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Readers Respond: What do contractions feel like?

Responses: 200


Updated March 19, 2009

The early bird hicks

I am 4 and a half months along and I just experienced my first braxton hicks, I thought I had done something wrong or laid down the wrong way and hurt the baby, but then I remembered reading somewhere that braxton hicks can start within the 2nd trimester. Let me tell you something, it felt like someone grabbed my insides twisted and then pushed them into my throat. I really hope they aren't that bad later on.
—Guest Early bird

37 wks

I am going on my 4th c-section, and this has been my worst pregnancy. I am feeling pain for over the past 2 months, and have been getting contractions on and off, but do time them. I am kind of scared because I don't know the outcome.
—Guest Theresa Nunez

3rd times the charm... I guess

Hello! I am 36 week and 3 days pregnant with my 3rd. I've been having braxton hicks for about 2 or 3 weeks. For me sometimes there uncomfortable other times I barely notice them. With my 1st I didn't have any braxton hicks, labor lasted 14 hours I did get the epidural but 2 1\2 hours later it was gone and I was 8cm after 58 minutes he was born weighing 7 lbs 2oz. With my 2nd I was induced because I was 6 days late. After about 8 hrs I ended up with a c-section because his heart rate was dropping during contractions. Now with my 3rd I haven't gained any weight but she is growing like a weed. They are scared that she might be as big as 9 lbs at birth. Well... only time will time. I hope what a lot of these sites are saying is true about braxton hicks gearing up your body for the big day. Because I really don't want another c-section. And that is my story.
—Guest Kisha

Braxton hicks

When I had braxton hicks I take a warm bath and drink warm cocoa. That always work for me.
—Guest kJones


Braxton hicks for me have been very painful and I tolerate pain very well. I'm 33 weeks and have been experiencing these since I was 3 months pregnant. They have been getting worse as my pregnancy progresses. This is my second child and I did get them with my first but not nearly as bad. Every body is different so, some my be less or more painful depending on the mother's body.
—Guest nikki

It's been different all 4 times.

My 1st child, it was.....intense. That's the best way I can think of to describe it. I had an 11 hour unmedicated labor with her. The worst part was the crowning. I was certain I was tearing, but didn't even have a skid mark. She was 7 lbs 12 oz. 2nd child- I had prodromal labor that lasted for a week. Finally I went into actual labor. It was a lot like period cramps at first, then the back labor started. 14hrs of labor & at times I thought my spine was breaking. But, again, I delivered a baby (8lbs 13oz) in the face up position w/no drugs. 3rd birth, I went from absolutely nothing to hard labor in a matter of 10 minutes. That labor lasted 3hrs and she was a water birth- 8lbs13oz. #4 is almost 9mths and I'm STILL in shock! My contractions felt like someone was grabbing my innards and twisting them. I went from 5cm and water not broken to having delivered a 9lb12oz baby in 10 minutes (literally). Again, no drugs. If I were to get pregnant again, I would go natural 100%!
—Guest Erin

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

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