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Five Things About Birth That No One Talks About

Most women are under no illusion that child birth is not glamorous – in any way, shape or form. But there are things that happen in child birth that take first-time Mums by surprise, simply because  people are too embarrassed to talk about them.

So to prepare you, here are five things about birth that no one talks about and may happen to you during or after birth:

Pushing more than just the baby out

Think about it, your internal organs (including your bowels) are already compressed from carrying another human being around inside you. To get that human out you need to push pretty hard, so it stands to reason that you might just push out a poo out the same time. The truth of the matter is that your doctor or midwife have seen it 1000 times, so to them it’s no big deal. They will discretely clear it away, and you may not even realise it’s happened.

Fluid, fluid and more fluid

The baby floats around in at least a litre of fluid, and your body naturally retains fluid in the later stages of pregnancy to help soften your body for the impending birth. But once the baby is out, the fluid needs to come out too.

The obvious one is your waters break, that will happen before your baby arrives. The other fluid comes out (one way or another) after the birth. So you’ll probably find that you are peeing and sweating for your country. Be prepared for frequent and extended visits to the bathroom, and the longest pee you’ve ever done in one sitting. The hormonal changes will also induce ‘the sweats’, which is all part of the process of expelling that extra fluid. Cotton or linen day wear will help you feel more comfortable.

Surfboards (aka Maternity Pads)

You don’t have a period for nine months so once your baby is born you can expect an extended version of your period. After child birth, a woman bleeds for an average of six weeks and in the early stages, all sorts of internal matter emerge. Don’t be alarmed, it’s completely normal. (Unless it smells bad, or you need to change your pad very frequently – then you should speak to your doctor). Maternity pads are big and scary if you’ve never seen them before, but they are designed to catch nine months worth of build up. After a couple of weeks you should be able to switch to normal pads. Don’t be tempted to switch to tampons though – the risk of introducing an infection is too great.

Vomiting and the Shakes

Don’t be confused – this is not a hangover we are describing, although it sounds very like one. The combination of hormones and adrenaline can make some women feel very nauseous, and some women will vomit (either in labour or after birth). The immediate shift in hormones can be a bit dramatic for the rest of your body to cope with and you might start shaking and shivering – again, this can happen either in labour (usually the transition stage) or after the birth. It’s a natural response to the momentous thing you’ve just done – it will pass.

First Post-birth Poo

Most vaginal deliveries will involve some sort of trauma to the nether regions – it might just be a graze and some inflammation, or it might be a Grade 4 tear from top to bottom. Whatever you end up with, your first poo after birth is going to be a challenge. Simply because it will hurt, and you won’t want to wipe because that will probably hurt too. Take advantage of anti-inflammatories and ice-packs, these will help. It might feel weird putting a frozen mini-condom in your knickers, but it will be so soothing you won’t care. Try to do this before you go to the loo, and definitely afterwards. Wet wipes also help.

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