Let’s start this off by saying that birth is so personal and everyone is going to have different priorities or expectations. You do what’s best for you!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and don’t claim to be one. The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any message and will not be held responsible for the content of any message. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice.
For my husband and I we really wanted a natural birth meaning no epidural or pain medication. We also planned for a water birth.
But things don’t always go as planned and our birth plan changed while I was in labor.
I don’t feel that I was mentally prepared enough for a natural birth and I ended up opting for an epidural. No big deal because the baby was healthy and everything turned out fine, but it definitely wasn’t how we expected it to turn out.
I’ll also add in that I was SOOO not prepared for postpartum and what all goes on right after you have a baby. Seriously, why is no one talking about this?
That is why I wanted to share with you some things that no one mentions about birth and right after but that you really should know about.
Things no one tells you about birth…
Pushing can last hours
You see on the movies how the pregnant mom pushes a couple times and out pops a baby but movies are deceiving. I pushed for 3 hours and I was definitely not expecting that.
So just wanted to prepare you that sometimes you push a couple times and sometimes you push for a couple hours, it all depends on the baby and your body.
You may not like the birth tub
Like I said, we wanted a water birth. Before I got the epidural I tried the tub and could not get comfortable in it no matter what I did.
I was frustrated because I had heard so many people say they loved the birth tub and here we had spent money on this and I really didn’t like it.
I would still definitely say it’s worth a try if that’s something that sounds good to you but be prepared that it doesn’t help ease pain for everyone.
You have to be assertive
You are the one giving birth. You are the one who calls the shots. The doctors work FOR YOU.
If you need something, say so. If you want to try a different position, say so. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to make people mad or frustrated but all that needs to go out the window when you have a baby.
Remember this is your birth experience and you have a say in what happens (to an extent of course…baby makes a lot of the decisions).
You can decline medical interventions
There are times when doctors will suggest medical interventions that aren’t really necessary.
Did you know that once you have one medical intervention it’s more likely that you’ll use more?
If that’s your thing then that’s perfectly fine but for those mamas that want a more natural and low intervention birth just know that you can decline a lot of those things if they aren’t medically necessary.
You can ask for time for you and your spouse to discuss
With those medical interventions you can ask the doctors and nurses to leave and give you time to discuss with your spouse about what decision you are going to make.
An epidural doesn’t always mean you’re completely numb
Shocker alert! An epidural doesn’t always mean you are completely numb. I could feel one of my legs and couldn’t feel the other.
I was also able to move around on my bed and get on all fours and right after my birth I could get up and walk. I didn’t have to wait for the epidural to wear off.
It’s different for different people and you just have to see how your body reacts.
Also you are still going to feel pressure and uncomfortable at times. It doesn’t take away every bit of pain, at least not in my experience.
There isn’t just one way to push when you have an epidural
Once again in the movies you see the lady laying on her back holding her legs and pushing. This doesn’t have to be the case.
You can push on your hands and knees, kneeling and using a push bar. This is all dependent on how your body reacts to the epidural and how much you can or can’t feel but just know it’s a possibility.
All modesty goes out the window
I think most pregnant women are nervous to some degree about being modest in the delivery room. That is the least of your worries when you are in labor.
I was slightly worried about my mom and mother in law being in the room because of this but honestly I didn’t even think about it in the delivery room. It’s all about pain management at that point.
If your water breaks in labor, it most likely won’t be a gush of fluid
Back to the movies again…you always see someone with a big gush of water when their water breaks but honestly that isn’t usually the case.
My water broke at home and it was just a little trickle and it slowly continues throughout labor. Everyone I know whose water broke during labor said it wasn’t a gush but more of a trickle.
Obviously there are exceptions to this but usually it’s more of a trickle.
You will see the nurse way more than you see your doctor
I was honestly shocked by this. I saw my doctor 3 times before the baby was born and that was for maybe 5 minutes each time. I was in labor for 20 hours so that isn’t a lot of time seeing my doctor.
Thankfully my nurses were amazing but just be prepared that your nurses are the ones helping you get through this, not necessarily your doctor.
Shortly after you give birth to baby you will be moved to a new room
I wasn’t prepared for this either. Almost immediately after I had my baby and we were both stable and fine, I was moved to a new room.
I found this weird and wasn’t a fan but it is something to be prepared for. I know some hospitals allow you to stay longer in the delivery room before moving you so this might be a good question to ask when doing a hospital tour.
Things no one tells you about right after giving birth
You might not be able to sleep even though you feel exhausted
I was sooo tired but was so wired that I couldn’t sleep. I guess it was adrenaline from giving birth and having a new sweet baby but I couldn’t sleep.
I was so frustrated because I was sooo tired and I would look over and see my husband soundly sleeping without a care in the world.
You may want to toss your husband out the window
Speaking of sleeping husbands, you may want to toss him out the window because of it.
He can sleep, he can walk around without pain, he can do whatever he wants while you are exhausted, in pain and just not feeling your best. It’s frustrating but just know it passes.
Be sure you clearly communicate your needs to your husband and how you need him to help you or the baby. This is all new to him too and he doesn’t know as much about babies as we mamas do.
Breastfeeding doesn’t always come easy
This one might not be as much of a shocker but I wasn’t really prepared for how frustrating it could be, especially right after delivery.
I was thinking it might be a little difficult to figure out how to make it work for us but I wasn’t prepared for it not working no matter what I tried.
I called the lactation consultant in there, I don’t know how many times because I just couldn’t get Braelynn to latch on my own.
It was frustrating and I had to learn early on that not breastfeeding isn’t the end of the world, it will be ok.
The nurses will come in and push on your uterus
Why is no one talking about this?! Every couple of hours the nurses or your doctor will come in and push on your stomach to make sure your uterus is good.
It’s uncomfortable and quite annoying but it’s something they have to do. Just be prepared for it.
The nurses come in every hour or so
A hospital is not a place to get rest. The nurses come in every 1-2 hours and check on you which can be quite annoying if you are trying to sleep.
I wasn’t prepared for this and it was very frustrating and I was definitely ready to go home.
Last but not least…
Birth is beautiful
No matter how long your labor or how hard it might be, no matter how frustrated you are with people pushing on your uterus or checking on you constantly, birth is beautiful.
You get to take this perfect little baby home and love them and watch them grow. Your birth story is beautiful no matter if it was a c-section or natural or whether it was short or long.
Your story is worth it because you got your sweet little one out of it. Don’t let anyone tell you birth isn’t beautiful and don’t let all these things discourage you.
There are so many good things about birth I just want to help prepare your for other things that could happen.