That’s the million dollar question on every newly pregnant woman’s mind…What does birth really feel like??? If you look online you will find this burning inquisitive enquiry on most pregnancy forums from pregnant women everywhere that just want to get an inkling as to what labour and birth will feel like for them so that they know that in some way there is a chance they can get through it.
As one woman stated in one of the forums “obviously your pushing a fully grown baby out of your vagina but if its really as bad as everyone says why do some woman have more children? I just want to know what it actually feels like i would like someone to do their best at trying to explain what the pains feel like and what was worse for them the actual labour pains or the pushing?”
I’ve had three girls and felt the labour sensations with all of them however each birth and each sensation was so very different. I remember the days when I used to take my first child to the park when she was very little and I used to see mums there with 2 or 3 kids and think ‘goodness me how do they go back for more!!!’. It was preposterous for me to even comprehend the thought of going back for another one after the horrid sensations I felt through the first one. But what I later discovered and through my teachings of doing HypnoBirthing and my work as a Doula was that what you feel through labour are really within the perception of the beholder. It is up to YOU and only YOU as to what you feel throughout your labour. Obviously there will be an emerging head coming through your vagina and you will feel lots of intense sensations through the whole experience but whether that will feel like sheer pain, agony, ecstasy, strength or powerful is up to your mind and your mind only.
Whilst teaching HypnoBirthing I meet many new pregnant mamas with different diverse stories of this fear of what labour will be like especially since our preconditioned understanding of what birth will be is displayed very clearly for us on television with women screaming in agony! So how are we to know any better or even visualise a different circumstance for ourselves. I had a woman once tell me that how could she possibly go through labour when she quickly reaches for a Panadol even just for her monthly cycles…and so to answer that you need to really understand the complete hormonal interplay of which labour takes you on so I encourage you to do that and then you will learn what natural bodily functions you have protecting you and ensuring your mammalian brain to take over. As one perfect example of this is the amazing endorphins that provide you with your shot of natural pain relief and also ensure procreation for it will provide you with a natural post birth amnesic effect so you actually go back and have more babies later on!!
So try not to ponder too long on this fascination to know so you can somehow prepare. What you hear from your friends, see on tv or even read in birth stories are very individual journeys of someone else and YOUR experience will be your own journey based on YOUR mindset, the prenatal preparation you do and your willingness to go with the flow of labour and surrender to your birthing body.