Doctors are very busy people and they don’t always tell moms everything about labor. That is why it is important for moms to educate themselves about the things that they might not be told.
Before childbirth, moms-to-be often have a lot of questions, especially if they are preparing to have their first babies. They may have doubts and worries that give them a little bit of anxiety. The best way to soothe doubts and worries is by learning what will really happen during labor.
Expectant moms who read this list will get the inside scoop on labor and delivery. They’ll know exactly what to expect. Moms-to-be who don’t read this list may find that labor and delivery are filled with surprises. So, settle in, read every entry and then prepare for this important life milestone. Once labor is over, a new life as a mother begins. Labor is a miracle, but it’s not always easy.
Resting before labor is important. Good nutrition, proper hydration, and plenty of sleep are all things that should be priorities as a due date approaches. Women who are close to giving birth should always baby themselves.
20. INDUCED LABOR HAS ADVANTAGES AND DRAWBACKS
Having labor induced is something that a woman may have recommended to her by her OB-GYN. Induced labor may be recommended because a baby is overdue, or because the placenta isn’t providing as many nutrients as it should be, according to Yourchildbirthguide.com.
An induced labor may well get the whole childbirth process rolling. However, it has a key drawback. It raises the risk of needing a C-section. If an induced labor is being discussed, be sure to consider the pros and cons. Of course, your doctor is going to recommend what he or she feels is best for you.
19. YOU MAY THROW UP DURING LABOR
You may not expect to vomit during labor, but there is a possibility that you will throw up. You may even throw up repeatedly. If you do, don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t be embarrassed. Vomiting during labor is quite common and your medical team knows this. They are there to help you and will never judge you.
Physical examinations during labor may trigger nausea that leads to vomiting. Hormone fluctuations may also cause laboring women to vomit, according to Motherrisingbirth.com. It’s just something that happens sometimes. You’ll have qualified medical staff close by to help you get through it.
18. YOU’LL NEED TO DELIVER THE PLACENTA
You need to deliver a bouncing baby and you also need to deliver a placenta. There is a fair bit of information about placentas out there online because some women make the decision to consume their placentas after childbirth. They do it to try and get back nutrients that were lost after delivery.
There are differing opinions about whether eating placentas is a good thing. According to Webmd.com, tests designed to show whether it’s healthy to eat one’s placenta or not are in short supply.
Anyway, you’ll need to deliver your placenta after you have your baby. You may not even know that you are doing it when it happens.
17. LABOR MAY SEEM TO GO ON FOREVER
Labor isn’t a skip in the park. It is not a cakewalk. It’s tough and some women have it tougher than others. It’s also generally a time-consuming process….especially if a woman is giving birth to her very first baby.
While some labors do progress very rapidly, most take a long time. The average amount of hours that a woman is in labor for is 16 hours, according to Pregnancyandbaby.com. So, brace yourself for a long labor experience, although you may end up being the exception to the “long labor” rule. Labor does require a lot of patience. Understanding how long it usually takes will help you to prepare mentally.
16. EPIDURALS DON’T WORK WELL FOR EVERYONE
Epidurals can be wonderful. They basically wipe out all labor pain. Unfortunately, they don’t work for every laboring woman. Verywellfamily.com reports that some women don’t access complete pain relief after they get epidurals. Women who don’t access total pain relief may want to try other pain relief strategies, such as changing positions or trying doctor-approved forms of meds.
In terms of doctor-approved meds, some women are allowed to use pain meds that are delivered via IV (intravenously). If you get an epidural and it doesn’t seem to be working, be sure to let your medical team know. It’s not the only option for feeling better fast.
15. YOUR DOC MAY NOT BE AT YOUR LABOR
This fact is something that a lot of pregnant women struggle with. They’ve gotten to know their OB-GYNs and want these doctors with them during labor. The truth is that labor may happen at a time when your OB-GYN is already helping to deliver someone else’s baby, or while your doctor is away, or something like that. Parents explain you may end up going through labor with a doctor who is basically a stranger.
If this happens, don’t stress out too much. It’s normal to be unhappy about it, but there’s no point in dwelling on it. You will be paired with an experienced medical doctor who specializes in birthing babies.
14. GIVING BIRTH IS MORE PUBLIC THAN YOU MIGHT IMAGINE
According to Ncbi.gov, women do want privacy in labor. Medical professionals will generally do all that they can to respect this need for privacy during labor, but the truth is that hospitals are places where a lot of people tend to be wandering around. Also, medical professionals work shifts, so new staff members may drift into your labor room to relieve other health care pros.
Basically, a hospital birth isn’t going to be a private experience. People that you don’t know are going to see you in pain. They may get a clear view of your private region, depending on which job they are being paid to do.
13. YOU MAY POOP DURING LABOR
Throwing up during labor is a possibility and so is losing control of your bowels. No, it’s not pleasant, but it happens and medical teams in labor rooms have seen it all before. If it happens to you, it won’t phase them. You should know that this may happen, but not waste energy worrying about it.
Obviously, your body is going to be under a great deal of strain while you are in labor. This may impact your digestive system. Women worry about pooping during labor, according to Parents.com. Pooping during labor usually happens during the pushing phase, because the same muscles that women use to push out babies are used to push out poop.
12. SCISSORS MAY BE USED SOMEWHERE VERY TENDER
Some moms-to-be don’t realize that doctors may use scissors during labor. Approximately half of all laboring women need Episiotomy procedures. These procedures help to expand the opening “down there,” to make childbirth easier.
Docs utilize special scissors called Episiotomy scissors to make cuts in the perineum. The perineum is a muscle located between the rectum and the female private parts. Cuts are used to make the birth canal a bit wider.
According to the Mayoclinic.org website, Episiotomies are performed on an as-needed basis. You may need one of these procedures while you’re in the labor room. Your doctor will know if this procedure is necessary.
11. POST-DELIVERY HAIR LOSS IS COMMON
During pregnancy, you may have had great hair. Hormone shifts may have given you strong and glossy tresses that would make a Kardashian green with envy. After childbirth, your great hair may become problem hair. Expect a few bad hair days as your hormone levels shift.
Some women lose hair, according to Babycenter.com. Others notice poorer hair quality. Baby your hair whenever you can and be patient. If you’re gentle on your hair, you should notice improvements over time. Air-dry your hair when you can, to give it a break from heat styling, and skip the curling irons and harsh hair products.
10. TUMMIES WON’T BOUNCE BACK RIGHT AFTERWARDS
When labor ends, there will be a recovery period. You won’t feel like you did before you became pregnant. Your tummy will need some time to revert to its pre-baby contours.
We live in a world where actresses and VS “angels” seem to bounce back in mere days, according to Harpersbazaar.com, but they have a lot of help to recover from labor. If you don’t have meal delivery services, personal trainers and skin care specialists giving you regular assistance, you may find that it takes a while to feel like yourself again.
Be gentle with yourself. It took time to grow a baby. It will take time for your body to get back to normal.
9. BIRTH PLANS MAY GO OFF THE RAILS
A birth plan is a good thing to have, but don’t get too caught up in the idea that everything will go exactly according to your birth plan. Each woman has a different labor experience. There can be sudden twists and turns during labor which makes following birth plans difficult or impossible, according to Self.com.
Put your faith in your medical team. They have tons of experience and know what’s best. There is a chance that you’ll be able to follow every aspect of your birth plan during labor and delivery. There’s also a chance that absolutely nothing will go according to plan.
8. YOUR TEETH MAY START TO CHATTER
Women who are in labor may get the shivers. Their teeth may chatter as a result. While body temperature generally rises by a couple of degrees during labor, according to Parents.com, women may still deal with shivers and chattering teeth.
There is a medical reason why this occurs. For example, if a woman is Type B and her baby is Type O, her teeth may chatter when a bit of the baby’s fluid crosses over and enters her own system. It’s not uncommon and it’s usually nothing to worry about. If a mom and baby are both the same type (Type O, for example), it is unlikely that teeth chattering will occur.
7. WATER DOESN’T ALWAYS BREAK LIKE IT DOES IN FILMS
If you think there’s going to be a huge gush of fluid when your water breaks, you may find that it’s really just a trickle. A lot of women have this experience. In Hollywood, water breaking is depicted in a dramatic way, but the reality may be far less dramatic, according to Self.com.
Before labor, an amniotic sac will rupture. This is natural and normal. It ruptures because it’s no longer needed. The sac is composed of a couple of membrane layers and it’s filled with fluid. It’s mostly filled with the urine of an unborn baby! Water may break before or after contractions begin.
6. YOU MAY GET GASSY
Gassiness during labor is another possibility that you should be aware of. It may happen to you. Most people pass gas roughly 18 times a day. That’s a funny statistic, isn’t it?
Gas buildup during pregnancy (and labor) is usually related to hormone shifts, according to Parents. There is a hormone, progesterone, which slows down the digestive system. More progesterone is produced during pregnancy. This may mean more gas.
Sure, it’s not really fun, but it’s not the end of the world. Try not to be too embarrassed if you pass gas during labor. Medical teams in delivery rooms know that it’s just a fact of life for most laboring women.
5. YOUR PARTNER MAY GET PRETTY NERVOUS
Your partner will be overjoyed when your bundle of joy finally arrives, but your partner may be pretty nervous during labor. According to Parents, labor means pain and it’s hard to watch a person in pain. Your partner may be worried about what you are going through and feel anxiety because he or she can’t really ease your pain.
Also, a partner may worry that the baby may not be born healthy.
Partners go through a lot of emotional highs and lows during labor, just like pregnant women do. Partners who want to offer the most emotional support, and soothe their own worries, too, should read up on labor and delivery before their partner’s due dates.
4. WOMEN MAY NEED TO FAST ONCE ACTIVE LABOR BEGINS
Snacks and drinks are generally A-OK before active labor begins. When active labor does stop, women may need to stop noshing and sipping. Active labor is part of the first stage of labor. It’s the second step in stage one.
Active labor happens when the cervix dilates from three centimeters to seven centimeters. Some women are allowed to snack and sip while they are in active labor. Others need to fast. Doctors look at each woman’s labor individually to make decisions about whether food and drink are permitted during active labor.
WebMD explains moms can bring snacks and drinks along, but be aware that you may not be able to have them when your labor progresses.
3. HEALING MAY BE A SLOW PROCESS
With a normal, non-C-section delivery, healing time will be needed. With a C-section, even more healing time will be needed. A lot happens to the female body during labor, especially in the downstairs region. It takes time for everything to heal up. Women will need to wear maxi-pads as their bodies heal after labor, according to Parents. They will need to use warm water to clean their nether regions.
Be patient with the process. For a C-section, expect to need about six weeks to recover. Read up on self-care after childbirth. Get the right feminine care supplies, ask your doctor questions and then take good care of yourself.
2. BIRTH CLASSES ARE WORTH ATTENDING
There are so many great classes that women can take before they go into labor. Prenatal yoga is one example. Getting out there and stretching with other women who are also expecting will be fun, and it’ll also be a great way to prepare for the rigors of labor that await. Yoga isn’t the only prenatal fitness option, but it’s a good one, according to Parents.com.
Lamaze classes–which teach pain-relieving breathing techniques and postures—are also good choices. If you can take birth classes and prenatal fitness classes, be sure to do so. You’ll learn so much about your pregnant body.
1. YOU’LL FEEL SO TIRED WHEN IT IS OVER
Oh, you’re going to be tired. You’ll be ecstatic, too. During labor, you’ll be pushed to the limit in terms of enduring discomfort. Once the baby is born, you’ll probably feel drained. Of course, you’ll feel better soon, but the post-partum period is going to be filled with challenges, one of the biggest of which is fatigue.
BabyCenter explains your newborn is going to need round-the-clock care when you’ve only just gotten through labor. Nurses will help until you take your baby home. The tiredness that comes from labor and caring for a newborn is something that almost every new mom experiences. It can be a very high level of fatigue.