Being pregnant with your first child is a truly once in a lifetime experience, but when it gets to crunch time (your delivery of course!) things take a nasty turn where you just don’t know what to do. Even after having a million sleepless nights and changing countless wet diapers once you’ve delivered your precious one, you end up think why people didn’t bother telling you about the horrors of delivery – why did they let you have such high expectations where you believed it will all just end with a snap?
What made them think you could handle it all without having any prior knowledge of things like not being able to snack through endless hours of labor?
For those of you who are pregnant right now, well, allow us to burst your bubble and help you get out of your fantasy world – delivering a baby is not (we’ll repeat – IS NOT) a bed of roses, and getting an A-plus in Motherhood 101 is just about impossible. After having regularly attended your birthing classes, and practicing extreme diligence during your breastfeeding prep class, here’s a list of 10 things that you will find yourself wishing somebody had told you beforehand about delivering your baby:
10 Labor can go on forever
Although it is a known fact that first-time mothers stay longer in labor, there aren’t many people who really believe this stuff – and that’s where they go wrong. This is becauselabor can literally go on forever, for which reason it is best for you to be prepared for the long haul. Considering that you might be in for a long run, well, make sure that you pack in lots and lots of distractions. Need suggestions? Pack headphones together with a Netflix app to get you through!
Now, no matter what exit route your baby takes, may it be through your hoo-ha or through anincision in your lower abdomen; the one thing for sure is that the entire procedure WILL get messy. As your contractions kick in, you may take a nice bath, and get ready for a red carpet-like walk into the delivery room, feeling completely in control of things – only to find out none of that is going to last longer than a minute once your contractions are in full swing. Why? Well, because:
- - You will have endless amounts of amniotic fluid flowing down to the bed through your legs
- - Upon delivery, your baby will be covered in blood, and vernix, and you will find yourself bleeding profusely too
- - For the next 6 weeks or so, you are going to bleed the light out of yourself!
Seriously speaking, as pleasant as having a baby is, the entire ordeal is seriously one of the messiest you will ever come across in your life. What women find really hard to keep up with (well, at least a majority of us!), is that of the endlessbleeding afterwards. I mean seriously, 6 continual weeks of bleeding buckets upon buckets?
Well, just one bit of advice – it’s just 6 frickin’ weeks of your life, so keep calm and welcome your two news best friends in the world with an open arms and utter grossiness – hideously large maxi pads and equally ugly underwear. Yes, that sounds overwhelming, but seriously, with your cute little prince or princess in your arms, you will not notice a thing. And even if you do, it’s just a few weeks of your life, right?
9 You’ll turn into a leaky faucet once your water breaks
For those of you who believe that your water is going to break and then come to a stop, well, you moms are in for a surprise. This is because once your water breaks, you are going to turn into a leaky faucet till the time that your precious one decides to make an entry. Although it isn’t really noticeable during the thick of labor, you are actually going to be damp for quite a while – and if your water breaks when you are doing something like laundry or washing dishes, well, you are definitely going to be taken by surprise.
First-time mothers typically have two thoughts about their water getting broken. These are:
- - There will be a dramatic scene with waves upon waves of fluids flowing down their legs as they make a mad dash to the hospital
- - That they will just hear a pop, and pee their pants while their contractions start and they smoothly make their way to the hospital
If truth be told, both of these notions are somewhat right. To begin with, once the water breaks, it is going to leak till the time that you finally deliver your little one. However, the amount of amniotic fluid that you will leak tends to vary from woman to woman. But the one thing for sure is that you will leak profusely all through labor – heck, I know someone who actually carried around a towel between her legs all through the day after her water broke!
On the other hand, there are women who have their water broken right when the hardest of their contractions kick in. You see, you are about to deliver a baby and there is not much that can be said for sure. When your water is about to break, and how much fluid you will having leaking out of you is different for every woman, and just can’t be guessed out. The only thing for sure is that it is a sign that you will shortly have your little baby in your arms to play and shower your love on very very soon!
8 You CANNOT eat – snacking is a major no-no!
If you take on the services of a midwife, there is a good chance that she will let you snack your way through to delivery. But when you are surrounded by hoards of nurses at the hospital, forget snacking – eating is banned, out of the question. Even though it has been validated by research that eating during labor isn’t harmful, nurses still aren’t really fond of letting mom-to-be’s snack through it – even if it entails having them lose out on their strength!
Now, the one thing that you need to remember here is thatdoctors don’t really agree with each other as to whether a woman should be allowed to eat during labor or not. A majority of them typically allow having clear liquids (in case you are having an uncomplicated labor) and nothing else – solids go out the door. On the other hand, midwives and a few doctor actually encourage women to eat things like fruit and ice chips during delivery to keep their energy going. But why is there a debate in this regard in the first place? Let’s just say you have the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ guidelines to thank. This is because they developed this theory that:
- -If a woman eats solids during labor, the food is obviously going to be there for a while in her digestive track
- -In case the said woman needs to have an emergency c-section, the food might get aspirated while she is under anesthesia
For the record, such situations are EXTREMELY rare. On the other hand, research has further shown that eating during labor can actually contribute to it being 45 to 90 minutes shorter, which provides ample reason for mom-to-be’s to be given eating privileges. Need another reason for it? The woman’s in labor and labor equals hard work, where on Earth is she going to get all that energy from if she cannot eat? The best thing to do in this regard is to talk things through beforehand with your practitioner, and if s/he isn’t willing to let you eat, try reasoning with him/her. If s/he agrees, make sure that you eat something light and stick to any and all suggestions that your practitioner might have!
7 You don’t really need those pesky fetal monitors
Giving birth at a hospital means you are continually going to be monitored using a fetal monitor. While you are at it, there is a good chance that the nursing staff will make you feel as if taking those straps of the fetal monitor off will trigger a life and death situation. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Why is that? Well, because not a single scientific research has yet shown that its utilization can prevent emergencies. On the other hand, the one thing for sure is that a fetal monitor can actually lead to unnecessary interventions like c-sections and the utilization of forceps whereas a natural birth would have been easily possible with a bit of patience.
If truth be told, the usage of fetal monitors has actually become standard practice at hospitals in most parts of the world. However, their utilization has yielded bothpositive and negative results. For the positive, it has long helped doctors keep an eye on the fetus as well as the fetal heart rate all through labor. But on the other hand, it has negatives associated with it too. To begin with, their usage has not played any role whatsoever in reducing the risk of fetal deaths. Moreover, it has actually increased the onset of delivery interventions that are in most cases unnecessary.
Despite what many claim, using fetal monitors has also not helped in the reduction of cerebral palsy as well, thereby adding to the reasons why their usage is not really necessary. Other problems associated with using fetal monitors during labor are:
- - Technical glitches may impact the usefulness of fetal monitors
- - Major variations exist in between recording techniques and measurements
- - Although these focus on detecting fetal distress, continual monitoring leads to surgical or instrumental deliveries in many cases
- - False-positive finding rates are extremely high
If you’re wondering whetherfetal monitors actually do anything good, then yes, these do have a purpose – identifying the fetal heart rate and pattern, and assessing whether the baby is suffering from distress. But even with that, their usage isn’t really necessary and they eventually end up being a mere discomfort. So, if you are uncomfortable with the fetal monitor, don’t hesitate in asking your nurse to take it off for a while.
6 There’s nothing wrong with pooping on the delivery table!
If you feel like pooping on the delivery table, DO IT. There’s no reason for you to worry about it – trust me, half of all women in labor end up doing so AND NOBODY CARES! If you meet a few OB nurses, you will learn that they just don’t give a damn if youpoop while giving birth. To be honest, your poop might even be charted as it is a sign that you are pushing the right way – that your little one is going to make an appearance pretty soon. It’s no big deal so poop away if you have to!
When it comes topooping during delivery, believe it or not, but it’s the most commonly felt, yet least discussed concern that pregnant women have. The one question on the minds of countless women out there is whether or not they will defecate on or in front of the doctor during labor. Worst of all, such women continually wonder how they are going to survive the utmost embarrassment that will entail such a ridiculous situation. But seriously, there isn’t a thing for you to be worried about.
Why is that? Well, because:
- - With a vaginal delivery, there is always the chance that you will push out a bit of poop when you’re down to the ‘pushing’ bit of your labor
- - There isn’t going to be a massive amount of poop (TMI!), and will just get wiped away by the nurses around you
- - Lastly, there isn’t going to be a single person in the labor and delivery room who will care about you pooping out in front of them!
Seriously, those people at thehospital are complete professionals. Their only focus is going to be on helping you deliver your precious little angel safely. Even if you poop, there isn’t a single chance that your doctor will stop what s/he is doing and throw up saying ‘For crying out loud she just pooped on/in front of me’! The best part is that you will probably be so engrossed in pain and pushing hard that you might not even know that you have pooped – the nurse will wipe it away as if its regular business.
5 Pushing isn’t easy – it isn’t a walk in the park
For more than half of mom’s-to-be, pushing ends up being the hardest part of the entire delivery process. Although some women claim, “It was a relief!”, others believe it was a tough job – hard work is what you should expect it to be.
Like many women out there, you are bound to question why it is so important for you to push. I mean, they say even a woman in a coma can give birth, so why do you need to put up with it? Well, when your baby is near the finish line, s/he needs a bit of help to speed things up. Considering that you’re completely dilated, you need to help your baby in making it through the birth canal.
Now in order to make things easier for yourself, here’s what you need to do:
- - Before anything else, get into the pushing position that you believe will be most comfortable for you
- - Start pushing either as you feel the urge, or as per the advice of your practitioner
- - If you start getting tired, rest it out for one contraction and put in every bit of your strength into every push – like you’re having the biggest bowel movement of your life!
- - In order to focus your pushes to the right area of the your body, prop up on your back and push by putting your chin to your chest
- - It doesn’t matter if the nurses ask your to hold your breath while pushing as they count to ten just do what’s most comfortable to you and whatever comes naturally
If you are in the position to watch your navel, you will soon watch a miracle unfold as your baby’s head appears. However, once the head crowns, it is going to disappear for a bit once more and then come back out with a few more pushes. Soon, your prize (your baby of course!!) is going to emerge from in between your legs, and all those grueling hours of labor will finally be rewarded with your baby in your arms! Just do your best, and soon you will unite with your precious angel.
4 Giving birth naturally is % possible as long as it’s what you want to do
For some reason, women these days believe that even the thought of giving birth without an epidural is crazy; that it is just not possible. But seriously, there are countless other women out there who prefer sticking to the natural route and actually give birth that way. So what separates these women from one another? Just the mere belief and willingness that they can do it – it’s their desire to give natural birth without getting an epidural that helps them do just that!
The thing with delivering your baby naturally is that it allows for your body and nature to take their course and work in the best possible manner without you taking pain management medication. If truth be told, this route is typically chosen by women who have low risk pregnancies, and are not interested in relying on medical intervention. The path is best for mom-to-be’s who just want nature to work on its own and deliver their baby in the most ‘natural’ manner possible.
However, considering how painful the entire procedure can be (labor can go on for hours!), it sure take up quite a bit of strength, self-confidence and willingness to take the natural route. For things to work out, it is necessary for such women to be prepared on a both physical and mental basis for the pain that they are about to experience. But the good part is that going natural offers them extensive control over their labor, and what all they wish to have involved in it.
With that, there are many other benefits that you can gain by having a natural birth, including:
- - There is no need for you to worry about suffering from the side-effects of medications
- - No drowsiness for you to be concerned about
- - You get to literally ‘experience’ the birth of your baby
- - A natural birth brings about a heightened sense of achievement – that’s one tough task you’ve just got done with lady!
- - Quick recovery
Seriously, if you think you can handle the pain, and have the willingness to go through it, then having a natural birth is truly an experience that you should choose – it will totally be worth it!
3 An early epidural is an easy epidural
Women are, for some reason, made to believe that they cannot get an epidural till the time that they are well into their labor. To them, it is necessary that they hold it out and push themselves till they just can’t bear it anymore. I’ve even come across women who think that the epidural isn’t going to work unless they are in the advanced stages of labor – what a put off! The truth is that epidurals are meant for pain management purposes and these are best given before you start having harder contractions. Why so? Well, simply because that’s a point when you can easily sit still long enough for the epidural to be placed without having to do a rush job. So, if you are into labor and think you need pain management, ask for it!
The thing is that many women out there believe that they cannot ask for an epidural till the time that they are dilated to a certain point (4 cm or more). But the fact of the matter is that there are no such rules whatsoever and they can have an epidural administered as early on in labor as they want. Believe it or not, but the current guidelines presented by theAmerican Society of Anesthesiologists state that laboring women should be offered the option of receiving an epidural without having to meet ‘arbitrary standards for cervical dilation’. What this means is that even if you are minimally dilated, you can still request an epidural.
Considering that epidurals are administered in between contractions and you are expected to lie perfectly still during the procedure, there are several reasons why asking for anearly epidural is best:
- - When requested early on in labor, you will not have to worry about waiting for the anesthesiologist to arrive as opposed to if you ask for it in the advanced stages of your labor
- - In advanced labor, administering an epidural can get harder as you might not be able to sit still long enough
So if you’ve made up your mind about receiving anepidural for pain management, make sure that you ask for it sooner rather than later to make things easier on yourself, and on your anesthesiologist too!
2 Loosening up and delivering the placenta is just as painful!
Oh yes, how could we forget this one? The moment you deliver your precious angel, your nurse (yes, the same one who was there to encourage you all through your delivery) is going to start kneading on your abdomen like a crazy woman working on the toughest ball of dough – all because she needs to loosen up the placenta and deliver it. Remember, this isn’t going to be the most pleasurable experiences of your life, as it is going to hurt just as must as the labor itself so don’t think you’re done just by delivering your baby – the placenta is still there to haunt you!
Also known as the third stage of labor, childbirth is NOT over till you deliver your placenta. Although it sounds a tad bit on the ‘anticlimactic’ side, delivering your placenta is a rather vital part of the birthing process. This is because the placenta is just what has been providing bed and board for your baby’s comfortable stay within his/her mother’s tummy. Upon delivering your placenta, you will get over with that era of your life, and start a fresh one with a beautiful baby in your arms.
Delivering your placenta can easily take anywhere up to 20 minutes. Here’s how it is done:
- - Upon delivering your baby, you will continue to have mild contractions (after having your baby, there’s a good chance that you won’t even notice them) to separate the uterine wall and the placenta
- - The contractions will move the placenta through the birth canal
- - From the birth canal, you will have to push it out just like you pushed your little baby
The good thing about delivering a placenta is that your practitioner will offer ample help all through it. If there is a need, your practitioner will actually speed up the entire process by applying a little pressure over your uterus. This will actually make it easier for you to deliver the placenta. Once done, any tears caused during the birthing process will be stitched up, and you will now be free to relish all your love upon your precious baby.
1 The bond that you will share with your baby from the moment that you hold him/her into your arms for the first time
As tough as the process of delivering your baby is, the end result (having your baby in your arms, of course!) is just as beautiful. To women, meeting their baby for the very first time is perhaps the most overwhelming, exciting and exhausting event of their lives. Imagine – you’ve carried this little one inside you for a full nine months, and now, it’s time for you to wrap him/her in your arms – blissful, isn’t it?
The best part about giving birth is that the experience is different for every single woman out there. Some have an extremely easy and smooth pregnancy & labor, whereas others literally live through a nightmare all nine months, and during delivery. If truth be told, it is actually a learning phase in life when women get to find out how much they can push themselves, how much they can resist pain and discomfort, and eventually, how much they can eventually love an individual who has just come into this world.
Having a baby is literally going to change your life. All through your pregnancy, you will actually have a human getting developed inside of you and that in itself is one of the most amazing things on Earth. The sort of attachment that you feel with your precious baby from day one is nothing short of being special. Just the thought of your little one getting ready in your tummy to come into this world is so unique. Moreover, the best part about having a baby is that it strengthens the bond that you share with your partner/husband – come on, the two of you have played a part in having that baby of yours!
Upon delivery, there are quite a few things that will actually make you ascertain yourself that this decision of yours was right – that you will never regret it in life. These include:
- - That perfect smell of your newly washed baby
- - That soft, nice and clean skin that is just waiting for you to rub lots and lots of baby lotion on to it
- - Those tiny toes that you just want to kiss all the time
- - The bond that you will share with your baby from the moment that you hold him/her into your arms for the first time
No matter how tough and outright painful the entire delivery process is, there’s no denying the fact that having your baby in your arms for him/her to claim your love forever is going to be one of the most precious moments of your life!