Are you pregnant and on your last trimester? Worried about giving birth? Having a baby is a life-changing event. It’s natural to feel anxious about labor and delivery. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about what really happens during childbirth.
To help set the record straight, here are 10 things no one tells you about giving birth:
- You may not have an obstetrician present during delivery. In many hospitals, obstetricians take turns being on call. So, if you go into labor during your obstetrician’s day off, another doctor will deliver your baby.
- You may not have a choice of delivery method. If you want a vaginal birth but end up needing a C-section, don’t be surprised. The majority of obstetricians will try to deliver your baby vaginally, but ultimately, it’s up to your body and your baby.
- You may not be able to control your pain during labor. Many women think they can tough it out and go without pain medication during childbirth. But the reality is that labor is very painful. It’s not like the movies where the woman is in a small amount of discomfort and then the baby just pops out. For most women, labor is extremely painful and medication is necessary to help them cope.
- You may not be able to have skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth. If you’ve had a C-section, it’s likely that you won’t be able to hold your baby right away. You’ll need to wait until the anesthesia has worn off and you’re feeling more alert.
- You may not be able to breastfeed immediately after birth. It’s common for women who have had a C-section to have difficulty breastfeeding. This is because the surgery can damage the milk ducts and nerves in the breast. It may take a few days or weeks for your milk to come in and for you to be able to breastfeed successfully.
- You may not be able to go home right away. If you’ve had a C-section, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for at least 24 hours. This is because C-sections are major surgery and you’ll need time to recover. If you’ve had a vaginal birth, you may be able to go home the same day or the next day.
- You may not be able to take a shower right away. If you’ve had a C-section, you’ll need to wait until the incision has healed before you can take a shower. This usually takes about 48 hours. If you’ve had a vaginal birth, you’ll be able to take a shower as soon as you get home from the hospital.
- You may not be able to have sex with your partner right away. It’s common for women to feel too sore and tired to be intimate with their partners immediately after childbirth. This is especially true if you’ve had a C-section. You may need to wait a few weeks or even a few months before you’re feeling up for sex again.
- You may not be able to sleep through the night. It’s normal for newborns to wake up frequently during the night. This means that you’ll likely be up several times a night feeding and comforting your baby. over time, your baby will start sleeping for longer stretches and you’ll be able to get some much-needed rest.
- You may have expensive medical bills. Giving birth is a costly proposition. Even with insurance, you may be responsible for a significant portion of the bill. Be prepared to budget for hospital fees and other fees reflected in the obstetrics medical billing. Aside from that, the cost of having a baby in general is expensive. From diapers to food to clothes, you’ll need to be prepared to spend a lot of money in the first few months (and beyond).
Giving birth is a big deal. There’s a lot that goes on during labor and delivery that you may not be prepared for. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many women go through the same thing. Just be sure to talk to your obstetrician and other healthcare providers to get all the information you need to be prepared for this exciting time.