Don'T Think Of It As Pain, Think Of It As An Interesting Sensation That Requires All Of Your Attention
Quote by Ina May Gaskin
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Don’t Think Of It As Pain – Managing the feeling of Contractions

Don'T Think Of It As Pain, Think Of It As An Interesting Sensation That Requires All Of Your Attention
Quote By Ina May Gaskin


I love this quote from Ina May Gaskin – an American midwife who has been described as “the mother of authentic midwifery” 🙌

It’s a great way to reframe your thinking of what contractions can feel like. 🤰 ⁣

For some contractions feel painful. For others, they just feel like pressure. ⁣

I don’t think there is just one way to describe the way contractions feel. Its a very unique sensation.

For our first time moms, if you have lots of anxiety around giving birth, try to memorize the quote and know that you can get through it!⁣

When you instead try to think of it as what it is, your uterus contracting to help push your beautiful baby down and out into this world, the pain won’t be as bad. Try not to think of it as a horrible thing that is being done to you

For those of you who have had babies before, what did the contractions feel like for you?⁣

Originally posted 2021-04-08 11:44:47.


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  1. I told myself Pain is not physical.. it is what I felt emotionally, physical pain which I am feeling during contractions is peanuts . I’m strong and I have dealt with emotional pain, this will pass too. And it did. I got my un-medicated vbac and I’m grateful for going through labor wisely and informed.

  2. I had back labor pain, so maybe my experience was totally different…. But I felt like I was going to die of pain every contraction. The pain radiated through me. The cramping in my uterus felt manageable, but my back was a whole different story 😭

  3. With my son The contractions felt like very very strong abdominal crunches. With my daughter the contractions felt much sharper and more like a crazy period cramp.

  4. My labour was 100% in my back. I gave birth at home, so there was no pain killers or anything that I could use to help other than the shower. At one point I remember telling my mom that it felt like someone was chainsawing my back 😅 About 30 minutes before the baby was out, I just stopped and said “okay. I’m ready for an epidural now!” And my husband was like “nope. We’re doing this without and you’re going to be okay!” Hopefully the next baby isn’t posterior facing and that the midwife shows up before the baby is crowing! 😂

  5. I am a first time mom, i am 39 weeks due and feeling some pressures now! Could they be simply contractions 🧐

  6. It was actually very bearable and I laboured up to 6cm with a reasonable amount of ease. However, we then realized my daughter was having cord issues causing late decelerations and her heart rate was slower and slower to come back up despite position changes. When the decision to perform an emergency cesarean was made I lost all my bearings and the contractions became the most unbearably painful thing I had ever felt. Definitely agree it’s all about mindset, as soon as I became emotionally overwhelmed at the thought of surgery (I had NEVER had surgery before) labour became 1000x more painful.

  7. What surprised me the most was how during labor the time between contractions was totally chilled for me. That time got shorter and shorter but that’s really what got me through. My doula told me before to “ride the waves” of contractions and that analogy made so much sense while in labor. And then towards the end, definitely felt like I had the most giant poop to get out but I just couldn’t. That was the worst part but more uncomfortable than painful.

  8. I feel this is dangerous and ill-prepares women for birth. It can be incredibly painful and still safe. It can be incredibly horribly awfully painful AND you can do it. And even if your birth is painful, it doesn’t mean you failed. There are too many courses, books, and bologna out there trying to sell us the idea of a pain free birth, which is something that isn’t truly possible for many of us. We need more encouragement that we’re made to do it! That we have what it takes, even if it hurts like the worst thing in the world!

  9. It felt like a hot knife shredding through my cervix as a vice crushing all of my pelvic bones. I read all of the books, practiced meditating to be in a peaceful mindset.. but after 23 hours of labor and 8 hours of pushing with no meds my mindset was anything but peaceful.. straight torture!

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Written by Claire

Claire is our Community Manager here at New Moms Forum. A mom of two (almost grown-up babies), Claire has been building and operating community-based websites for almost 20 years. In her downtime, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and drinking copious amounts of red wine!

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