Labor Pain: Sign, Symptoms & How Does It Feel Like - Tips On Parenting


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July 4, 2020

Labor Pain: Sign, Symptoms & How Does It Feel Like

Many women who haven't given birth yet talk about their concerns regarding the pain of childbirth or sometimes as an outsider looking in you might be wondering what does labor pain feel like.

A huge factor that impacts your birth experience and whether or not you view it as a positive or negative one is the way that you interpret and manage the sensations of birth. In this article, we are talking about those sensations that many, if not most women describe as labor pain. By the end of this article, you're going to understand why women express differing interpretations of their sensations during labor pain and how you can create a positive birth where you embrace the sensations of labor pain.

Labor Pain: Sign, Symptoms & How Does It Feel Like

So, the majority of stories you likely hear about labor is the labor pain either being very extreme or on the far other side of the spectrum, almost enjoyable. This sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? How could one person be describing their labor pain as enjoyable and another be labeling it as painful. When we're talking about the sensations of birth and women's differing experiences and trying to understand for yourself how painful labor is, you need to know that labor pain is linked directly with fear during the labor process. Several studies show the connection between increased fear and increased labor pain and more negative outcomes.

A loop happens in labor called the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle. The more fear you have the tenser your body becomes and the more pain you feel making you more fearful of the sensations you're experiencing.

What does labor pain feel like?

So. when you're asking for yourself how painful will labor be, the answer is the sensations are what you make them to be and this is why some women call their birth painful and others powerful or even enjoyable. Time and again I've heard stories and have been with moms who tell me that labor is more of a mental game than a physical one. The more woman allows their fear to take over their mind and body, the harder it is for them to manage their labor pain and the more painful they become.

On the flip side, the more peaceful their mental state that they can be in, the more in tune they are with their breath, the more they can find relaxation, the more comfortable they are in labor. This has to do with being in the Trust-Relax-Allow cycle that is so much more enjoyable and productive for labor to progress. Being in this cycle doesn't mean that women don't experience the sensations of labor pain because labor is powerful and the sensations are intense.

Besides fear, there are things that can alter the sensations that are being experienced in labor often times with Pitocin inductions a woman's surges become much stronger, longer and more frequent making labor more difficult to manage. This is not always the case but it is fairly common.

Labor Sign and Symptoms

If you notice any of these five signs, labor is on the way.


Nesting is when you get this rush of energy that makes you want to clean, cook, do the laundry and reorganize your home. For some women, it's a sign that a new member will join the family soon.


Lightening is the feeling that your baby has dropped lower into your pelvic. It means labor isn't far off.

Bloody Discharge

If you notice brownish or red colored mucus called discharge coming out of your vagina, it could be mean your cervix is opening up.

When Your Water Breaks

Your water could break before or during labor. It may feel like a steady trickle or a big gush. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether it's the real deal or just pee. So, let your doctor know as soon as possible, if you're not sure. The doctor may want to know what color the water was and what it smelled like.


When you have contractions that gradually get stronger and closer together, that means the countdown to baby is on the way. They will be so powerful that you won't be able to walk or talk while you're having them and they won't go away if you move around or change positions.

Exciting signs like these mean it's time to call your doctor. So, these are some of the common signs of labor.

Labor Pain Management

Labor pain is mind over matter and the more you can use relaxation techniques, proper breathing and are educated about the birthing process the more you are able to trust in the process, relax your body and allow your birth to take place smoothly.

Labor Pain Management

Here are some Labor Pain Management Techniques that you can follow to ease the labor pain.

  • Being in good physical state is very important. Exercise regularly throughout your pregnancy period. Make a proper healthy diet routine and quit the habit of smoking and drinking.
  • Being aware of what to expect during different phases of labor can help reduce nervousness and prepare you mentally.
  • Breathing methods can help you ease the sensation of each contraction.
  • Emotional love and support from your partner, family and friends can help lower the anxiety level.
  • Listening to music can help you get your mind off the labor pain.
  • Warm shower and massage can be refreshing.
  • Acupuncture, hypnosis and acupressure are areas in which there has been little study but these methods may still be helpful.
These are some of the basic labor pain management techniques that you can do at home or anywhere. If these labor pain management techniques aren’t enough and still pain is unbearable, seek medical help.

So, hope this article was helpful and answered all the concerns that you had before landing here. Follow the labor pain management techniques to lower the labor pain and keep observing if you have felt any of the signs of labor recently. Happy Parenting.