In this under 3-minute read, we are going to clear up some of the misinformation out there about natural childbirth.
1. It’s not like in the movies
Labour doesn’t always begin the way a movie shows. Afterall, if Hollywood portrayed labour as it really begins, it wouldn’t be very interesting for viewers. They need to create that big drama for entertainment value. So they depict water breaking and a mad dash to the hospital. Would you be surprised to know that in very few cases does a woman’s water break prior to having a single contraction?
Normally, labour begins with some mild pains. And you are sitting there wondering if this is the real deal. Try to keep yourself distracted and not get your hopes up. It might be just Braxton Hicks.
2. The increase in pain is gradual
You will not have to cope with immense pain straight away. Your body just wouldn’t do that to you! As we mentioned in the first point, the pain generally starts as mild pains. A bit like period cramps. They come and go. Sometimes they go away for a day or a week before coming back again. If you are going into true labour, the pains will continue to get gradually more intense. However, this can take several hours.
Also, you should understand that between the pain you get a little reprieve. Initially, you will be able to go about your ordinary day. However, once you are in active labour, you are likely to be a little more zoned out.
3. The world no longer exists
There is a point when you are in active labour, where you are only focused on your body and the baby. It’s like a meditative state. And the world no longer exists to you. And if no one interrupts you in that state (with bright lights and loud noises), you can ride the wave of your labour for a long time.
I found this one of the most amazing points in labour. And if no one interrupts you in that state, you can ride the wave of your labour for a long time on the pain-relieving hormones surging through your body.
4. The ring of fire
Now let’s assume you haven’t had any pain relieving medication. There is a point when the baby’s head is being born where it will feel like someone is giving you the worst Chinese burn ever. Right on the entrance to your vagina!
It is insanely intense! And what’s worse, even though you just want to get the baby out and push really hard – your midwife will tell you not too! 🙂 She’ll ask you to breath through it!
No, she’s not an evil dictator trying to see you suffer, she’s trying to prevent your perineum from tearing. So listen, and go with it.
5. Just when you think it’s all over
So you are at the point where you have made it and you are holding your baby in your arms. Happy and full of the positive hormones raging through your body. Then you get another contraction! What? You saw the ultrasounds – there was only one in there!
Yes, this is right. You will feel a few contractions as the placenta is born. You may also need to give a little push or change your position if you are laying down. The placenta may sting a little as it comes out. But mostly it’s because your vagina is a little battered from the baby coming out.
Once the placenta is out. You are done! Enjoy that feeling that you get that…
You did it!!!
You have the right to boast.