Natural Birth

Intro/question

Hello ladies! My name is Kelly and I'm 34 weeks 3 days. I mostly post on Aug 13' and lurk on this board to find out more info. I have always wanted a natural birth and just have a question, I know the answers will vary but what was worse pain wise, contractions or pushing?

Re: Intro/question

  • I'm a FTM so take my answer with a grain of salt, but I think it depends on you. In my natural childbirth class we had people come in and tell their birth stories and it varied. Some felt that the pushing was such a relief and felt good. Others felt that the pushing was the hardest part. I think it's likely to depend on your labor.

    Good luck with your birth! I think it's exciting that you are interested in going all natural.
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  • Contractions were more uncomfortable than pushing.  When pushing I only felt pressure.  The "Ring of Fire" was the worst part, but over really quick.
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  • For me it was pushing.  LO had a nuchal hand so it felt like I was being ripped open from the inside.  I ended up with a second degree internal tear.  Contractions were painful and I had back labor but using counter pressure and being in the tub really took the edge off the pain .
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  • I do think it can vary a lot, but for me pushing was far worse than contractions. I had a large baby and pushed for 5 hours. The first 1 1/2 I wasn't pushing very well because it hurt so much! Finally my midwife told me I just had to decide I was going to push the baby out and do it. So I did. For 3 1/2 more hours. It hurt, it was difficult, but it was never unbearable and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
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  • Contractions were harder than pushing for me. I won't lie - they're hard, but I get through each one by remembering that I only need to do one at a time, and they are doing work to bring my baby to me. It might sound cliche, but that really is true for me and I'm getting ready to do natural childbirth a third time (my first was a cs in the end but I used the bradley method to labor for 17hrs unmedicated, and while hard, it was very doable. My second was an intense 2 hour VBAC).
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  • Thank you for the input! My sister just delivered this morning naturally and said contractions were the worst so I was getting a feel for everyone else!
  • I thought the worst part was the internal exams, actually. They were the most painful thing that I experienced the whole time, and always brought on stronger and more intense contractions.
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  • image starshineamator:
    I thought the worst part was the internal exams, actually. They were the most painful thing that I experienced the whole time, and always brought on stronger and more intense contractions.

    Ha- I was going to say both were extremely painful for me, but in different ways. But I forgot about the exams that my OB insisted on doing during contractions.

    Honestly I think its different for everyone and you just won't know until you go through it. 

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  • For me it was contractions for sure...

    In my opinion, managing pain is all about mindset... So for me it was much harder to keep focused on 'the prize' during contractions, whereas when you are pushing, you are so close to having that baby out, it gives you energy and focus and hides the pain!

     I'll add that the answer refers to both of labors/birth experiences so far, even though they were very different - the first was a 9 pound, OP, hand-on-face as he was coming out baby, and the second was an under 6 pound baby who started popping out when I was only 7cm dilated!

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  • For me transition was worst in terms of feeling like, "I can't keep doing this." But that was more exhaustion talking than pain for me.

    The ring of fire was worst for me in terms of fear. I felt like I was going to tear all over the place, so I was frightened and held back from pushing. However the pain itself wasn't that bad. And fwiw I ended up needing just 2 stitches with DD1, and no stitches with DD2 who was 10lbs 2 oz. 

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  • The wrost part for me was transition since it lasted so long and the contractions were so close together, and long.  Pushing was a relief and the "ring of fire" only lasted a second.  For me, contractions up until 7cm were manageable.
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  • Neither! The worst part is the uterine massage - at least for me. My transitions are super-short (although, admittedly, they are intense) and my pushing is hard work, but not necessarily painful. The worst pain, IMO is the PP uterine massage. I normally ask for drugs after delivery, before the uterine massage, but they never seem to help enough. I hope you decide on a natural delivery! GL!
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