What to Know About the Birthing Experience

If you’ve ever seen childbirth on TV or in a movie, you’ll know that it starts with a couple of strong contractions, followed by the gush of water breaking, a doctor telling the woman to push… and bada bing—a baby magically appears pink and perfect, wrapped in a blanket and sleeping in the mother’s arms. 

Not really. 

What should you really expect? 

Let’s look at a few facts, so that the whole experience won’t be quite such a surprise. 

1. Labor can take a long time. 

Like, really long. As in, several hours if it’s your first baby. You might be pushing for two or three hours before there’s any sign of a baby down there. 

2. It’s not the baby coming out that hurts. 

It’s really not. It’s the contractions, which get stronger and longer as your baby moves down the birth canal. Pushing the baby out feels kind of… good, actually. It comes as quite the relief. 

3. There might be a lot of people getting a good view of the whole process. 

At larger hospitals, you can expect to have a couple of nurses, some medical residents, the doctor on call, an anesthesiologist, some physicians’ assistants… but honestly, you won’t even care at that point. 

4. It feels like you need to poop. (And you might.) 

Your labor and delivery nurse might even tell you to push like you’re trying to have a bowel movement—and you’ll feel like you really are (except an eight-pound baby is a bit harder to push out). And, if you do poop… you probably won’t even notice. 

5. It’s exhausting. 

You will probably come to the point where you absolutely, positively cannot push one more time, or live through one more contraction. But you will push, and you will survive another contraction. Because you have to. And it’s all worth it. 

For more information, register for our free Understanding Birth Course.