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What hurts more, contractions or baby actually coming out?

(113 Posts)
macdat Tue 23-Feb-16 03:57:12

I guess contractions last longer, so that's a downside, but the baby actually coming out seems...well...horrific. I'm so scared haha. I want to know which one is more painful, just so I can prepare myself a little and sort of psych myself up for it.

anklebitersmum Tue 23-Feb-16 04:11:45

The contractions are intense but if you roll with them (you'll know what I mean when they're happening) you'll be fine.

Safe to say that giving birth 'stings a little' but gas & air if used properly will sort you out.

If you think of each contraction in terms of a hill you're going to go up and then over the top. You start the g&a at the bottom of the hill so as you get to the top you're covered wink

Good luck!

PerpetualStudent Tue 23-Feb-16 04:17:43

First of all congratulations on your pregnancy!
There's no definitive answer to your question (sorry!) every birth is different, and everyone has different experiences of pain anyhow.
For e.g. neither my contractions or crowning hurt that much, because for my induction they gave me an epidural along with the hormone drip, so it never felt unmanageable.
I know what you mean about feeling psyched up for the pain though - have you looked at hypnobirthing stuff at all? Some useful techniques there.
I also loved JuJu Sin's book Birth Skills - focused on the idea of childbirth as 'good' pain, and again gives you lots of strategies. I went from scared to quite looking forward to my DS's birth when reading this!

winchester1 Tue 23-Feb-16 04:25:11

I didn't feel the baby actually come put I was really surprised to look down and see her.

TheDowagerCuntess Tue 23-Feb-16 04:28:47

Contractions for me, without a doubt. The actual swooshing out was over in seconds.

PopcornFiend Tue 23-Feb-16 04:46:58

For me, contractions were worst. DD2 was born 3 hrs after waters breaking.. As soon as we got to hospital I sucked down the g&a like my life depended on it. Actual crowning & pushing out felt like a blessed relief. Every birth is different though- DD1 was a looooong labour with epidural, less painful but more tiring. You'll be fine though, as pp said just try to roll with it, don't be afraid to ask for pain relief and just keep focusing on the amazing baby you'll be getting as your reward!

fuzzyllama Tue 23-Feb-16 05:13:00

Contractions were the worst, I found the actual birthing a breeze !

ICJump Tue 23-Feb-16 05:28:29

Contraction where hard. Crowning was weird. It hurts but for me it's a real head/emotional thing. I really wished everyone would go so I could get in with it in my own bubble. DS 2 basically fell out when I stood up. Very lucky I was in a birth pool.
I have had two short labours DS 1 about 7hours with only about 10 minutes of pushing. dS2 about 2 hours labour and maybe 5-7 minutes pushing.

If your feeling scared doing some yoga/hypno/juju/meditation type stuff is worth while

AStreetcarNamedBob Tue 23-Feb-16 05:54:41

Contractions for me I think. Although none of it was fun.

Dixiechick17 Tue 23-Feb-16 11:20:13

Contractions hurt and seemed never ending. When the urge to push came it kind of put more of a focus on things and with pushing I knew the end was in sight, crowning burnt, but my lovely midwife was using a warm cloth to kind of bathe the area when pushing, and it really helped.

InFrance2014 Tue 23-Feb-16 14:26:18

Do some perineal massage to find out what crowning feels like - it really helped me stop being frightened of it.
"Massage" is the wrong word, really you stretch and knead the whole area from your perineum to your labia, but slowly and over time, getting used to how it feels (it's not supposed to be comfortable!).

After a few weeks (DH did it most evenings) I was really prepared for the same sensation during the birth, and breathed through it fine, even while the head was outside but the shoulders weren't, between final contractions.
Here's a link to a PDF, it's in French but has very useful illustrations on what exactly to do (pages 17-19):

HopeandSoap Tue 23-Feb-16 14:28:58

The pushing stage although quick was 10x worse than the contractions. But mine did all have 39cm heads!

Tfoot75 Tue 23-Feb-16 14:38:52

Contractions were worse for me, crowning was over v quick so no opportunity to concentrate on it, just have to push past it (but not too hard!). It did sting and burn but all over in a few moments, the finish line is in sight by then!

LovelyFriend Tue 23-Feb-16 14:41:59

contractions for sure. The baby just glided out both times.
I don't really understand what "pushing" means WRT birth. I did about 2 pushes each baby. I'm very thankful for that.

I did listen to a hypnobirthing CD/tracks for several weeks and I think they really helped me to remain (mostly) relaxed throughout the process.

ShortcutButton Tue 23-Feb-16 14:43:48

I had a very badly done episiotomy (cut right through to anus) and forceps with my first. Delivered on my own with tearing for 2nd

Contractions are more painful, by a mile

allegretto Tue 23-Feb-16 14:45:53

Contractions for me - last longer and the pushing stage is really exciting!

WhatWouldFlopDo Tue 23-Feb-16 14:51:17

Contractions for me, I don't remember feeling pushing her out, the episotomy or the stitches. Everyone is different though, I know somebody who never felt contractions.

DramaAlpaca Tue 23-Feb-16 14:51:42

For me, contractions hurt much more, but because they come & go and there's no pain in between them they were manageable with gas & air.

The baby's head crowning was a burning, stinging sensation which didn't last long at all, and that was the only painful bit of the actual delivery.

By far the worst bit of all was getting stitched after I tore having DC2.

lilac3033 Tue 23-Feb-16 14:55:39

Pushing and crowning were definitely the worst pain for me. DD was back to back for most of my contractions as well! It might have been that I used G&A and the pool during contractions, but had to be out and about trying to push in different positions to try and turn her. So I just went without pain relief. It's not called Ring of Fire for no reason! I had 2 hours + of pushing as well.

Finola1step Tue 23-Feb-16 14:57:06

For me, crowning was the most painful. It tends to sting. Just a bit.

gunting Tue 23-Feb-16 14:58:59

Crowning and being stitched up for me hurt the most. I had no pain relief because the contractions were ok but I really wished I had an epidural when he was coming out.

Ds was 10.6lbs and he was born after a 4 hr labour so I tore and I think it was the tearing that hurt.

Contractions were okay for me - intense (they were induced and in my back and thighs) but I could cope. I wanted someone to play Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" during crowning, that was a bit stingy - but DD came out in three pushes, took 9 minutes in total, so that might be why it hurt so much and I tore quite badly!

For me being stitched up hurt the most, but it took two hours and local anaesthetic doesn't work for me so obviously that's not going to be true for everyone!

MoonDuke Tue 23-Feb-16 15:09:51

DS1 = contractions (and then the incompetent stitching)

DS2 = actual baby coming out. I have no idea if it's true (cos DH wasn't looking) but it felt like the consultant had his hands in me guiding DS2 out. And the epidural hadn't worked so no pain relief...

shitwithsugaron Tue 23-Feb-16 15:09:57

Crowning for me too, contractions were just about manageable on gas and air but the sheer intense stinging of DD crowning...I'll never forget it.

gunting Tue 23-Feb-16 15:10:57

Ovaries the local aesthetic didn't work for me either or the ibruprofen they put up my bum

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