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Things You Didn't Know That Can Happen During Labor

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Written by: Co-Founder Amanda Capriglione, RDN, CDN

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nicole Palmer, DO

In this article

  1. YOU MAY POOP

  2. YOU MAY BE GASSY

  3. YOU CAN GET THE SHAKES

  4. YOU GIVE “BIRTH” TO YOUR PLACENTA

  5. THERE IS A LOT OF BLOOD

  6. YOU MAY EXPERIENCE NAUSEA AND VOMITING

  7. YOU MAY GET HEMORRHOIDS

If you’re a first-time mom, you may wonder and think about what labor is actually like. It definitely can’t be that bad if women go through it multiple times, right?! True… or do we just really forget once we see the love of our life! Good news, pregnant women can take pregnancy prep classes to become familiar with breathing techniques and birthing positions. However, nothing can prepare you for the unexpected “weird things” that can happen during labor. Of course, one, none, or all of these things may happen to you as everyone’s labor and birth experience are different and that is what makes it unique. Labor is part of life (it’s giving life!), and although these occurrences may be “weird” or unexpected – they are natural.

1. YOU MAY POOP

Pooping during labor may be one of your biggest, most embarrassing fears. This isn’t anything new for Medical professionals to see. They actually tell you to push like you’re about to have a bowel movement. Essentially, you’re using the same muscles. Plus, when you’re 10 centimeters and ready to push, you actually feel like you’re about to do number 2.

2. YOU MAY BE GASSY

Gas is inevitable when your baby is pushing on everything. Epidurals sometimes make it difficult to control everything going on below the waist. Gas just slips out without you noticing. Whenever that happens, make sure your husband is around to blame!

3. YOU CAN GET THE SHAKES

During the final stages of labor, some women may begin to shake. The shaking can be mild to intense and may even last 45 minutes after birth. Doctors aren’t sure what can exactly cause the shaking; it could be several things like infection, dramatic drop in body temperature, and/or shift in hormone levels. Shaking can also be a result of anesthesia and certain medications. The best way to stop the shaking is to try and keep warm, wait it out and breathe through them.

4. YOU GIVE “BIRTH” TO YOUR PLACENTA

After your baby comes into the world, the doctor will continue to press on your stomach to “birth” the placenta. You may somewhat have to even push it out. It’s actually pretty big! Remember it was made by YOU to help keep your baby alive in the womb by supplying oxygen and nutrients.

5. THERE IS A LOT OF BLOOD

Most people don’t know this, but a lot of blood comes out after birth. It’s a normal bodily reaction. The bleeding comes from where the placenta was attached to the uterus. And it continues to come out for about 3-6 weeks postpartum. It’s basically a period that lasts for a month or more. Talk about making up for lost time! Make sure to stock up on absorbent, comfortable pads or even women's diapers.

6. YOU MAY EXPERIENCE NAUSEA AND VOMITING

If you experienced nausea while pregnant, you may also feel nauseous during birth. Pain medication or quick labor can cause nausea. Nausea is a basic response from the baby moving quickly through the birth canal. Your gastrointestinal tract slows down allowing your body’s energy to be directed toward your uterus and birth experience.

7. YOU MAY GET HEMORRHOIDS

All that pain and pushing can lead to hemorrhoids, which are basically large varicose veins in the anal area. These hemorrhoids are painful and should be treated right away with Epsom salt bath or hemorrhoid cream (recommended by your OB). Even if you deliver a baby via c-section, you will be in pain. Try to remember, without pain, there will be no reward. That reward being your little baby, of course!

Creating and growing life is truly a beautiful privilege. You may or may not have a specific birth plan that you want to follow. That’s great. But keep in mind that things may not always go as planned. As long as you and your baby are safe, that’s all that matters. Everyone’s birth story is beautiful and unique. If you want or need some extra help with pregnancy prep, we recommend visiting The Nesting Place (@thenestingplaceli). The Nesting Place is a wellness center for moms based on Long Island, but they also have virtual support.