20 Surprising Facts About Giving Birth That No One Tells You
Childbirth is a transformative experience of surprises, challenges, and emotions because the anticipation and excitement of bringing new life into the world are unparalleled. But amidst the exhilaration, there are untold realities that no one prepares you for.
This article navigates the uncharted territories of childbirth and reveals the unspoken truths every soon-to-be parent should know. Buckle up for an unfiltered glimpse into the world of giving birth, as being informed can make all the difference in this incredible journey.
Your Water Won’t Break at Once
Many people believe that one’s water breaking is a striking event in which you are instantaneously overwhelmed by a rush of amniotic fluid. On the contrary, this occurrence is a more gradual process akin to a slow tap leak that may take several hours or all day to empty the water bag.
You Don’t Have to Rush to the Clinic After Your Water Breaks
The moment your water breaks is not a frantic rush to the hospital, as portrayed in the movies. While the amniotic sac’s rupture signals the start of labor, for many women, contractions may not begin until several hours later. Take a deep breath, stay calm, contact your healthcare provider, trust your instincts, and remember, you have time to gather your thoughts and prepare for the next stage of your miraculous journey into motherhood.
You May Have to Fight For Your Birth Plan
It is important to create a birth plan and discuss its significance with your doctor or midwife. However, unforeseen circumstances during childbirth may require you to advocate for your plan. Whether it’s due to an emergency procedure or the involvement of other healthcare providers, the clinical staff may not fully adhere to your preferences.
You May Feel More Than Pain
Labor contractions vary greatly, from mild discomfort to intense pain. In addition to physical aches, you might experience other unique sensations throughout the stages of labor, like pressure, burning, and tingling. These sensations, while challenging, are all part of the remarkable journey of bringing new life into the world.
You Might Not Want Your Partner There
During the intense labor process, unexpected behaviors like pushing your partner away, resisting their touch, encouragement, or even proximity may arise.
Although it can be uncomfortable for your partner to witness these instinctual actions and feel unable to assist, it is crucial to communicate your needs during this period effectively. Remember, this is a temporary discomfort you can overcome with understanding and support.
You Might Poop
During intense labor, the pressure the baby exerts as it pushes through your pelvic floor can result in an involuntary release of fecal matter. Rest assured, this is a natural occurrence and should not cause alarm.
Knowing this possibility beforehand will assist you in maintaining a calm demeanor if it does happen. It’s an unexpected aspect of childbirth often left unmentioned, but it’s important to know that it is normal and nothing to be concerned about.
People Will See Your Bits
Childbirth is a deeply personal experience, and you may have concerns about having strangers or family members witness your body during labor. However, you might be pleasantly surprised that you won’t feel as self-conscious or inhibited as you might anticipate. The inner strength you gain from facing such an intense experience can enhance your confidence in your body and its incredible capabilities.
You Might Make Weird Sounds
Women make unusual and unexpected sounds during childbirth, including moans, grunts, shouts, and even primal sounds that can emerge as a first response to the pain and intensity of labor. If you make sounds you never imagined, embrace them as part of your unique childbirth journey.
Trust that your body can express itself authentically, allowing you to tap into your inner strength and bring your baby into the world.
Labor Will Smell Gross
As labor progresses, the blood may give off an unpleasant smell. This smell is distinctive and may be unsettling, but your healthcare provider and the birth team can handle any odors. While the smell of blood during childbirth may not be pleasant, it’s a natural part of labor, and there’s no need to be embarrassed or ashamed by it.
You’ll Deliver the Placenta
Once the baby is born, your body will continue working hard to deliver the placenta, known as the “afterbirth.” You may experience cramping or contractions as you push the placenta, but it is not as intense or painful as labor. Also, you’ll have the help of the birth team.
You Will Feel a Sense of Accomplishment
Once you’ve navigated this remarkable process of bringing new life into the world, there is a strong sense of accomplishment. Feeling this calm once your baby and placenta are out is normal, as you can finally relax. All the physical and emotional labor will be worth it when your baby is born.
Your Baby Might Look Funny
Your newborn’s head may be cone-shaped from passing through the birth canal, have a misshapen nose or swollen eyes from the pressure, and their skin may be red and wrinkled. Most of these minor physical features will improve as your baby adjusts to their new environment and their body continues to develop. Remember, every baby is unique, beautiful in their way.
You May Not Bond Immediately With Your Baby
New mothers experience mixed emotions, including ambivalence, towards their newborns after giving birth. However, these feelings are a natural part of the journey and do not reflect shortcomings as a parent.
Every individual’s bonding experience with their baby is unique. It unfolds in its own time, so there’s no need to worry if you don’t feel an instant connection. Give yourself the time and space to nurture and develop that beautiful bond with your little one.
Your Baby May Need More Time in the Hospital
After your baby’s birth, you may have to spend some time in the hospital due to issues like low birth weight or jaundice that require further monitoring. In such situations, remain patient and trust the medical team’s expertise. Allowing your child more time in the care of doctors and nurses can give them the best chance of a healthy start to life.
Caring For Your Baby Is a Learning Process
Before childbirth, you may feel ready to take on the caretaker role, but caring for a newborn is a complex undertaking filled with intricate details and surprises. You will learn as you go, so don’t hesitate to ask for help when necessary. Patience and understanding are important during this overwhelming process.
It May Take Longer to Heal Than Expected
While giving birth is a remarkable experience, it is also physically demanding and can take its toll on the body. Even if you have an uncomplicated delivery, your body may require considerable time to recover due to exhaustion and soreness. The healing period varies with each person, so it’s important to listen to your body and rest as much as you need to return to your pre-pregnancy state.
Postnatal Bleeding Is Normal
Postpartum bleeding, or lochia, is a normal part of the healing process and may last up to six weeks. The amount of blood lost can range from light spotting to heavy flow and will likely be brighter in color than a menstrual period. Pay attention to any changes in your discharge, as they could indicate infection, and seek medical advice.
You May Not Produce Milk Right Away
Although people assume babies start feeding on their mother’s milk right after birth, this may not always be true. Every mother’s body is unique, and some may take longer than others to produce an adequate milk supply for breastfeeding.
If you encounter any difficulties or concerns, reaching out to a lactation consultant can be tremendously helpful in ensuring a successful breastfeeding journey for you and your baby.
Your Postpartum Mood
The postpartum period is a significant transition as new parents navigate their roles and the stresses that come with it. It can be particularly daunting if you are overwhelmed by sadness, anxiety, or irritability. While these emotions are normal and often temporary, prioritize your mental well-being so that you can seek appropriate help and make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
You May Need More Help
Many soon-to-be parents underestimate the assistance they will need once their little one arrives. From caring for the baby to household chores, tasks require more hands on deck, and you don’t have to do it alone. Accepting help from family or friends is a sign of strength and a great way to ensure you have some time off and can better manage your new responsibilities.