Moms Share Their Words to Describe Labor Pain

It’s likely that you’ve wondered what labor is going to feel like since the moment you found out that you’re pregnant. You are not alone in this as many search for the words to describe labor pain to give other mothers (and others) a better idea of what to expect. We know you can’t wait for the moment to hold your newborn in your arms but the birthing journey is how you will eventually end up at that point.

Each woman’s body is different and each delivery is going to be more or less difficult depending on a variety of factors. While most of the words to describe labor pain focus on physical pain we should keep in mind that the labor process is a mental one as well. You can better prepare yourself for the inevitable by knowing what to expect when it’s time for your baby to meet you. We turn to a number of moms who have already gone through labor to discover how it felt for them. Read their accounts below.

Discover the Words to Describe Labor Pain That Moms Have Shared.

“The Ring of Fire Is No Joke”

 words to describe labor pain

“The ring of fire is no joke — [it’s] like the worst carpet burn you’ve ever gotten, times 10, in your vagina,” a mom from Arizona explained. The so-called “ring of fire” is the moment that the baby crowns. It’s great stretching of the muscles and tissue in the region when you’re fully dilated.

“Worst Gas Pains”

 words to describe labor pain

“Physically, labor feels like the worst gas pains you can ever imagine, followed by your butt feeling like it’s going to explode or basically split open,” the same mom added.

“The best feeling is that moment of relief after the baby comes out, and all the pressure is gone, and you are holding him or her and seeing them for the first time,” she explained. “Emotionally, you are all over the place. Your hormones are going crazy, because you are happy, scared, nervous, excited, or, like me, a little in shock that it’s happening.”

“Increasingly Bad Period Cramps”

 words to describe labor pain

“For me, labor felt like increasingly bad period cramps,” a mom from Nebraska said. “I remember being so clueless as to what a contraction would feel like, and then when they started I was like, ‘Oh hey, I’ve been preparing for this my whole life!’” The comparison to menstrual cramps is a common one among those who have given birth.

“Being Stabbed a Million Times with a Dull Knife”

 words to describe labor pain

“I was induced with both [babies]. First one, I had a non-working epidural, and it felt like I was being stabbed a million times with a dull knife from my butt to my stomach!” a mom from California shared.

“No Big Deal”

 words to describe labor pain

The same California mom had a different experience the second time around and different words to describe labor pain, “With [the] second [baby] and working epidural, labor felt like no big deal,” she said before things began to change. “Literally didn’t feel anything. The worst part was getting my IV until it was time to push and I felt like my whole body was going to rip/explode but with no actual pain — just pressure, like a super inflated balloon.” 

“Pushing Is Hard if You Don’t Know What to Do”

 words to describe labor pain

“You know that ‘stitch’ feeling you get in your side after working out too hard?” A Texas mom said, offering her words to describe labor pain. “It is that feeling — times 10, encompassing a circumference from the bottom of your rib cage to your tailbone. Pushing is hard if you don’t know what you’re doing. Imagine you’re puking, then use those muscles to push.”

“Discomfort Gets Worse and Worse Until It Crests”

 words to describe labor pain

“Contractions feel like waves,” a Michigan mom said, giving her words to describe labor pain. “The discomfort gets worse and worse until it crests, then eases back down. Visualizing actual waves and then breathing through them helped me.” Now, I had one [baby] induced with max doses of Pitocin and one totally [unmedicated]. No pain meds for either. On Pitocin, the waves crest and then smash into a wall, and while you’re trying to recover, another one crests and smashes so you feel like drowning. [Unmedicated] labor is just riding on huge rolling waves. [Unmedicated] labor felt like a picnic, even with no pain meds, compared to that ‘angry ocean’ caused by Pitocin!”

“The Waves Crest and Then Smash Into a Wall”

 words to describe labor pain

The same Michigan mom continued sharing her words to describe labor pain. “Now, I had one [baby] induced with max doses of Pitocin and one totally [unmedicated]. No pain meds for either. On Pitocin, the waves crest and then smash into a wall, and while you’re trying to recover, another one crests and smashes so you feel like drowning. [Unmedicated] labor is just riding on huge rolling waves. [Unmedicated] labor felt like a picnic, even with no pain meds, compared to that ‘angry ocean’ caused by Pitocin!”

“It Felt Like My Body Was Literally Being Torn in Two Directions”

 words to describe labor pain

“I had a failed epidural. It felt like my body was literally being torn in two directions,” a Kansas mom shared. “Blinding pain. I’m grateful I could feel what my body was telling me, though.”

“All the Horror Storied I Had Heard Were Dead Wrong”

 words to describe labor pain

“I was induced with Pitocin, and all the horror stories I heard were dead wrong,” a mother from Indiana said. “I felt nothing for seven hours. Not a thing. Then for two hours after that, I felt noticeable tightening, but that was it. Broke water next, and things picked up, but it was never bad enough that I wanted an epidural. My recovery, even with a second-degree tear, wasn’t awful.” 

RELATED: Pregnant Woman Goes Into Labor Before Giving Birth In A Gas Station Bathroom

“Intense Paralyzing Pain”

 words to describe labor pain

“With my second there wasn’t time for an IV, let alone a chance of an epidural,” an Arizona mom said, sharing her words to describe labor pain. “I have never [experienced] such intense paralyzing pain in my life. I’ve never felt so out of control and terrified immediately followed by such an indescribable high when he was born.”

“Couldn’t Feel What Was Happening”

 words to describe labor pain

“I actually found it so much easier to labor and deliver without the epidural,” a mom from Pennsylvania shared her words to describe labor pain. “I pushed for four hours with my first [baby] and couldn’t feel what was happening.”

“It Was Amazing When I Felt and Understood What Was Happening”

 words to describe labor pain

The same Pennsylvania mom shared her words to describe labor pain for her second child which was different. “With my second [baby], I had a precipitous delivery, so there was no time for [an epidural],” she explained. “I panicked at that realization, but then I gave myself a mental pep talk and got into the zone. It was amazing when I felt and understood what was happening — like the pressure and ring of fire. Sure, the contractions were painful, but the delivery was amazing. For me, the pressure was the worst part, so being able to push through it was relieving.” 

“Labor Feels Like a Roller-Coaster Ride”

 words to describe labor pain

“Labor feels like a roller-coaster ride,” a Texas mom said with words to describe labor pain. “Contractions cause tension that basically goes, ‘Ouch…ow…ow..ow.OW.OW.OW.OWWWW.’ Delivery, on the other hand, felt like one giant constipated poop. Single coolest feeling I’ve ever had was of my children dropped into the birth canal, then them being delivered. It hurt like hell, but it also made me feel insanely powerful.”

“The Feeling When You’re About to Have Diarrhea”

 words to describe labor pain

“For me, labor — or contractions, rather — was the feeling when you’re about to have diarrhea,” a mom from Massachusetts said. “The pain in your back, the heat, the thought of the inevitable explosion, but 10 times more intense, but then there’s no relief. I eventually got the drugs, which was the best thing!”

“Like a Sledgehammer”

 words to describe labor pain

 “Back labor: like a sledgehammer blow to my lower spine — only sustained for about 30 seconds at a time,” a mom from New York said, offering words to describe labor pain.

“A Quentin Tarantino Movie”

 words to describe labor pain

“Emotionally, labor is like a series of bad surprise parties but at the end is the best surprise party ever — but you don’t know when the best one is going to happen,” a mom from New Jersey said her words to describe labor pains. “Physically, the closest I can compare it to is a Quentin Tarantino movie.” 

“The Worst Was the Ring of Fire”

 words to describe labor pain

“Labor with my first was intense,” a mom from South Carolina said, sharing her words to describe labor pain. “The contractions hurt, but the worst was the ring of fire. I kept telling myself that the pain was temporary and that mantra made it better.”

“All-Around Charley Horse”

 words to describe labor pain

Many women never experience a charley horse until pregnancy. Medical experts are still not sure why expecting mothers experience leg cramps, but theories include vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and fatigue from carrying extra weight. According to BabyGaga, many women compare labor to an “All-Around Charly Horse.” Ouch!

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“The Most Beautiful Pain Ever”

 words to describe labor pain

“Some women say it’s like no pain they have ever felt,” BG states. “Being in the throes of labor is like the worst and best pain at the same time. It hurts, but the adrenaline coursing through your veins helps you through.” Those are very interesting words to describe labor pain.

Now you know the words to describe labor pain. Your birthing journey will be a physical and mental test of endurance but we believe in you, mama! You got this. You’re already preparing yourself for what’s to come which means you’re well on the right track.

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