What Do Contractions Really Feel Like?

Typically, real labor contractions feel like a pain or pressure that starts in the back and moves to the front of your lower abdomen.

During true labor contractions your belly will tighten and feel very hard.

Some moms-to-be liken these contractions to menstrual cramps.

How do contractions feel when they first start?

Labor contractions are the real deal. Some say labor contractions feel a bit like menstrual cramps at first, but then they intensify. Then, contractions feel like a dull ache paired with pelvic pressure. The discomfort moves from the top of the belly to the bottom—think of it as pushing your baby down and out.

How do you know if you are having a contraction?

You know you’re in true labor when:

  • You have strong and regular contractions. A contraction is when the muscles of your uterus tighten up like a fist and then relax.
  • You feel pain in your belly and lower back.
  • You have a bloody (brownish or reddish) mucus discharge.
  • Your water breaks.

What labor pains feel like?

Pain During Labor and Delivery

This pain can be felt as strong cramping in the abdomen, groin, and back, as well as an achy feeling. Women experience labor pain differently — for some, it resembles menstrual cramps; for others, severe pressure; and for others, extremely strong waves that feel like diarrheal cramps.

Do contractions feel like gas pains?

Contractions may feel like gas pain.

If you have gas pain that doesn’t ease up after a visit to the bathroom, that could mean it’s a labor pain.