12 things no one tells you about giving birth
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12 Things no one tells you about giving birth

12 Things no one tells you about giving birth

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When I was pregnant with first I really didn’t know what to expect when going into labor. I had only seen movies where the woman is screaming in agony and a couple minutes later a baby pops out.

Yeah, that’s so not reality!

You may think your mom or other women are trying to keep a secret about what really happens during labor, but really you kind of forget fast. There are only two years between my kids and I was still shocked about something that happened the second time around.

Here are 12 things no one tells you about giving birth. If you want to learn everything you need to know about giving birth check out this online course. The course is taught by a labor and delivery nurse of 16 years.

1. Your water won’t always break before labor starts

The movies make it seem like the start of labor is always indicated by the woman’s water breaking. Contractions are what most women experience first.

With my first baby, my water did happen to break indicating my labor was about to start, but that’s not as common as you would think. With my second my doctor broke my water seconds before my baby was born.

It also isn’t usually a big gush. Mine was a slow leak with my first, at first I thought I had peed myself! I had to wear a maxi pad to the hospital. With my second the doctor broke my water and that was a gush. Like, hit the walls gush!

2. You don’t need to go to the hospital right away

In movies as soon as the woman’s water breaks or she feel’s her first contraction they rush to the hospital. In reality, you don’t have to. With my first as soon as my water broke we rushed to the hospital. I was in labor for seven more hours and was board out of my mind.

With my second I didn’t know I was in labor. I was having mild to moderate contractions  2 P.M. when my doctor did a sweep. Though she commented that I was a 4 and most women with a baby as low as mine were usually in labor.

I went food shopping and called my husband after that maybe I should go get checked. It was about 6 when we got to the hospital and my contractions still weren’t consistent, but painful. To my surprise I was 8 cm! I labored for 4 more hours before I had my little guy.

3. Contractions can be the worst part

I’ve had both an epidural labor and natural labor. With both, the contractions were the worst part. Now it only took a minute or two to push my son out (the natural labor and delivery) but it was a relief to push.

4. Getting an epidural really isn’t that bad

I almost didn’t get an epidural with my first because it terrified me. Your anesthesiologist will numb you before putting the long needle in. The only strange part was I felt a funny feeling in my head when he put it in. Not painful and totally harmless, I think I’m just weird haha.

5. Epidurals don’t always work

My sister can attest to this. She was at an eight and decided to get one. Instead of working it cause one long ten-minute contraction. In the end, she felt everything. They usually recommend you get an epidural before getting that far along, because of it not working.

With my epidural, it numbed my legs, but not my midsection. I felt every contraction but was saved the pain of the ring of fire. Epidurals just don’t work for everyone.

6. The ring of fire

When you’re pushing a watermelon out it’s going to not be pleasant. The pain is named the ring of fire due to the burning sensation.

I actually didn’t find it near as painful as I thought it would be. It was such a relief to push that I barely noticed the pain.

7. Transition

Usually right before you’re ready to push (especially during a natural birth) you will feel like you can’t do it anymore. I was exhausted and wanted to sleep. I just wanted to cry because I was in so much pain and so ready to sleep.

Then it was time to push and I had a whole new level of energy!

8. The shakes

I was always lead to believe that the shaking came from the epidural, so no true. I shook so bad at the end of my labor from the contractions I was sore.

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9. You’ll likely poop

This horrified me when I first heard this. Once I was in labor though I didn’t care! The doctors are usually very professional and clean it up without saying a world.

If your birthing partners are smart they won’t mention it either. I mean you’re pushing a baby out.

10. When you need to push it feels like you have to poop

You’ll want to go use the restroom but the nurses won’t let you. It usually means it’s time to push that baby out.

11. Your doctor won’t always deliver your baby

usually, your doctor won’t be on call or working when you go into labor. That means the doctor on duty in the hospital will deliver your baby.

I actually had residents (with supervision) deliver my babies. With my second my nurse almost had to deliver because he just came flying out. Both times I really didn’t care who delivered as long as they caught my baby.

12. You can wear your own clothes or delivery gown

For my second I made my own delivery gown. Many of women either wear sports bra or buy cute hospital gown. It’s a great way to make you feel more comfortable and confident. Both are important during labor.


These 12 things that no one tells you about giving birth are just a start. There are so many random little things that surprised me that I’ve probably forgotten about. What are some things that no one told you about labor?

things you need to know before giving birth

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