Are you a soon going to be a first-time mum? No matter how many birthing stories you hear and how many old wives’ tales you come across, first time motherhood is one of those things. You won’t know it unless you experience it yourself. And while we read up so much about care during pregnancy and life after the birth of a child, there are a few things first-time mums are not prepared for. Here are some facts about childbirth that you should know.
Image: Medical News Today
1. You are going to bleed for weeks!
If you think your period before you got pregnant was heavy, well, that’s cute. Welcome to the world of bleeding for six weeks! It starts out as a heavy period, then stabilizes for a bit, and then there’s spotting for quite some time.
2. The baby bump isn’t going to vanish immediately after childbirth
If you think you can fit into that favorite skinny jeans you couldn’t wear during pregnancy, right after childbirth, think again. The baby bump isn’t going to retract magically once the baby is out. It takes at the very least about three months to tuck the tummy in with appropriate diet and exercise.
3. The birthing is a very small thing in the larger scheme of things
There is so much build-up over labor and childbirth that women often think that giving birth is central to motherhood. But, motherhood is a very long journey and childbirth, though an extremely significant moment, isn’t the ‘be all end all’ of motherhood. It is more of a starting point.
4. There’s going to be some cramping in the belly
Image: Medical News Today
For a few days after giving birth, expect some cramping in the stomach area. This is the time when the uterus shrinks back to its original size. And while it shrinks, you get belly cramps. When you breastfeed, a hormone called oxytocin is released and it further causes the uterus to contract. This means, again some cramping in the belly.
5. Your birthing story is going to be unique
Image: The Irish Times
No matter how much you have prepared for this moment, your childbirth experience is going to be unique. It is not going to be anything like you thought it would be. And it is definitely not going to be like what your friend described or what your own mother told you. So ladies, expect the unexpected, and enjoy this moment!
6. A C-section does not make you any less of a mother
Many women believe that enduring labor pains for hours and pushing a baby out as you scream in pain is the only ideal way one should experience motherhood. This is a misconception at best. No matter how you bring your baby in this world, you are every bit a worthy mother as any. Let the doctors decide what is best for you and the baby.
7. Crowning is a thing and it burns!
When you start pushing and the baby is moving towards the birthing canal, the first to appear is the baby’s head. This moment in birthing is known as ‘crowning’. And how does a woman feel during crowning? The skin around the vagina is stretching at this point to make enough way for the baby to come out. It is an unpleasant sensation and many women describe it as a burning sensation.
8. Screaming is perfectly okay
You probably won’t need this advice since you will be screaming your lungs out when it finally comes to all that pushing. However, it helps to know that you are not the first woman to shout and yell during childbirth. Just remember to take deep breaths between yelling, and you should be alright!
So first-time mums, now you know what’s coming for you. But don’t worry. Motherhood is such a beautiful experience, that going through the unexpected during birthing is totally worth it!