9 Gross Things About Labor & Delivery That Are Totally Healthy
Just in case anyone was under any illusions, childbirth isn't a ray of sunshine. As beautiful, natural, and exciting as having a baby is, there are actually a lot of gross things about labor and delivery that most moms don't picture when they imagine the scenario. For example, most moms imagine the movie-like scene for the first time they hold their tiny, squirmy, fully cleaned baby, unaware that said baby will be the opposite of squeaky clean the first time they hold them. Thanks for nothing, Hollywood.
But, when it comes to giving birth in real life, full disclosure is always the best policy. It's better to be prepared for the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful moments of your labor so you won't be caught off guard.
When it comes to labor, nothing is off limits. Your bodily functions (yes, all of them) will be in overdrive, and with your energy fully focused on birthing your child, you likely won't even notice most of them. The best policy is to just laugh off these semi-gross moments of delivery. Your doctor has seen it all a thousand times, and in the grand scheme of things, there are more important things to worry about — like that cute, vernix covered baby.
1. You Have Constant, Uncontrollable Leaking
Once your water breaks, and oftentimes beforehand, Today's Parent noted that you'll leak amniotic fluid. You won't be able to control it — it feels like heavy period leakage — and so you'll probably wear pads before and during labor.
2. You'll Poop While Pushing
Every mother's worst fear is actually very common. In fact, according to What to Expect, pooping during labor happens to almost everyone and isn't really a big deal at all. Your OB will simply wipe it away and act like it never happened.
3. You Suffer Nausea
If you feel the urge to vomit while in labor, don't be surprised. Parents noted that if you have an epidural, the medication can make some moms nauseous. Even if you have an unmedicated birth you may still be nauseous from the contractions or from food sitting in your stomach (since digestion stops during labor).
4. You Have Light Bleeding
After giving birth, you can expect to have period-like bleeding for the next week or so. Although, according to Kids Spot, the bleeding shouldn't be excessive, which can be a sign of something more serious. But don't be alarmed if you see more blood than you expected to see.
5. You Lose Your Mucus Plug
The mucus plug, despite it's unappealing title, is actually a super vital part of the labor process. According to the American Pregnancy Association, it literally plugs the opening to your cervix, to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus. Once it falls out though (sometimes before labor, sometimes during it,) you know that your baby will be making their appearance soon.
6. You Pee
It takes every ounce of strength you have to push during labor — your body isn't really able to multi-task and hold some things in. Like point number two, it isn't really a big deal and you probably won't even feel it happening.
7. Your Baby Is Slimy
You've been dreaming about the first time you hold your baby for the past nine months, but more than likely, that vision didn't include a baby covered in white, slimy goo, and some blood. When they're born, babies are covered in a substance called vernix. According to Parents, it's designed to protect your baby in-utero, and after they're born it can provide antibacterial protection and promote healing.
8. You Deliver Placenta
The fun doesn't stop once you've pushed out your baby. You'll deliver your placenta — a walk in the park after delivering a baby — but it isn't necessarily pretty.
9. You Wear Granny Panties
Since you've already given birth, been poked and pushed to ensure your uterus contracts, and you've got that ultra-flattering hospital gown, you'll be given some disposable, gigantic underwear to top off the "post-birth" look.