Labour is like many things in life, very difficult to explain to those who have not felt it.
To further complicate the issue, it can strongly be influenced by expectations, your reaction to it, your surroundings and your carers reactions to you!
One thing is for sure, if you are tense and holding your breath, it will HURT!
And another thing for sure… there are a lot of things you CAN do to prepare (these things are generally not covered at all in standard hospital antenatal courses, you will need to seek birth education specialists).
Here is a quote from a first time dad:
“This pain is a whole new beast”
James sought out a four hour, intensive birth preparation session with The Hunter Birth Education Centre for their second birth and had such a fast and smooth labour they had a vaginal birth after caesarean in their own doorstep.
A little birth preparation goes a long way!
Best wishes to the mum, dad and new baby.
Thank you James for sharing your quote to help share what you learnt from the birth of your first child.
And to attempt to answer the question of “what does labour feel like?”
* Labour can feel like a strong period pain (although one client who had experienced severe endometriosis all her life felt that her labour could not be serious yet as it hurt less than her period pain)
* Labour can feel like an aching, pressure in the back (a good friend of mine did not know she was in labour as she just though her bad back was playing up again, it was only when she finally noticed the ache was coming in a repeating pattern that she realised)
* labour can feel like shooting cramps and/or muscle spasms down the thigh
* Labour can feel like pulling and/or aching deep inside the lower pelvis and/or all over the uterus, front back and sides
* Labour can feel like a severe, strong pressure and tightening anywhere in the front, back, sides, high and/or low Uterus, groin and stomach regions
* Labour can feel like you just want to crawl up into a little ball and cry
* Labour can feel like you will do anything to rest
* Labour can feel nauseating
* Labour can feel exhausting and never ending
* Labour can feel exciting, funny, immense, life changing and even orgasmic!
* When I was in labour for a miscarriage (which can feel exactly like actual labour) I could literally feel some longitudinal uterus muscles pulling upwards inside my mid region and the cervix muscle expanding open.
* If you focus on the uterus as a big muscle that contracts and expands, labour can feel powerful and expansive.
* I could go on forever.. But my toddler will benefit from some attention soon 🙂
Ina May Gaskin suggests that during labour you give a contraction your entire focused (and curious) attention.. if you can do that for a few contractions, then please send me an email with your own explanation of what labour feels like!
All the best for your birth adventures,
Please call if you have any questions,
I’m always happy to give 15 minutes phone consults with no obligation and free of charge!
For passion, not profit!
Creator and Manager of HBEC
0406 934 645