that seems to vary by individual.
And, of course, circumstances of labor and birth like position of the baby etc.
There are many factors.

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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#36 of 49 Old 12-05-2008, 09:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Materfamilias View Post
I do think fitness does help, especially if it is the kind that causes you to challenge yourself physically and mentally. I had in mind during my labor a 100 mile bike ride I had done in which there was 10 thousand feet of climbing. It helps discipline the mind and body to endure long physical/mental ordeals ... like labor.
I think there is something to this. I've run off and on throughout adulthood, some of it in the Army where you aren't supposed to show that you are hurting. Some of it I had to do while injured. I think that this prepared me mentally for something that was very painful. The whole time, I just kept thinking about it like it was a long run.

I was of average weight before I got pregnant last time. I was not particularly fit (did not exercise during pregnancy). I would say that my birth was very painful, but I was just able to find something that worked for me to mentally deal with the pain. This isn't something that would necessarily work for everyone, though.

Your MIL is being rude.

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#37 of 49 Old 12-05-2008, 10:09 AM
 
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I was fairly overweight last time I delivered and although the birth was somewhat painful, it wasn't so horrible. It was certainly quite a bit more painful than period cramps though!

I think your MIL is rude and ignorant to say what she said to you.

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#38 of 49 Old 12-05-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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I was in amazing shape . . . competitive athlete, trim, solid, worked out through pregnancy. I did a no-drug birth. Thought I was going to DIE it was so painful! (though I'd do it again.)

My SIL hates working out, was extremely overweight, and also did a drug-free birth. All she felt were bad cramps.

Go figure.

But I will say my recovery time was very fast, and I lost all the baby weight after 2 months. So being in shape did count for something.

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#39 of 49 Old 12-05-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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I am young and fit.

I had 3 days of active labor and pushed for close to 5 hours.


But, the only pain I would call excruciating had to do with her nuchal hand making my legs go numb (well, excruciatingly numb if that makes sense) and round ligament pain. The actual labor was entirely manageable and I look back to it with a romantic perception.

So, I guess on one hand you could say the theory doesn't apply to me. But, seeing as how I think the leg and RL pain were both due to previous sports injuries, you could say the theory does apply. Hmm.

I could offer up one conjecture....there was no way I could have pushed an 11lb baby down my birth canal for 5 hours if I was "not" that in shape. I also didn't eat at all from the beginning of my contractions to almost the next day after she was born.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#40 of 49 Old 12-05-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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I voted other - fluffy, one very painful birth and two low-moderate pain births.
I think it has far more to do with the baby's position, the mother's level of fear/relaxation, and pain tolerance than with weight.
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#41 of 49 Old 12-05-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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With #1, #2, and #3 started out thin and in great shape. #1 wasn't too bad but #2 was hell on earth. #3 was really easy. #4 - #7 I have been overweight starting out pg. (that #3 I gained a lot of weight with him and it never went away) #4 was really painful. #5 wasn't too bad, alot like #1. #6 was super easy. Like I wasn't even in labor. #7 was hard but manageable. I don't think it has a lick to do with it personally.

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#42 of 49 Old 12-07-2008, 05:00 AM
 
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I'm pretty petite...

Birth #1: Fit...but a very painful birth

Birth #2: Fit...but a moderate painful birth
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#43 of 49 Old 12-08-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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I am really petite/short and am healthy and had a painful birth.
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#44 of 49 Old 12-08-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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I am thin and had two pretty painful births - both were posterior right through most of second stage, and THAT is what was so painful. I don't think it had anything to do with my weight.

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#45 of 49 Old 12-09-2008, 03:26 AM
 
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Very fluffy. Excruciating labour. Well...kind of. Dilation wasn't too bad. More like really bad cramps. When it got to pushing, it was 'kill me now' pain. Ds2 came out LOT after being stuck for many hours. I blame the horrible position he was in & the fact my water was broken for days before labour, for the fact it was so painful.

Trying to find a chiro to fix my hips so this baby comes out in a better position.

mom to all boys B: 08/01ribboncesarean.gif,  C: 07/05 uc.jpg, N: 03/09 uc.jpg, M: 01/12 uc.jpg and far too many lost onesintactlact.gifsaynovax.gif

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#46 of 49 Old 12-09-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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hmmm....very overweight here for both births...was in not great shape for dd, which was awfully painful..and was in good shape with ds, exercising 3X/week, etc...and it was WORSE.

CPST
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#47 of 49 Old 12-09-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe View Post
I would think that it doesn't have much to do with physical fitness. I would think that if a woman is obese, then she may tend to become exhausted more easily than a woman who is of reasonable weight. Labor is hard work on the body and mom has to work hard so that would seem true to me.
I just don't buy that at all. I agree with the idea that labor is hard work, however I do not believe that obese women become exhausted in labor any more rapidly than non-obese women.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#48 of 49 Old 12-09-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hotwings640 View Post
I agree with the idea that labor is hard work, however I do not believe that obese women become exhausted in labor any more rapidly than non-obese women.
Well, as a fitness professional, it's driving me batty that this thread is discussing "weight/fitness" as if they were synonymous! Not at all! It's entirely possible to be fit & fat, as well as skinny or slender & totally unfit. (LOL, DH & I still laugh at how on the show Dancing with the Stars one of the pro dancers said a super model was, "Deceptively unfit."

Fitness is made up of 5 components. "Body composition" (amount of fat & muscle) is one of those components, but only one. The others are:
1. Flexibility
2. Cardiovascular endurance
3. Muscular strength (how much weight you can lift
4. Muscular endurance (how many times you can lift lighter weights.)
(These latter 2 are often confused, even by fitness instructors, IMX, but they are 2 distinct things.)

Anyway, IMO, this issue begs the question... labor is "hard work" so does your level of physical endurance (both cardio and muscular endurances) help you in sustaining the hard work of labor? I would have to say YES - a higher level of physical fitness DOES enable a woman to cope with birth. If it's physical "work" - how could fitness NOT help?
---> Again, I'm talking physical fitness here - NOT addressing the issue of obesity! It's possible to be both fit & fat!

Dr. Clapp has done the most extensive research I know of on the impact of exercise on pregnancy & giving birth. His research shows that exercising Moms request anastesia less frequently & have a lower rate of other interventions, such as insturmental delivery. One could extrapolate that data to draw the conclusion that the fitness helps them through the physical "work" of labor & birth. I think it's reasonable to draw that conclusion based on what his research shows.
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#49 of 49 Old 12-09-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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I voted thin/smaller with moderate pain... I was very fit, but not too thin whilst giving birth , but still smaller. I think it helped me, personally, to be fit and have a shorter labor. But that's just my opinion, I don't have any other experiences to base that on.

Stacy - mom to Lily 5-20-06 , Angel, stillborn @ 25 wks 12-17-07 , and Cami 4-21-09.
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