So many good things are there about giving birth to a baby. The wonder of life is magical, and several tales, many of them incorrect, have sprung around the process. Here are some things you should know about giving birth:
You cannot eat anything during labor
It matters a lot, because hospitals, birth center and home birth midwifes all have their different rules but during labor, a women cannot eat. According to Dr. Shieva Ghofrany, an OBGYN with Stamford Hospital, once you are in labor, you are not hungry anymore. Or put another way, food is off limits.
Water does not break suddenly
Reality is different than movies and TV. When a women’s water breaks, it does not flow out of control and on the floor, as shown in movies. In fact, unlike uncontrollably peeing yourself, which TV shows characterize it as, the water is slower, more gradual flow. Amniotic fluid forms a protective sac around your baby, and can keep dripping all day and you might need a fat maxi pad.
If water does not break itself doctor breaks it
Sometimes, water does not come out itself. In such instances, doctors use a long hook to break it down. It does not hurt, but feels uncomfortable.
Do not panic if water breaks
Just because your water breaks does not mean you have to race to the hospital and behave like Hugh Grant in Nine Months; or characters in similar situations from several other movies and TV shows. When your water breaks, do not panic, it could still be several minutes, sometimes hours or even a full day before contractions start.
You might push for a very long time
Unlike portrayed on TV, babies rarely come out in a few pushes, or for that matter, even in a few minutes. In reality, it might take an hour, two hours, three hours. Mostly women do not realize that the pushing can be lengthy especially with the first baby.
No guarantee for pain relief
Sometimes the injected anesthesia goes just outside of the sac of fluid around woman’s spinal cord and does not work. She might feel pain on one side of her body.
The baby’s heart rate might drop
It is not common for the umbilical cord to be stretched or compressed during labor or delivery, which can lead to brief drops in the fetal heart rate. You are always on a continuous, electric fetal monitor, the machine will alert your medical team to the change, and so many people run into your room. It can be a scary moment.
Do not be scared of giving birth. Giving birth is a wonderful experience and you just need to know about certain things. Knowledge is your friend.