5 Really Gross Things About Giving Birth
As a man, I can never truly relate to anything to do with pregnancy, labour or childbirth. But I have been there, in the trenches for all my kids births. Which means I have learned a few things.
One of those things is that no-one likes to talk about the really gross bits. But they should.
Because the scare the hell out of you.
Here's five things I've seen that you need to know about.
1. You Poo
Everybody poos during childbirth. If you're don't, you're not pushing hard enough apparently. Also, when it's time to start pushing the baby out, you will feel like you have to take one giant dump.
2. You Can Tear: Sideways, Upways, All The Ways
Sometimes a perineal massage is done to improve elasticity in the area and prevent tearing and the current trend is to try to not cut an episiotomy - instead you let the tissue sort of stretch itself and tear whatever natural way it wants to tear.
3. After You Deliver The Baby, You Deliver The Placenta
Yep. There's a whole other birth after the birth. I don't think either my wife or I have ever been so surprised by something. The third stage of delivery comes between the time the baby is delivered and the placenta is delivered. Sometimes it takes a couple of minutes and sometimes it takes 20 minutes. Nurses will usually massage the stomach to help the placenta separate and then, out it comes.
4. Your Stomach Doesn't Go Flat Straight Away
I don't know what we were expecting but I guess in my mind, I'd see my wife's belly shrink as the baby came out. Lucky I'm not a doctor, I guess. Most people will still be in their pregnancy clothes several weeks after the baby is born because it takes a while for the uterus to shrink down. In fact, your uterus is up at your belly button after giving birth and it gradually comes down after about six weeks.
5. If You Breastfeed, Your Vagina Might Be Dry
Apparently, the vagina can get very dry in women who are breastfeeding because it releases lowers oestrogen production, and estrogen is responsible for vaginal moisture. She said many women who breastfeed need extra lubrication or long-acting moisturisers. Don't ask me, I have no idea.
Now go face your labour armed with full knowledge.