Home 9 FERTILITY & PREGNANCY 9 How Painful is Childbirth?

How Painful is Childbirth?

May 3, 2023
How painful is childbirth? A question many people ask. Childbirth can be a very intense and often painful experience for many women. However, the degree of pain experienced during childbirth can vary widely depending on a variety of factors.

During labour, many women experience contractions as a tightening or cramping sensation in their lower abdomen or back. As labour progresses, contractions can become increasingly intense and painful. During the pushing phase of labour, women may also experience significant pressure and discomfort as the baby moves through the birth canal.

Pain relief

Some women may find the pain of childbirth manageable, while others may require pain relief. Common pain relief for childbirth as usually nitrous oxide, pethidine or in some cases an epidural.

Nitrous Oxide – commonly know as laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is a gas that is inhaled for its rapid but short-lived feelings of euphoria, relaxation, calmness, and sense of detachment.

Pethidine – is form of pain management given as an injection. It takes about 20 minutes to work and one injection of pethidine can last between two to four hours. It will help you to relax, and some women find that this lessens the pain.

Epidural – is an injection in your back to stop you feeling pain in part of your body. A needle is used to insert a fine plastic tube called an epidural catheter into your back (spine) near the nerves that carry pain messages to your brain. The needle is then removed, leaving just the catheter in your spine. You may feel mild discomfort when the epidural needle is positioned and the catheter is inserted.

Remember that pain is not necessarily consistent during the whole labor process, and you’ll probably experience breaks from it between contractions or while pushing. Although, you may notice though that it does increase after your waters have broken or as labor picks up. Some elements of the pain are temporary while others continue for a period of time after giving birth.

Childbirth pain can vary

It’s important to note that every woman’s experience of childbirth is unique, and the perception of pain can vary widely. Some women may have a relatively easy labour and delivery, while others may experience more intense pain or complications. It’s important for women to work closely with their healthcare providers and communicate their needs during labour and delivery to manage pain and ensure the safest possible delivery for both mother and baby.

If you are worried about dealing with the pain of childbirth, talk it through with your midwife and make sure that it is documented in your birth plan. You are not alone worrying about this we can assure you! 

Click here to find out what you need to pack in your hospital bag.


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