What does labor feel like? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 12-24-2003, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I think of myself as a "veteran" birther and am expecting my 5th this Spring. I was chatting with a girtfriend last night and realized how differently we percieved labor, namely contractions.

Apparently, I have always had what you would call "back labor" and feel everything as pressure right across the hips and tailbone. I'm very lucky to have a huge, nearly 300lb dh to lean into my back with pressure durring labor!! He still has to add quite a bit of strengh to the pressure and last time he could barely bend his biceps for a few days

Anyhow, my friend feels labor like "pains" in the stomach. Sharp ones, she says. Where I never have been able to birth except by kneeling or standing, she SITS! I think that would just about kill me, even imagining it makes me want to stand up and shake off the feeling

Wondering how others experience labor, or where really.

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#2 of 12 Old 12-24-2003, 01:25 PM
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I feel mine in the lower abdomen until transition and then as the baby descends the last inches it moves to my back. My last labor wasn't really that painful, my contrx were like bad menstrual cramps and they never lasted more than a minute and didn't get closer that 7-10 minutes until the last hour of labor and even then they were totally bearable. I spent most of my labor sitting on the couch and birth ball thinking I wasn't progressing because it only hurt a little!

Transition was a different story, that really hurt in my back but it was blissfully brief and I just had my midwife and dh rub really hard and I moo-ed like a cow.

It's nice how everyone's labor is so different, IMO anyway...


Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#3 of 12 Old 12-24-2003, 01:35 PM
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Mine is all in front, starting off as small cramps like period pains and progressively getting stronger...
the "pushing" contrax I feel were also all in my tummy, and VERY strong, I did "withhold" pushing on a few of them because I was tired, but I have no idea how women can NOT push through those.
The "pushing" contrax were also less painful for me than the contrax to dilate.
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#4 of 12 Old 12-24-2003, 02:08 PM
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Both of my babies were "sunny side up" and so the majrity of my labor was in my lower back between my hips. I also had the "normal" uterine cramping, like menstral cramps but more. Standing, leaning on the backs of chairs, and walking around were the most comfortable positions. Sitting was less so. Both labors were also quite long (ds#1 41 hours and ds#2 24 hours), probably because of the posterior position.

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#5 of 12 Old 12-24-2003, 02:34 PM
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Both of my babies' labors involved my back--with ds it was totally in my back from the start, and with dd it began as a strong menstrual-type cramp that descended and radiated around to sort of fill up the entire area from my bellybutton through my hips and groin, even into my legs a bit. At transition it was so strong in the back and pelvis that I barely felt a thing with regard to my belly.

I found "dancing," kneeling, side-lying and hands and knees most effective positions.

My contractions never got much closer than 3 minutes apart until pushing. Most of the time they were 4-6. Gave me the impression, too, that I was not progressing...I guess it's possible to read too much. :
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#6 of 12 Old 12-24-2003, 02:37 PM
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#7 of 12 Old 12-26-2003, 01:42 PM
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Mine are mostly in my abdomen. During transition, as the baby descends, I get a lot of back pain.

I prefer to move around a lot during labor, and then kneel for the birth itself.
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#8 of 12 Old 12-29-2003, 08:40 PM
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i had back labor -- intense cramps and pain starting in my lower back and extendng around to my hips, and finally (around 7 cm?) gathering up around my abdomen as well. the pain in my back was by far the worst. sitting and laying down was the most painful thing -- it was terrible. the only thing which helped was standing and leaning over on my elbows onto the bed (when they'd still allow me to do that). also, rocking and swaying my hips. just motion in general.

i was on my feet for well over 14 hours just keeping the pain under control... but they flew by. i wasn't paying attention to the time until i got to the hospital.
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#9 of 12 Old 12-29-2003, 09:25 PM
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my labors start with my water breaking and contrax every 3 min lasting at least a minute. they are like horrible, deep menstual cramps. swaying, or squating always felt good. lying down was awful.
sitting not too bad except in the car, with stopping and turning. :LOL
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#10 of 12 Old 12-29-2003, 10:13 PM
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With my son, I never really had any labor pains. They were pretty much like menstrual cramps and I only felt them on my back if I was laying in bed. I had a c-section with him, so I don't know if they would've gotten any worse.
My daughter was born sunny side up and I had back labor the entire time. That was one reason why I thought that I wasn't in labor because everything I read said that your stomach gets hard, etc, and it never did. I just had extremly bad back pain that would come and go.
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#11 of 12 Old 12-30-2003, 10:10 PM
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My first two labors were posterior with LOTS of back labor. The pain was EXCRUCIATING.

My third was easy and the contractions felt like "energy rushes" that Ina Mae Gaskin talked about.

My fourth was difficult because the contractions were felt in my pubic bone. I thought it was going to break. I delivered him in a full squat on the floor supported by the side of the bed.

They were all completed at home.

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#12 of 12 Old 01-01-2004, 04:53 PM
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My labor pains were felt like bad diarhea cramps that never stopped. My doula had to come over and she was able to figure out when the contractions were happening because I felt like my pain threshold was maxed out constantly - there was no break between contractions in my opinion and they were supposedly 5 minutes apart. I also had back labor. I thought my uterus would hurt, but it was down in the cervix/vaginal area that was in terrible pain. I never got the break between contractions that I always heard about. Perhaps that's why after 18 hours of back labor, I broke down and got the epidural. My doula said it was the difference between a vaginal birth and c-section for me since I was so fatigued from the pain so I guess it was worth it.

Tana, wife to Steve (5/02), mom to Ben (7/03), Joey (10/06) and Caroline (9/09)
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