What birth really feels like

You're gonna love this one mums! Let us know your frankest explainations of how birth feels.... what's a contraction like?? What did it feel like when your baby crowned??

We want to know for a feature, hope you'll share!

Jenny PP


  • Mmm.... Birth is just like having a poo. felt very relief when it is finally off load!
  • I've always thought the baby crowning feels like a giant chinese burn !!!
  • well i never got to experience the feeling of charlie crowning because he was in distress and had to have an emrgency c-section....the contractions to me felt like the worst period pains ever and the real need to go to the loo all in one...the c-section felt like it feels when you are rumaging around in the washing up bowl etc which is quite a strange feeling to say the least image
  • A chinese burn? ouch! Thanks ladies! Can you all email me your names and ages and children's names and ages? And if you have one a pic of you and your tot/tots.

    I'd love to try and use your comments

    My email is [email protected]

  • When i was pregnant for the first time i expected contractions to start at the top of my bump and work its way down - a bit like a snake swallowing a big meal in one go!

    My contractions just felt like my whole tummy was contracting in one big squeeze, and i cant really compare the pain to anything because i dont think it is like any other pain, not in that its the worst pain ever but it's just a 'different' pain.

    When my babies crowned it stung a bit but not too much - but when the head was delivered it was instant relief!

  • Giving birth is definitely like pooing a giant melon! Biggest relief ever.

    For me, contractions started out feeling like period pain. I was lying in bed at about 6am wondering why I was having period pains, and then it occurred to me it was probably labour starting. When they got stronger it felt like my whole torso was squeezing together to help push this baby down. The pain wasn't just my womb contracting, it was definitely my back aching, and my legs aching too.

    When the baby crowns, it feels like your skin is being stretched to the limit - like it might rip open any minute (thankfully mine didn't, but I thought it had). Definitely like a chinese burn!! Up until the crowning, the contractions have been getting so close together and coming so rapidly you've thought at times 'I can't do this anymore' (in fact, I remember several times saying to my partner Dan 'I can't do this anymore, I just want to go home. Take me home right now, please'!) but as soon as the head crowns, you feel like you completely and utterly can't take anymore because it's just too painful, and that's when the head pops out! It's such a relief because you know it's all over, except for the placenta coming out, but at that point you don't even think about it. I was too busy staring at the giant baby head between my legs and wondering how I was going to get her body out!

    Giving birth was amazing. Sure, it was painful, but it was the most incredible, empowering, adrenaline-inducing thing I've ever done and that far outweighs the pain. If we have another one, I will definitely be looking forward to the birth (until a few days before, when I remember the pain!) x
  • Giving birth was the most amazing thing I have ever done and it makes me a little sad to think that I'm probably not going to do it again (having decided that we should probably stop at three). But its true that you don't really remember how much it hurts until you go into labour again. Having said that number three was the perfect birth ,he was born in the water and I was in full control all the way through but I think having been through it twice before i knew how to listen to my body and go with it.
  • I described it afterwards as this:  you know what it's like when you get a cramp in your leg?  well put that all the way across your back, and make it last for hours, and you'll get an idea of what contratctions are like!
  • At the start contractions just feel like the Braxton-Hicks contractions you get in the second half of pregnancy. Then they start to feel like really bad period pains - the sort that go down your thighs and make you legs feel wobbly. Towards the end of the first stage it starts to feel like someone is wringing out your insides like a giant sponge! I found that fighting the pain made it worse, but accepting the pain and trying to ride through it made it less intense.

    I found the urge to push really strange and intense. Calling it an"urge to push" is a bit like calling vomiting the "urge to empty your stomach" - your body just does it and trying to stop your body doing it takes a lot of concentration!

    As for crowning - yeah a giant chinese burn LOL! But relaxing and panting here can save you from the days of discomfort from stitches! 

    I found that during labour(and I did it 5 times) I became detached from my surrondings and very insular and highly focused on what was happening to my body. I only spoke to my husband who then had to relay what I said to the midwives! 

    Most of all I would say to all expectant mums that our bodies are designed to have babies and you really can do it. The power of positive thought goes a long way.

  • Cathy, I couldn't agree more with your post! I was so 'out of it' and in my own world when I started to push, I just vaguely mumbled something about pushing to my partner. He then told the midwife that he thought I needed to push. She then got all antsy and shouted "You can't start pushing until I've examined you! You've got to be 10cm dialated! Stop pushing!" but I carried on regardless. I couldn't stop it. Nothing I did would stop it. It was like trying to stop a sneeze. It was so animalistic and I totally trusted my body.

    Amazing experience!
  • My labours have mostly started with period type pains which gradually get stronger.You think for a while I'm in pain,yes childbirth hurts but this isn't so bad.Then labour starts for real and you remember what it's really like.It's a strange pain cos it comes and goes.One minute you're in intense pain and then it's gone,you barely have time to say "wow that was a strong one" and they start again.There's a point though when labour takes over and it all becomes nature,I'd agree Amy,animalistic,and the outside world seems to fade out.I can remember with my 5th,she was at home,and it was just my husband and a midwife and they were asking questions,the midwife wanted to examine me but baby's head was just there and I found myself telling the midwife to go get the gas and air NOW and no way could I lay flat on my back and be examined.I couldn't manage talking,or I'm sure I'd have been more polite. I could half hear what was going on,but I was in my own little world at that moment and I just knew what was happening and what I needed to do.Afterwards I was so embarassed for being so rude,but I suppose the midwife has had worse than bossy Mumsabouttobe telling them what to do.But I was actually right.

    The head crowning definately feels like a Chinese burn.Although the contractions .My last two babies had to be assisted.I had a midwife with the last who insisted although I was 7cm dilated I should be able to push the baby out.Of course she was wrong which she half admitted hours later and I had a section.

    The thing I always remember about labour is how you're in so much pain and you want the baby out so bad and the moment they're out the pain is gone and they're there on your belly looking all confused.

  • My labours started with a sore back and the feeling that something wasnt quite right!  Pretty soon it progressed to the really bad stomach cramps like when Im on my period, going all the way round the bottom of my back.  Thankfully for 2 out of my 3 pregnancies I have had an epidural so have only endured it 'properly' once and once was more than enough!!

    Having said that, ds2's\birth was probably the only time i felt completely with it despite the fact that i had the gas and air mask constantly clamped over my mouth.  When you feel ready to push, its really weird, its like it totally takes control of your body and you cant stop it.  When the head crowns, you cant quite believe you can stretch that far and it really really stings, but once it slips out, its such a relief.

  • I tried to show my partner and some male friends what labour feels like. I told them how the pain isn't like, say being cut, but it's the pain of intense exercise. I got them to do push ups/ sit ups for the same lenght of time as a contraction, gave them a break then got them to do it again. It didn't take many repatitions before they said it hurt. Now try that for several hours..thats why we get so tired and grumpy lol!

    I tore with both my girls and that was far more painfull than the contractions, it really stung and yes felt like a burn to.I was made to push with both of them and I think thats why as my body wasn't quite ready.   My two boys were fine (both home births), much bigger but pushed when I was ready. In fact I had the sureal experiance with my youngest in that I was trying not to push (waiting for the midewife to arrive) and my body just took over and did it anyway. Amazing experiance.....and what about that adrenalin high afterwards!

  • labour was very hard the fact that i dident have contractions when i had to push it was hard lol with all my pregnencys i had taken ky jelly in hospital when the babies head crowned i had that down below takes the burning away when your pushing baby slips out qricker lol best of all with having 5 children i never had stiches or rips, the midwife saids its becouse of the jelly lol excellent tip for any one whos scared of labour, best thing is to let your body do the work, i would do it all over again, lol 
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