5 Things No One Tells You About Childbirth

5 Things No One Tells You About Childbirth | Miami Center of Excellence

Baby feet after having been born.

You plan, you prep, and you may even practice for the perfect “birth story.” The reality is, there is little we can do before childbirth that will actually prepare us for the moment itself. Because the birth of a baby is just a tiny blip in the lifespan of raising a child, we tend to get the “CliffsNotes” of how childbirth will go. But there are a few, and sometimes embarrassing, details that can get left out. We’re here to give you five birth details you might not have heard.


It (Probably) Won’t Go Completely According To Your Plan

If you’re having a baby, chances are your medical provider has asked for something called a “birth plan.” This is a document that states what you hope to happen during childbirth while still having a safe and healthy delivery. A birth plan can say anything from “Mother wishes to have no pain-relieving drugs during delivery” to “Mother wishes to have her favorite song playing as soon as the baby emerges.” Having a birth plan is a great way to mentally prepare yourself and your provider for what you’d like. But, as we all know, there is more than one person going through this birth experience. Sometimes your birth wishes don’t align with those of your new little one. So, while having a birth plan is a great first step remember…

  • Sometimes plans change. While planning is a way to relieve stress before the birth, the ultimate goal is to have a healthy and safe delivery for your baby AND you. Sometimes that goes against your “plan.” It doesn’t make you less of a mother, or make the experience any less of a miracle.
  • Letting go of the small things will make the process easier.  It’s shown that those who are hung up on the smaller details of birth tend to have more arduous deliveries. If it won’t matter 5 minutes after baby is born, if won’t matter now. So, give yourself permission to let it go.
  • You can always stand up for yourself. If you feel you’re getting pressure from a spouse or a medical provider to do something that makes you uncomfortable, say something. If you need more detail and clarification on a procedure during your delivery, ask questions. This is still your birth and you have the right to know what is happening and why.


Just Because Your Water Breaks, Doesn’t Mean The Baby Is Coming Immediately

We’ve all seen that part of the movie, right? The water breaks and it’s a mad dash to the hospital just in time for rush-hour traffic. Well, for the vast majority of women, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It could be hours before your contractions start or your cervix begins to dilate after your “water” breaks (aka the rupture of the sac that holds your amniotic fluid). And that’s not the only “fun fact” surrounding your breaking water. Did you know…

  • If your water doesn’t break on its own, your doctor will break it for you. They will use a long contraption with a hook at the end (similar to a knitting needle) to rupture the sac. It should not hurt, but will probably feel a little uncomfortable.
  • Your water can “break” more than once. Not all water-breaking moments result in a gushing stream. Some can trickle down over the course of the day, necessitating the need for a maxi pad. If you think this might be the case for you, call your medical professional to see what your next steps should be.
  • You should probably chill after your water breaks. It’s best not to run around or engage in any sexual activity after your water breaks. Without the protection of an amniotic sac, your baby could get an infection in utero via your vaginal canal. Labor should naturally begin within 24hrs of your water breaking, or a doctor will induce labor with medical intervention.


A Squirt Bottle Is Your New Bathroom Best Friend

After the trauma your vagina has just endured (even for those that have cesarean sections), bathroom hygiene is of the utmost importance. But does the thought of using tissue paper to clean yourself make you shudder? This is where warm water and a squirt bottle come in handy. The technical term for this is called a “peri bottle,” which is short for perineum irrigation. You will usually find this plastic bottle in your hospital room. Use the bottle to squirt warm water onto your intimate areas after going to the bathroom to ensure the area is clean. It’s okay to dab with paper afterward, if needed. If the bottle provided by the hospital isn’t cutting it, retailers may sell a more ergonomically-designed bottle.


Diapers Might Not Be Just For The New Baby

It’s no secret that after childbirth, it’s messy down there. (Yes, again, even for those that had a c-section.) Many believe that using the super-absorbent, full-capacity maxi pads was the only way to keep things the area clean and hygienic. But recent years, many medical providers have been suggesting the use of adult-incontinence diapers as a postpartum recovery tool, especially in the first 1-2 weeks, when the most bleeding occurs. Many feminine hygiene companies have taken note of the trend and have begun product lines that include super-slim silhouettes. Some of the advantages to postpartum diapering are…

  • No leaks. That’s what diapers are made for, so why not take advantage.
  • Less laundry. When you’re wearing disposable underwear, there’s no underwear to wash.
  • More sleep. Because of the nature of the disposable diaper, there is more absorbency, which means you don’t need to change as often, which also means you don’t necessarily have to get up in the middle of the night to change.. You should change everytime you go to the bathroom, or usually every 4-6 hours.


After A Few Months, You’ll Forget Just How Bad It Actually Was

There is a saying that if women remembered just how much giving birth actually hurt, the human race would cease to exist. Many women report only vaguely remembering intangible birth details such as pain, or sickness, as early as three months postpartum. Some attribute the “forgetfulness” to adrenaline rushes during delivery combined with hormonal surges during the bonding process. You won’t forget all the details, especially the more traumatic or endearing memories. But over time, the smaller more inconsequential details surrounding the birth of your baby will begin to fade.


Are you giving birth soon? What questions do you have about the process? At Miami Center of Excellence, we’ve heard it all. The good, the bad, and the embarrassing! Discuss your concerns with our medical professionals at your next appointment, or give us a call at (305) 515-5425.