Updated: Apr 2
We put a question box on the gram to find out what things we, as a society, don't talk about when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. You all did not disappoint! This box was so popular we decided to write up a blog post on all of the things "we don't talk about."
1. Morning sickness doesn't always mean praying to the porcelain god
Symptoms of morning sickness vary...a lot! Some people experience migraines, exhaustion, and just constant nausea without any vomiting. Some pregnant people report a lot of vomiting. Morning sickness hits about 4-6 weeks and will likely last through the rest of your first trimester. The good news is, it usually peaks at about 9 weeks and becomes a bit easier to manage the day to day. Head to this blog post for our tips on how to help manage morning sickness.
2. You don't have to push when your provider says "it's time to push."
You may decide to consent to a cervix check and you may hear "Ok, you are complete it's time to push." WAIT! It might not be time to push. Do you feel like you are ready to push? Do you feel pressure? Does the urge feel uncontrollable? If not, consider waiting it out until it becomes more apparent to you as the person about to birth a human. Checkout this article about the Fetal Ejection Reflex!
3. Baby's head will make progress down and may move back in a bit
It's a bit of a give and take here, baby will move down and people peering at your vagina may notice a lot of the head, but in between it goes back up a bit-this is normal! Your baby's head is molding, or shaping, to be able to fit through and come out. It's kind of a 1 step forward 2 steps back situation when it comes to moving baby through the birth canal...then you hit the crowning stage, or more affectionately referred to as "the ring of fire."
4. Birth Shakes
Ahhh yes, the birth shakes. This is caused by hormones and is totally normal! Most birthers experience this uncontrollable shaking after birthing their baby. For some it may feel teeth chattering and for others it may feel like a chill you would get on a breezy fall day. You may experience the birth shakes anywhere from a few minutes up to an hour.
5. Birthing the Placenta
So, you birthed your baby? Don't forget about the placenta, but don't worry it doesn't feel nearly as uncomfortable as birthing a human. Your body will continue to contract and cramp and you will push your placenta out within 30 minutes to an hour after baby has arrived. If your provider is taking an active management of this stage of labor they may pull on the umbilical cord to help guide your placenta out, you can read more above active and expectant management of the third stage of labor here.
6. Contractions after birth
You are home from the hospital, feeding your baby when all of a sudden BAM! Contractions. First time birthers may not experience these strong contractions post birth, but many subsequent birthers experience these contractions for up to a week post birth. Checkout this product to help ease those after birth contractions.
7. Postpartum Night Sweats
If you haven't caught on quite yet, this is caused by hormones. The sweats usually go away within a few weeks once your hormone levels have returned to a. more normal level.
8. Body Odor
If you are breast/chestfeeding your body actually emits a stronger body odor...on purpose! Believe it or not, the odor helps your baby find their food source. You may start to notice your baby's head smells like your armpit, that's your cue to take a shower 😉
9. SIZE MATTERS! (when it comes to your pump flanges)
Your electric pump may come with one or two sizes of flanges to help you remove milk, but make sure it fits! An improperly fitting flange may affect your milk output and that is frustrating. If you want to get really exact, you can take the ruler out and measure your nipple to find the perfect flange for you.
up to 17 mm nipple = 21 mm flange
up to 20 mm nipple = 24 mm flange
up to 23 mm nipple = 27 mm flange
up to 26 mm nipple = 30 mm flange
up to 32 mm nipple = 36 mm flange
10. You might not feel bonded to your baby
Not everyone feels that immediate love and bonding to their baby, and that's ok. Studies show us that about 20% of parents don't feel bonded right away. If it persists, it can be a sign that you are dealing with a perinatal mood disorder such as postpartum depression and/or anxiety. Bring it up with your provider if you are feeling concerned.
11. Your skin changes!
You may start to notice more pimples, maybe some splotchiness, dryness, or even more freckles-again, all due to hormones and an increase in blood flow. Treat yourself to some extra facials during and after pregnancy to help take care of your skin and don't forget to moisturize from your head to your toes!
12. Sleep is forever changing
Say it louder for those in the back! It is normal for your babies to wake throughout the night. In fact, no one truly sleeps through the night if you want to get really science-y about it. Take a look at your baby's monitor feed throughout the night, your baby is likely waking but may not be waking you, which we all appreciate. This science based article is a great way to understand a bit more about sleep.
13. Your teeth and mouth change
Yup, hormones. Checkout this guide for more information on how to keep your dental hygiene up to snuff during pregnancy.
Want to pull back the curtain on pregnancy, and learn about all of the nitty-gritty?