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what do contractions feel like? December 6, 2009

Posted by guinever in : birth, labor, pregnancy , trackback

what do contractions feel likeSome pregnant women are afraid of the potential pain of labor, afraid of the unknown.  An important thing to remember about these sensations  is that labor is a normal, natural process. This makes it different from any other pain you may experience.   Remember that contractions last anywhere from 15-90 seconds depending on how far along your labor has progressed. Then you have several minutes in between each of your contractions so it’s not like you’re in constant pain for the duration of your labor and birth.

The best thing to do is just to take one contraction at a time.

what do braxton hicks feel like?

what do early labor contractions feel like?

what do active labor contractions feel like?

what do transition contractions feel like?

what do pushing or 2nd stage contractions feel like?

what do 3rd and 4th stage contractions feel like?

What did your contractions feel like? Tell me in the comments.


1. Elaine - December 7, 2009

Hey Guinever! Love your new posts. How helpful for first time mothers to have several descriptions of what different contractions actually feel like! I have referred several pregnant friends/acquaintances to your blog, so thanks for providing such great childbirth information. I mailed y’all a Christmas card today, and hope y’all are doing well. As you’ll find out from the card, we are expecting baby #3 and are planning another homebirth! Baby is due in mid July, so we have a while! Just wanted to share our news and thank you for such an uplifiting site. Hugs to you, Elaine

Wonderful to hear from you and congratulations!!
~love, Guinever

2. Lynda - January 3, 2010

helloo..i was curious about things so i went to google and found this website. i love the answers that you were giving and it made me learn alot but on question. Can my cervix still close even though i was 3 centimeters dialated?

Yes, it is possible for the cervix to close. This usually happens in a situation where the baby was once pressing down on the cervix and for whatever reason, the baby changes position and is no longer applying the same pressure on the cervix.
~blessings, Guinever

3. Brandi - March 1, 2010

I think I juat lost my mucos plug!, and I have been having what feels like menstral cramps, and a constant back pain… and I am really sore in my pelvic area! it hurts when i get up..to the point i can barely walk.. I am 34 weeks and 2 days pregnant! my cervix is soft and thinning too! should i call the dr today..or wait till my appointment tomorrw?

Brandi, becasue you’re only 34 weeks which is a little early for having a baby, I would call the doctor now so they would have time to administer steroids for the baby’s lungs if you were in labor. ~blessings, Guinever

4. Holly - April 8, 2010

I am 34 weeks, I feel that my doctors are pushing in the direction of c-section as I had an emergency c-sect at 42 weeks with my last one. In the first pregnancy I never dropped, dialated, softened, or anything even after 2 days of pitocin and ceradil. In this pregnancy the baby dropped at 31 weeks and I am having pelvic pains, leg aches, lumbar pains down to my buttocks that are pretty uncomfortable. I guess my question is are these all signs that I am possibly softening and such and that I may expect to have this one naturally? I have been told that infection risk go up if I labor and need a c-sect anyways & and that Uterian rupture is something to be concerned about as well. Although I am not sure how prominent the concerns should be?

5. jacqui - October 13, 2010

I am 37 weeks and went to the Er for period like cramps they said i was lcm and everything with the baby was great. i was checked by two different women both saying 1cm 25% effacement.Yet when i told my doctor at my next apt he said i was still closed.What are the cramps they stay for awhile? why am i told different things?

6. Contraction feel - December 17, 2010

[…] Birthing with Guinever » what do contractions feel like? 6 Dec 2009. First time moms all wonder what labor will feel like and ask their friends what does a contraction feel like? How will I know when I’m in Birthing with Guinever » what do contractions feel like? […]

7. frances - March 10, 2011

nice to see all of the above descriptions. i’m 41 weeks & according to my midwife i have very strong braxton-hicks because they feel like the active labour contractions descriptions at least half of the time, sometimes excruciatingly sore period pain with back pain, but the worst is the downward pressure one’s body exerts – feels like my pelvis is gonna fall out! so one can have very strong braxton-hicks!