You’ve probably had that moment where your mother asks for a favor, then includes that cliché line stating how long she carried you in her womb, just to guilt trip you. All jokes aside however, it’s never been easy for any woman to be pregnant, yet alone give birth. For almost a year, she’d have to give up some aspects of her lifestyle such as alcohol, and adopt an almost new way of life, from regular medical checkups to sleeping differently. She’d then proceed to experience several minutes or hours of immense pain when it comes time for you to enter into the world. But exactly how painful is giving birth?
A mother called Angelina from Ellicott City said, “I was told it would feel like very bad menstrual cramps but that’s not what it felt like to me. It was much more intense and it was almost all in my lower back. Every time a contraction would come, my lower back would slowly begin to seize up. It was kind of like the muscles inside were slowly twisting harder and harder until it became almost unbearable, and then it would slowly subside. It was still much more painful than I had imagined it would be”
It’s been claimed that child birth pain on average has a pain rating index (PRI) of about 37 or so, which is 8 to 10 points higher or more excruciating than those who experience cancer pain, phantom limb pain, and postherpetic neuralgia which range at about 20-25 points. Average or moderate pain caused by a bruise, fracture or cut ranges at around 12-20 points, just to give you an idea of how bad birth can be.
The uterus is a muscular organ that contracts powerfully to squeeze the baby out, and those contractions are the reason it’s so painful to give birth. It’s been stated by many women that the contractions come and go, making it possible for them to recover and deal with the pain. Every woman undergoes different levels of discomfort. How much pain one experiences depends on a variety of factors, such as the strength of their contractions, the baby’s size and position in your pelvis, whether its placed in the ideal birth position, and the speed of the labor.
Even, with different experiences, it’s seen that most women suffer lower abdominal and lower back pain during contractions. Women may also feel pain throughout the belly, in the hips, buttocks, or thighs or even all of these areas combined. Pain may emit from front to back, back to front, or down the thighs. It may be felt in several areas at once or just in one specific place. Words women have used to describe their pain include: cramping, sharp, aching, throbbing, pressing, and shooting, which can last about 8 hours on average.
“With both my babies I didn’t experience normal contractions. Instead I felt like I was having one long contraction that felt like the worst menstrual cramps I had ever had.” says Rebecca from Layton.
Our mothers have gone through a lot to have us, and despite how irritating they may be at times, take this mother’s day to appreciate them for all their courage, persistence, patience and bravery.