Question: What Does Natural Labor Feel Like?

12 Women Share What It’s Like To Have A Natural Birth

Some expectant mothers are willing to deal with the intense pain of labor, even if they’ve been told they’re past the point where pain-relieving drugs are no longer effective.

“It was important for me to feel fully in control.”

Nikki M., 35, had a quick first birth, only taking 10 hours from first contraction to birth. During labor, I visualized myself floating in the ocean, and my midwife believes that my 15 years of yoga practice helped a lot.

“I felt like a badass. Like a superhero. Like I could do anything.”

“I wanted to go ‘natural’ the first time, but I didn’t find any support for that through the doctors I used or the hospital where I gave birth,” Jenny R., 46, says. “I labored for 22 hours in that hospital, and by the end I had two monitors, interior and exterior, a catheter, IV antibiotics, and the threat of a C-section.”

“I felt completely at the mercy of nature.”

She gave birth to a healthy baby girl after ten hours of labor and four hours of pushing. There are many reasons to choose a low-intervention birth, but there are also many reasons not to.

“There was much less damage to my body.”

Laura K. desired a natural birth but was induced, resulting in a third-degree tear (she barely had a second-degree tear) and a recovery time of days rather than weeks.

“My daughter and I were born in the same hospital, without drugs.”

“I felt that as long as the pregnancy had no medical complications, my body had its own, built-in system for giving birth,” says Phyra M., 38. “It was very painful, but knowing what I know about drugs, I would not have changed my mind,” she adds.

“When you face that type of pain you have to be exceptionally committed.”

Tracy E., 46, missed the epidural window for the birth of her second child and was surprised at how quickly her body healed compared to her previous two epidural births. “I also appreciated the experience of having done it both ways for my own personal knowledge and growth,” she said.

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“It didn’t go as planned.”

Sara G.’s labor lasted seven hours from beginning to end, despite her desire to labor at home as naturally as possible. “I was lucky because I went so quickly and was able to manage the pain with my yoga and breathing techniques,” she says.

“I really feel there are no advantages to doing it naturally.”

Her labor was too advanced and progressed too quickly for an epidural, but she believes she would have benefited from pain relief the second time around.

“I truly felt my body knew what to do.”

Jordan R., 41, gave birth on the bathroom floor and was immediately taken to bed after working out until she was 39 weeks pregnant, an amazing and beautiful experience.

“I have always been against any form of medication.”

Aarti A., 47, decided not to have an epidural when she became pregnant, and she was in labor for eight hours with her first child and two hours with her second. “I would definitely not change anything if I had to go through labor again,” she says.

“I was too distracted by the pain to really focus on the baby.”

Kirsten A., 38, chose natural childbirth for her second child after an epidural failed to work properly with her first and she ended up with a dead leg. A last-minute walking epidural kicked in right when she needed it.

“I was that crazy person yelling, ‘I can’t do this!'”

“I was that crazy person screaming, ‘I can’t do this!'” says Sharlene B. “It was hard, but overall, I’m glad I did it both times,” she says.

Is natural birth painful?

The more you know about labor and delivery, the better prepared you will be. I recommend taking childbirth classes, which cover everything from deep breathing to pain relief to C-sections. Every labor is different, and things don’t always go as planned.

How does it feel to have a natural birth?

Some people compare the sensation to intense period cramps, while others describe it as a tightening or pounding sensation in their uterus or across their belly, others compare it to very intense muscle cramps, and still others compare it to a wrenching feeling in their stomach.

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How do contractions feel when they first start?

True labor contractions typically feel like a pain or pressure that starts in the back and moves to the front of your lower abdomen, unlike Braxton Hicks, which ebb and flow. Your belly will tighten and feel very hard during true labor contractions.

How bad is the pain of giving birth?

Yes, childbirth is painful, but it’s also manageable. According to a nationwide survey commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) in honor of Mother’s Day, nearly half of first-time moms (46 percent) said the pain they experienced with their first child was better than they expected.

How many bones do you break while giving birth?

Newborns have more bones than adults, but these extra bones eventually fuse together; a newborn is born with around 300 bones, but by the time he or she reaches adulthood, the baby will only have 206.

Do babies feel pain during birth?

Doctors now know that newborn babies are likely to experience pain, but how much pain they experience during labor and delivery is still up for debate. “If you performed a medical procedure on a baby shortly after birth, she would undoubtedly feel pain,” says Christopher E.

Should you shave before giving birth?

If you still have full hair growth over your privates before delivery, your doctor will probably recommend shaving. If you plan to shave at home, do so 48 hours before going to the hospital.

Can you feel baby coming out with an epidural?

The goal of an epidural is to provide pain relief rather than total numbness, while keeping you comfortable and alert throughout your labor and delivery. You should still be able to feel your contractions (though not the pain of them), and you should be able to push when the time comes.

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How can I make labor less painful?

10 Ways to Make Labor More Tolerable

  1. Exercise does not have to u2014 and should not u2014 stop when you become pregnant.
  2. Kegels. Kegels are a small exercise with a big impact.
  3. Aromatherapy.
  4. Homeopathy.
  5. Acupuncture.
  6. Sex.
  7. Hypnotherapy.

How can I tell if Im having a contraction?

You’ll know you’re in full-fledged labor when:

  1. You have regular and strong contractions, which are when the muscles of your uterus tighten up like a fist and then relax.
  2. You have a bloody (brownish or reddish) mucus discharge.
  3. Your water breaks.

Can you be in labor and not know it?

It’s unlikely that you’ll go into labor without warning; instead, your body will alert you that the big day is approaching, so you can prepare your hospital bag and be ready to go to the hospital when the time comes.

Is it a contraction or baby moving?

It’s most likely a contraction if your entire uterus is hard during the cramping; if it’s hard in some places but soft in others, it’s more than likely the baby moving around.

Do you poop when you give birth?

In fact, most women poop during labor; it can happen multiple times while pushing, but it’s most common right before the baby crowns. The bottom line: Don’t worry; it’s all in a day’s work for a labor room pro, who will clean it up with gauze or a clean towel.

Why is childbirth so painful?

The evolutionary conflict that makes human birthing difficult may not be between walking or running and having babies, but between the fetus’ metabolic needs and the mother’s ability to meet them; perhaps the real issue isn’t having a big-brained baby, but making one.

What is the pain equivalent to giving birth?

While every woman’s experience is unique, labor is typically described as intense menstrual cramps that take your breath away and render you speechless. As labor progresses and the pain intensifies, the pregnant woman tunes out external stimuli and adopts tunnel vision, focusing solely on the labor and delivering the baby.

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