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Print Posted on 12/12/2017 in Pregnancy

Ten things doctors won’t tell you about pregnancy and childbirth

Ten things doctors won’t tell you about pregnancy and childbirth


Pregnancy is a miracle. And we get that. And if you don’t have essential information about everything that correlated with the pregnancy and birth, that seems you won't be able to cope with both these occasions successfully. Not every pregnancy and birth are beautiful occasions, but you can keep your pregnancy ‘glow’ and your delivery not so hideous. Having the information basically seems to be prepared and to have enough time to prevent many nervous moments, which may happen in your life, including the fear to be imperfect and the fear to be vulnerable. Try to embrace the new version of yourself and your pregnant look!

(1) You won’t be told that pregnancy is not only unique time in your life but also really difficult time, both in mental and physical aspects. In the beginning of your pregnancy, you will think that it is not so scaring and difficult to deliver the baby. But it is just the beginning. Everything can change in a heartbeat. Consequently, everything will be changed. And you will feel too embarrassed being in your pregnant body, understanding that it is more difficult than you thought. Day after day your body will be changed more and more. The harmony of being in the body may be disrupted and you can feel extremely vulnerable as you cannot have an absolute control on your body and you cannot do the things you have done easily million times, including sleeping in any position, sitting quickly and standing quickly, hurrying up and running down the street to reach the public bus, sitting in the restaurant too much time, doing shopping all the night, dancing from the morning till the evening during your weekend and many, many, many other things.

You won’t be told that pregnancy is far beyond daily fatigue, losing of consciousness, being emotionally vulnerable and having unconscious fears. And you won’t be told that in twenty–first century you have unique opportunity to turn all above–mentioned things in nearly the same things you had done before your pregnancy, including more relaxation, more yoga classes, more psychological classes and many, many, many other things you can do during this exceptional time of your life to change your personality and to become the most delicate person you have ever been.

To cope with all surprises of the changing body, basically, you will need just several things: a thick notebook with dates, weeks and months, your favorite pan, your iPhone and your laptop. Start with writing down all things you need to do during this time, including the information about the time and the place. Complete the notes in your notebook in style as your personal day–by–day organizer: one page should be for one day, planned from the morning till the evening and DO NOT fulfil all the lines with information today, as tomorrow you something might have been changed and you will need some space to correct your previous plans. Include the clinic’s visits (note down the probable dates you would like to make an appointment with your doctor), ultrasonography examinations, other obligatory medical examinations; after the six weeks include every two–week shopping (as your couture clothes will stop fitting you as early as being six weeks pregnant in even if your belly does not quite show yet), yoga classes for pregnant, some other classes for pregnant (after consultation with your doctor), active holiday time, celebrations, special occasions, something inspiring, something what is essential for you, something special even if it would be something like a huge bouquet of pastel–coloured flowers in blossoms and pastel–coloured flowers’ buds, aroma candles or two new Christmas cups for cappuccino sipping, go on the dates with your beloved as it’s tough to predict when you’ll next head out solo with your significant other (include dates in your organizer, especially, take advantage of the last few weeks of your pregnancy at least three times by doing things as a couple), make lots of photos during this time and synchronically research a newborn photographer, research ‘Mommy and Me’ classes, etc.

(2) You won’t be told that the Glorious moment of your water breaking can appear any time and everywhere if you are near your due date.

You might have been always thought and have been always confirmed that the water breaking with a gush was just in the movies. But it can happen to you, and you should be psychologically ready for two versions of the probable scenarios correlating with water breaking. The first one is medical intervention, so–called ‘artificial water breaking’. And the second one is natural. Natural is also possible, but in the reality, the water breaking is not so glorious moment as it is usually represented. You may sit somewhere in the cafeteria with your beloved sipping your peach juice, you can be in bed wondering what you have to do in the evening, writing down the notes not to forget to choose a new stylish evening dress, to attend a yoga class, to visit your best friend or you can be in your bathroom and suddenly there is a pop. You heard just a pop. A couple of minutes later, it gushed. The water went through your wonderful dress or through your jeans. This is the reality of the water breaking.

(3) You won’t be told that there would be too many medical staff in your delivery room, starting from obstetricians and ending with medical assistants.

Hospitals have differing policies on what staff should be present in the delivery room, but in most cases the medical team is formed on the following basics: labor and delivery nurses, doctor or midwife (or doctors and midwives), anesthesiologist, OB technician, nursery nurse, neonatologist, pediatrician, other medical specialists, other nurses and medical students. There might be too many medical professionals in one delivery room. It might be too embarrassing and too confusing to be there among all these people.

Giving a birth may be too emotionally overwhelming, as the birth itself involves vulnerability. You can be totally frustrated. Extremely nervous. Totally exhausted. Absolutely numb. Because you understand that you are imperfect this time and you feel intense guilt because of such imperfectness. You may even want to get lost. The perfect glance inside the delivery room can be presented by eight sentences: ‘Reality turned into something impossible to be described by words. Just glittering lights, unfinished sentences, and fuss into the delivery room. It was surreal. Mom–to–be was crying nonstop. Her beloved was crying. The room was full of people ― there were three doctors, then eight other nurses and three respiratory therapists. They wheeled in the neonatal incubator and got it warm. They were discussing loudly their plans for what everyone was going to do’. This is the reality of the delivery room and you should be morally ready that there will be many people around you, but still you HAVE a RIGHT to have the medical staff you prefer and to exclude the medical representatives you don’t want to be in your delivery room according to your private reasons (including moral and religious) and replacing them by the other experienced professionals.

And do not panic if you can’t deliver with your own obstetrician because your obstetrician will play a surprisingly small role in the delivery room. Unless there are complications, she or he will occasionally come in to check on your progress and reappear when it is time to push.

(4) You won’t be told that labour hurts too much. It is extremely painful process. 

There is no absolute exclusion–inclusion criteria or accurate indicators how your labor story will unfold. This might sound superficial, but most ladies don’t handle pain well, consequently, the whole labor process is felt like extreme shame, excessive embarrassment, and endless sufferings. You can be extremely nervous about your tolerance level, which is very low throughout your entire pregnancy, and you can be so embarrassed that you only can utter this to two close friends, not even your beloved. Your early contractions might be not so painful. Early labor may feel just like menstrual cramps. The contractions that count, in terms of dilating your cervix, are the ones that feel more like cramps. But midway through your labor, the baby is constantly shifting, and the pain is very sharp and nonstop.

Certainly, the miracles of labor exist and even some moms could say that their labor experiences were something they could tolerate, for instance, during the hours that followed, the cramping became uncomfortable, but not necessarily painful, and some of the moms–to–be could give birth without any pain medication. But for most of the moms–to–be, labor is extremely painful experience and those labor hours are the worst hours in their lives until the moment they first glanced at their babies, embrace them tightly and only after that they understood all the pain was worthwhile.

The labor pain varies dramatically from woman to woman, and even from pregnancy to pregnancy. There is no identical labor pain even if two moms–to–be have an absolutely identical level of tolerance. The spectrum of pain is excessive. Basically, the answer to the ever–worrying question: ‘Why labor hurts’ is implemented into the uteruses definition. The uterus is a muscular organ that contracts energetically and powerfully to squeeze your baby out, and those contractions are the primary source of acute labor pain. There are multifactorial varieties, presuppose the pain level you would experience, including the strength of your contractions (this increases during labor); whether you had such medication as ‘Pitocin’ to induce labor or not (as Pitocin causes stronger uterine contractions); your baby’s size, your baby’s weight and your baby’s position in your pelvis; whether your baby is faceup or facedown (the ideal birth position); and the speed of your labor.

You can be terrified all throughout your pregnancy of the impending pain of labor. BUT YOU CAN DO IT. The labor is not a painless process, but it is tolerable if you concentrate all your attention on your breathing and relaxation. It is also important to have someone in the delivery room with you who believes in you and is supportive. Just remember that you can do it. Do what YOU feel that you have to do.

(5) You won’t be told that there would be too much blood. Particularly, your blood. Like a crime scene and you are the only person involved there. 

Undoubtedly, the labor and delivery are closely associated with blood. Certainly, there is blood. Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to glance around and especially not to glance at the floor and not to glance downward too much. But what you would not avoid noticing, would be a small team of nurses wadding up blood–soaked medical gown–like papers in your vicinity. Everyone would be very cordial, even excessively cordial or charmingly cordial and would try to keep these blood–soaked medical gown–like papers out of your line of vision, but you would understand the whole idea and would definitely vividly visualize every single detail of what is going on around, particularly, the version that the perfect scenario of giving birth with not too much blood is suddenly disrupted and the  delivery room has turned into a crime scene and people are mopping the floor of your blood ... and you will be absolutely right in this mental conclusion, because, in fact, they are.

The amount of blood loss during delivery and the occurrence of primary postpartum haemorrhage, which was defined as a blood loss of 500 ml or more varies greatly, and this variation presupposes normal and abnormal blood loss. Abnormal blood loss can lead to maternal morbidity and mortality, that is why it is excessively essential to constantly monitor this situation and to deliver your baby at the hospital. The truth is that after the labor and delivery you might need the blood transfusion and this procedure is possible only while staying at the hospital to exclude life–threatening situations and potential risks.

(6) You won’t be told that you might push your little one for a very long time, to tell you the truth, it can be for a really looooong time.

Wondering how long will you have to push your newborn, bearing no complications, reassuring fetal heart tones? The pushing stage lasts from one hour and a half up to a few hours not only for a first–time mom, because complications can appear anytime at this stage. Particularly for a first–time mom, pushing can be much longer than 2–3 hours, and as long as mom and baby can tolerate it. And in some clinical scenarios, the changing of the birth plan is highly recommended, that means that even if you feel that you can tolerate pushing much more time, you can end up having emergency C–section.

(7) You won’t be told that you are giving the birth twice: first time to your baby, the second time – to placenta!

You won’t be told that the pain doesn’t end after you gave a birth and the baby is out, as there is one thing left inside you – the placenta. Your uterus continues to contract after the baby arrives, to help you push out the placenta. For you being a mom, it seems that you may still be feeling the pain of contractions and the need to push. The placenta is delivered as part of the postpartum with a small gush of blood, from a few minutes to a half hour after the baby arrives. As soon as you deliver your placenta, it will be accurately examined to make sure that it is intact, and nothing has been left behind in the uterus. The tendency for placenta examination is of vital importance and include two probable versions: the physical examination and the histological examination (the second one is done in case if there are some complications, some abnormalities, or there are some probable versions that something may be wrong in the future).

What even the medical professionals cannot transparently and inclusively conclude if the delivering of placenta would be problematic for you or not. Because complications with delivering of the placenta may entail negative consequences and adverse outcomes, especially, if your placenta does not come out correctly, that increases the possibility of hemorrhaging or increases the probability of including into your postpartum treatment plan even the probability of surgical intervention, an emergency hysterectomy or uterine devascularization: a novel technique for management of uncontrollable postpartum hemorrhage with preservation of the uterus. One more thing should be added there, after the delivery of the baby and blood is lost because some blood vessels are opened when the placenta detaches from the uterus. The contractions of the uterus help close these vessels until the vessels can heal.

Temporary Alterations Occurring in Your Life After Giving Birth to Your Small Bundle of Joy

(8) You won’t be told that the pain doesn’t end after the baby is out and the placenta is out.

Soon after the baby is born, the placenta is ultimately expelled and the uterus contracts tightly to seal off the open blood vessels on the uterine wall. The area where the placenta was attached is very much like an open wound that needs to be healed. Commence the afterbirth, nurses pushing on your uterus, more contractions to heal the uterus. After the birth the uterus is oversized. To return itself to its pre–pregnancy size the uterus contracts. You won’t be told that the uterine contractions, sometimes called ‘after–pains’, may be felt as strong cramping sensations for the first couple of days (last for two to three days after your baby was born).

(9) You won’t be told that postpartum ‘special gift’ you have never thought about… You will need to use Mommy Diaper for some time. Embarrassed and confused that nobody told you about it? Concentrated on visualizing in your mind what can it be about? This paragraph will reveal the truth about this ‘special gift’ you have never imagined to be in reality.

Having a baby is a beautiful experience, and the realities of postpartum life aren’t spoken and aren’t even whispered or uttered enough about. Your imagination may be totally concentrated on being a mom cuddling your new baby in the hospital, breathing in the sweet scent of your baby’s wispy blonde hair and staring into her brilliant eyes, glancing at her opal pink skin and delicate hands and half–moon fingernails. Cuddling up to your small bundle for the first time will alter your life dramatically and show you a type of love you haven’t experienced before. Holding that small, warm bundle for the first time, breathing in the sweet scent of her wispy caramel hair and staring into her brilliant eyes and understanding that this warm bundle completely redefines the meaning of love, you will think that all previous things, which were associated with negative moments worth nothing compared with what you are having right now. But, in any case, you have never visualized another picture of the real situation still going on in your body after giving birth.

This unforgettable moment will be disrupted by one phrase, whispered by the lovely nurse: ‘You will probably wear a “mommy diaper’ or ‘Here is your mommy diaper’. You would be too embarrassed after understanding what you have been just told. The nurse has just proposed you to wear a diaper, so there are only two main words in your mind ‘You’ and ‘Diaper’. Sounds like a part of your soul died after these words. While you are wondering what is going on or how can ‘Diaper’ correlate with ‘You’, you feel deep frustration. Unfortunately, it will. Definitely. Without exclusions. Approximately during first six weeks after giving a birth you should use mommy diaper or a maxi pad. Just one comment should be included: a blood flow. The simple explanation for an extremely complicated medical term.

And being totally embarrassed by the postpartum ‘special gift’ you have never thought about, you may firstly feel lost or nearly unconscious when you feel something hot and watery and glancing down you actually see again your own blood. Too much blood. Very first thought you might have in your mind ‘Something is wrong, and I am dying’. But in fact, it is LOCHIA. Medically explained, lochia is the physiological postpartum uterine discharge consisting mainly of blood and necrotic tissue that occur during the first four or six weeks after delivery of the baby. It begins shortly after your baby is born, and starts as a bright red, heavy flow. Then, in a few weeks, lochia becomes watery and tapers off, changing colors from pink to white, and ultimately, disappears. Basically, it is like one prolonged postpartum period.

A mommy diaper is either a maxi pad or an actual diaper packed with ice and tucked into your underwear post–birth to provide you some relief. A mommy diaper also doubles as a maxi pad to deal with post–birth bleeding. You will also notice a similar disposable paper pad placed under you and atop your sheets to protect them from the blood. One more thing to take into consideration – your nurse would have to check your mommy’s diaper every so often to see how much you are bleeding. The truth sounds like unreality, but it is the truth, it is the reality. Apparently, there is lots of bleeding after delivery. Ungodly amounts. Blood, blood, and blood during nearly six weeks after giving birth.

(10) You won’t be told that you would ‘fall in love’ with your little one from the first time you hold your baby and you won’t be told how much you will dote on your baby.

Your baby is a beautiful blend of you as you and your beloved’s best characteristics. And you both will dote on your baby every moment you glance at, embrace, hold or speak to your little one. First months you will have to hold your newborn constantly. And you can’t do anything while holding it. That if you want to do something, you have to pass it to another person. And you both will share this unique role of the baby holder.

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