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Readers Respond: What do contractions feel like?

Responses: 164


Updated March 19, 2009

Braxton Hicks

This is my first baby, I'm 32 weeks and started getting braxton hicks yesterday. So far I have been a lucky girl with the worst part being going to loo every 2 hours!! Getting worried that I have had such an easy pregnancy the labour will make up for it. I hope not... fingers crossed.
—Guest Guest


I am 35 weeks. I have been having Braxton hicks for the last three months. They started out less intense then they are now. For me, they are not painful. They feel funny and somewhat uncomfortable. The make it kind of hard to walk. I really don't mind them, I just think positive and hope that they are getting my body ready for a smooth labor. They do cause me a little stress , wondering if I am going into real labor , so I just monitor them and wind up on sites like this one. This is my second baby, my first was 12 years ago. I was induced (which makes contractions worse) and the contractions were very painful, I was happy to get my epidural. For those of you who are scared, I would say don't stress about it until it happens, it may not be as bad as you think or it might be worse, either way you will get through it and it will be worth it.
—Guest Erika

Different for everyone...

I am expecting twins. 32 and half weeks pregnant. Was admitted to the hospital 5 days ago due to a 'dynamic' and short cervix. My pregnancy has been very easy compared to some (horror)stories I've heard. I have been experiencing Braxon Hicks contractions since about 25 weeks but they are not painful. Basically feel like you are flexing your stomach, very tight (for me at least). Recently they have gotten stronger and have been accompanied by some back pain. Due to the twin factor and 'dynamic' cervix I am basically a ticking time bomb for deliver. Definitely the experiences are different for each person and pregnancy. There is no right or wrong feelings. Some experience more pain than others... totally depends on the person.
—Guest Alison

Don't Judge just share

I am reading through these and some women are being really judgmental. Not because 1 woman feels a lot of pain and another does not doesn't mean 1 is stronger or even really has to do with tolerance. We are all built different, sleep on different beds, have different daily activities etc. My experience of pregnancy has been mixed. I am now 37 wks and I did not go through the morning sickness but my bones ache so bad and I've my share of fears. Ladies if you are in pain, nervous, uncomfortable just try to get comfort and support. Don't read these posts and feel like you are bad or because someone says they didn't hurt think you will not. It is a truly unique experience and you can just try to enjoy and get through the bad parts. Good luck.
—Guest First Time Mom

I just don't know

I'm 37 weeks and 4 days at 1:14AM! I can't sleep because I'm worried that I'm having contractions, but I just don't know where they stop and where they begin... It's so confusing. It's sometimes painful and sometimes not. I know they are in fact contractions because the doctor told me they were, but they are pretty inconsistent. Using the bathroom helps ..laying down while sipping water has been my saving grace throughout my time on bedrest. I've had a pretty interesting run. I have a high-risk pregnancy so I worry and I have a lot of questions. I hope everyone who posted comes out healthy and that everyone gives birth to a healthy child. I guess we all won't know what to expect..each mama and birth are different.
—Guest Kelly

Psychological pain

I'm 37 weeks pregnant and I'm experiencing these contractions. It's my first baby but strangely enough I'm not scared at all. My mom taught me that most of the time pain is psychological and she was right. It's not painful at all but it is really uncomfortable. Drinking cold water seems to help a lot or I ask my husband to rub my belly.
—Guest Izzy


I am 32w3d I have not yet experienced contractions but am very nervous. people say its like menstrual cramps x10 but I think I had pretty bad menstrual cramps so I hope I'm fine. Very excited but scared...
—Guest Miss Lady

Braxton Hick

I am 38 weeks today. I started feeling braxton hicks contractions about 4 weeks ago which weren't bad at all. They still aren't. But last week they were getting stronger and coming every 5 minutes. My entire pregnancy wasn't as bad as everyone said it would be. The worst part was the heartburn in my 2nd trimester. The beginning of the 3rd trimester I had more upper back ache but as soon as the baby dropped it decreased. The worst part about pregnancy to me is frequent urination at night and pubis symphisis. That is very painful but a lot of women don't even experience it, but its a sharp pain to your pubic bone become unaligned. It hurts to put on pants, walk, or turn over in bed. But can be corrected with a chiropractor. Oh yeah, my skin also became scaly and dry down my center back. My neck and chest became discolored too and I broke out on my neck. This can happen to some women and others get very oily skin. But overall it hasn't been that uncomfortable of a pregnancy.
—Guest Kelli

Not tht bad

Okay so it's interesting to read these stories. The horror stories come from women with a very low tolerance of pain... My first son was not bad other then when I felt my pelvic bone pop to let my baby come through. Don't be scared it's not as bad as some make it seem. Great reward after!
—Guest Joni#2

The waiting game

I am 39 weeks 1 day This is my second daughter. I am 2cm dilated 60% effaced and at a stage 0! Lost my mucus plug two days ago! I remember with my first daughter we had to eventually get induced! So it's just a waiting game. But honestly it's taking forever! To bad we couldn't know the exact day we would have our babies, it'd put us all at ease!
—Guest Ashlee

First experience

Well I'm 38+2 days this is my first baby and I'm having a girl. I'm very excited about giving birth .I experienced my first braxton hicks contraction yesterday and I had about 4 of them and yes they were very uncomfortable...so when its time for the true labor contractions I hope I will be fine.
—Guest jasmine

Im still waiting for the "horrible" part

I am 39 weeks and this is my first baby. Some might want to slap me for saying this but my pregnancy hardly effected me at all in the way of pain or discomfort. I had extreme fatigue during the second trimester and here recently I have experienced weird sensations of nonintrusive pain in my lower back. I'm just waiting but so far it has been so easy. I've actually enjoyed it so much.
—Guest thea

Braxton Hicks

Painless my foot, It felt like someone was prying my hips open within using a pry bar, I was literally upside down trying to stop the baby from getting into position in the birth canal, when your body is preparing for the birth it is actually worse than labor itself. It was the worst pain I have ever had in my life, no one tells the truth about this. I don't know why but every woman needs to know exactly what is happening to her body during this time when the pelvis is spreading to make room for the baby to get into the birth canal. I know now why women scream in pre labor during braxton hicks.
—Guest Tawana Alexander Goodson

I can't wait to meet him!

I am 38w2d with 14 days to go but I can't wait to meet him finally. I am already tired especially with the pain and discomfort of turning in bed during the night. am anxious though and looking out for the signs of labour since I read labour can set in any time from now. I started experiencing braxon hicks at 20 weeks and has been painful since and getting stronger but I know its worth it since at the end I will have my prince, Gareth.
—Guest caroline

braxton hicks urggghhhh

I'm 34+2 weeks pregnant with my 5th child & this is the 1st time I've had to suffer braxton hicks & in the last week I've had them on & off every day with 2 or 3 an hour & getting more uncomfortable, my little girl is really low with her head down but not engaged, I'm hoping the braxton hicks are a sign something is going to happen soon. I'm worried I won't get things sorted in time when labour starts like child care, getting my husband home from where ever he may be working & then the hospital trip, as my 1st labour was the longest & lasted only 3hours 45 mins & resulted in a 9lb 10oz boy without any pain relief & I have all off my children quickly & only had gas & air on my last baby. Is anyone else experiencing braxton hicks every day?
—Guest bailey

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