Throughout my pregnancy season, the one thing that bothered me the most was the LACK of education regarding childbirth, especially since I was a teacher. Maybe you were one of those to watch the infamous baby being born video in high school (I was one of the lucky few that left H.S unscathed), or maybe your knowledge of childbirth is to the extent of movies like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”( like mine was). But there are quite a few things that the traumatizing birth video or the hilarious movie don’t share.
Below are 6 things that I learned about while I was pregnant that I was clueless about beforehand:
1. There’s this magical person called a doula (pronounced doo-la)
Basically the best way to describe them is a laboring coach. They know techniques and coping strategies to help the mama get through pain in the laboring process. They also help support the husband as he supports the mama. They can be very pricey or you can also find one that is in training that is more affordable. We will be using a doula. I don’t see what the harm would be in having another person who is versed in giving birth to help get through one of the greatest unknowns of my life. It also seems like a pretty cool gig, getting to help moms usher in a new baby into the world.
2. You may poop
Yea, with all the pushing your doing, (which is described as the same kind of pushing you do when you’re going to the bathroom) you very well may poop. Apparently doctors are used to it and it’s not like a really big #2. It’s just a little bit coming out. At that point though, all you care about is getting the baby out and nothing else matters. Plus, it’s very common and all in a days work for the nurses and doctor.
3. You will have to deliver the placenta
It’s the baby’s lifeline while they are inside your womb. It’s what gives them oxygen and what supplies them with the nutrients they need to grow and survive. I NEVER knew you had to push it out, but you do. It’s not as intense as pushing out a baby, of course, but it’s one more thing to deliver. It gets examined to make sure that there is no piece missing from it that may still be attached to your uterine wall. Also, some people decide to make pills out of it and take them after birth. I highly doubt I’ll be doing that, but I will have two to push out. So… yay!
4. Your water breaking doesn’t mean that the baby is about to come
This is probably one of the greatest misconceptions about giving birth. Labor has 3 stages- Early, Active, and Transitional. Early labor is when the contractions first start and are pretty mild. Many moms still do things like shower, cook, have conversations, and sleep in preparation for active labor. Active labor is when things start to get real and the contractions get closer together and way more intense. Transitional labor is when you’re about to give birth. The water can break during any of those stages of labor, or it may not break on it’s own at all and the doctor has to break it for you. Lastly, there is a bacteria called Strep B that some moms are carriers for. There are no symptoms for it and the only way you know you have it is by getting swabbed late in the third trimester. If you’re found to be positive, then if your water breaks during early or active labor, you need to go to the hospital A.S.A.P so that the baby doesn’t get infected. If you’re negative, then you can labor at home as long as possible.
Basically, you know you’re about to give birth when you feel like you’re about to die… just kidding. Your body will tell you when to push, and if not, then the doctors will, unless it’s a c-section.
5. A cesarean section is major surgery
Affectionately known as a c-section, it is a word that we hear often associated with giving birth. It’s used so commonly that many don’t know that it is MAJOR surgery. Like MAJOR. However, doctors perform it so routinely that it seems like it’s not major. The procedure goes something like this: The doctor will cut through to your abdomen, then separate your abdomen, usually with hands, to make another incision to get to the uterus and pull the baby out. Also, your arms may get strapped out to the sides of your body. I’m not really sure why that is. Maybe so there are no sudden movements made since the mama is conscious? You also usually stay in the hospital a day longer for monitoring than if you gave birth vaginally. This can be planned or done due to an emergency. My cousin gave birth via c-section. You can read more about the delivery of her son here. She shares some important lessons about having an emergency c-section.
6. Your hohaa will be broken
There’s something called padsicles. Yup, frozen pads with soothing ingredients like witch hazel soaked into them. I mean, you just pushed out a 5lb-8lb (maybe it was even a 10 lber) tiny human being from there. So there is definitely going to be some damage. Also, one must not forget the possibility of tearing down there. There are different levels of tears as well. 1st-4th degree. So,those padsicles will be your dearest friend. You bleed for a couple of weeks and then you can also get hemorrhoids, due to the pushing… so you’re in a lot of pain after. Also, no intercourse or working out for at least 6 weeks until you’re healed fully. A friend of mine said basically everything gets broken afterwards…lol. And that’s pretty much true. But such is the plight of birthing new life (thanks, Eve).
I hope this blog was a tad bit insightful and you were able to learn something that I didn’t know before I became pregnant. I wrote about my own personal journey with coming to terms with my labor and delivery. The thought of childbirth genuinely scared me, but here I am months later with two beautiful twins.
Are there any other things that Hollywood promotes about delivery that are so ridiculous?
Twin Mama Out,