When the MFM team got wind of an article recently that suggested there are some pains out there that are worse than labour, we decided we needed to ask our mums what they reckoned on this one.


When we polled our Facebook community, asking if the pain of labour was worse than people were expecting, 54% of the 223 women who answered said yes.

When we dug a bit deeper we found was that plenty of you had gone through what you thought was worse pain than giving birth.

So, what are these most excruciating ailments? Let's find out...

1. Migraines

If you're unfortunate enough to get these, it seems they really can be worse than having a baby - for some of you, at least.

More like this

"I've had 2 babies and even though it hurt - I knew what I was doing and was in control. I have had such a severe migraine once that I felt like I was having a stroke," says Andrea P.

"I was sick, I couldn't speak. I literally felt like I was dying (I'm not exaggerating)... I would rather give birth. I didn't feel in control at all."

Sheila G agrees: "Migraines worse than labour for me. A completely different kind of pain - but at least at the end of labour I had two amazing and healthy results."

2. Shingles

"I recently had shingles, it was horrendously painful, the worse pain I've ever experienced," Trish L tells us.

"Constant burning pain, day and night, for weeks on end, and I've given birth twice (before epidurals had been invented).

Wow, that sounds pretty bad... ?

3. Gallstones

"I suffered with gallstones 5 weeks after giving birth and was in and out of hospital for a couple of months until finally having my gallbladder removed," Kim L says.

"The pain for me was definitely a lot worse than both of my labours! I managed labour without pain relief but had a combination of morphine, intravenous paracetamol and gas and air with my gallbladder and was still in a lot of pain."

And Niki J said this: "My gallstones attack I had was worse than labour (for me!). At least I knew labour would end, the gallstone issue went on far longer!"

worse pains than labour

4. Endometriosis

For lots of you, the key is that the labour pain doesn't go on for more than a few days. But if you have something that means you suffer for weeks or years, it can be a lot harder to deal with.

"Endometriosis pain is similar to labour pain and I've had it since I was 16," Jenna R tells us.

"I'm 29 now and there's no cure - it's very hard being in pain 365 days a year not to mention the other symptoms too.

"At least with labour pain it doesn't last that long and you get a baby at the end of it so it's all worthwhile."

5. Kidney stones

"I have to say I have been in labour and had kidney stones (not at same time) - kidney stones were far worse mainly because the pain doesn't go away.

"And once they have passed the bruising they cause to your tubes takes days to stop hurting," says Jemma G.

Nadia B agrees: "Kidney stones are absolutely horrible! Maybe worse pain than labour in a way."

6. Twisted ovary

While only one of our mums mentioned this, we definitely thought it was worth including in this list.

Rachel C tells us: "[It was] worse than labour with either of my boys. I wanted to rip my insides out."

7. Tooth abscess

Oooh, now tooth pain can happen all too often, and as Lucy W tells us, it can be excruciating: "I had a tooth abscess a couple of years ago.

"I'd much rather have been in labour than experience that horrendous tooth pain."

8. Slipped disc

Again, it's the fact that it can go on so long that makes it so difficult to cope with .

Hannah P says: "I've just slipped a disc 15 weeks after giving birth and I would say it's just as bad but without the happy ending!!"

9. Appendicitis

Now, if you're unlucky enough to go through having this - we feel for you.

"Still stand by that my appendicitis pain was much worse than labour," Megan D tells us. "I needed morphine for that, labour I got through drug free!"

And this was totally seconded by Laura P: "Hell yes, I had my appendix removed and that was way worse than the natural child birth I had."

What do you reckon?

Have you experienced a pain worse than labour - if so, what was it? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook

Read more:



Tara BreathnachContent Editor and Social Media Producer

Tara is mum to 1 daughter, Bodhi Rae, and has worked as Content Editor and Social Media Producer at MadeForMums since 2015