5 Ways Labor is Like Running a Marathon

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Image via Flickr/ Tim Tak

There are times when I'm exercising that I have thought to myself, “Man, this is a lot like giving birth.”

There's sweating and focusing and grunting and pushing and pulling and sometimes yelling and at the end. Sweet victory and reward.

In fact, I'm not the only one who would agree that exercising is a lot like giving birth. I happen to like running and am currently training for a half marathon (my first!! wish me luck!), but even though I like it, it's still a grueling experience. But yet, people do it all the time, not always for the joy of getting through the run, but for the rewards that come with it, which, when you think about it, is a lot like having kids.

{ MORE: Attention Expecting Parents: New Warnings About Lotus Birth }

One doctor, who is an OB in South Africa and an ultra-marathon runner, compares the two as well. “I also love obstetric practice and equate a woman in labour with somebody running a marathon,” Gerald Madziyire said. “Labour and running are equally painful and long processes with a gratifying conclusion.”

Well said, Dr. Madziyire. So let's break it down and look at all of the ways that labor really is like running a marathon:

childbirth class
Image via Flickr/ nateone

The training. When you're training for a race, it takes a lot of preparation, right? Childbirth is no different. You have to set your mind to look at the finish line and those childbirth classes aren't just for fun, guys.

young woman with glass of mineral water
Image via iStock

All you want is water. I mean, really, what do ice chips really do for the enormous thirst of childbirth? Give me the whole pitcher, please.

{ MORE: Reducing Pain During Labor May Decrease Postpartum Depression }

freezer meals pasta
Image via iStock

The post meal is the best of your life. I have had precisely five of the most satisfying meals in my life: after each of the births of my children and after a 10-mile race (not a marathon, but the farthest I've ever run!). Most situations included some kind of giant sandwich bigger than my head and absolutely zero guilt. I can guarantee you will never eat a more tasty meal.

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Image via iStock

There's a lot of stretching going on. You never really thought your legs could move like that, did you?

breathing techniques
Image via iStock

It's all mental. Just when you think you can't go on anymore, you find the strength.

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Would you agree that running a marathon (or any race!) is like giving birth? Help me out here, people!

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5 Ways Labor is Like Running a Marathon

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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