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Birth Pains: What to Expect During Labor and Delivery

Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, MD · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Patrick Juanico · Updated Jun 16, 2021

Birth Pains: What to Expect During Labor and Delivery

Natural birth is one of the hardest things any mother could experience, especially because it is accompanied by various birth pains. Statistics show that a lot of women prefer a C-section delivery of their babies to a normal one, primarily because of fear from the different types of pain that they might experience.

Being prepared for these things is always ideal. If you are set to give birth soon, particularly normal delivery, here are some of the kinds of pain that you might experience:

The Four Stages of Labor and Delivery

Types of Birth Pains

This usually occurs during labor and between contractions, during the time when your uterus is trying to push your baby down. The pain can be commonly felt around the lower back and pelvis area. 

It is also usually very painful, gradually increasing with each contraction. Additionally, the more painful the back pain/labor is, the longer it lasts. But this shouldn’t be an immediate cause of alarm since that is really what you should expect.

Abdominal Cramps

Another birth pain that you would probably experience is abdominal cramps. The pain varies among different women. Some say that it feels like menstrual pains, but others say that it comes in waves and tends to feel more excruciating than regular cramps.

Transitional Labor Pain

Transitional labor starts when your body starts preparing to open your cervix, ready to deliver the baby. Some people say that this is the most painful part of labor. 

There’s a chance that you will be feeling some pressure in your rectal area as the baby goes down the your pelvic floorYou will also feel a little discomfort around your waist, hips, and even groin area.

Pain During Delivery

When it is time to deliver your baby, you would most likely feel pain as you push your baby out. It will be very painful, but you will feel relieved as the baby goes out.

There’s also a big chance that you will have a burning/stinging sensation around your vagina’s opening after the delivery. However, all of these are normal since you have just finished pushing a baby out.

Vaginal Tear

If the baby’s head is too big for your vaginal opening, you might also experience some vaginal tear (perineal laceration) while delivering the baby. This is something that happens commonly during normal childbirth.

It usually heals by itself after around two weeks, but some tears can be quite big or bleeds and would require stitches to fully close them up.

How to Prevent Vaginal Tearing During Childbirth

How to Relieve Birth Pains

There are many ways to address or manage these different types of pain during labor. Here are some things that you can try doing to relieve or even just lessen the pain:

Back Massage

You can ask your partner or your therapist to give you a lower back massage to ease the pain in your lower back. It’s also effective in relieving cramps. They can opt to use their closed fist or a small circular object, like a tennis ball, to apply some more pressure to your lower back.


Requesting for an epidural anesthesia from your doctor is another common way of easing labor pain.. This will help lessen the pain, especially during contractions.

Lamaze Breathing 

This is a breathing method that a lot of laboring mothers do during pregnancy. It is basically controlling your breath every time you feel the contractions starting. Just start inhaling slowly first, hold it in for a few seconds, and then slowly exhale in tune with your contractions.

Taking a shower

Another effective way that some laboring mothers recommend is having a shower, particularly hitting your lower back area with a bit of water pressure. Whenever you feel the contractions or when you feel lower back pain, you can simply point the shower on that area until it slowly subsides.


This is another form of medication that may be given to ease the pain during labor. It may be given via intravenous route.You should be wary of its side effects though like nausea and drowsiness, as well as some potential effects on your baby (possible respiratory depression in some types of analgesics).

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, birth pains are something that happens normally to any pregnant woman. Some experience it more, some experience it less. There’s no sure way to fully remove the pain, but there are various things that your partner, a doctor, or even you yourself can do to at least ease the pain. But if you feel like you’ve been experiencing some more unusual pains, you can always contact your doctor and have a check-up. In the end, it’s always best to follow your doctor’s advice.

Learn more about Labor and Delivery here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mary Rani Cadiz, MD

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Patrick Juanico · Updated Jun 16, 2021

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