Giving birth is one of the great miracles of life. Women hold babies for 9 months, all the while going through the pains, pleasures, and triumphs of preparing for parenthood. Although giving birth is indeed a beautiful thing, the fact is most people don’t really discuss all the nitty-gritty things that actually go into childbirth.
Childbirth is a lot more than holding a child for 9 months, going into labor for a few hours, giving birth, and then taking the baby home. As all moms can probably tell you, there’s a lot more to it than most of them would probably like to admit.
Here are 16 things most women don’t discuss when it comes to child birth, but that we should all probably know.
1. When a woman is ready to go into labor, her water may not necessarily always break. In the movies, we’re so used to seeing women’s water break into a splatter on the ground, but that’s not always the case.
2. When a woman’s water breaks, sometimes it may be in a gush of liquid, while other times it might be just a trickle. Sometimes a woman’s water doesn’t even break, so her doctor must do it for her.
3. When a woman’s water breaks, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she will give birth right away. A woman may give birth hours or even a full day after her water breaks.
4. The amniotic sac provides a protective layer for babies, so when a woman’s water breaks the baby is susceptible to all sorts of infections. This is why women must give birth once their water breaks. If they are not in labor when the water breaks, their labor is typically induced.
5. Contractions during childbirth are extremely painful. One thing that most people don’t really discuss going through childbirth is that it’s extremely important to stay positive and focused throughout the whole process. Much easier said than done, though.
6. Although most women don’t like to admit this, it’s completely normal for a woman to urinate or even defecate while she is giving birth.
7. Dilation doesn’t matter as much as the movies seem to make it matter. Dilation can occur in a matter of minutes and is really just an indication of the progress the baby is making.
8. The delivery room can become a pretty disgusting, messy scene. There is no shortage of blood, urine, feces, puke, and mucus when a woman is giving birth.
9. Contractions can still occur even when a woman is pushing. They even continue while the baby is being born.
10. Women give birth in multiple different positions. They aren’t always laying on their backs with their feet up in the air. Some midwives suggest a downward dog position or an upright position for women giving birth.
11. In certain situations, doctors are forced to vacuum a baby out. This happens when a doctor applies a cup with a handle and pump to help guide the baby out.
12. If a baby is a breach (positioned feet or buttocks first), he or she is typically delivered through C-section. There are some situations, however, in which a baby in breach can be delivered through a regular birth.
13. Women may sometimes have to wear adult diapers after they have given birth. It is usually an adult diaper or sometimes even a Maxi Pad, and is typically packed with ice.
14. The adult diaper provides moms with relief after the ordeal of birth and also helps with any excess blood flow after the birth is completed.
15. Many moms will have an episiotomy during childbirth to make room for the baby to pass through the birth canal.
16. An episiotomy is a small, surgical cut in a woman’s nether regions. It is done right before delivery to enlarge the opening for the baby to be delivered.