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Is (physical) miscarriage pain as bad as labour pain?

(21 Posts)
LondonJen Fri 04-Jul-14 20:31:43

Last October I had a natural miscarriage at 10 weeks pregnant. (Technically this was classed as a missed miscarraige because my bloods indicated a horomone level of less than they'd expect at 10 weeks.)

When I saw the midwife at epu she said it sounded like I'd had a mini-labour. This made a lot of sense to me as I realised that's why I'd felt ok at times as I was having contractions. I experienced horrendous low grinding pain which I understand was cervix opening. My stomach had gone rock hard before and I'd had back ache. There was some shivering/clammy/knees buckling feeling during the pains I think were contractions along with me moaning. And after I passed the placenta I felt instantly much better (phsyically) and it all stopped.

I am now 26 weeks pregnant. I was discussing labour pain with my mum and how the above experience made me want to go to the nearest place to give birth as it was so painful. Mum has had a miscarriage herself at 12 weeks and suggested I might find labour no more painful because it happens over a longer time period so is less intense.

I just wondered if anyone who has experienced the pain of natural mc and labour pain could give their opinion on whether that was the case? Or is my mum just trying to ease my mind?! If anyone feels able to share I would really appreciate it. TIA

Catlover2014 Fri 04-Jul-14 22:35:23

Congrats on being 26 weeks!!!

I don't have any experience of birth as only had two mc but my mum's friend who had a mc at 13 weeks and had a baby after that said the mc was actually more painful. Perhaps it's physiologically worse to mc too?

Good luck for it all, however much it hurts it will be soooo worthwhile smile xx

elmo2014 Fri 04-Jul-14 23:09:27

I miscarried at 11 wks and found the experience far more painful (pretty much how you describe) than my previous 2 labours. The pain was so localised, the contractions were over a smaller area and I just found it so much worse.

My friend who had a similar experience and then 2 labours after said the same.

Best of luck to you. I'm 24 wks now and I'm finding the knowledge that I went through the awful pain of that miscarriage and survived, strangely comforting, as my third labour approaches.

LondonJen Sun 06-Jul-14 14:21:56

Thanks Ladies, that's really helpful. I just thought I could help myself prepare if I had an understanding of whether the two would be similar. Congrats on 24wks Elmo!

stargirl1701 Sun 06-Jul-14 14:26:36

I had a mmc and then DD. I found the mc far, far, far more painful than labour and birth.

GinAndToast Sun 06-Jul-14 14:30:39

Having had miscarriages at various stages, and a prem still birth as well as the labour of a lovely healthy home birth baby, I'd say the pain and the intensity gets progressively worse the further on you are BUT, but, but, but labour can actually feel easier as you are not upset and distraught at the loss, which has a huge physical impact on how you feel pain. You know that with the contractions it's bringing you closer to meeting your baby and so therefore (I think) it is actually an easier pain to bear.

And it might not be a longer time period either. I was just a few hours from first contraction to baby.

Congratulations smile and good luck.

WaffleWiffle Sun 06-Jul-14 14:36:38

I have had a MMC at 12 weeks and have three children so have experienced labour.

To give you an alternate, the pain of a miscarriage is nowhere near as bad as the pain of labour in the latter stages.

They are similar. I would describe late first trimester miscarriage physical pain as the same as early stages of labour. Not a patch on the actual terror and pain of childbirth.

linadee26 Sun 06-Jul-14 21:14:03

I would have to agree with waffle.
The pain I experienced with my MC at 12 weeks was exactly like the early stages on my labour with my DD (I'd say up to I was about 3-4cm)

The latter stages of labour were much more painful.

bakingtins Sun 06-Jul-14 21:26:06

I've had 4 first trimester MCs and 3 live births. IME MC is similar to early labour (cervix opening, presumably nowhere near 10cm) and
I felt the same pressure/need to push that you get at start of 2nd stage. I'm with waffle that it was never as intense as labour. MC is so much harder emotionally though, and that makes the pain worse. Also in labour you have many more options for pain relief.

Congrats on your pregnancy. smile If your experience of MC is making you anxious about labour I highly recommend Natal Hypnotherapy CDs. There is now one focused on previous birth trauma ( and prev MC is mentioned in that category) as well as tracks for home or hospital birth, and pregnancy relaxation. I had the strangest experience in labour with DS2, after my first v traumatic MC. I had been in latent labour for a day, nothing more than niggles, and I really felt v strongly I had to make my peace with the MC, because a lot of things about early labour (mild contractions and bloody show) were bringing back very bad memories. As soon as I'd done that I went into full blown labour and DS was born less than 2 hours later. Your mind is a very powerful tool in how you handle the physical process.

bakingtins Sun 06-Jul-14 21:28:41

Also meant to say because I had given birth before experiencing MC perhaps that makes the process easier in the same way that subsequent births are often easier than the first one? It may be that if your first pregnancy ends in a MC you experience it as more physically painful or shocking?

EightFiftySix Sun 06-Jul-14 21:49:14

I've had a mmc at 14weeks, another at 12 weeks and an early mc at about 8 weeks. The low grinding pain and sharp spasms were very unpleasant. The mmcs were really painful.

Remarkably, my DD's birth was pretty much pain free! I kept saying how astonished I was at the lack of pain perhaps the full term hormones help sometimes? Perhaps I'm just a lucky cow wink

stargirl1701 Sun 06-Jul-14 21:51:59

I was the same 856. Labour and birth just weren't painful - lots of pressure. The mmc was agony.

SaltySeaBird Sun 06-Jul-14 21:55:52

Two very painful miscarriages with contractions.

One very painful birth. The later stages of labour were, for me, infinitely more painful than either miscarriage. Yes, some similarity in sensation but no comparison pain wise.

LondonJen Sun 06-Jul-14 22:04:50

Thank you so much for more opinions. Yes, I can see that hormones/adrenaline and it being a 'positive' pain (labour) could help.

I planned to use the natal hypno from 30 weeks, I have had luck with hypnotherapy in the past so think my mind will respond well to it.

charleneramsey Sun 06-Jul-14 22:07:23

Pain of mmc at 12 weeks worse than labour. Though over quicker!

Bouncey Wed 09-Jul-14 05:50:51

Agree with Wafflewiffle - labour much worse - although miscarriage pain is very comparable. It's closer to labour pain than period pain if that makes sense. I've had one full term labour without pain relief as it progressed very fast and have just miscarried at eight weeks. I had been having labour type pains before an emergency scan and sort of knew that there wasn't much hope. Once the worst was confirmed I opted for the medically managed option and was given strong painkillers so the physical pain was manageable.

MrsBungle Wed 09-Jul-14 05:56:16

My labour was a much worse pain than my miscarriage which was more skin to very early labour pain and over much quicker than my labour.

RobinSparkles Wed 09-Jul-14 06:21:53

I had a MC at 10 weeks before I had my 2 DC.

The pain was excruciating and I suppose that it was the same kind of pain ie. same area, contracting type pain but the pain of the MC was continuous whereas in labour you get a contraction and then the pain stops.
Also, the MC was horrible, scary, sad pain but labour was positive pain in an "oh my god, this is painful but hooray, I'm going to meet my baby soon!" Way.

limon Sun 13-Jul-14 09:56:54

For me, Labour was less painful but more tiring.

squizita Mon 14-Jul-14 09:23:57

Worth saying that MC pain varies a lot - there is no one 'miscarriage pain'. I never have any serious MC pain (I am a recurrent miscarrier and have had it dealt with in a range of ways) anything like what I imagine labour to be like, I am always told my cervix is open by a HCP without realising from the feeling alone. Mine all felt like period pain over a long time with much heavier bleeding and the sac broke up.

Just as another thing - why were you told it was a MMC because your hormones had fallen? A MMC is indicated by a much smaller embryo than the time of the scan. Hormones fall at different rates in different women.

Only1scoop Mon 14-Jul-14 09:36:43

I had a MMC at 18 weeks baby was around 16 wks. I had to have labour induced and have morphine for last hour as couldn't stand the excruciating pain. I was in agony.

My dd now 4 was born by elcs so I have no experience of whether this was normal.

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