Having a baby is beautiful and a miracle and all that, but anyone who has gone through it knows it’s also awkward AF. There’s nothing quite like your mom texting the whole extended family about how many centimeters dilated you are to make you realize that fact. There are a lot of unspoken questions about birth that expecting moms might be too embarrassed to ask their friend, sister, mom, or even their OBGYN. We’re going to do every first-time mom a favor and dive right in to some of the most awkward birth questions that you’ve been dying to know.
1. Will I Poop During Labor?
So this is probably an obvious one that we’re all just in denial about—understandably, because who enjoys pooping in front of someone else? Pushing a baby out is literally exactly like pushing the biggest poop of your life out, and you will be using every muscle imaginable to get that baby out. So yes, most women do poop while giving birth.
If this automatically makes you sweaty and uncomfortable, know that it’s incredibly common. Nurses are completely unfazed by it and clean it up so fast that you’ll have no clue anyway.
2. Will I Be Able to Cover Up And Not Be Totally Naked?
The short answer is not really. However, it’s very important to note that even the most modest mom will give approximately zero f*cks about being naked mid-contraction. You’ll have a hospital gown on, but it’s pretty difficult to keep anything below the waist covered when it’s time to push. If you’re having a C-section, you’ll likely be naked from the waist down. You’ll have a sheet between you and the surgery, so at least you don’t have to watch.
Either way, you are singlehandedly (with the help of your nurses and doctors) bringing life into this world, which is pretty incredible. Not a single person in that room will care about you being naked, including yourself.
3. Will My Partner See Everything And Will It Affect Our Relationship?
See above about the fact that it’s pretty impossible not to be totally naked from the waist down, so unless your partner stares intensely at your face the entire time (which is definitely even more awkward), they will see some stuff during a vaginal delivery. That is, of course, unless they’re a fainter.
If your partner thinks any differently of you or your body after bringing his/her baby into the world, it better be positive. That’s all I have to say about that. Generally, though, there tends to be a resounding sense of amazement from partners. Choose the person or people that will be in the room with you wisely, because they will be your biggest cheerleaders throughout—not to mention, they may be cussed at a lot.
4. How Long Will I Bleed For?
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This is a case-by-case basis, but typically up to six weeks, even if you’ve had a C-section. Unfortunately, you do still bleed if you have a C-section (although usually not for as long). It doesn’t seem right or fair since C-sections are invasive enough as is, but if all of this were fair, then men would have to give birth and humanity probably wouldn’t survive.
You may also be a bit sore and swollen, which might come as a surprise the first time you take a look down there postpartum. Remember that the ice packs provided by the hospital are your best friend. The good news is that the bleeding and swelling will eventually subside, and you then get to look forward to your first postpartum period. Isn’t being a woman fun?
5. Should I Shave/Wax?
The least of your doctor’s concerns are your unshaved vagina, and WHO recommends not shaving prior to labor to minimize your risk for infection. It’s ultimately up to you, but if you’re tempted to, you may want to run it by your doctor first. If you are having a C-section, they’ll shave around the incision site, but they may have more specific instructions for you to prep for your surgery.
If you’re modest and feeling a bit anxious about all this, remember that the doctors and nurses are very, very used to anything weird that happens during labor and don’t actually think any of it is embarrassing at all. You also absolutely won’t be thinking about any of this when the big day comes.
Image: Ömürden Cengiz / Unsplash; betchesmoms (2) / Instagram