What To Expect When You’re Expecting: 5 Things They Don’t Tell You About Labor And Delivery

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What to Expect when You're Expecting - 5 Things they Don't Tell You About Labor and Delivery

When you learn that you are expecting a child, you likely take to the Internet, parenting books, and veteran mothers to get information about what to expect. However, no matter how much information you gather, you likely won’t know everything until you experience it yourself. Because every pregnancy, labor, and delivery is different depending on the woman and the baby, there are likely some things that no one ever told you about the process. If you are preparing for delivery day, take a look at a few things that people probably never told you about labor and delivery:

You Cannot Predict the Length of Your Labor

While you may have heard your first child will take an excessive amount of time to deliver, or subsequent children may be born quickly, there is no way to accurately predict your length of labor. Your doctor and the nursing staff will consider the average labor when giving you an estimate of time, but labor may fall wildly on either side of that estimate. You may be a first time mother giving birth in a few hours or you may spend a full day in labor and delivery with your third baby. While your doctor will consider the four variables of childbirth—how strong your uterus is, the position and size of the baby, the size and type of your pelvis as well as your mental fortitude—they can only estimate a labor and delivery time.

You Might Not Be Able to Eat

Many expectant mothers don’t realize that their doctors won’t permit them to eat or drink once labor has begun. Now, this will depend on where you are delivering and the specific doctor or hospital policy. Typically, women are allowed ice chips or water, but food is usually not allowed because it is thought to possibly cause complications or block airways. While this can be a shock to some women, once the labor starts, some mothers could care less about food.

You May Shake Uncontrollably After Labor

Even when you think you know it all about labor and delivery, your body throws you a curveball. Due to the influx of hormones during the labor process, your body may undergo a brief time of uncontrollable shaking and shivering. You may feel cold or you may start shivering for no apparent reason at all. Your nursing staff will quickly bundle you up with warm blankets and this fit should pass relatively quickly.

You Have to Deliver the Placenta

In television and movies, the baby slides out into the doctor’s welcoming arms and family and friends immediately rush in to greet the child and congratulate the new parents. In reality, after your infant is born—the staff will start caring for your baby by taking measurements, scoring him or her on the APGAR scale and your doctor will still be with you as they assist you in delivering the placenta. While there is mild discomfort with pushing the placenta out, it’s nothing in comparison with birthing your baby and this stage should only last 5-20 minutes.

You May Not Immediately Bond with your Baby—Give it Time

While some mothers are over the moon the moment their infant is born, there are a lot of new moms who are exhausted and simply glad labor and delivery is over. Don’t worry. Whether it’s from a hard delivery or postpartum depression, these baby blues can be treated and you will form a lifelong bond with your newborn over time. You have been through a lot—emotionally and physically—throughout the nine months of pregnancy as well as the labor and delivery. Give it time. You will eventually fall head over heels in love with your new baby.

Labor and delivery is an intense experience for any mother to endure. The more you know in advance, the smoother labor and delivery will go. And remember, while you can gather loads of information, every woman, pregnancy, and baby is different—so you can’t ever fully know what to expect. The information for this article was provided by a Zofran birth defects lawyer.