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A 42-year-old member asked:

help please? how painful is childbirth?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Extremely variable.: The childbirth experience can be quite different from one child to another (same woman). I found it painful - (but a small list of other problems have caused more pain).

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Similar questions

A member asked:

How can I minimize the pain of childbirth?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Melissa Rankin
Obstetrics and Gynecology 31 years experience
Several choices: For those who want to experience as little pain as possible, there are several choices. Non-medical options include hypnotherapy, guided imagery and visualization techniques, and massage. For those seeking medical interventions, the standard options include narcotic analgesia and epidural anesthesia. Narcotics (those in the morphine family) take the edge off pain at the level of the brain, making you care less about the pain, even though you still feel it. These neurological effects may leave you feeling sleepy, euphoric, or “out of it.” Epidural anesthesia doesn’t affect the brain’s pain centers in the same way, so you’re more likely to feel alert and awake. The epidural numbs the body from the waist down, making you feel pressure, but no- or little- pain, until the very end, when you may feel a bit of pain just as the baby comes out. If you’re very early in labor (less than 4 centimeters dilated), your doctor may encourage you to choose narcotic analgesia until your labor is more active, when you may choose an epidural. If you’re further along, such as 8 centimeters dilated, your doctor may discourage you from using narcotics, since they can depress the respiration of the newborn. In my experience, patients experience the best relief from pain when they combine non-medical pain management techniques with narcotics early in labor and then an epidural in active labor.
A 48-year-old member asked:

Help please! is childbirth really as painful as people make it out to be?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Darrin Cunningham
Obstetrics and Gynecology 30 years experience
Cant say: Having delivered and labored thousands of women in labor, my observation is yes. Also, women will say so as well. I am a big believer in epidurals.
A 37-year-old member asked:

What is more painful, childbirth or being stabbed by a knife?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
There isn't one : Correct answer for this. There can be a great deal of variability in how much pain a woman experiences during childbirth. The pain from being stabbed can also differ depending on the person's pain threshold, what the person is stabbed with (sharp vs dull), depth of stab wound, location etc.
A 48-year-old member asked:

How painful is childbirth?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Rahil Malik
Obstetrics and Gynecology 10 years experience
Very painful: At best - Labor pain can feel like really severe menstrual cramps. The cramping radiates from the pelvis to the back or the back to the pelvis. Without an epidural many women find it unbearable during their first pregnancy. Subsequent pregnancies, they are able to tolerate the pain better and the labor can be shorter.

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Last updated Mar 27, 2014
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