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10 Things About Childbirth Nobody Tells You: Unveiling the Untold Realities

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Giving birth is one of the most amazing experiences a person can go through, but there are some things that happen during birth that nobody tells you about. I’m about to let you in on 10 things about childbirth you may or may not have known.

1. Did you know childbirth is unpredictable?

So you’ve made your birth plan, childbirth isn’t like anything that you have planned prior, like an event, birthday party, wedding, etc. With childbirth, your birth plan is a guide to how you would like your birth to go, but with the unpredictability of birth, you need to be flexible to accommodate changes. You may go into labor earlier than your due date or overdue for that matter. You may have fast labor or not, labor may progress more slowly than anticipated. The key is to be prepared for anything and to go with the flow, trust your instincts and trust your body in birth.

2. Did you know that childbirth may be painful? Or not?

I say this, as every person's birth experience is different. Some may have a difficult labor, painful, and hard. Others may have fast, easy, and pain free. The best thing you can do is to prepare yourself for the big event with knowledge, reading as much as you can about the fear=tension=pain cycle, educate yourself about birthing positions, comfort measures, and having a doula present to guide you through your labor and provide nurturing support. This knowledge, practice of relaxation, and supportive care, will get you through the hardest work you will ever do.

3. Did you know childbirth can be messy?

Between the blood, the amniotic fluid, and the other bodily fluids that are expelled during childbirth, things can get pretty messy. The bodily fluids from childbirth are normal, and your birth team will be there to assist with keeping things cleaned up.

4. Did you know childbirth is an emotional rollercoaster?

Giving birth is an incredibly emotional experience. You may feel a range of emotions, from joy and excitement to fear and anxiety. It is normal to feel all of these emotions and more during and after childbirth. Remember to let yourself feel your emotions and ride the wave so to speak, as you process your birth and new baby’s arrival.

5. Did you know childbirth is exhausting and the hardest work you’ll ever do?

Childbirth is a physically and emotionally draining experience. This will be the hardest work you will do, be prepared for it. Just as you would prepare to run a marathon, with knowledge, practice, and consistency. You need to do the same for birth.


6. Did you know your amniotic sac may “leak” or “break” or not all until you are in the pushing phase?


If your “water breaks” (the amniotic sac that contains baby and amniotic fluid), it could feel like a “trickle” or you may ask yourself if you’ve just peed yourself. It may appear pinkish in color. On the other hand, you may experience “pop” and “gush” as your amniotic fluid rushes out. The majority of births, the water membrane “breaks” during active labor but there are some whose water membranes break or leak prior to the start of labor or contractions, all scenarios are completely normal and show you the range of variations to birth.


7. Did you know that afterbirth pains are more commonly experienced with second plus babies?


Afterbirth pains are just that, the contracting of the uterus after having your baby. The “pains” are a more intense cramping, more than menstrual type cramping, but are a normal process after giving birth. This is more common after you have given birth to a second baby and subsequent children. The cramping lasts a few days postpartum and can be triggered by nursing (due to the release of oxytocin) which causes your uterus to contract down back to pre-pregnancy size. There are specific herbal remedies that you can take to help assist with the pain. Please consult your care provider before taking any herbal remedies.


8. Did you know that after giving birth, you might feel like your “insides are falling out”?


No one told me about how your guts feel like they are falling out after having a baby. It felt as if all my organs were shifting because of the new found room after delivering my child. Still the weirdest sensation I have experienced. Belly binding might have been the support I needed, but alas, I didn’t know about it back then.


9. Did you know that postpartum vaginal tenderness after birth can be very uncomfortable?

Of course you just had a baby, and you’re expecting some vaginal tenderness as your vaginal tissues were just put through the ringer! The tissues were stretched, maybe some superficial tears or “skid marks” happened, or maybe you even “tore” or had an episiotomy. This tenderness can be uncomfortable for a few days as it will take time to heal. Cold packs, herbal sitz baths, and using a peri bottle before, during, and after urination can provide some relief as you heal.


10. Did you know that even though you birthed your baby, you will still look 5 months pregnant?


It took 9 months to grow your baby, once you have delivered, don’t be surprised if you still look 5 months pregnant. Your uterus will return to pre-pregnancy in time, but it is not an overnight thing.


Comment below, if you have any tips or tricks about what you didn't know about childbirth.


Birth & Postpartum Doula Fort Collins Colorado

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