11 Kinda Gross Things You Always Wanted To Ask About Childbirth
...and when we say kinda we actually mean SUPER.
Childbirth. Not a daily topic of conversation unless you are a) preggers or b) a baby doctor or nurse. So it's kind of one of those things we know a bit about but not really enough about, despite the fact that many of us probably will do it at some point.
And if you are planning on doing it soon then maybe don't read this. It's well gross - as these questions you always wanted answered about pregnancy and childbirth prove.
1. How does a baby fit out of that tiny hole?
Well, your vagina basically stretches although in a some cases your special place actually rips - or they cut it slightly to help your baby's big old head get through. This is also known as an episiotomy, which is when they cut the perineum to help get the baby out.
I mean, this sounds truly horrific. You are then stitched up, which apparently is super sore and leaves you a bit useless for a while. Cool. It’s not like you have to take care of a tiny child after. Oh wait.
2. Do you actually sh*t yourself?
Yes. But everyone says you don’t care. BUT there is something even worse; after you give birth it’s really hard to do a number two. Your organs are shifting around after being squished together for nine months and your vagina is REALLY tender. Obvs. Plus some people have been stitched from the whole ripping when the baby comes out thing. So actually going to the toilet is a mare.
3. Does your water just break like in the movies?
It generally doesn’t do a quick gush and it’s over like you've seen on telly. You can actually be trickling it out for hours or even days, which is kind of like peeing yourself for an extended period of time and you basically need to wear a nappy to deal with it.
4. How does your water stay up there before it breaks?
The thing holding the liquid in is appaz called a mucus plug. Sounds a bit grim and yeah, it kinda is as it’s essentially a piece of vajay snot that stuck up there until you’re ready to go into labour. Yum.
5. Does the placenta just come out with the baby?
Apparently not. In most cases you deliver it after the baby and sometimes the doctor may have to help make this happen. Apparently in some cases, they even have to push on your stomach until it all comes out, because if a piece is left inside it can make you really ill. As if pushing the actual baby out isn’t enough, please go ahead and punch me in the stomach after.
6. What do contractions feel like?
A lot of women say contractions are actually worse than pushing out the baby and having your vagina rip a bit. WHAT.
They start out as period pains and shift to actual pain that may leave you wanting to crawl out of your own skin. How do I know this when I’ve never had a baby? Let’s just say getting the coil isn’t that easy for everyone. “Don’t worry dear, you’re just having contractions.” Worst. Pain. Ever.
7. Do you bleed after?
Yes. Often for up to 4-6 weeks, it seems. And you can’t wear tampons either, so it’s back to those Always maxi pads you started out on in your teens.
8. What are babies always covered with when they come out?
Mostly it’s a white, cheeselike substance called vernix that covers the skin of many babies at birth. It's formed by secretions from the baby's oil glands and protects the baby's skin during pregnancy. Oh and also blood and stuff.
9. Do you pee as well as poo during labour?
YUP. Because what’s one without the other? You’re pushing so hard and the baby is basically assaulting your bladder and before the little thing comes out you can projectile wee everywhere. FUN.
10. Why can’t you eat anything before?
You always see women on TV eating ice chips in the hours of labour and surely you just want some comfort food. But it’s pretty darn common to experience extreme nausea – not just mild - because obvs nothing is easy. So they don’t want you vomming all over the place.
11. Can you use your vagina in a regular fashion after?
Eventually yes. But for the first few weeks there is no sticking anything up there. ANYTHING. And your lady area is so sore and swollen that you can’t even use toilet paper when you go to the loo. Apparently you have to use what’s called a peri bottle, which is basically like a bidet in a plastic bottle. Just squeeze the bottle of warm water to clean. IS THERE NO DIGNITY LEFT?
As if we didn’t know men had it easy before this.
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