'It Felt Like The Best Poo Of My Life': Mums Explain What Childbirth Actually Feels Like

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Childbirth is one of those things you can never truly be prepared for, but you can cushion the blow with research. Before I had my first child, I would spend hours trawling the internet for information on how it feels.

I would watch TikTok videos of birth stories — anything and everything to understand how the whole process would be for me.

I was also quite sceptical about the way people were describing contractions because I had never felt anything like it, so had nothing to compare it to.

That was until I went through the whole process myself, and understood what people meant when they said it feels like extreme period cramps.

So, for people like me who like to stay well-informed and want to brace themselves for the best and worst, here’s what childbirth pain is actually like, according to mums.

What does childbirth pain feel like?

Starting with my own experience, I was actually induced on my 39th week. Now once they had put the pessary in to kickstart my contractions, an hour didn’t even pass until I started feeling something.

But this isn’t the case for everyone, for some it doesn’t work straight away if at all.

My initial contractions felt like day 1 of period pains, they were in my lower back and period cramps are they only thing I can compare it to. Quickly they turned into much more than that, and the perfect word to describe it is tightening.

Every few seconds I would feel a tightening in my stomach as if my insides were being knotted, until this got more and more painful and it was like the baby was pushing the linings of my uterus.

Though most people say there is relief in between contractions, I unfortunately did not feel much relief as due to my induction the contractions were very close together. So it began to feel like it was non-stop.

Once my water broke and I was allowed an epidural I jumped at the opportunity, and for me, the experience of anaesthetic was 10/10. I could see on the monitor I was contracting, but couldn’t feel a thing and was even able to enjoy a few grapes.

I ended up having a C-section so can’t comment on the pushing feeling. But, below are some parents who can.

‘Labour was a series of pains’

One Mumsnet user explained labour as a series of pains.

They wrote: “The worst period pain ever - but it is a wave and not a constant pain. If you have ever had gall bladder pain or a dental abscess it is a constant pain that subsides slowly, maybe over days.

“Labour however was a series of pains that finished before the next one began. And I felt much better when I was upright and able to move rather than lying down.”

‘Best poo of your life’

Another described the actual birthing process like taking a big poo. I’ve actually heard it being described this way many times.

“Big painful poo mixed with v v v b bad period pain. The pain meaning contractions that come and go with the time on between each one getting shorter and the intensity increasing.

“Then second experience was very exhilarating and I couldn’t believe what my body was doing. I second the superwoman feeling afterwards too and also ask for pain relief.”

One person agreed and said it is like bad period pains, but once the head is out it feels like the “best poo of your life.”

‘Pushing is a breeze compared to contractions’

They explained: “I always assumed the pushing the baby out would be the painful bit and the contractions would just be like stomach ache but the pushing out was a breeze compared to the contractions.”

But this isn’t the case for everyone, one parent said that with their first baby, the crowning hurt more than contractions and she felt like her vagina was on fire.

With her second baby she felt the contractions were hell.

“I wasn’t expecting it because of my first. It felt like every muscle from my knees to my shoulders were being tightened causing every muscle to burn. My back felt like it had been broken and in conjunction with that it felt like an elephant standing on me at the peak of contraction.

“I will say though, it was over very quickly and I’d do it all again for my beautiful baby. Well, I’ll give it another year to completely forget.”

But at the end of the day, every labour is different and dependent on your pain threshold as well as your body!

If you would like more information on how to prepare for labour and birth, you can check out the NHS website.