Birth & Pain: How Hurt Do Contractions?
Fortunately, contractions are a state of emergency – the pain comes on violently, but goes away completely. Around 60 percent of women have very severe labor pains with their first child and still half of those with second children. But they all made it!
How does the pain feel during childbirth?
“How much does childbirth hurt?”: That is probably the most frequently asked question by pregnant women. In all honesty, it’s hard to describe this pain accurately. Where contractions hurt also differs from woman to woman. Let’s try to describe it like this: The pain feels like a mixture of severe menstrual pain with nasty gastrointestinal cramps and back pain. The pain in labor pains creates tension in the abdomen, which to a certain point and more intense will and then slowly decreases. Then a resting phase occurs, which becomes steadily shorter in the course of the birth. Some women speak of sharp pulling pain or intense stinging, others find the pain at birth to be rather dull. Scientists who have tried to classify the intensity of this pain describe it as follows: It hurts as if someone in a stiletto heel is stepping on the back of your hand. Ouch!
Labor: you don’t have to play the heroine!
You keep hearing from women who simply breathed away this pain very easily. Quite honestly, most of us don’t fall into the “Indian heart knows no pain” category – and that’s okay too. Because birth is a state of emergency and not an application process for medals of bravery. With or without a PDA, everything that helps you is allowed: No matter whether you snort and grunt, scream, or insult your partner. Childbirth is always painful, regardless of whether you want to take pain medication during childbirth or whether relaxation and breathing exercises help you. Your partner or midwife will do their best to support you with the birth of your child. However, you can also relieve the pain of labor by changing the birth position influence.
The good thing about pain: labor pains come and go quickly
As a little consolation for you: contractions only hurt when they are there. Similar to a train that rushes by and the sound of which has completely disappeared afterward. This is something special because we usually only know the pain that slowly subsides. After a contraction, nothing hurts anymore – but only until the next one comes.
The good news: the body itself has a magic bullet against the pain during childbirth – it releases loads of endorphins. They act as natural pain relievers and ideally put the expectant mother into a kind of trance state or make her “high”. In this state the labor pains can indeed be easily “breathed away” and the woman giving birth can get involved in her labor. And as soon as you have made it and hold your baby in your arms, your happiness will outweigh the hardships and pains of the birth – I promise!
Are there any preparations that will alleviate the pain in childbirth?
Just as you can prepare for childbirth, your body can also be prepared for the pain of childbirth. Talk to your gynecologist or midwife about this if you are afraid of going into labor. The pain during childbirth can not only be relieved with painkillers, but can also be alleviated by gentle methods: acupuncture, aromatherapy, or homeopathic remedies are often used by labor.
A preventive perineal massage can also prevent a perineal incision or tear, which in particular causes pain after birth. From the 34th week of pregnancy, doctors recommend gently massaging the area between the vagina and anus to make the tissue more stretchy. A little massage oil is massaged into the perineal tissue under slight pressure. Then the thumb is inserted four centimeters into the vagina and the inner tissue is gently massaged in a U-shape. Your midwife or doctor will also explain what to look out for.
How do I deal with postpartum pain?
The contractions are gone after the birth, but wounds are not uncommon: Many women complain of pain in the vagina, on the perineum, or when defecating after giving birth. For some mothers it feels like sore muscles in the vagina, for some, it is painful to sit. Be sure to talk to your doctor or midwife about such symptoms. However, most postpartum pain simply takes time to pass. Use the puerperium to relax, cuddle and sleep with your baby a lot. Wounds from a perineal incision or a cesarean section scar are also part of the prenatal pain: Your midwife can advise you which breastfeeding position is the best for painless breastfeeding.