Girlfriend’s 411 on Labor

There are plenty of books to prepare you for child labor and birth. While these books are great to give you the process, sometimes the best prep comes from your girlfriends who have been through it themselves. I’ve had three natural births, that luckily didn’t involve any complications. For those of you getting ready to have your first little bundle of joy or planning labor and a VBAC, here’s my down and dirty Girlfriend’s 411 on Labor.

WARNING: Some Info is Gross but all is compiled based on experiences from moms.

1. You can call yourself a Poop-a-sauras. As your body gets ready to push out a baby, it has to push out the crap first- literally. Don’t be surprised if you’re running to the bathroom and then start having contractions. Just think, the more poop you get out before delivery, the less likely you’ll poop when pushing (oh yeah that can happen).

2. Your water doesn’t always break. Contrary to what you see in the movies, something crazy like 15% (i’m guesstimating, but its a super low number) of women’s waters actually break. The other 85% of the time, the doctor or midwife breaks it for you. When it does break and you’re actively in labor, that speeds up the process. There’s more than one water bag too, so don’t be surprised if you have multiple water breaks.. whether its naturally happening from the baby or the doctor.

3. Mucous plug. You hear about the disgusting mucous plug, but every person and pregnancy is different. There are some people who lose it all at once, some that lose it a little at a time for weeks before the baby comes, and others who don’t even know they’ve lost it!

4. Contractions are not always consistent. Okay so just about every book preparing you for labor and birth talks about contractions. How they’ll start every 10 minutes and last 15 seconds and then gradually get closer together and longer in duration. But again, this isn’t always the case. My contractions were all over the place for all three of my labors. And by all over the place I mean 12 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 2 minutes, 4 minutes… and so on. There was no pattern. If you experience contractions that aren’t in a set pattern, focus more on the intensity rather than the timing. As the contractions become more intense and “breathtaking” you know its getting closer to baby time.

5. Strep b test. Around 36 weeks, your doctor will likely test you for strep b. Its a quick swab down below and majority of women test negative. If you do test positive its no cause for concern. Everyone has the bacteria, it just presents itself at different times. Testing positive simply means you’ll need an IV antibiotic when you go into labor. If you tested positive for strep b and your water breaks, its important to head to the hospital ASAP so the antibiotic can be administered.

Childbirth and delivery

Take that all in as you prep for going into labor and stay tuned for the Girlfriend’s 411 on Delivery!

What 411 would you share to your girlfriends about labor?


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