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15 Things You Didn’t Know About Childbirth If you are expecting soon, then you have probably read through every single chapter of every single pregnancy book you could get your hands on; and that is perfectly normal. You have probably re-read them too; that is also normal. And, you have probably become slightly obsessed about the actual delivery process; you may even feel a little frightened. Those are all wonderfully normal preoccupations, as well. But if you are pretty certain that you have not read everything you need to know; that is possibly also true. So, to celebrate your impending labour, here are 15 things you didn’t know about childbirth. You Will Not Be Allowed to Eat – This is obviously a safety precaution in case you need to have an emergency caesarean, but no food means no food. You also will not get any juice, or a cup of tea, or anything. It does not matter how long you are in labour, or how hungry you feel, you cannot eat until after the baby is born. Everyone Will See Everything – Modesty has nothing to do with childbirth. Every doctor and nurse in the ward will see everything you have to offer, but... you will not care in the least. Your body will be too busy to allow your mind to wander, even if you have some blessed pain relief. And don’t worry, your sensibilities return as soon as you are discharged. Pain Medications Are Not Guaranteed – If you are supremely lucky, you will actually arrive at the hospital too far along in your labour for pain medication of any sort. This means you will soon be wheeled into the delivery room, and your baby is on the way. Even if you do arrive with plenty of time, not all women have the spine for an epidural, literally. But, you will only discover that along with the anaesthetist, there is no way to check it out in advance. People React Differently to the Epidural – It is quite common to feel your bladder go when you have the epidural inserted. That is, it will be normal for everyone around you (except maybe your partner), but it will horribly embarrassing for you. Plan to get over it before it even happens; it is a normal part of labour and delivery. Your Waters Will Not Be What You Expect – Only about 10-15% of women experience their waters breaking at the start of their labour. Often, this needs a little assistance at the hospital. Even if your waters break while you are at home, you may not realise it. It can feel similar to bladder relief, and you may believe you have simply let go of those controls. While it is more likely to trickle for a bit, your waters may indeed gush. Whatever you expect, it will be different. You Will Become Exhausted – You may reach a special zen place in your mind, and an epidural may have taken away most of the pain, but your body is doing a lot of work. Even if your labour and delivery happen relatively quickly, you will have put in a lot more physical effort than you can imagine. However, do not think you will be tempted to sleep; instead you will push through and sleep later – normally when you think you should be snuggling your baby. That may be your first pang of mother guilt, but take the nap when you can.


Relieving Your Bowels – By now you know that you may just leave a little excrement on the delivery bed and that it is perfectly normal. Here is what you do not know: you may not notice if you do, nor will you care when it happens. You will be too busy to concern yourself with it at that point. The same goes for farting; you may hear it, but you probably will not be concerned, nor will anyone else in the room. You Have to Trust Your Medical Professionals – You may be in the labour room for an extraordinarily long time, just watching your contractions on a monitor. And, during this time, you may only see your doctor or a sister very occasionally. While they are there, they are unlikely to say much; they are only concerned that everything is normal. Then, if there is an emergency, they will not have a chance to explain procedures to you; they will need to you trust them so they can get on with making sure everything is alright for both you and your baby. You May Be Told Not to Push – Sometimes the doctor needs an extra minute to prepare your body, or shift the baby slightly before she can come out. It is totally normal, but you will be told not to push during this time, and there is a reasonable chance that will be more difficult than pushing at that point. Your body will want to push, even if your instructions are not to – and there is little you can do but try. Crowning Does Not Mean You Are Done – Just as not pushing may seem contradictory to the entire process, seeing the head does not necessarily mean you are done. It may be a signal for you to push harder, or you may be told not to push so hard, or your baby may just retreat back up the birth canal. All of these options are likely, so be prepared for any of them. You Must Deliver the Placenta – And that does mean delivering. It does not simply slide out after your baby. You have got to push, and hard, right after your baby has been born. Sure, you will get a minute or two of a break, but then it is back to business. And if you are too tire to push? If that is the case, some nurse will push on your stomach with more force than you believe you can withstand. You Will Forget About the Pain – Just like your mother and every other mother on the planet, the pain of childbirth will be forgotten. Typically, it will not even linger for a few days. Almost immediately, the pain of giving birth is replaced by the slippery feeling of your baby coming into the world, and then it is back to pains that you are more likely to consider normal. Post Partum Bowel Movements – If you do not relieve yourself during delivery, you may just wish you had. After you deliver your baby, you will soon discover that you are unable to release your bowels. It has to do with the shifting pressures inside your body, but by the time you realise it, you will be busy getting as much fibre into your diet as you can. Your Self Cleaning Uterus – After you give birth, your uterus has a lot of work to do. Essentially, it repairs and cleans itself for optimal uterine health. This is what causes the postpartum blood clots that your doctor has likely warned of; only your doctor will likely skip the details. Uterine blood clots can seem enormous, like the size of an egg, and you are likely to become concerned about your discharge, even though it is likely to be normal.


Childbirth Is the Easy Part – You have heard it, and read about it, yet the closer you get to delivery, the more likely you are not to believe it. The first few weeks as a new parent are incredibly difficult. You will want to spend most of your time bonding with your baby, though your body will scream “sleep!” at you from every quarter. Occasionally, you will also get the directive to eat or shower. Really listen to your body’s needs, not your mother’s guilt; that guilt is a signal that you have already bonded, and you will be much nicer to be around once you have slept.

For more parenting advise please visit the Lindam website http://www.lindam.com/child-safety-news


15 Things You Didn’t Know About Childbirth