Labor and Childbirth Vs Menstrual Cramps

United States
May 18, 2009 11:34pm CST
Ok ladies. I haven't had any children yet. I am planning to hopefully start trying for my first child sometime next year after I get on my feet, financially secured, all that good stuff. Well anyway.... I got my monthly friend today. I usually don't have cramps but this time the craps were really kicking my butt. I was doubled over in pain they hurt so bad. My belly was as hard as a rock. I'm ok now thanks to the great invention of tylenol extra strength. :-D So my question is labor can't be much worse? Can it???? Because if it is I may be rethinking that whole idea that I want to give birth completely natural without an epidural or drugs. :-D
6 people like this
20 responses
• United States
19 May 09
Sounds like you were in a lot of pain. I hope you feel better now. No, judging from how you described your pain, labor isn't much more painful. And it helps to go to a class where you can learn Lamaze and other natural ways to cope with the pain. I have had four children. The first three were totally natural. The last would have been if not for the fact that he was laying sideways and stuck in my ribs (emergency c-section). With him, though, my labor was so easy that I didn't even know I was in labor. My back just hurt a little bit, and I started spotting. I decided to go to the hospital when I saw that. I had been feeling these little "twinges" all day. When I got to the hospital, they checked me and SURPRISE!! I was fully dilated. Now with the first three, labor hurt. But it was nothing that could not be handled. A couple of times the contractions took my breath away, but I just had to refocus on the breathing and concentration techniques that I learned in class. As soon as I did that, it was ok again. Now, I recently had problems with my gallbladder and had to have it removed. When I was having attacks, I kept thinking that it was so much worse than labor. LOL. You can always start out natural and can change your mind. They will make you labor for a while without any pain meds anyway. If you get them too early, then they won't help. If you get them too late, they won't help. But either way, just remember this.....as soon as you start to push and that wonderful little person literally pops out, you will have forgotten every single contraction. It'll be like it never happened. I think that it is Nature's way of making us want to go through it again. LOL.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 May 09
This is some really excellent advice. I'm pregnant with my third child and the first two were delivered fairly easily. I have a phobia about anything punturing my spine, so an epidural was not an option for me. There is a middle ground between natural and epidural...they can give you an intravenus pain medication just to take the edge off. I had stadoll (not sure about the spelling there) and it felt like a couple shots of tequila. A nice fuzzy, dull feeling that usually wears off before the final push. I'm considering going natural this time, but it really isn't unbearable especially with the pain management options available, now. And the pain isn't what you'll remember.
• United States
20 May 09
FINALLY....someone with the same phobia as mine. When I was a child, I had an allergy work-up. 27 shots in my back. Ever since then, I have been terrified of needles anywhere near my back. I've had Stadol before, too. Ain't it great? LOL
• United States
19 May 09
i really depends on each person and with each child i have 4 my and i had them all natural with nothing for pain and most of my labors where very long, my oldest son i was in labor for 1 week 2 days and 11 hours and it really hurt because i was induced my 2nd son i was only in labor for 4 hours nad it didnt hurt at all, my 3rd son i was in labor 2 weeks 3 days and 6 hours and it was painful but i got through it with my daughter who just turned 1 on sunday the pain with her was not to bad exept the last 10 min so it really depends like i said i had them all natural no thing for pain , so it depends on pain tolerence because everyones diffrent.
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
19 May 09
I get really bad, keeps me in bed for two days, cramps and I've had 3 kids...My oldest two were normal labours for the most part (my daughter was a bit stubborn though LOL) but my third child was extremely painful. He was born at 24 weeks gestation and basically every time i had a contraction, the sac he was hangin out in was ripping away from the wall....NOT FUN.....All that said, oh and I didnt have ANYTHING for any of my labours..all three were natural....so ya that said, IMO tryign to compare labour to ANYTHING else is really not doable....Yes labour and childbirth CAN BE painful BUT its a good pain as far as I'm concerned....
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14338)
• United States
19 May 09
I've had some bad cramps before and I've also given birth (twice). I'd have to say that the menstrual cramps were worse (I still get cramps every now and then but they're nothing like they used to be). Though the labor pains and cramping can vary from woman to woman. I did have an episiotomy (a small cut down "there") with my oldest, but only because I was scared out of my mind about giving birth and I wouldn't cooperate...at least not until the doctor told me my baby's heart rate was slowing. Then I did what I was told and pushed my baby out. But by then the doctor decided to give me an episiotomy to help with the delivery. I don't remember if she used a local or not. With my youngest, my water wouldn't break on it's own even though I was already 9 centimeters dilated when I got to the hospital. The doctor, for one reason or another, decided to wait before helping to break it. Two hours later it still hadn't broken on it's own so he broke it for me. I won't lie to you, the contractions were beyond painful by that point. But after my water was broken, my baby was born 4 minutes later and the pain went away. (This birth was completely natural.) Just remember, with childbirth, it doesn't last as long (menstrual cramps come month after month, for years!) AND you get a little bundle of joy out of it. PS I have never taken anything for menstrual cramps.
@nishdan01 (3055)
• Singapore
19 May 09
I do not think that the monthly cramps can go anywhere near labor pains. You said that a Tylenol helped you, but labor isn't that way. I must also say that labor pains depends on your pain bearing ability and it differs from people to people. Labor pains come and go and there is no need to worry about it now. Be cool and if possible take come childbirth classes when you become pregnant.
@myskina (182)
• China
19 May 09
well . it's maybe a sensitive problem for somebody . maybe i have no this experience so sorry for you . you should have a personal doctor to help you and ask him some professional questions . anyway . have a good one . anything will be okay .
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 May 09
I never had any cramps at all, all of my life but I have gave birth once with an epidural injected in me. Though I choose to have a painless labor, they haven't put the anesthesia on me until I was 8cm due. It much painful like I think what you have described as your cramps 5x than that. I'm not really exaggerating it, I'm just telling what I have experienced. I also saw a girl in the labor room with me and she really doesn't care on what is going on with her because of the pain she felt. Having epidural is a great help, but the pain gives you the hint on when to push the baby, epidural just needs you to feel your tummy to feel hard and you have to push. Well, I end up in an operating table for C-section after the agony of laboring for 11 hours and 15 mins of pushing hard for my delivery with epidural. :)
1 person likes this
• United States
19 May 09
I suffer from bad cramps, and I've also gone through induced labor, so I've experienced both situations at their worse. Childbirth is BY FAR more painful than cramps. Now, I was induced, so my labor pains were more painful than if it was natural... But, it was honestly unimaginable. Don't get me wrong, it was worth every second and I can't wait to be able to do it again. The best thing you can do is mentally prepare yourself for what you are going to have to go through. The hardest part was that as soon as one pain was over, the next one started. The way labor is on tv an in movies is pretty glamorous compared to the real thing. Oh, and I did end up getting an epidural. I wanted one all along, but I was forced to go through 12 hours of labor before I could get it. After I got it, I had my baby one hour later. The pushing part wasn't even remotely hard with an epidural.
@sjvenden27 (1851)
• United States
19 May 09
When I was a teenager I had very bad cramps, to the point that the first day I had to stay in bed... Then when I was 24 I found out that I was pregnant. My doctor, aunt and I talked about how about natural, or getting the shot for the pain.. After the doctor describe how the pain medication was going to have to be injected in my back... I said no way, I already have a bad back, and I do not need a nurse making a mistake, which could or would make it worse.. So my option was natural.. As the months followed my aunt..(Thank God For her!!) She started getting me prepared for the labor, she said ya its going to hurt... accept it.. just remember you will have that baby in your arms... Also told me that I needed to drink plenty of water, that will also help.. Not sure if all women are like this, but during 3 and 4 month I got really tired. My energy level was not very high.. would sit around or sleep quite a bit... My aunt told me that I needed to get up and move around... and do some walking... With my aunt's persitensity I started moving around more and walking... One last pointer she gave me was to try to stay relaxed.. didnt quite understand why, thought the idea was crazy.. The day finally came.. My water broke at midnight... and at 3:29 am my beauitiful baby boy was born.. the only thing that the doctors gave me was something for vomiting.. nothing else... So when you do decide you are ready.. start preparing for the labor sooner then later... Oh by the way my menstrual cramps dont get as bad as they used too...
1 person likes this
• United States
19 May 09
I have a 2 year old, and am expecting a baby in July. I can tell you that every woman is different, but I was in labor with my daughter for 28 hours, and before I got my epidural it was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life!! I don't really suffer from bad period cramps though, so I can't really compare. I've heard of women having cramps during their period that are similar to labor pains, so it can happen. At least while in labor you can have an epidural to ease the pain. I have a low pain tolerance so I don't think I would be able to give birth without the epidural!!!
1 person likes this
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
19 May 09
yse, labor is way much worse...but do not be scared, it will all be worth it when you see your baby..plus there are painless birth where something is injected so you will fall asleep and when you wake up it will all be over..but i went through all the pain and stuff lol but its worth it all
1 person likes this
@Haraaz (112)
• Sweden
19 May 09
I've always had menstrual cramps that really amde me sick, so bad I couldn't get up from bed for the first 2-3 days of menstruation period. Well, the first stage of giving birth is 10 times worse than that.
@Haraaz (112)
• Sweden
19 May 09
I forgot, I had decided notto have ANY kind of pain reliever, but in the end it got so bad they put epidural (the doctor stuck me wih the needle so it broke!!) but it didn't help. Although, everything turned out allright and I got no complicatons afterwards...
@berlong (227)
• United States
23 May 09
I never really had cramps with my periods, so i dont know what boat you are in, however I am currently 28 weeks pregnant and have been having braxton hicks contractions. My friend is 10 weeks ahead of me and she claims they hurt like hell whereas I dont really mind them. BXC are supposed to prepare you for L&D, So I think its all just your mindset on the pain. If you set yourself up to be prepared for the Labor then I feel you will be fine.
@sandymay48 (2031)
• Canada
20 May 09
well I believe that is a very hard question to answer. None of us can feel the pain you had, and all of us have different degrees of pain and all tolerate it differently during labour. I can tell you that labour pain is intense if done naturally, but it is the easiest forgotton and instant relief once the baby is out and you get to hold it. The pain is all worth it in the end. If you dont particularly like pain, take the pain medication, there is nothing wrong with needing it. After all, you want to be as comfortable as possible to deliver your little angel.
@coolcoder (2022)
• United States
20 May 09
I was wondering the same thing, because from the time I first got my period, my cramps have been the most awful thing to happen every month. Every month, I'm laid out flat on my back in a bed, trying to get rid of them. They've even caused me to vomit in the middle of the school office one year during high school. Hey, at least I'll be used to laboring when and if I ever have kids. lol :)
@minnie15 (146)
• United States
20 May 09
Take the epidural. You will thank me later. My labor pains were worse than any menstural cramps I ever had. I was determined to have my daughter all natural...then when I was dialted to 6 cm, I was begging for an epidural. The epidural made labor and delivery painless. All I felt was pressure.
• United States
19 May 09
Labor pains do not compare to menstrual cramps. Not by a long shot. However, the wonderful event of childbirth is pain depending on the individual and the baby. I am a happy new mommy to a very lovely chubby 4 month old and I did not have as much pain as most mothers do. My water broke the night before and I did not even know (I thought it would be a rush of water but actually, it's a constant urine like act that you cannot stop). Luckily, I was able to get to the hospital in time. Once we got to the parking lot of the hospital, I had my first contraction. Then the second one came in the delivery room (by then I jumped 5 to 8 centimeters) then one more as I was receiving an epidural (a lifesaver) and then 10 minutes later, she was her. I was a lucky one because it was so quick and the epidural worked wonders. So, if you are considering that special bundle of joy, just remember that it's not painful for everyone, it's based on mommy and baby and that an epidural is okay to have.
• United States
19 May 09
I don't think labor pain is anything you need to be worrying about at this point. Wait until you have no choice! All I can say is that God gives you the amazing ability to get through it and be OK. I went into childbirth (the first time) wanting to do things all-natural. After 18 hours of labor (that had been induced with pitocin), I had to change my plans! I ended up with the epidural and then later ended up with a c-section when labor stopped and we had no choice. But, during the course of your pregnancy, your doc will probably walk you through your "birth plan" and you decide what you'd PREFER to do. When the time comes, if you can't follow through with your plan A, you use plan B. And it is all OK!
• Philippines
19 May 09
I was 15 year old when I got my first monthly period. My grandma followed some beliefs. She told me to jump from the 3rd steps of our stairs to make my menstruation last only for 3 days, rub an egg to my whole body to keep my skin smooth and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to avoid menstrual pain. But it was not all true. When I have my menstruation I experienced so much pain. Then, my mom said, when I get married and give birth, no more menstrual pain. I think she's right because after I gave birth, I never experienced pain anymore when I have my menstruation. Labor is more painful than dysmenorrhea. Giving birth is more painful but rewarding. During my labor, I experienced so much pain because I've done it in a natural way. It was a nice experience although painful but rewarding especially when you hear your baby's cry. Good luck!
@dvmurphy (326)
• United States
19 May 09
Labor pains are much worse than menstral cramps. My first child was breech, not feet first either but trying to come sideways. I went in to labor at 9:00 am and didn't have him until 10:17 that night. He had to be turned twice and finally again to bring him into the birth canal head first. I had four units of blood with him and slept nearly 12 hours before waking up starving. The pain was horrible because of the complications but as a new mother it was the most remarkable day of my life to finally see my son. He is 28 years old this month. My daughter was born four years later and her birth was very easy but the labor was certainly stronger than any menstral period. Labor is different for every woman and even for different pregnacies. The labor for my daughter was more in my back and sides where in my son's it was mostly in the front. My daughter came so fast I varily made it to the delivery room. Seeing your child for the first time makes it all worth while. My daughter is 24 now with a daughter of her own.