Even with all of the books, information packets, articles, and child birthing classes, delivering a baby is one of those situations where a mom-to-be has to experience it herself in order to truly understand the process, which doesn’t really help to quell the fretting of first-time mothers who haven’t brought a little one into the world yet and are about to undergo the process.
Mothers who have already given birth to their first child and are pregnant with their second or third child have already been through the process, and, therefore, they are a bit more prepared for all of the things that can happen during the unique time.
For example, Very Well Family notes that first-timers are often stunned and mortified when they lose control of their intestines and go to the bathroom right then and there on the hospital bed.
Moms who have already done this before know that this occurs thanks to their hormones being elevated during the process and causing their poor stomach to act as if it is doing backflips during labor. They also certainly won’t feel as mortified when this happens because they’ve been there, done that.
Read on to learn more about the weird and wonderful things that occur when moms give birth.
19 Loose Bowels Are A Thing That Will Happen
According to Very Well Family, women that have already had at least one child before they got pregnant once again know that if their stomach feels as if it is going on a rollercoaster ride and they have loose bowels, then that is a good sign that labor is getting ready to start.
The reason why a pregnant woman’s stomach gets so upset and the intestines go haywire is due to hormones in the body called prostaglandins, which get released when it’s time for labor to start. The body causes loose bowels as a way to empty out the mom’s stomach and help the contractions flow more efficiently when it’s time for the baby to come out.
18 Pain Meds Are Really Helpful
There are some first-time moms out there that have decided for one reason or another that they want to give birth in an all natural way and don’t want to be given an epidural or anything else to relieve the pain of the contractions.
Am. Pregnancy writes that many mothers on their second or third pregnancy know that giving birth feels as if a giant is squeezing the inside of their body and even if they were in the natural childbirth camp for their first born, this time they won’t refuse things like an epidural to quell the aches and pains of the contractions.
17 You Will Probably Go Hoarse At Some Point
After going through the labor and delivery process, S. Mommy writes that experienced moms know that they need to pack plenty of cough drops in their hospital bag because there is a very good chance that they are going to go hoarse at some point.
Sure, there are some women out there that hardly make a sound during labor and delivery but that’s the exception, not the norm. Most mothers screech, shriek like an opera singer, roar like an angry lioness and groan at every little bit of pain, which puts a strain on their vocal cords and leaves them feeling as if they were singing along loudly at a live concert of their favorite band.
16 Some Women Tear The Lower Half Of Their Body
For mothers who have given birth to before, they know that there is always a chance that they could tear the lower half of their body and will take as many precautions as they can to ensure that this does not happen again.
What To Expect writes that most tears tend to occur with natural births or women who have had long labors thanks to the heavy amount of pressure that occurs when a baby is trying to enter the world. Many mothers try to perform Kegel exercises during their pregnancy in the hopes that it will strengthen the muscles they’ll need for childbirth and help prevent tearing.
15 Water Breaking Isn't Really All That Dramatic
Some first-time mothers might fret that their water will break at the most inopportune moment and cause them to become incredibly flustered since naturally, all eyes would be on them and everyone would wonder why her clothes suddenly got drenched.
Very Well Family points out that experienced moms know that only 13 percent of women experience a dramatic water breakage event and most of the time, their water will break until they are very far into the labor process—usually about the time that their body dilates to nine centimeters or so, so there’s no need to fret about such a situation occurring in public.
14 Braxton-Hicks Contractions Like To Try And Fool Moms
Am. Pregnancy writes that it can be incredibly difficult for first-time moms to differentiate between false labor contractions and the real thing, even though their doctor will warn them that Braxton-Hicks contractions are irregular when timed, don’t progress into actual labor and sitting down causes them to stop.
Motherly adds that experienced moms have already gone down that road with their first child and will be more likely to be able to tell the difference. It’s a good thing, too, since labor tends to happen a little bit earlier and a little bit faster with the arrival of a second child.
13 It's Normal To Cry During This Time
Parents points out that moms that have already given birth to a previous child are well aware that their hormones (specifically estrogen and progesterone) levels go absolutely haywire during labor and that can cause some pretty wild mood swings.
For example, it’s pretty common for women to start crying during labor and this can catch some first-timers off guard because the experience is pretty darn intense, but previous experience plus plenty of child birthing classes means that experienced moms won’t even bat an eye at their hormones running amuck.
12 Moms Will Regurgitate Anything And Everything In Front Of A Crowd
No one really likes having an upset stomach that makes them so queasy to the point that they have no choice but to regurgitate every single item they have eaten or drank in the past day or so, but it can understandably wig some new moms out when they start doing so almost involuntarily during labor.
Parents notes that moms that have already given birth know that not only are their hormone levels to blame for vomiting, but it can also occur due to the fact that epidurals can lower the pressure in the circulatory system as well as the pain from the contractions.
11 Many Mothers Lose Control Of Their Bladders
According to WebMD, one of the downsides of pregnancy that is the bane of every mother’s existence is the development of urinary incontinence, although depending on the woman’s age and a few other factors, it can range from being quite mild to incredibly annoying and can last even after giving birth.
The reason why so many women have issues with their bladder during pregnancy and even afterward is due to the fact that giving birth can weaken the muscles in the lower half of the body and that can make their bladder become a wee bit overactive in response to this damage.
10 The Mucus Plug Can Be Very Messy When It Leaves Your Body
Let’s face it, it is totally understandable why first-time mothers are so confused when their mucus plug (the handy-dandy membrane barrier that forms during pregnancy to prevent any icky infections from getting inside of the womb and making baby sick) gets pushed out of their body because a) it’s weird and b) totally odd-looking.
The Bump notes that for moms who have already given birth, they know to expect some level of discharge to leave their body once labor starts and their cervix begins the dilation process, which is how the mucus plug gets jostled out of position and falls out of the woman’s body.
9 You're Likely To Feel Very Gassy
Some new moms (especially if they are first-timers) might feel absolutely mortified when they inevitably start passing gas during labor in front of their significant other, their friends or relatives, a few nurses, and the doctor.
Parents adds that after delivering child number one, moms-to-be are prepared for feeling quite gassy in the delivery room and know that it is not their fault. It usually happens due to the fact that gas gets stuck inside of the lower half of the woman’s body when the baby starts to descend into the bottom of the womb and that epidurals can exacerbate matters since they numb certain muscles in that area.
8 Different Pain Meds Will Work Differently On Every Mom
First-timers erroneously believe that all pain meds are created equal and that once a mother-to-be gets that glorious epidural, they will cease to feel anything from the waist down and won’t have to feel all the aches from those pesky contractions during labor.
S. Mommy adds that this isn’t always the case because pain meds will work differently on every single woman and isn’t always a cure-all. Some mothers-to-be might be given an epidural only to find out that it didn’t work and then they’d have to use another type of pain med to dull the aches. In other cases, the epidural only works on one side of the body. It’s one of those situations where unfortunately you can only wait and see what your reaction will be.
7 Giving Your Significant Other A Bruise From Gripping Their Hand So Hard
It can come as a surprise for both the new mom and the dad that the former grips the latter’s hand so tightly that they can lose almost all feeling during labor, but parents that have already gone through one bout of childbirth together are prepared for that scenario.
Motherly adds that science has also discovered that when a woman is in labor and holds the hand of her significant other (even if she’s practically gripping it like a vice), it helps them to sync up their breathing and heart rate, which in turns help to lessen the pain of the contractions.
6 Your Endorphins Kicks In When It's Time To Deliver A Baby
Second-time mothers know that much like the process of getting a tattoo, their endorphins will kick in during labor and they won’t be able to feel any of the pain that they felt previously and will be able to focus on delivering their baby into the world.
Childbirth Connection adds that mothers can keep a steady flow of endorphins running through their body by making sure they are always comfortable in the delivery room and asking their significant other to keep the noise level at a minimum so that they can have plenty of peace and quiet when it comes time to bring the baby out into the world.
5 Many Moms Wind Up Getting A Catheter
New moms that have to undergo a C-section or decide to go with an epidural in order to dull the pain of the contractions might not be thrilled when they find out that they need to get a catheter inserted, especially since it can cause an uncomfortable sensation as labor progresses.
Very Well Family points out that when it comes to giving birth to child number two, mothers don’t even blink at needing a catheter because they already know it is medical procedure to use one when the patient can’t get up to use the restroom or might be unable to realize that they even need to empty their bladder.
4 Your Legs Can Go Numb From Hyperventilation
According to S. Mommy, moms-to-be that are in labor and have already previously given birth before are also less likely to be taken unawares by the fact that hyperventilation is a thing that happens during childbirth and one weird side effect of it is that it can make a woman’s legs go numb.
Not surprisingly, many first-time moms are usually totally freaked out if they start hyperventilating and realize that no, their legs are numb from that and not the pain meds that might have been given at the time, but this phenomenon doesn’t even strike experienced moms as odd anymore.
3 The Water Breaking Often Goes On For Hours
Another weird mishap that can occur during the labor process is that instead of appearing as one large trickle or even the stereotypical gush that is so often depicted in pop culture, a mom’s water breaking can last for hours.
S.Mommy points out that second-time mothers know that there is always a chance that their water will break during labor and they’ll have to deal with the irritating fact that the lower half of their body is leaking liquid throughout the entire process. That’s why it is a good idea to pack a few beach towels in the hospital bag, just in case.
2 It's Perfectly Normal To Cease Talking And Just Groan In Pain From Contractions
S. Mommy notes that it often takes first-time mothers by surprise when they cease being able to talk coherently to their significant others, nurses or doctor and just start groaning in pain as they struggle to bring their baby out into the world.
This is a perfectly normal occurrence during labor and isn’t the most bizarre thing that can happen. Heck, there are some mothers that absolutely refuse to wear the hospital gown and find it’s more comfortable to deliver their child without it on while others find that rocking back and forth on the bed can help ease the pain of contractions.
1 You'll Feel A Lot Of Pressure In Your Rear End
S. Mommy adds that first-time mothers are often unprepared for the sensation that makes them feel as if their little one is going to bust out of the back half of their lower body instead of the front, but second-timers don’t even bat an eye.
The reason why this sensation occurs is due to the fact that the baby puts a ton of pressure on the entire lower half of the body as they get ready to enter the world and that can make some women feel as if the little one is going to make their debut from the wrong way.
Sources: Very Well Family, Motherly, Memorial Care, Parents, WebMD, S. Mommy, What To Expect, The Bump, Childbirth Connection.