15 things your doctor didn’t tell you about giving birth

Here are some important facts they might have left out.

15 things your doctor didn’t tell you about giving birth

Here are some important facts they might have left out.
  • The wonderful thing about giving birth in this day and age is easily accessible knowledge.

  • With the invention of cell phones even your doctor is just a call or text away, which is a very big comfort for the first-time or overly anxious mothers. They can tell you everything you need to know about your pregnancy and giving birth, making it seem like it's actually a doable experience.

  • But even the best of doctors forget to share certain aspects of giving birth, probably in the best interest of their patient.

  • Here are some of those important things they might not have mentioned, which will be VERY helpful for you to know one day:

  • 1. Your water can break more than once

  • Having your water break is nothing like the movies; it does not come out all at once like dumping out a pitcher of water. It will usually be a trickle down your leg, or like peeing your pants. Also, there is the possibility of having it occur more than once before going into labor.

  • 2. Sometimes it doesn't break at all

  • It is a very big possibility that your water will not break at all while still going into labor. At this point a nurse or doctor will do it for you, with a lovely hook-like tool.

  • 3. Water breaking doesn't necessarily mean labor

  • Your water breaking does not signal a time to panic and run to the hospital. Although it is a big sign you are starting labor, it can actually occur a couple days or even a week or so before you start to push. Though, to be safe, call your doctor and let them know that your water did indeed break.

  • 4. The epidural might not work

  • This kinda seems like bad news, because we all know that an epidural can turn labor into feeling like you are being ripped in half to feeling blissfully happy and numb. This doesn't happen often, but because of the way your body is, or not being able to administer the epidural into the right spot in time, there may be times where even with the epidural you will feel all the pain.

  • 5. When you push, something else might come out

  • Because you have to push out a baby, that pushing sensation can also push something else out: poop. Some say that it is the feeling of having to go number two that lets you know the baby is about to come out, and so what comes out with the baby is completely normal. You probably won't even know it happened, and the doctors and nurses are so used to it that it won't be a big deal at all.

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  • 6. You probably won't be able to eat during labor

  • This is dependent on the hospital or birthing suite you are at, but there are many who will not allow you to eat while you are in labor and have you stick to water and ice chips. Truth is most women aren't that hungry anyways, surprise, surprise. This is just in case you have to have a C-section, because anesthesiologists don't want you to accidently choke. So be patient with your husband when he is eating a hamburger and all you can do is stare at it.

  • 7. Your doctor might not deliver your baby

  • It sounds scarier than you think, and all this means is that if your doctor has partners or happens to not be on call when you go into labor, a different doctor will come in and take over. Plus, most of the time doctors aren't even there until the baby is actually coming out and it's the nurses who will be with you the whole time.

  • 8. They might have to vacuum the baby out

  • As weird as it sounds, there are times when this procedure is completely necessary and life-saving, like if you suffer from preeclampsia. Apparently the apparatus that sucks the baby out does not resemble an actual vacuum and most women don't notice it happening. What they do notice is the cute little cone your new baby might have on their head for a couple of days.

  • 9. Labor is like running a marathon

  • Labor is tiring? Really? Although this may seem like a no brainer, many women and their spouses underestimate how much time and energy labor will really take. Because it can sometimes be a long and painful process, it can mean you will be extremely exhausted at one or all points of giving birth. Good news is that it will prepare you for the sleepless nights ahead of you.

  • 10. You have to deliver the placenta

  • Yep, that's right; your beautiful new baby is not the only thing you will deliver. Right after you push out your baby, you also have to push out the placenta, but it is a heck of a lot easier because it is much smaller and much squishier, but still painful nonetheless.

  • 11. Many people will be watching

  • Most likely your husband will not be the only one in the room, especially if you invite other members of your family to be there for this special moment. But even if you don't invite them in, there will be many nurses and other medical professionals who will come and check on you as your baby progresses.

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  • 12. There will be LOTS of blood

  • The doctors and nurses will try to the best of their ability to shield this part from you, but in the end, it's just a reality that birth is a bloody mess. Don't freak out too much if you see nurses carrying out sheets of blood from your bedside, just remember the cute little being that you now get to take home.

  • 13. Stiches are a very big possibility

  • Just like blood, stiches are just inevitable, especially when pushing out something the size of a watermelon from a hole that is the size of a lemon. Tearing down there is completely normal but will need to be stitched up. Luckily the stiches will be the kind that dissolve in about a week, so no one will have to pull any of them out.

  • 14. You will want to use a squirt bottle instead of toilet paper

  • Because of the stiches and just pushing out a child, the area down there is going to be especially tender for the next little while. There is something called a "peri bottle," which is basically a little squirt bottle to clean up and sanitize that area when toilet paper is still a little too rough.

  • 15. You will forget almost everything and want to do it again

  • The crazy thing about childbirth and labor is by the time baby is older you will have forgotten some of the nastier and uncomfortable parts of labor and will want another baby. This is the only reason women want to submit themselves to all this again and again. It's remarkable how the mind works!

Tamsyn Valentine is part of the content team at She graduated with a degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations and journalism.

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