One of the most mysterious things in a woman’s life is childbirth. There are tons of information out there, in books and on the internet, but there are still so much that no one can fully understand about this process until it happens to them.
It may be mysterious, but it is also one of the most momentous things that a woman will ever face in her life. This is partly due to the fact that a first-time mom has no idea what to expect. She can ask for opinions and advice from other women who have been through it, but it is not the same. That is because every childbirth story is unique.
Even if a woman has been through it before, it can still be an experience full of anxiety. That is because even no two births to the same woman are the same. Every pregnancy, childbirth, and baby are unique and different. Everyone knows the basics of how childbirth is supposed to go, but there are 20 things that happen that can be nerve-wracking and unanticipated.
The best weapon against fear is education. The more we know about something, the less we fear it. In order to help some women overcome the fear of childbirth, we are going to go over 20 things that actually happen during labor and why.
One of the weirdest things that can happen during labor is shaking. Since this is in the title of this very article, we are going to start our list off with it. Most people are known to shiver and shake when they are cold, they don’t expect any other situation to cause this. However, childbirth is definitely something that can cause this to happen.
This is due to hormonal changes in a woman’s body when she is giving birth as well as changes in temperature. Mix these two things together and they can cause an adrenaline response within the body which leads to shaking/shivering.
19 Number 2 (Yup, We Went There)
It is the moment during childbirth that no one wants to talk about, and that is going to the bathroom on the delivery table. It is one thing that almost all mom-to-be’s are worried will happen. That at some point during their labor, they will accidentally go to the bathroom.
The truth is that this happens quite often, but it is never something to be embarrassed about. When you are pushing out a human, you are using the exact same muscles you would use during a bowel movement. This embarrassing subject is actually reassuring to the medical staff because it tells them that you are pushing the right way. Chances are, mom will never even know it is happening either.
18 Lose Your Marbles
Here’s the thing, childbirth is a long and painful process. If mom is having an unmedicated birth than she is bound to feel a little off. She won’t feel like herself, and she may not be able to properly communicate with anyone, much less the doctors. This is why it is best that mom has someone in the room with her to be her advocate.
When writing up a birth plan, make sure you think about someone you trust that could be with you. Also, make sure they know what your wishes are. When there are times the doctor needs to relay information and get an answer, they will know what to say and can speak for you.
17 Sweating…A Lot Of Sweating
Not everyone likes to work out, I am one of those people. Some don’t find it fun to put their body through stress, and it comes with a big side serving of sweat. I don’t like to sweat, or feel sweat on my body, so labor was not much fun for me. There is a lot of sweating when it comes to childbirth.
Even if you are just laying in the bed, not really doing much, your body will sweat. That is because your body is doing a lot even though it seems like it is just laying there. Pain and adrenaline that come with childbirth can cause your body to sweat. That is why it is always a good idea to have some cool, damp washcloths nearby to help wipe some of it away.
16 Mom's Pride Is Gone
You will lose all sense of pride when you have a baby, and you won’t even care. First off, you have to wear one of those hospital gowns that are open at the back, which are anything but modest. Second, there will constantly be a team of nurses coming in to check how dilated you are. Lastly, when that baby is ready for its big debut, you will have a lot of eyes staring at you.
The good news is, you won’t care. It won’t bother you at all that there is a room full of basically strangers staring at you. As long as they are going to help get that baby out, they could do, and look at, anything they want.
15 Ghastly Noises
We mentioned earlier about the muscles it takes to push out a baby. How they are the same muscles one would use to make a bowel movement. Well, they are also the same muscles that are responsible for gas. Our body produces gas, and it has to be expelled, that is biology, and nothing will change that. However, most people like to control it so that it doesn’t happen in public.
This control will be completely gone in the delivery room. When you are pushing that baby out, you may also push out some noises. If you have an epidural, you may also do it without any control on your part. This is another thing that will not bother the hospital staff, and you are not likely to even hear it over all the screaming.
14 Chattering Teeth
Your body won’t be the only thing that shakes when you are in labor, your teeth will as well. Chattering teeth is another side effect of labor that no one talks about, but it happens quite often. Mom may find herself with chattering teeth and try as she might, she won’t be able to control it.
Experts have noted that up to 50% of women experience their teeth chattering during labor, and the reason why is fascinating. This could be due to blood crossing during childbirth. There is a chance that mom and baby’s blood may mix during childbirth. If the blood types are not the same this can cause shivers and teeth chattering.
13 Irrational Behaviour
Women become different people when they are in labor, and they should never be held accountable for what they do or say during this time. It is quite possible that a woman will act completely irrational when she is in labor. This has a lot to do with her inability to cope with the pain and discomfort associated with giving birth.
Even adults who have chronic pain, have the flu or are dealing with some form of medical injury are known to act irrationally and not like themselves. This means they yell, they may punch a pillow or say things that are out-of-character of them. The best advice for any birthing partners out there is to just let it all go.
12 You Will Want That Needle
A lot of women go with an unmedicated birth simply because they are afraid of the epidural needle. The epidural is feared among women who are expecting, and they are unsure if they want this leading up to the day they go into labor. The epidural is a catheter that is placed in your spinal area to numb you from the waist down. The catheter gets in place by a large needle.
A large needle in the spine does not sound like a fun time, and many women are wary of getting it. However, even if you are sure your mind is made up and you do not want the epidural, you may find your opinion changing. Once you feel the pain and intensity of the contractions, you may gladly sit still while they insert it.
11 It Is A Big Party
Childbirth may turn out to be a big party that you didn’t even want to go to. It actually may feel like you are the host of this big party. There will always be a large amount of people coming in and out of your hospital room. Nurses and doctors will constantly be making their rounds to check how dilated you are and to make sure you are doing OK.
If you are in labor long enough, there may even be staff changes. Which means that you just got to know your nurse and have become quite comfortable with her and then she goes home and you get a new one.
10 Your First Catheter
Even though there is fear, a lot of women are still choosing to get an epidural when they are in labor. I have had two myself now and can not imagine delivering a baby any other way. When you get an epidural, you will also get a catheter. A catheter is a tiny tube that is inserted in your urethra to help drain urine from your bowels.
The epidural numbs you from the waist down, so you are not able to get up and walk to the bathroom. You are likely not going to be able to control it as well. Instead of having to clean up messes, a catheter is inserted to catch it all. It has other benefits as well. It can help the nurse detect if you are dehydrated or not and up the fluid intake.
9 Voice May Be Lost
With all this talk of noises, we need to point out that a lot of the noises will be coming from your mouth. It is hard to stay quiet when you are in the middle of a contraction or are pushing and no one can blame you for letting some of it go. In fact, it may actually help you make it through if you vocalize your pain just a little bit.
However, this may mean that you could lose your voice during childbirth. By the time that baby comes, it may be hard for you to whisper sweet nothings in their ear because you have lost your voice from all the screaming. Make sure you have some hot tea when you are cleared to start drinking again to soothe your throat.
8 Have To Decide If You Want To Look
A lot of women make up a birth plan when they are pregnant. They want to make sure they are prepared for when that day comes. It is important to know that anything can happen, and it is important to be flexible when it comes time. However, there is something that a lot of people don’t think to put on their birth plan, which means a decision will have to be made on the spot.
This is the decision on whether you want to look or not. A lot of hospitals are offering mom the chance to take a look when her baby is coming out. They will either have her bend over, or they will offer a mirror so that mom can see. Be prepared to make this decision before the time is here.
7 Dinner May Be Served, But Not For You!
Childbirth is not only painful and uncomfortable, but it is also long. It is not long for everyone, but there are some women who are in labor for days. If mom is laboring at home, there are not really any rules about not eating or drinking. In the hospital, however, there is usually a point when mom is no longer allowed to eat anything.
If mom is in labor long enough, she may pass through quite a few meals. This doesn’t mean that dad, or another birth partner, won’t be offered food. They may be brought food from the hospital kitchen (depending on your hospital) and they may eat it. A word to the wise husbands out there, don’t eat the food.
6 You May Hate Your Partner
We love our partners. We must because we decided to bring a baby into the world with them. They are the loves of our life and they support us through anything. However, when we are in the middle of bringing their child into the world, they may become our worst enemy. They are probably the only person in the delivery room that we are close too and we always take things out on the ones we love.
It is also hard to communicate in these situations, they may be trying to help but it is driving you nuts. Instead of being able to calmly tell them to stop, you scream it. Don’t worry though, after the baby is here everything is forgotten.
5 Chapped Lips Are Real
If there is one thing I could tell all expectant women to pack in their hospital bag, it would be Chapstick. A woman’s lips can get very dry during childbirth, and they may even crack and bleed, so mom is going to need to have a good supply of Chapstick on hand.
The reason this happens is because of all the breathing mom is doing. Breathing is one of the best ways to get through the pain of contractions, and it is very purposeful breathing. A lot of it is going to be through your mouth. When air is constantly going past lips, they are bound to get dry and chapped. So, keep a good supply and keep applying.
4 Your Body Takes Over
Women who are expecting a baby can never fully wrap their heads around the fact that they are going to have to give birth at some point. When they do realize it, they have no idea how they are going to do it. We have all seen the movies, read the books or heard the horror stories from friends and it just seems impossible.
The truth is, women were built to have babies. There will come a point in labor where a woman’s body will just take over. If women just relax and let their body do what it was designed to do, it can be an easier experience. How will you know when to push? Trust me, your body will tell you.
3 Epidural Can Fail
For those moms out there who have chosen to get an epidural, there is something you should know. It may be scary, but we need all the information. Epidurals can fail. They are not 100% guaranteed to work or work completely. Sometimes, the epidural only works on one side of the body and sometimes it just doesn’t work at all.
There are even times when the epidural wears off before the baby has been born and mom feels every second of labor. That is why it is still a good idea to practice other pain relief techniques even if you are planning on getting an epidural.
2 IV Fluids
For a lot of women out there, childbirth will be the first time they have ever really spent any time in the hospital. If they have not had any surgeries or injuries, they may have never needed to be in there. That means they are going to be experiencing a lot for the first time. This may also be the first time they receive an IV in their hand or arm.
An IV during labor is important, as it provides hydration. A lot of women get dehydrated when they are in labor and this could make for a very dangerous experience. If a woman has an IV, the nurses can monitor how much fluid she is getting and make sure that she avoids getting dried out.
1 Snips Can Happen
At the end of the day, there is a fact about childbirth. The baby’s head is pretty large, and the exit can only stretch so far. This may mean that a lot of women can tear during childbirth. This is most common in first-time deliveries. Once mom has given birth once or twice, everything is a bit stretched out, so it is less likely to happen.
A snip which would allow the baby to pass through may actually be beneficial. If the women tears on her own, it may not be a clean tear and it could be harder to stitch up and take longer to heal. A medical cut is a clean cut and will be much easier to stitch back together.
References: livingandloving.co.za, scarymommy.com