There are approximately 385,000 babies born every day. And, not one of these births is exactly like the other.
If you are pregnant for the first time and wondering what it will feel like, you are not alone. Although it is difficult to describe, childbirth has some commonalities that you can learn about.
Read about the top six things here.
1. Length of Labor Can Vary Greatly
Having a baby is unpredictable and will depend on your personal circumstance. For example, most first-time births tend to last longer than subsequent births.
Therefore, you should learn about the early signs of labor and know when they progress. You don’t want to go to the hospital or call your midwife to your house too soon as it may be a long wait.
2. Your Body Releases Natural Pain Killers
If you choose to have a natural birth without painkillers then you are in luck. Your body creates its own pain management hormone called oxytocin.
This hormone relaxes your body and mind so that you aren’t under stress during labor. However, only the right amount of oxytocin is released so that you can endure the process. It won’t numb your body or take away all the pain of labor.
3. There are Three Main Stages of Labor
You may not know that there are 3 parts of labor that include:
- Stage One: Your mucus plug comes out, water breaks, contractions begin, lower back starts aching. These may not happen in this order or might not even occur until your baby is about to come out.
- Stage Two: This is when your baby makes its appearance. It’s called active labor because your cervix is dilated to 10 cm, which allows your baby to fit through the birth canal.
- Stage Three: After a few minutes or so you will need to push out your placenta and the umbilical cord. This is called afterbirth.
The longest stage is usually the first one where you are slowly lowering your baby into the birth canal.
4. Not All Births Are Vaginal
When certain complications arise like your baby is breached, then you may need a c-section. In this case, your baby doesn’t come out through the vagina, but rather through a surgical incision made on the abdomen to reach the uterus.
You will need painkillers for this procedure. Another difference is that the healing process may take longer. There are also possible complications like a yeast infection after c section.
5. After Birth Can Also Be Painful
You may think that after giving birth the pain is over. However, the contractions and the stretching of your uterus have some after effects.
You may feel cramping for a few weeks as you continue to shed the excess uterus lining and blood that you acquired while pregnant.
6. You Forget the Pain When You See Your Child
One of the best parts of labor is when you see your newborn child. You instantly forget about all the pain you just went through. In fact, you may be planning your next pregnancy after you see your bundle of joy.
Planning Your Childbirth
One of the best ways to enjoy the process of childbirth is to plan. When you find a comfortable birthing place, have your loved ones nearby, and know what to expect then you can relax more.
Be sure to check our lifestyle section for parenting advice to help you raise your new addition.