Advise needed: how bad is the natural labour pain without pain killer



anyone can share? maybe can use comparison with the period cramp... eg: 100 times more painful than period cramp or any other pain.

next year will be my first time, and plan to go ahead without any pain killer.


Hi chelchel,

I had gone through natural labour without any pain killer (not even the gas mask) when I gave birth to my 3rd child 6yrs ago. I had actually wanted to have pethidine but the labour was too fast for me to react. I am not sure about the others, but I could actually feel my cervix bone open and my baby passing through it. I must say it is really an experience and it is the most unforgettable one among my 4 pregnancies. yes, it is very much more painful than period cramp but worth it after you see your baby
Hi chelchel,
Labour pain is definitely much more painful than period cramp but it's bearable. I gave birth last year (1st kid) without any form of painkiller. Must be mentally strong coz nurses will asked if you need epidural/gas etc over and over again when they see you in pain (TMC).

Anyway, all I feel during labour - backpain and not able to lay down on the bed with the machine strapped on my stomach. So I requested to unstrap and sit up. Doesn't really ease the pain but I feel much better. Overall, mental power is important I think. It helps when I keep thinking if my mum could do it... why can't I?
hi - just to share, i gave birth to both my kids using only the "laughing gas". in oct 2004 and in may 2007. it's painful yes, but not unbearable.

1st birth, after son was delivered didn't feel further pain - cld even take pictures with baby + husband + gynea.

after 2nd birth, the afterbirth pains were still present, which gynea said was expected and i had pain killers administered. was fine after abt 2 hrs.

and u won't remember the pain after that.
but i remembered lots of screams of pain from me - hah hah...and as berry and frostEE said, it will be an experience that only mums will get to go through.

ultimately, it'll be yr decision, which u will need to communicate to yr gynea (who may recommend some form of pain relief) and husband to get the support. all the best!
I gave birth to my 2 kids without pain killer. The pain is bearable, its likely to be 100 times more painful than cramps but the pain is not persistently there, it goes up and down. Don't really know how to describe it. But I was only in labour pain for abt 3-4 hrs, maybe that's why it was bearable for me.

Try not to focus on the pain. I was watching TV in the beginning and talking to my hubby about baby's 1st mth celebration.
I heard one of my friends say that the nurse will sort of "scold" you if you scream in pain in delivery? Is it true?
I agree that mental power is needed. My labour start from 3.30pm (break waterbag) to 8.30pm (Baby out). The real pain only come in 5.00pm, i use laughing gas and have pethidine. After 6.00pm, the pain is a bit unbearable. After 7.00pm, it's mind over body. U jus have to keep telling urself "I CAN DO IT!". The contraction come every 5 mins, so still got a few mins to rest. The midwife did ask me whether i need it a not, i say i dun wan. She say keep an open mind, u won't noe for sure. But for me, i didn't give myself the option. I just keep telling myself, it's how labour should go. I wan to experience REAL labour. I find deep breathing helps a bit.
Hi, I gave birth to a healthy baby gal on 20 Dec 07. I actually saw my gynae the day before for my scheduled 39wks appt. That morning when I got up to pee, I noticed that I had abit of brownish discharge. No contractions yet. When I saw my gynae and told him about it, he said that i could be due anytime soon so to go home and wait. That nite, I couldn't sleep. I kept getting up to pee and felt some abdominal cramps. The cramps came at irregular intervals. Being a 1st time mum, I didn't know that I was starting to have contractions at that time! When I woke up the next day, I started to have more regular cramps though not so intense. I could still walk about at home, watching TV, chatting with my hubby (he took leave to keep me company and wait for baby's arrival). It was only towards the late afternoon that I felt more intense and regular contractions (once every 5-10mins or so). It felt like really bad menstrual cramps. However, it was still bearable (my pain threshold is quite high). I had a quick shower and we drove to the hospital. That was about 6pm. When the MO checked on me, she said that I was already 5cm dilated! She was amazed that I could still bear with the pain. I was wheeled straight to the labour ward. The midwife asked if I wanted any pain control but I told her no. She did give me the gas and taught me how to use it. They paged for my gynae to come. About an hr later, the contractions were coming fast and furious and I had to ask my hubby to hold the gas mask for me (abit disoriented already cos of the pain). I had to grab his hand for the mask each time the contractions came. When the midewife next came to check on me, I was already 9cm dilated and was ready to push. The midwife burst my waterbag. I had to push 1st while waiting for my gynae. Each time the contractions came, I had a very strong urge to bear down and push. It felt like having bad constipation. After my gynae came, everything happened so fast, I didn't even feel it when he injected the LA and did the episiotomy. Baby came out soon after just 3 pushes. Eveything was over in abt 3hrs! Now thinking back, everyone around me advised me to opt for epidural. But i wanted to experience what was labour pain and giving birth without any pain control. After seeing my precious baby gal, all the pain was worth it!
After reading your labour story, i tot of mine. Mine is just 2 weeks ago.

When i'm admin, the midwife say "3cm dilated, still can smile, not bad le". But you are more powerful, 5cm dilated with contraction still can shower.

I strongly agree with the gas mask. I'm also disorientate with the pain and jus can't breathe in properly to get the laughing gas effect. So in the end, i keep scolding my hubby and still feel the pain at its peak. So stupid.

When i'm 8cm dilated and waiting for my gynae, the midwife ask me to hold on, dun push. But the urge is so strong then i keep pushing. Yes, it's feel like constipation! The midwife had to make me lie to one side. I forgot how many push, but the active labour is less than 1 hr. I can feel the "cut" and i've shaking legs after that!

High 5 to all mummy that deliver without epidural! And Congrats to ur BB gal!
My second birth was like a knife cutting through my lower body. It is no joke, it was very very painful, I think 10000 more painful than menstrual cramps. I thought to myself "Sh*t why am I doing this again". Fortunately it was over very fast. But I was so traumatised I was trembling for many hours.

Labour pain is no joke. But women have been giving birth for thousands of years without epidural, so if they can do it, you can do it too.

I gave birth to my first baby in KKH, my second baby in SGH. The nurses never scold when I scream, they were all very nice and sympathetic.
You are so funny! I was like you too. When I delivered my #2, while doing the 1st push, I thought to myself "sh*t, why I landed myself in this again!!!" hahaha... but I feel its worth!

Different ppl have different tolerance, just tell yourself you can do it and use the breathing method. It works.
I have both deliveries w/o epidural. The contraction pains are bearable.
Hahaha me like you also feel that it is worth it, especially now that my little boy grow up to be so cute and funny
I gave birth without epidural too and it's definitely much more painful than period cramps. but you just have to mentally tell yourself that you can do it and you can!
I gave birth to both kids without epidural wat victory says must be prepared. I keep telling myself I can do it!
I must do it!
haha ... and thinking with the money saved can buy many many new clothings for baby ... haha!
Hi Ladies,

Is it painful when the midwife bursts the waterbag because I believe they have to insert a sharp pointed needle to do so right ?
Dun think it's painful when the midwife burst the waterbag. at least for me, i didn't feel any pain then.
actually i dunno leh. When my gynae came, she just broke the water bag. didn't see what she use. maybe you can check with your gynae at your next visit......
Not on any pain relief when gynae break waterbag. Feel anything, but a gust of warm water flowing out. Weight relief is what i feel, then tummy look a bit smaller. When contraction is about to come, u can feel a bit of water flowing out, like u've wet the bed. After that u can feel aching of the lower back, as if u've hurt ur back. Just concentrate to relax, as it help to further dilated ur cervix. Tell urself, u can do it with pain relief.
Actually, I feel that I am having more vaginal discharge at this juncture of my due time. Is this normal before having any bleeding/rupture of water bag/contractions ?
Hi Ladies,

I also wanted to ask something else. How do the contractions feel in your opinion ? Is it basically tightening of your stomach belly as if the baby is stretching himself ? Or does it feel painful below your abdomen ?

Sorry, I am asking this, I am a bit 'gong-gong' because I am gonna be a first-time mummy.
After gynae pierced my waterbag, he only gave me oxygen mask, totally useless, didn't relief any pain. I cried almost throughout my 6 hours of contractions. SUPER SUPER SUPER PAINFUL !!!!

He suspected foetus distress so didn't allow any other pain relief. Maybe my pain threshold is low. After 6 hours of contractions & cervic only dilated 3cm, cannot take it liao, I ended up in emergency cesearean

Not the most successful delivery story I guess.

2nd baby I opt for cesearean
Contractions feel painful below the abdomen. how well you can take the pain depends on your pain threshold. It can also feel as if you wanna pass motion. Different people may have different experience.
Can understand ur pain. After 6hrs of pain, in the end c-section. i think when u feel very pain and not relax, dilate very slow. Maybe for ur 2nd BB, u can do pre-natal yoga. I find it work for me. Deep breathing help to relax.
hi all mummies,
Thanks for sharing all ur stories. After reading it, i feel more motivated to follow u all.. Yes if other mummies can do it, why cant i. =) another reason is i dont want to be restricted on number of kids that im going to have. C-sect can only have 3 rite..
My due is on 13 apr.. 2 more weeks, hopefuly i can have normal delivery.. Thks again for sharing ur stories.. all the stories in this thread and thot i would share mine since nobody since to have my experience before.
Like Hippoes, i had my shower, did my jigsaw puzzle till 1am then i feel the pain. when i reach the hospital, its already 5cm dilated. I was wheeled to the labour ward though i felt i can walk faster then the wheelchair. My husband was with me throughout and we obediently followed the breathing techniques thought in the pre-natal class. It really helps alot and i didn't request for the epidural or laughing gas. Till 8cm dilation, the pain was extruciating but i swore i'm not going to use epidural...12hrs later...i saw lots of nurse rushing into the ward, oxygen mask and lots of equipment was wheeled in. my baby heart beat dropped. my gynae came in and shouted at the nurse and midwives for not giving me epidural or laughing gas. immediately, i opt for laughing gas and then i was disoriented already..gynae shouted that i didn't push correctly and assisted twice but baby's condition was not too stable. End up, i was pushed to the theatre for emergency c-section. Therefore, lesson to be learnt...even if mummy can endure the pain, baby must be able to bear the could be too traumatic for the baby.
Hi Lynn, so sorry to hear about ur bad experience. Was it your 1st pregnancy? Which hospital did u deliver ur bb? Your gynae actually shouted at you? My goodness!

I had a difficult delivery too. Was very sure i didnt want any epidural but ended up asking for it. Perhaps i asked for it too late..i felt the pain through and through. Im expecting my 2nd child and am due soon. Hopefully i can be as brave as all the other mommies here and go without epidural..
Yeah labour pains are excruciating!!! I guess its the most painful experience in the whole wide world!!!! But when the lil' bundle of joy is out, its well worth it!

My labour pain lasted like 30mins, but everything went pretty fast! When I couldnt take the pain any longer and opt for epidural... the doc administer the epidural and minutes later, my ger is out cus she cant wait to come out! so my epidural also wasted! I still remember the nurses had to close my legs to prevent me from pushing cus my gynae wasn't here yet! OMG.... i couldnt take it had to push.... by pushing seems to help with the pain though. Really like really bad constipation and had to get it out! hahaha

Laughing gas works wonder too! hahaha Its makes you feel gd... when the nurse wanted my hb to take it off me, wooo... i couldnt help it but snap at him saying this helps me alot! hahaha he also couldnt bear to take it away seeing me in such pain!

My gynae told me that for my next child, I have "checked" in early if not I might just give birth on the way to the hospital. Didnt expect the first one to come out so early! Went to hospital at 6something in the morning and my ger came out 11.58am! Really have to psycho yourself saying its not pain its not pain!
Hi Lynn,

Mine also similar to you.. I wanted to have a normal delivery, but end up in the operating theater.. my baby pass motion inside, and it goes to her lung.. almost lost her...

though a bit sad that i can't get the normal delivery, but thanks God she's survived.. everything fine now, she's 4+ month now.. But till now, still wondering, what make my baby to pass the motion inside... can't get the answer from my gynae.
I only know that I was injected with pethadine, and 30 min later, when I try to sit down, I saw in the ctg monitor her heart beat drop to 50, and the standby doctor burst my waterbag, and said the baby pass motion inside. and they quickly push me to the OT. everything happen so fast.

Keep wondering why... is it because of the pethadine, or is it because my movement, when i am trying to sit down from my lying down position, or is it because of the pro-long contraction from 1 am to 3 pm or is it my pelvic bone to small for baby head...
anyone know the possible reason?
Chelchel, I understand fr my gynae that the baby pass motion inside when he/she is stressed. anything could cause the stress, from fluctuations in blood pressure of mummy, external shocks (like trauma) etc. that's why the gynae will never know...

Anyway, congrats on ur baby. What's impt now is to look forward and thank God for giving her and you a chance!
I heard of some cases that some woman really do. For myself, i just feel like it is coming out, but luckily never hee..
OMG Berry! i am a newbie here in this forum and as i read thru your post: I could actually feel my cervix bone open and my baby passing through it

im so terrified!!!!
probably this is the reason y mummies opted for c sec nowadays??
purlynz, you are so brave!!
for me, i keep telling my guy that i will opt for epiduriel for sure!!!

he said im a spendthrift..said my frend's wife din even had 1 when she gave birth, and i should be able to bear with it

for me, im someone who had records of fainting when i had my menses cramp when i was a was really that i take panadols every month during my menses..

really worried how if i will be able to endure it.

the tots of pain simply puts child bearing off my mind!!

btw, can we use medisave for edpiduriel??
I delivered my baby boy in August without pain relief (no gas no drugs). Contractions were painful but bearable. I think the hardest was the final bit when my baby's head was stuck at the opening and I had to wait for a contraction before I could push. It seem like an eternity. Could really feel the muscles stretching. However I wanted an all natural delivery so I prepared myself physically and mentally for it.

Dun let ur guy affect ur decision. If u've ur mind set for edi, then go for it. But for me, i'll still STRONGLY recommend u to bear with it! I'll keep thinking "Since my mum can do it, why can't i?!" Mind over body! Tell urself, just a little while u can see ur baby... a little pain is nothing. I just keep repeat all these in my mind. Jia Yuo, jia yuo... U can do it!
I have 3 kids, the first one via epidural C-section, and the 2nd and 3rd via natural birth with no epidural, only used the laughing gas and Pethedine throughout.

Many pple said the laughing gas is of no use, but to me, it's a tremendous pain-relief! I guess the usual complain is that they dun know how to use it, ie, dun know when to breathe in and when to breathe out. For my #2, I did experience some kind of comfusion. When the pain comes, my breathing went haywire.

Luckily midwives at MtA are really wonderful, they guided me along. They turned the CTG machine towards me, asking me to start putting on the mask when the contraction starts to climb from 30 onwards. The max is 100 I think. So I followed their advice. True enuf, I had alot of relief, and was able to tahan that 4 hours.

For my #3 whom I just delivered 3 weeks ago, my labour was only 50 mins.. It was real painful!!! Guess I went to hosp abit too late. Also used the laughing gas and nothing else.

The oni thing about the gas is that it makes me super drowsy. When my gynae spoke to me, I was completely gone.. The midwife asked if I wanna breastfeed immediately, I shoo them away. :p

I think we all can do it, it's really mind of body. But then again, if ur labour is truly long, then maybe the epidural will be indeed useful.
I have my son sans epidural too. After nearly 10 over hrs of labour pain, my son finally pops out. It was really painful, but i used my head to control my heart. I played some soothing music throughout, clenching my hubby's fists hard when the pain comes, and also smelling medicated oil too. Till now, i feel amazed i actually managed to go through all this. But once you do, you will feel very proud of yourself. All the best.
hi hi mummies,

I think is individual choice. Using pain releif metod does make us a lesser mum right??

I have a drug free birth for my soon in late 2007. No drug or anything cos i strongly object the use of drug during birthing. Contractions r not easy to bear, my whole birthing process is 12 hours. With the 1st 6hrs non pregressive (cpntraction without dilating).

Contractions r not easy but the last stage is almost painless (just feel like shitting), can rmemeber any pain during the last stage. However, as i went through water birth, itthink its helps alot in easing the pain.
hi mummies,

Just to share my experience with pain relief and labour pains. Different mummies have diff pain threshold and diff labour experiences. whatever painless or painful labour experences that you hear, just listen and learn from it but don't scare yourself.

I went thru 2 labours and I always go with the mindset of going thru all natural labour yet keeping my options open.

Both my labours are induced, not because of complications but the waiting for labour was long and I was big like a whale. During my 1st labour, I was already 7cm dilated and it was hubby who decided to sign me up for epidural. The anesthetist gave me a high dosage that my right leg still feel numb 12 hours afer delivery. My back ached too. I could not get up to walk so had to stay on bed. Felt horribly unpleasant about that.

For my 2nd labour, it was epi-free. Only had laughing gas. but the recovery was very fast. I can get up and walk 2 hours after delivery. Was tired but hte feeling was great. Gynae burst my water bag at about 6-7cm but didn't feel anything. Prob the contractions supercede all other pains that you can feel...

Labour pains are like intense menstral cramps. During the labour, the contractions come furiously in mins or secs apart hence those who go thru would feel it is much more painful than cramps. What I find helpful is deep breathing exercise during contractions. Think of something else to distract yourself. I remembered I kept tell my babies to be good and come out faster..

I am currrently expecting and will be due in early march 09. Will still go for epi-free labour if all goes well.
I just had a baby 3 weeks ago, natural w/o epidural. I keep telling myself, wait till the worst pain then consider epi, my whole induced delivery was 10 hrs.

So I just keep thinking that the worst is not here yet and I shall just bear with it, then the nurses said " Ok you can start pushing now" thats when i realized that I don't need epi anymore, was so relieved!

I had penthadine(spelling?) on my thigh but what it just does is to put you in a drifty dreamy state. Helps a little I guess. Other than that when the contraction sets in, I grabbed my hubby's sweater and cringed my face. My hubby very smart, wore long sleeve sweater.
Hi, I had my boy in June 08. I was admitted to hospital rather late (had purposely waited at home for a bit) and was 5 cm dilated when reached the hospital. I dilated to 10cm in 4 hours from admission, without epidural or jab. I found laughing gas useful in taking the edge of the pain away although I felt pain still. I was so glad to be told I could start pushing. Pushing was easy although I wasn't allowed to use gas during tha tstage because pushing during a contraction actually takes the pain of the contraction away. unfortunately, my bb was in the wrong position and I wans't able to successfully push him out even after 4 hours of trying. Eventually ended in emerg c-section under GA. I plan to try VBAC for #2 when I conceive and hope to go without epidural and jab again..
Hi I just delivered a few days ago without epidural and in one hour plus upon reaching hospital.

Sometime after midnight, I felt cramps like I need to pass motion. When it was felt in my lower back and going to the toilet didn't seem to help, then I realise it could be contractions. The regular contractions came on as fast as I realise I might be in labour so we rushed to hospital thinking I might have epidural earlier this time. For my first delivery, I had a few hours to pack before the contractions became uncomfortable.

I had no intention of a drug free birth but as it turned out, I was 9 cm or 10 cm dilated by the time I reached hospital and the nurse and doctor said that there was no point in getting epidural. This was my second delivery. I had done the hynobirthing course for my first delivery but had not revised the notes this time. In desperation, I had to quickly try to remember what was taught and listened to the hynobirthing CD on the Ipod.

Even though I was 10cm dilated, the contractions were not as uncomfortable as contractions I had during my first delivery when I was only 5cm dilated. Basically either I sped through the early stage or I was just totally unaware of it. The nurse said I must have a high pain threshold but the reality is that I was not in much pain for the early labour stages. It shows that there is different level of pain for each delivery.

Soon after, the pushing type of contractions came on and these were very unbearable but I have no choice but to bear with it as there is no turning back already. I was screaming like mad...haha.... especially at the last bit just before delivery, it was terrible. These pushing contractions do not feel like menstrual cramps at all. They kind of squeeze your stomach very tight to push the baby out and I feel a bit out of breath. Basically if you don't push and just do the J breathing as taught in Hynobirthing, the contractions would still do the job. I suppose the midwife and doctor would expect you to push as well to speed up the process.

Considering that I was lucky to have a short delivery and it already felt like that, I really have to salute those women who grit their teeth through a longer labour process without pain relief. I just don't know how they could take it and have energy to last through the last pushing phase.
Hi,I strongly urges all mummies to take the courages of having a natural birth. Its worthy!!

I have 2 kids, with different mode of delivery. My #1 was a c-sec (emergency) via epidural and #2 natural with gas.

With my 2 experenices i really think that its worth going for a natiral birth. I felt that i had achieved something 'special' in my life. A proud mother and when my baby pop out i know that she is truly mine...

I have never experience this during my first delivery. I was awake in the threater, and all i could heard was the voices of the medical staffs and the 'ting ting' sound from the operating tools...then come a baby crying sound. A baby was then placed on my chest and was told this is my baby. I can't see her taken out from my tummy,so the feeling was like she was taken from somewhere. I felt so disappointed of not been a complete mother...

The pain from natural birth assured me when i cuddles my baby immediately after delivered.

So mummy, 'no pain, no gain'... our mothers can do it so can we...
I had planned on having a natural birth without epidural as I had heard about the effects that some mothers suffer from after the epidural (back aches, pain running down the legs)

However, my labour was long and I delivered 24 hours after reaching the hospital. Initially I was able to withstand the pain but later as tiredness crept in, my pain tolerance fell and I knew that I had to get pain relief so that I could save my energy for a natural delivery.

In short, keep an open mind as the best of planning does not equate going through the experience of childbirth.

Best wishes on a speedy delivery and healthy baby

So eventually you took pain relief which is epidural? If so did you realise any side effects from it?

Am due at 8 April, as you said, try to have a natuaral birth without drugs but meantime keep an open mind.The reason that I hesitate on whether taking epidural or not is about its side effects. Guess will try without to start with, but won't let the pain stress me out..

Salute to all the great moms who delivered drug-freely.

Hey Lisha, you must be anxiously waiting to deliver.

With respect to side effects of the epidural, I do have some backache when I bend for a longer period or when I get out of bed at a different angle. It bothers me only slightly and I think that with the right exercises, I can probably strengthen the back muscles and get rid of the pain.

In short, do embrace all the help and relief you can get and enjoy the process as best you can. Congrats on your impending newborn.