Things evolve over time; they change and change can be a good thing. There can be no progress in the world if nothing changes. Childbirth has changed in the years that have gone by, and for the most part, it has changed for the better. There have been advancements in medical technology and pain management to make sure a mom gets just what she needs to safely deliver her baby.
Doctors have also advanced and one thing that has certainly gotten better is their bedside manner. They are much better equipped to help keep a mom calm, cool, and collected when she is giving birth. The thought of giving birth brings enough anxiety that it is sometimes enough to force some women to never want to have children.
In the spirit of keeping the human race alive, doctors have become great at making sure these anxieties don’t get the best of all the women. Unfortunately, this means that they will sometimes choose to not tell mom some important information. If the mom doesn’t absolutely need to know information, they may not give it. This is an attempt at keeping mom calm.
There are 20 things that doctors will either not tell mom, or they will keep it incredibly hush-hush, that need to be revealed. These are things that mom needs to know, but they are also things that don’t warrant much panic.
20 You May Want To Bring A Book (Or Two)
Packing a hospital bag is one of the top priorities on a woman’s baby to-do list. She wants to get that bag ready for when they have to leave. So much of pregnancy and childbirth is out of mom’s control, that having the bags packed can help her gain some sense of control over what is going on.
One thing that a lot of moms forget to pack (and they shouldn’t) is a few books. Books, magazines or even a streaming device will all be helpful because you could be laboring for a while. There are some women out there who experience very quick labors, but most women (especially first-time moms) are in for the long haul and need to keep their mind off it.
19 Yes, THAT Can Happen!
We are just going to get this one out of the way. One of the biggest fears when it comes to childbirth is going to the bathroom on the delivery table. Forget the pain and epidural, this is what a lot of women dread when they think about giving birth. They imagine it to be utterly embarrassing.
The truth is, this may happen, and chances are it probably will. However, there is some good news. The good news is that if it does happen, you probably won’t even know about it. When you push out a baby, you use the same muscles so it is only normal something else may sneak out. Chances are, you won’t even notice because the nurses will clean it up as if nothing happened. Doctors actually like when this happens because it tells them that you are pushing correctly.
18 Your Ultrasounds Were Probably Wrong
Most women will only get two ultrasounds their whole pregnancy. They will receive a dating scan to date their pregnancy and then an anatomy scan to check the baby out and find out the gender. Some women do get more, and they are usually to check if something seems wrong or to assess the growth of the baby.
This can be exciting for mom, to get an idea of how big her little baby is inside of her. However, don’t get too excited or panic when the tech tells you that you have a ‘big’ baby in there. Ultrasounds are not completely accurate when predicting the size of a baby and they could be off by a couple of pounds. Mom won’t know for sure until that baby pops out.
17 You Don’t Really Have To Push
It’s really not what you think, there is pushing involved and it is one of the hardest parts of labor. However, it does not have to be as strenuous as Hollywood may make it appear in movies and TV shows. Pushing is the final act, when mom uses the last bit of energy, she has to help get that baby out of her.
A woman’s body knows what to do, and much like our gag reflux, it is there to help you. There may be a point in labor when mom feels her body take over. When she feels the need to push and her body decides to do it for her. This is another reflux your body has to help you get the baby out. Trust your body, it knows what to do.
16 No One Really Cares What You Look Like
Much like going to the bathroom on the delivery table, a lot of women also worry about what they look like when they are in labor. They suddenly have a realization that there may be a lot of people looking at an area that she hasn’t even seen for months and panic sets in. No one really knows why a woman thinks that a doctor and some nurses will care about personal grooming, but it can worry a lot of women.
The truth is, they really don’t care. They are there for one reason and that is to get a baby out safely, and there is nothing that can get in their way. Mom can save herself from some pain by skipping the waxing session, which hurts because during pregnancy you are way more sensitive down there.
15 It Is Okay To Eat!
There has always been this rule out there in the universe that when a mom is in labor, she can not eat. That as soon as she checks in, it is nothing but ice chips for her. This is not always true. Doctor’s would prefer you didn’t eat, should you need an emergency C-section, but it is not forbidden.
Chances are, mom-to-be won’t feel like eating much, but if she wants a small snack, she can have one. A lot of hospitals will also allow mom to have drinks, as long as it is clear. This means she can drink water, apple juice, and even ginger ale if she needs something to get her through.
14 Be Careful What You Put In Though...
The last entry definitely needs a follow-up post, because even though mom can eat, she needs to be careful. She should always be mindful about what she puts in her body because there is always a chance that it will come right back up. Childbirth is painful and affects women differently. The pain alone from contractions can be enough to make a woman ill.
If mom is receiving pain relief meds, it could also cause her stomach to be a bit queasy. Surprisingly, breathing can also be enough to have food returning. If contractions get so bad that mom is not focused on her breathing and it comes too fast and furious, she could find herself in a very messy situation.
13 There Are Many Positions To Have A Baby In
This is another rule that women believe because it has been passed down through the grapevine, and it is only half true. If mom has received an epidural, she will have to labor on her back. It would not be wise to get up and walk around with that sticking out of her back.
If mom decides to go med-free, she does not need to labor on her back. There are a lot of other positions available to mom and a lot of them may actually work better than the standard position. Explore and practice them when pregnant to find the one that works for you. Moving around is one of the best pain management techniques out there.
12 A Cut Is So Overrated!
Our bodies go through a lot when we have children, and certain areas take the brunt of the whole ordeal. It all comes down to basic biology. A baby’s head is pretty big, and the exit door can only stretch so far. This means that a lot of women can tear while pushing the baby out. This often happens to first-time moms because they have never done this before.
Sometimes, to make it a little easier, the doctor can make a small snip called an episiotomy to help the baby come out. Mom can request that this not be done unless absolutely necessary. In 2006, the US Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists actually made recommendations against episiotomies.
11 An Epidural Doesn't Always Work
There are a lot of women out there who are mighty thankful that someone out there invented an epidural. Everyone’s pain tolerance is different, and some women need an epidural to get through childbirth. It is great at preserving a woman’s strength for when the time comes to push. The problem is, they don’t always work.
There are instances where the epidural doesn't work or only partly works. Women have experienced that the epidural only works on one side of their body, or that it didn’t work at all. This means that a woman will be having an all-natural childbirth even if she didn’t intend to.
10 The Doctor May Send You Home
No one wants to go to the hospital, ready to deliver a baby, and then be sent back home. It is one of the most frustrating things to happen, especially if she is still experiencing painful contractions. This may happen though. Since labor can last a long time, and delivery beds are a popular commodity, there is a chance mom will be sent back home.
If mom gets to the hospital and she is only a couple centimeters dilated, there is a good chance the hospital will turn her away. She may not have to go home, but she will have to walk around a bit and check in labor. It can be frustrating but walking around is one of the best ways to help encourage dilation along.
9 Your Birth Plan Should Just Be Thrown Out The Window
A birth plan is relatively new. It is a new technique that a lot of women are doing in another attempt to regain some of the control over their delivery experience. Doctors understand and appreciate this, and they would never tell a woman what they most likely think about them, that they should go in the bin.
It’s not the birth plans themselves that doctors may have an issue with, it is the expectation that things will go as planned. So much can happen during childbirth that nothing can be predicted and a mom-to-be has to be flexible when it comes to her birth plan. So, go ahead and plan, but be prepared for nothing to go the way you planned it.
8 You Don’t Immediately Bounce Back
I always remember something that my mother-in-law told me when it came to giving birth. She always told me the story about how she had no clothes to wear home from the hospital because she assumed her body would just go back to normal right away. That once the baby was out, her stomach would be gone, and she could wear all her normal clothes again.
This is not true, and it is believed by a lot of women out there. When you leave the hospital after giving birth, you are still going to have a little mommy-pouch. It is best to pack maternity clothes in your hospital bag because you will need those clothes to wear when you leave the hospital.
7 Your Dr. May Not Be There When You Deliver
Most women spend the majority if their pregnancy with one doctor. They see one OB regularly throughout their pregnancy and they develop a relationship with this person. They have built a level of trust with them so it could be quite surprising to hear that they may not be there when you deliver. Doctors may not want to tell mom that they won’t be there to deliver their baby because they don’t want a nervous and scared mom-to-be.
Most OBs work on a revolving schedule. This means that they are part of a team of OBs who work out of the hospital. This means that whatever doctor on the team is working the day you deliver will be the one that delivers your baby.
6 Contractions Don’t End When The Baby Comes Out
Contractions are one of the hardest parts of delivery and they are what brings all the pain associated with childbirth. They are dreaded by any first-time mom and any mom who already knows how bad they can hurt. This means that the doctor may not be as willing to tell you that they don’t normally stop when the baby comes out.
Contractions are vital when it comes to childbirth, they mean that your cervix is dilating, and your uterus is contracting. Both of these things help deliver the baby. When the baby comes out, the cervix needs to close, and the uterus needs to contract back to its regular size. This means there may be some contractions after. The good news is that they are nowhere near as painful as labor contractions.
5 The Baby’s Heart Rate May Drop
Throughout the whole pregnancy, mom has been concerned with nothing more than the health of her growing baby. This doesn’t change during labor; mom’s mind will constantly be on the health of the baby. If you give birth in the hospital, chances are you will be hooked up to a machine that will constantly monitor the baby’s heart rate.
This can cause more harm than good, because mom may notice when her baby’s heart rate slows down for a bit. This is normal and a baby’s heart rate will usually drop when a contraction is happening. Don’t worry though, the nurses are always watching the monitor, even when they are not in the room.
4 You Will Shake …
The next two entries may be more relevant for those moms who have the epidural. An epidural is a form of pain relief that has been praised by a lot of women. However, just like anything it can come with some side effects. Most of these side effects are not serious and are nothing to worry about even if they seem concerning at first.
One of these side effects can be the shakes. It can be quite common that a woman gets the shakes and shivers when she has an epidural. Her teeth will chatter, and she won’t be able to stop her arms and legs from shaking. This is completely normal even if it seems very concerning at first.
3 …And Itch Everywhere!
Along with the shakes, women who receive an epidural can start to itch everywhere. Having an itch is never fun for anyone, but usually, we can just scratch it and we get immediate relief. Sometimes, the epidural can make a woman itch with no relief in sight. While annoying, this can be a completely normal reaction and is usually nothing to worry about.
If it is too much for you to take, you should bring it up to your nurse who may be able to offer you some much-needed relief. Also, remember it is always better to rub and not scratch if you are itchy. We don’t want a new mom with a bunch of scratch marks on her arms.
2 Pushing Can Take Hours
We already spoke earlier about how childbirth can take a long time, so it is best to bring some form of entertainment to help get you through. However, a lot of this time is going to be spent pushing. A first-time mom will probably spend a lot of time pushing. We are talking about hours here. Not everyone is lucky to only push for half an hour or less.
This is why the nurses really want mom to conserve her energy and rest whenever she can because she is going to need it. This is also why an epidural can be so useful because it gives mom some time to rest and get some relief before the hardest part of childbirth occurs.
1 Giving Birth Is Not The Hardest Part
Here is the big part that no doctor wants to talk about, childbirth really is the easy part. While it can be long and uncomfortable, it is over before you know it. What you are left with is a lifetime of caring for and worrying about another human being. Now begins the sleepless nights, the tears, and the constant worry.
This is the hardest part. Childbirth is just a small journey in the grand scheme of things, and it is the beginning of a stressful, difficult but wonderful journey. Maybe more doctors should tell moms this because it may make childbirth feel like a breeze.