Becoming a mother is an incredible task. Not only do women carry children in their bodies for months, but they have to go through labor and delivery. Movies and television shows have focused on a variety of things associated with labor. They vary from water breaking to labor pains, but they are generally covered in a comical way that is not informative. Even classes that mothers-to-be take before birth may not discuss some of the things that happen during labor. These things may be unpleasant to think about or to discuss. Many of these topics intimidate new mothers.
There are some unusual and little-discussed things that happen during labor that many mothers are surprised by. Moms are generally too ashamed or embarrassed to discuss these topics, out of fear that they will be judged or that they are not normal.
Interestingly enough, most mothers face some of these issues before, during, and after the labor and delivery process.
Being ashamed comes from believing that these are not normal things to experience. But they are in some cases! Let us break the stigma together and discuss some of these undiscussed, underrated things that happen during labor.
15 Let The River Run When Water Breaks
A major indicator of labor, some women experience, is when their water breaks. Movies and television show us that a woman standing and, all of a sudden, she will have a puddle around her feet. This is only somewhat true. Some women experience a complete flood of amniotic fluid gushing out. What many women do not discuss is the “water” may continue to flow out for a while, especially as contractions happen.
For some women, they do not get a gush, but a little leak similar to a bladder leakage. It can be a slow process for these women and can last quite a bit of time before it stops. Water breaking can also come with sounds such as popping or crackling. Above all, the feeling is often warm, similar to urine.
14 Number Two Will Probably Happen
Some women have heard rumors that they may defecate on the table, while they deliver the baby. Many mothers try to avoid this by emptying their bowels and trying not to eat anything around the time that they start experiencing contractions. For most women, pooping on the delivery table is inevitable. With a several pound body trying to pass through a woman’s lower abdomen, there is pressure put on all of the digestive organs.
Since pushing out a baby is often compared to the act of pooping, pushing out the baby will push out number two along with it. As embarrassed as moms think they will be, it is often forgotten once they see their baby, if they realize they did it at all. Doctors and nurses are used to this, so do not worry!
13 It Won’t Tear Up Your Heart, But…
The squeamish do not tend to like to talk about this issue. If a woman has a heavy baby, an oddly-positioned baby or a particularly small hoo-ha, your doctor may want to perform an episiotomy. This is where the doctor cuts a mother’s perineum, which is between the vagina and anus. This is supposed to help ease the delivery but can delay recovery, too.
It is also possible that this tissue will tear on its own, while a mother is delivering a baby. Research shows tearing is actually preferable to an incision done by a doctor. Either way, it will require stitches to repair and will cause some discomfort after the delivery. Anything tearing is scary for moms to talk about, but this is relatively normal and there are ways to prevent it or help it heal faster.
12 The Afterbirth Will Not Deliver Itself
In the movies and on television, as soon as the baby is delivered, he or she is cleaned off and handed off to mom to hold. That is the image that many mothers go in to labor with. There is one thing that needs to be done in between all of that. The placenta, what your baby is attached to inside your womb, must be delivered. This can take a bit of time to deliver, but generally takes less than a half hour.
Contractions will happen again, the doctor will have to pull out the placenta and everything will have to be rechecked to make sure it is in tip-top shape. Medication may be dispensed to expedite this process. After all this is done, mama can finally hold her baby.
11 Dad May Be Too Squeamish To Cut The Cord
The umbilical cord connected mom to the baby and helped make sure the baby received proper nutrition in the womb. Once the baby and placenta are delivered, someone is expected to cut the cord. Generally, this job is given to the new father as a right of passage. Some dads cannot stomach this. It is a thick, cream-colored tube that is connected to the baby and was once a part of mom.
The thick, cartilage feeling cord may make dad’s stomach turn. The blood on the cutting instrument may also make dad feel woozy. Some fathers are not able to cut the cord, leaving it to medical professionals or to another family member. This is perfectly acceptable and nothing to be ashamed of. This is why we are not all doctors.
10 Baby May Look Icky
The baby starts off inside of mom. The baby then has to pass through a mother’s birth canal and into the world. Their little bodies have to be prepared to pass through all of this and be exposed to the outside world for the first time. This can make them look a little gross.
Naturally, they will have some blood on them, when they come out, and that gets cleaned off. For some babies, the oil glands try to protect the skin and can cause things like vernix and milia. This makes a baby look like they are covered in cottage cheese and pimples. This will go away. Some babies also get baby acne all over their bodies or have hair all over them. This will all go away once the baby starts adapting.
9 The Baby Will Not Be The Only One In Diapers
Mommies and daddies know that they have to stock up on diapers for their new little bundle of joy. The baby will use diapers for a couple years during their life. Many mothers do not realize that they will likely be going home in a diaper as well. Some women will experience bladder leaks, requiring them to wear diapers.
However, after birth, there is a significant amount of bleeding that is considered to be a little worse than a heavy period. This may last for a few weeks and may out-bleed typical maxi pads. The hospital generally provides mesh-like diapers for new moms with thick cotton pads to try to protect the mother’s clothing. The bleeding will slow down but do not be too proud to wear the diaper. It will save you lots of time and clothes.
8 Daddy May Faint
Moms endure the physical pain during labor, which is hard to compare to anything else. Some dads are very empathetic to what the woman is going through. The woman is in pain, she may be yelling, there may be a needle in her back administering medication. That all may be enough to set a man over the top.
Factor in the blood and other bodily fluids that come out when actually delivering the baby and dad may end up on the floor. This could be a combination of queasiness, exhaustion, empathy and more. While dads are supposed to hold mom’s hand and help her through the pain, there is nothing wrong if he cannot handle it. Just take that as an extra sign that he cares about your well-being.
7 Toilet Paper Will Be A No Can Do
After delivering a baby, doctors and nurses will need to make sure that the new mom uses the bathroom, for both number one and two. However, in most cases, toilet paper is an absolute no-no after birth. The pieces of toilet paper can get stuck and cause infection. It can also be painful since the baby just came from that area.
Doctors and nurses may recommend that you use a perineal irrigation bottle. Not only can it help cleanse you after urinating, but it can help ease the burning that urinating may cause while you are healing. In many cases, doctors suggest drying naturally or using soft towels, or something along those lines, to dry off. This will minimize any irritation and help get mom back to normal as soon as possible.
6 Down There Will Be On Display
Giving birth is seen as an intimate process, as a mother and father are welcoming a new child into the world. This experience may not be as private as a woman may anticipate. In many cases, a mother will be in a hospital gown with no bottoms. Doctors, nurses, interns, midwives and more will pass through the room and continue to examine the cervix and everything else around it.
This means that the goods will be on display for everyone. For the modest ladies out there, this sounds scary and embarrassing. However, once you get to a certain point of labor, most women stop caring about who sees what so long as their pain is eased and their baby comes out soon. Your doctor may not even be present during the delivery!
5 Some Moms Really Enjoy Giving Birth
A lot of mothers discuss the pain that is associated with labor. It can be quite an experience. Some mothers experience births a little different. These mothers experience orgasms while giving birth. This can be due to the visualization that the mothers are practicing, as the beginning stages of labor are similar to arousal.
The hormones that are released can also trigger the big O for some moms, which can take away the pain that comes with pushing the baby out and replaces it with a sense of pleasure. There are different methods that can be practiced in order to help reach this level of ecstasy while other women may just naturally reach this. While some mothers are embarrassed for doctors to see their O face, others may be relieved that they are not experiencing pain!
4 Shake Your Tailbone
The human body is not used to having a human trying to make its way out of the body. With all of the pressure that the baby is putting on all of the bones and organs, it is no wonder that some damage can be done along the way. When a baby is a little larger than average, there is a chance that they could break or dislocate the tailbone, especially if you have a narrow pelvis.
Sometimes, this is not an obvious injury unless the popping sound is heard while delivering the baby. For others, the consistent pain may lead to examinations and tests that determine that the bone is broken. This can require a lot of rest and certain accommodations in order to heal correctly.
3 What's A Little Heaving
While labor is said to be painful, no one really discusses much more than the pain. A number of mothers-to-be end up vomiting while they are in labor. This may be a result of the pain being a lot on the mother’s body. If a mother recently ate a big meal before labor or during early labor, their food does not get to digest once active labor starts.
This can cause nausea and vomiting since the food is no longer being processed through the body. It can also be caused by epidurals, which can change everything that happens in your body, due to the medication. With all of these changes, the body’s natural reaction may be to vomit. It is totally normal and is nothing to be ashamed of.
2 Gassy Sounds Will Be Inevitable
Some people do not like passing gas in anyone’s presence, especially not in the presence of their significant other and a bunch of strangers. During labor, it is almost inevitable that gas will be released during labor and delivery. Some veteran mothers recommend passing as much gas as possible, prior to labor, to help reduce the gas released during labor.
If a mom is getting an epidural, she may experience more flatulence, as the sphincter becomes frozen and you cannot control the gas that is passed. As the baby moves towards the exit, it may press air out of both the vagina and anus, making unpleasant sounds come from both. This can mortify some mothers, but it happens to almost every mother that delivers a baby vaginally.
1 This Part Is Unavoidable
Blood is an inevitable part of giving birth. There is no way to avoid blood, no matter how a woman delivers a child. A large, foreign body is passing through your body, causing things to stretch and expand beyond their limits. This can cause bleeding to happen due to tears and breaks. Blood will flow out of a mother as she pushes her baby out. This blood can come out with a vengeance, hitting people in its path. This is natural.
After the placenta is delivered, mom will bleed for a few weeks. It will start off very heavy, especially because of the adjustment of hormones. This means that blood will, quite literally, be everywhere around the birth. Just remember that a beautiful baby is coming as a result of all of this blood!