Many parents wait for an experience and then it doesn't end up being what they envisioned. Often, most people fall into the trap of expecting to experience things the same way other people have in the past, forgetting that people are all different and the feelings they get from going through similar experiences are different.
This is the case with soon-to-be moms and all the things they experience leading up to the birth of their babies. Everyone knows that the pain of childbirth is arguably the highest level of pain a woman should go through naturally, such that some women claim that most men cannot even handle such pain. However, even in this universally accepted painful experience, not all women will experience the same amount of pain.
Furthermore, apart from the pain, a woman goes through so many other feelings that she hardly ever gets the opportunity to talk about. Most women will go through different feelings during labor and after giving birth. However, the great thing is that not all the feelings are negative, because the most important ones are positive, especially the ones after the baby is born.
Here are 20 feelings most new moms don’t expect to experience during labor and after labor. Some women will experience all of these while others will only experience a few, but most hardly ever expect to go through these. Which of these feelings would parents say is the most unexpected?
20 During labor: Anxiety
Most soon-to-be moms prepare for labor throughout their pregnancy, but regardless of the level of preparation, most cannot help but become anxious when the time comes. During labor, first-time moms can get overly anxious, because it is common knowledge that delivering a baby is a stressful experience.
Studies reveal that anxious moms may have more painful labor compared to calm moms so it's important for soon-to-be moms to prepare adequately for labor and do everything to get rid of any anxiety that might creep in. Soon-to-be moms need to learn as much as possible about the anatomy of their bodies and the birthing process, and should have a pain plan in place and a good support system. These measures might help deal with the anxiety.
19 After Labor: Total Disbelief
Most pregnant women already expect that after they give birth, they will have a newborn who will take over their lives. But some moms especially first-time mothers don't expect to be in disbelief after the whole process. Some moms do not believe they have actually given birth to a healthy baby.
It slowly sinks in when they hold the baby in their arms and even get to go home with him or her. A mother’s body goes through an extraordinary experience to incubate a little human being to the point of full maturity and birth. Therefore, most first-time moms hardly believe that they’ve successfully gone through the whole process.
18 During labor: Surprise
Soon-to-be moms go through many experiences during labor and what some don’t expect is to find labor to be surprising. This is usually the result of waiting for this moment from the time the found out they were pregnant, doing everything to handle it like a boss, but still experiencing the pain of labor in a way no other mom has ever explained it.
In rare cases, some soon-to-be moms fail to receive an adequate supply of oxygenated blood into their bodies during labor and this causes them to feel even weirder. This is highly preventable as signs and symptoms of serious conditions often foreshadow serious risk allowing for proper treatment. Soon-to-be moms should try to relax as best as they can during labor. Back massages can help calm the nerves a bit.
17 After Labor: The Sensation of Contractions
Most new moms don't expect to experience contractions after giving birth since they consider that they have already moved past that stage. However, many moms experience contractions after giving birth, though they are nothing like the contractions they experience during labor. These contractions help the mother’s uterus to shrink down and avoid too much bleeding after birth. These contractions also help mothers push out their placentas.
During pregnancy, the uterus grows extremely large and the contractions help to reduce it. Also, the process of breastfeeding can help trigger the release of the hormone oxytocin which in turn causes contractions. The contractions may ease up a few days after birth but if they become unbearable the new moms should always consult their doctors.
16 During labor: Worry
Worry is a common feeling among soon-to-be moms during labor. Most soon-to-be moms worry that they will harm the baby when they finally arrive. Soon-to-be moms also worry about the prospect of pain, tearing, having to behave in an undignified manner, the epidural needle, or even making it to the hospital on time.
There is a lot a woman does not have control over during labor and giving birth, so worry during labor is normal as well as during childbirth. When moms find themselves in this situation, they should not shy away from asking questions and expressing their concerns. However, no matter how scary the process might be, they will surely get through it.
15 After Labor: Instant Relief
For many months, expectant moms have to walk around with an extra load in their bellies, which increase in weight every day. However, what most new moms don't expect to experience after birth is the almost instant relief they experience. When the baby is finally out of the womb, most women experience relief because they immediately lose a huge chunk of the additional weight and they can breathe much better.
Even though a woman is still in mild pain and recovering from giving birth, she will experience a sense of relief knowing the hard part is over. She is also usually relieved because everything went well. However, despite the weight relief, her tummy doesn't go back to normal immediately. In fact, women often leave the hospital looking like they are five months pregnant but eventually the tummy will get back to normal.
14 During labor: Weepiness
It is common for soon-to-be moms to feel like they are ready for labor, to the extent that they don't expect to weep or cry. However, women undergo many hormonal imbalances during their pregnancy and labor and some of these hormones make them extremely emotional. Labor is painful, especially for soon-to-be moms who choose to have a normal delivery and not to take any medication to relieve the pain.
It is common for a soon-to-be mom in labor to cry at different points, which can be the result of pain, lack of sleep, fatigue, prolonged labor or even being frustrated because things are not going as planned. A good cry is sometimes therapeutic and having a great support system around helps even more.
13 After Labor: Forgetful
During labor, women don’t expect to forget the excruciating pain they go through, owing to just how intense it is. However, as soon as they hold their bundles of joy in their arms, they easily forget just how bad labor was. The forgetfulness may be thanks to hormonal fluctuations, especially the drop in progesterone levels after birth.
In addition, forgetfulness is part of a woman’s defense mechanism after the pain and rigors of childbirth. If a mother’s memory remained as sharp as before, some moms would probably never want to go through pregnancy and childbirth again. Post birth forgetfulness is a wonderful feeling for new moms.
12 During labor: Hot Flashes
Have you ever experienced a hot flash? A hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat usually on the face, chest, neck, and back that has nothing to do with the weather or the environment. Active labor, usually the last stage of labor, can really be intense and on top of experiencing excruciating pain, some women experience hot flashes.
These flashes are mostly the result of hormonal imbalances as well as increased metabolism, which result in body heat surges. The hot flashes last for only a few seconds or minutes but for laboring moms, they can feel like a lifetime. These flashes usually end with labor.
11 After Labor: Hungry
During labor, some moms may feel hungry but have no desire to eat. Some health professionals don't encourage eating during labor because in the event the mother has to be put under anesthesia, she would be risking a lot. Most doctors only allow their patients to take fluids and light snacks especially if they will administer anesthesia.
However, some moms might think that after giving birth, they will not experience major hunger, thinking that the hunger had a connection with the delivery. However, a mom will need a healthy meal soon after labor to promote healing and recovery. Furthermore, new moms should eat foods rich in fiber to avoid straining their birth wounds when using the toilet.
10 During labor: Pressure
Many pregnant women feel pressure around their abdomen, a feeling most never expected to experience during labor. Most first time moms expect to experience pain, struggle with pushing, and then the baby comes, but this is not always the case. Once labor commences, a soon-to-be mom feels extreme pressure in her groin area and rectum.
Pressure begins when the baby’s head lodges lower into his or her mother's pelvis. Most women explain this feeling to be like that of a giant bowel movement waiting to happen but in the real sense; it is the baby preparing to come out. As labor intensifies, the pressure moves to the tailbone and the birth canal. Laboring moms should move around as it helps relieve the pressure a bit.
9 After Labor: Frustrated
Once a soon-to-be mom finally gives birth, the only feeling she might expect to experience is joy, since she might think that the worst part is over. However, more often than not, she is sure to experience some frustrations, since her life changes completely. The greatest frustrations can stem from the fact that the baby will force her to experience new and unpleasant things and that she can be wrong many times.
For example, breastfeeding might end up being far more difficult than she expected, the newborn baby might end up crying a lot, and the newborn might act distressed and the mom might not know what to do. Moms going through these frustrations should ask for assistance from more experienced moms or even professionals.
8 During labor: Burning Sensation
Most moms claim to have felt a burning sensation during contractions and crowning. Most soon-to-be moms don't expect to experience this feeling though it happens. Women expect contractions to feel more like intense menstrual cramps but instead many have explained that the feeling is more like a burning sensation spreading across their lower abdomen.
During labor, women know their cervix needs to dilate from one centimeter to ten in order for them to start pushing but most don't know that the dilation process feels like a ring of fire. The sensation intensifies when the baby’s head is crowning and some women end up tearing, which actually helps relieve the sensation. After birth, the new moms experience relief.
7 After Labor: Overcome with different emotions
After birth, most new moms don't expect to feel so emotional by the arrival of their baby, but the transition from pregnancy to being a mother can truly be difficult to handle. Some of the demands of motherhood such as teaching her newborn to latch properly, learning how to change diapers, and not sleeping well at night can stress out a new mom physically and emotionally.
Furthermore, a new mom’s friends and family will take the birth of the baby as a good opportunity to visit the new mom and her bundle of joy. Hosting a few days after giving birth is tough, and it can sure be a lot to deal with, especially if this new mom has very many people visiting her.
6 During labor: Not In Control
During labor, some women may have an out-of-body experience due to all the changes happening to them. This is a feeling most laboring women don't expect to experience but it occurs in many of them. All women experience labor differently though in every case they share many experiences.
The pain of labor can be too much for some women especially those undergoing a drug-free delivery and some may feel like they barely have any control over their own body. They feel like they are going through the process from outside their physical bodies. This is a way for their bodies to cope with the pain but as soon as it's time to push, moms quickly snap back to reality.
5 After Labor: Instantly Full Of Love
New mothers don't expect to feel love after going through tough labor. However, after delivery, most moms fall deeply in love with their little boy or girl the minute they lay their eyes on them. Although some moms take a little longer to bond with their little ones, depending on how tough the delivery was, the immeasurable love they feel for their little ones is amazing. This love is what gives babies a sense of security and relaxation.
This love and strong bond occur when a mother looks at her newborn, touches, cuddles, and cares for his or her needs. Breastfeeding also helps with the bonding. To encourage the bond to develop faster, moms need to have lots of skin-to-skin contact with their newborn.
4 During labor: The Uncomfortable Feeling Of Colporrhexis
Colporrhexis is the laceration of the birth canal, and although most new moms know about it, none expect to go through it. Majority of women only worry it could happen to them during labor and delivery. This laceration occurs when the baby’s head is either too large for the canal to stretch around it or when the head is normal in size but the canal is not stretching out as it should.
Some laboring moms experience the tear but since they are in so much pain, they barely notice that pain. Furthermore, moms feel every moment their skin tears. After birth, the doctors stitch up the tear and it can take a couple of weeks before mom can operate normally again.
3 After Labor: Exhaustion
Most new moms don't expect to feel exhausted after birth but no matter how long or short their labor was, it is highly likely that every mom will come out of it tired. It is only natural for the body to want to recover after childbirth and regain some of the energy that was lost during labor.
Also, towards the end of the pregnancy, most women barely get enough sleep due to body discomforts and anxiety. Whether a mother undergoes a cesarean or a normal delivery, most hospitals take care of the baby in the nursery while mom rests and recovers from giving birth. Resting well after giving birth also helps reduce the stress of caring for a newborn at such a time.
2 During labor: Numbness
Currently, there is no technology available to tell exactly how painful labor will be like for a particular woman since each case is always different. Some have high pain tolerance while others have very little and opt for pain medication to manage the pain. The most common way of dealing with the pain is an epidural which is an injection done on the spine.
However, what most new moms don't expect to experience after an epidural is numbness. The epidural relieves the pain by numbing the lower half of the body. Moms who undergo this don't feel any lower body movements. They can even sleep through active labor. These women usually experience the numbness after labor, and only feel some pain after the medication wears off.
1 After Labor: The Baby Blues
Have you ever heard of women who claim to have felt really down after giving birth? Such women went through feelings collectively referred to as the baby blues. Some say they feel extremely vulnerable, sad, stressed, and find themselves crying over the smallest things. The baby blues can check in immediately after birth and usually go away after about two weeks.
These blues usually stop after the mom’s hormones stabilize enough to give her a break. Many women struggle with baby blues at a time they should be excited about their new baby but many don’t talk about it. If the baby blues persist, new moms should seek help because it can lead to postpartum depression.