Hi all! Having a baby is the most life changing and body changing experience and having given birth only 2 years ago, I thought I would share six things with you that I wish I had known or that were told to me before that I was surprised to learn about too.
- Sometimes you just shouldn’t listen to someone else’s birth story
Women love to share their birth stories, and if it’s done with the right intentions that’s great. But sometimes people are just out to share their horrific experience. Every labour and birth is different and someone else’s experience often bares nothing on your own experience. Ask yourself what the intention is behind the story. Educate yourself, but don’t let yourself become terrified because of someone else’s story.
- Prepare for the unexpected – anything can happen!
You should definitely make a birth plan, spend time really thinking about it and know what you want and how you feel about things. But the truth is, birth is unpredictable and anything can happen. Don’t rule anything out and find a way to be “ok” with it if those things absolutely have to happen to make sure you and your baby are safe.
- If you are a first time mum, labour can take a really long time to get going
Labour is nothing like they show on TV, most of the time there is no crazy Hollywood water breaking and instant contractions for most women. But some first time mums (like me) can experience a long latent phase of labour, while your body gets itself really ready and going. But once you hit 3cm your body tends to just get going by itself
- You might tear or have to be cut while delivering your baby and it can take a long time to feel “back to normal”
If you do tear or have to have an episiotomy during your birth most likely you will need stitches. It can take a long time to heal, don’t expect miracles and be kind to yourself. Don’t suffer in silence either – if you feel like it’s really taking far too long, see you’re GP!
- Immediately after you give birth your stomach feels really spongy for a while
The feeling of the instant evacuation of your baby is really weird! Your stomach instantly feels lighter, it’s a bit like a balloon deflating and because your stomach muscles have moved around to make room for your little one and your uterus is deflating it all just feels a bit spongy – really peculiar but true!
- You might not feel that instant rush of love – and that’s OK
You spend nine months carrying this little person around in your womb and then all of a sudden your body goes through a massive ordeal to get this little person out into the world. Sometimes births can just be a bit crazy and you just wind up too overwhelmed to have that instant rush of love. Once the storm of birth has ended and you get some quiet time, give them a cuddle and breathe in your baby. It’s the most amazing thing in the world.
Women’s bodies have been giving birth since the dawn of time, they do know what they are doing. No matter how you deliver your baby, your body knows how to heal itself and take care of itself so try not to worry that your body can’t cope.