Every pregnancy is different. People tend to either hear about bad experiences or moms saying it was as easy as pie. Every uncomfortable second and magical moment is easily forgotten once the child is born. Mom already knows labor is not going to be a walk in the park, but 350,000 babies are born each day. So, clearly mommies are tough enough to handle it, but everyone knows that already!
But why haven’t women been warned about these negative experiences before they begin labor? Let’s be honest, most don’t need a book on alarming events that can occur when this world is stressful enough. Plus, most doctors probably don't want to ramble off a list of “what ifs.” Regardless, it would be nice to have a heads up! Do other moms agree? It is important to know that these things CAN happen, and prepared or not, at least mom will know she's not alone.
“At the end of the day, [mom] shouldn’t read this article, because [she] won’t want to reproduce. BUT it’s such a short time that [she] actually [goes] through everything that somehow people seem to forget about the craziness and pain and the good majority do it again. [She] will never understand how much [she] can love a little person so much until [she has] one of [her] own.” - Laura Lerg, Michigan
This may be a list of topics that aren’t dinner table conversation and probably TMI, but there is no going back now!
20 Why Isn’t Post Labour Like The Movies?
Trust me, if you think your water will break like Miranda’s did in Sex in the City or your labor will look like Knocked Up, you are wrong. Please don’t watch those movies to help “prepare you,” because honey, they are so false!
“I imagined after giving birth smiling and happy holding my newborn on my chest. In reality, I hemorrhaged and what should have been the happiest time in my life was the scariest. I was too weak to hold our baby and just laid in a room by myself for two hours feeling like I was dying while my husband and parents enjoyed our baby. I really wish I was prepared for it because it traumatized me!” -Brittany Ellis, 27
“In the movies, it shows a huge splash of water on the ground. I moved and I thought I just peed myself. I didn’t listen to the warning signs so well. Little did I know I would have my little girl 8 hours later.” - Laura Lerg, Michigan
19 This Stomach Rub Is Not Like The Spas
Congrats! You just spent every ounce of energy you have and the last thing you want is some nurse with blue rubber gloves pushing and rubbing your stomach. Before you grab their hand and want to break every single finger they own, know it is necessary and important!
“You have to have nurses massage your stomach or you might hemorrhage like me! I didn’t even know that was a thing for them to massage your stomach.” - Esther Ming, Mississippi, 26
“They come and push on your stomach after birth to get everything out, and that will BY FAR be the most painful thing in the world! I was blessed with a 99.9% pain free labor due to never feeling a contraction and being 4 cm at 36 weeks, so I got an epidural right away... but my goodness that pushing was [tough]!!” - Samantha Angell
18 The First Two Weeks After Birth Are Hard!
Yes, they are going to be hard, but you knew that! That’s why you read every mommy book out there! You are going to be sleep deprived, feel like a failure, and be clueless. But know you are not alone. Keep moving forward, ask for a hand, and look for the positives. Mental health ladies! Take care of yourself too!
“No one told me how hard those first 2 weeks were. I expected to be on cloud 9, when in reality I snuck away every night and sobbed in the shower because I felt so [stressed out]. And no one warned me how hard it was going to be to just sit comfortably with my stitches. I had ice packs shoved in my crotch for weeks and even the slightest movement in and out of bed killed.” -Stevi Jo Tinordi, Michigan, 28
17 Don’t Remove The Cute Baby Hat
Just love that little nugget up in that adorable hat! No need to send your tired mind down a rabbit hole worrying even more!
“I always thought the reason for the little hats on newborns was to keep their heads warm. The real reason is to hide what 3 hrs in the birth canal does to the head. Having pushed for that long, elongated my son’s head, so upon arrival his little head didn’t look so good. I was very alarmed at how long his head was, but it was all good, within 24-hrs his head was round. People get alarmed at how long the head can get, but it’s good that it does. It so the baby can fit.” - Kristi Jorns, Michigan
16 I Thought The Epidural Would Be Easy
If you are terrified of needles, then you already are uneasy about this shot. Luckily, the five seconds of pain will hopefully numb up a few hours of intensity during labor. Sounds like a win to me! Getting an epidural is 100% your choice, either way, you get to hold your beautiful baby when you are all done pushing!
Were not here to scare you, but we thought a nice little warning would have been nice for new moms. Plus, everyone’s pain tolerance is different, you may not feel it at all!
“No one warned me about how painful the epidural could be! It’s like it had never happened to someone to find the epidural painful! 2/2 for me. Like the worst part of my both deliveries.” -Cathrine Mg, Quebec, 28
15 Should I Feel Guilty?
After one, comes two! Many mommies say they feel major guilt about having baby number two! Knock it off! You are bringing a friend into this world for your first born, another incredible journey for your family, and about to raise another child in this world. Love every moment of this amazing time, because you don’t get time back.
“When my second was born, no one ever said anything about how much they missed their first born! My newborn #2 was fussy and needed his mama a lot. It meant my husband and the toddler were constantly together. For the first few weeks, I missed every bath time and every bedtime. I saw him every day but I MISSED him so hard. Fast forward a couple of weeks and it got better. But those hormones had me so sad about this.” - Amy English Bourbeau, British Columbia, 32
“I had hard mom-guilt through my entire 2nd pregnancy. I basically refused to pee on a stick for almost 2 weeks because I felt so guilty for my first child. He was taking his first steps and I was reading a “+.” - Sara Schuster Haydar, Illinois, 35
14 My Pants Fit, But Why Doesn’t My Shirt?
Unless you have the same genetics as Blake Lively, the chances are slim you will bounce back a week later. Don’t compare yourself to others! Everybody is different, every pregnancy is different, and we all have different health goals. Relax and know it takes time!
“I feel like there is SO much stuff no one tells you about but for me it was how my body was going to look after. I mean, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because we have the sweetest baby ever, but I cannot even stand to look at my stomach. The stretch marks are just terrible and this little “pouch” needs to go!” - Alyssa Kraus, California, 27
“Even after I “lost” the baby weight and fit into my pants, my shirts didn’t fit because my breast were so big! No one ever warned me about that!” -Amy English Bourbeau, British Columbia, 32
13 Why Am I Numb?
There are books, blogs, and podcast that will educate you on pretty much everything from labor, birth, to babies. You can practice and prepare for just about everything, except how your body will feel and react to an epidural.
“Also, I felt silly not knowing this, but the weirdest sensation to me during pushing was literally not having any control of my legs because of the epidural! My mom and husband had to literally pick up my legs and hand them to me. It was so crazy!” - Alyssa Mazzola, Michigan, 26
“Wasn’t prepared that the epidural works with gravity. When resting on your side, that side will get super numb so they will rotate you to your other. I didn’t make it to my other side and was scooted into an emergency c-section where I couldn’t feel my left side even MORE then the right for hours” -Amanda Krompetz
12 Do Not Check Out The Damage To Your Undercarriage!
Ah, yes, ready for the TMI? We aren’t here to hide any secrets here! Whatever you do, just don’t take a peek at the damage down there after your baby is born!
“I tore in 6 places. Yes 6! It took her almost an hour to stitch me up. There is nothing worse than spending hours with your legs open to push out a baby, only to keep them open to be sutured up. I didn't even want to hold my baby at this point! I couldn't sit or walk comfortably for almost 3 weeks after his birth.” - Kristyn Briggs, Michigan, 28
“The tearing was so severe that I had to go back to the obgyn 2x per week for 8 weeks for them to go back up THERE to make sure it’s healing correctly and to disinfect.” - Steph Davies
11 A Shift Change? But We're In The Middle Of Labour
This one was surprising to me! And don’t think I am shaming nurses, because I know every mommy on here said nurses are angels! We know you work your bum off ladies, so we don’t blame you. Just like us, we know you want to clock out at soon as the day is done! It just came as a surprise.
“The first one was so helpful holding and coaching me. The second legit sat there and told my mom and Thomas they better start helping” - Nicole Victoria Aquilino, Florida
“Did I mention nurses change shifts at 6am? My son was born at 6:32 am. The night shift nurse wouldn't even stay even though I was now mid pushing. The new nurse literally said nothing, did nothing and my husband all of a sudden had to become some sort of superdad/nurse and coach me through this.” - Kristyn Briggs, Michigan, 28
10 I Thought Babies Were Like Leeches
I feel ya ladies! I thought it would be a natural instinct for babies to just latch on and begin feeding, which probably leaves mommy’s stressed and upset that the first thing they need to do, feels like failure. Take notes, it is not easy and can be painful. Please don’t leave that hospital without asking for help! There are lactation counselors to help you!
“The first month of breastfeeding is like knives slicing your breast.” - Hadley Moon, Indiana, 29
“I think it’s such a taboo subject in society to talk about the pain that comes with the engorgement of your breasts while your milk comes in and exactly how hard and painful breastfeeding/pumping exactly is. I thought the baby just latches & sucks and that was that. Wrong!” -Laura Dehart, California
9 Why Is My Birth Not Rainbows And Sunshines?
Just like instagram, we post only a snip it of perfect moments. We all do it, but it leaves us comparing ourselves and lives to others. When was the last time you read a post that gave you the gory details of labor? Never, right. So, don’t compare your birth, child, or mommy beliefs to others. It will only leave you disappointed.
“That I’d deliver not only my baby, but also a monitor that was inserted through the cervix, and into the uterus to track the intensity of contractions. I was surprised by this and the amount of cords hanging outside of me. When the doctor told me I could start pushing, I asked if she had removed this device and she said I’d be delivering it with the baby! Seemed so bizarre!.”-Tamara LA
“That despite all preparations, drugs can wear off during a c-section and if you have even the tiniest chance of an allergy that birth can magnify it!” - Rachel McKenna, Missouri, 34
8 Wait, This Isn’t My Birth Plan!
Anyone else hate change? Buckle up because you have 9 months to learn to accept it and like it. Yes, your birth plan may go 100% the way you dreamed. But what if it doesn’t? Embrace the fact that change means safety and health for your baby and you!
“You can get all the way to the finish line, have 2 days worth of labor, be 10 cm dilated and pushing and still end up with a c section. Twice. Also, if you don’t have a smooth labor you might not get to be with your baby right away like you imagine.” - Nicole Berry, Boston, 31
7 The Bathroom Will Be the worst
You are about to be changing dirty diapers, so potty talk better not gross you out! Many mama’s talk about how shocked they were to find out the pain and discomfort of using the toilet after childbirth. Maybe this should be common knowledge since we are putting our lady parts through an intense session, but it is something that never crossed my mind!
“No one told me how bad it would sting postpartum when you went pee. Oh and poop. I was terrified to poop. No one told me you would be taking stool softeners just to make it less painful.” - Hailey Chupp, Michigan
“I had no idea taking a poop would feel like giving birth again. I had to breathe more through that than labor.“ -Lise Mancari
6 Seriously? Isn’t Pushing Enough?
Let’s just make it as difficult as possible for you, okay? As if pushing out a child wasn’t crazy enough, we thought we would make it a little harder on you! Just be sure to not miss the bucket while also pushing, thanks!
“No one told me that the pain of contractions could cause vomiting. I was expecting to be in pain and uncomfortable, but I was not expecting to be throwing up too. I threw up water and the lemon ice they provided. Everything came up. I threw up many times during my labor and ended up needing fluids a couple times to stay hydrated.” - Mekyla Moss, Michigan
“No one told me how nauseous you’d get during labor and the drugs they give you will make you vomit multiple times. The anesthesia I got right before my c-section made me so nausea. I threw up all over the poor anesthesiologist’s hands as he was trying to hold a bowl for me, from above me, as I was laying down getting prepped for the c-section and proceeded to continue throwing up as they began cutting me open!” - Jamie Evans, Michigan.
5 Did I Just See A Crime Scene?
Natalie Portman hit it spot on in No Strings Attached when she said, “It’s like a crime scene in my pants.” I’ll just leave it at that.
“The bleeding lasted 6 weeks. Sometimes you think it’s done as its slows down and then it’s like wait a minute, i’m still here!” - Angela Lapointe, Ontario
“The blood. Just ALL. THE. BLOOD. Obviously, I knew there would be a lot of bleeding. There was a tiny human coming out me for goodness sakes, but no one warned just HOW much blood there would be not just during delivery, but during labor and after delivery. I remember the first time I was able to get up out of bed in the hospital I saw all the padding that was underneath me. It looked like a crime scene and I said to my husband “HOW AM I ALIVE?! ALL OF THAT IS FROM ME?! THAT’S JUST FROM THE LAST TIME THEY CHANGED OUT THE PADDING A FEW HOURS AGO?!” - Jamie Evans, Michigan
4 Why Is My Bed A Pool Of Sweat?
Another annoying thing to look forward to is the night sweats. While you are trying to catch every second you can of rest, be prepared to sweat out everything! Just own it, and keep some extra clean bed sheets handy!
“I wish someone warned me how much you sweat the first days after delivery! I woke up the first night soaking wet and totally panicking, calling the nurse and asked her to check my fever. I was 100% sure I had gotten a serious infection, but she said it’s just all the fluids leaving the body.” - Alexandra Afzelius
“I woke up drenched every night days like 3-6 postpartum. I thought something was seriously wrong at first!!” - Stephanie Rannells
3 What Do You Mean I Can’t See My Child?
Sometimes things don’t go as planned and your baby may need some extra support. It is very scary, but know and trust that the NICU nurses do incredible work. Believe in them.
“No one warned me that even though my pregnancy was perfect and my baby was on time that I could still finally hold him in my arms only to be taken away. Then told while laying there empty I couldn’t even go look at him for the first 24 hours of his life. You have a picture in your head of taking your baby home the next day in their cute little outfit and no one warns you that it might not be that picture perfect moment. But modern medicine is amazing and NICU nurses are angels sent from God” -Celia Huff, Chicago
“I had to have a c-section with my second child and I barely had time to glimpse at her. When the drugs wore off all at once and I went from feeling the standard “tugging and pulling” that hadn’t bothered me at all to feeling EVERYTHING. I was screaming and they had to knock me fully out so I missed the first hour or so of my daughter’s life. “ -Rachel McKenna, Missouri, 34
2 Get Amazon Prime and Be Sure To Prep Food!
Don’t try to be a superhero. Accept the frozen meals from neighbors, the Panera Bread deliveries, and any help offered. Regardless of how your labor goes not having to worry about making dinner will be your lifesaver. You never know which nights your baby will keep you up late or which evenings you will have your hands tied up rocking your crying baby.
“Making freezer meals and having snacks stocked up is a lifesaver the first few weeks with a newborn. You can't always rely on friends or family to bring you meals. Also, get Amazon Prime or a grocery delivery service. It will be your bff.”- Naomi, Michigan
1 Can I Take A Break?
Yeah right! Once you have started, there is no stopping! Push mama, push! You can rest up after. Don’t forget to worry about your mental health and physical health after childbirth. Pushing out one child is enough work, talk about twins!
“After you’ve birthed one of your twins, you don’t get one second to breathe because the next ones got to come out right away. No breaks for a reward of getting one baby out!” -Samantha Angell, Minnesota, 28
“How difficult it is to control your breathing while pushing. Every contractions you push for 10 seconds, one deep breath in and then push for another 10 second. Trying to slow your breathing after holding is hard!” - Angela Lapointe, Ontario