Mother and Baby

12 mums share what they wish they had known before giving birth

Section: Birth Stories

You've decorated the nursery, flitted between a few baby names you like (it's harder than it seems!) and you've finally sussed out what you're packing in your hospital bag.

However, you would be forgiven for wondering what birth is *really* like. 

Retrospect is a glorious thing, especially during a very poignant moment of your life(!!)  

The mums of Reddit are here to help and have shared the one thing no one told them about birth which they wish they had known... 

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1) Placenta power

Apparently some doctors are really excited when they see a good placenta. Well, a compliment is a compliment, I guess. -
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2) Waters breaking everywhere 

How.....wet everything can get. If your water breaks and you have a slow leak... there’ll be fluid at home, in the car, in the waiting/triage area, in your room, in the hallway, in the bathroom. Combined with all the blood loss and peeing yourself, and it’s almost like a slip-n-slide trying to get around. They gave me a big chuck pad to put between my legs but it was kind of pointless because it wouldn’t stay up unless you held it. - cheddarchexchick
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3) Post-partum cramps 

Your uterus continues to contract after delivery to get back down to pre-prego size. It's pretty painful, worse than menstrual cramps. And breastfeeding really kicks the contractions into high gear. -Cowcamp 
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4) Toilet troubles 

It hurts to pee afterwards, but if you lean forward on the toilet then the pee goes away from the most painful areas.

Also try and time your pain relief around trips to the toilet or other strenous activities. -irisaura
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5) The truth about what happens below 

Your vagina is going to look like a nightmare after. Don’t look at it or touch it, put ice packs and medicine on it but don’t investigate. I repeat: DO NOT INVESTIGATE. You’ll just keep yourself up at night fretting over what happens if it never goes back to normal. But if you do choose to look know that it won’t look like your labia just lost the title fight forever. -Iristhevirus217
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6) Long periods

That you have the worst month long period of your life after giving birth. I read books, took childbirth classes and had no idea. Not a nice surprise. -Sidekickgirl75
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7) Better out than in 

You also won’t care if/when you poop
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8) The shakes

The shaking after giving birth surprised me! I kept apologizing to everyone who was still working on me or the baby, but they said it was totally normal. I’d never heard of it before! - ToastedRawhide
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9) Strangers prodding 

Random strangers were going to be feeling me up, from the inside to see how dilated I was. Every couple hours. After a while you stop caring. - Buffalocookiebutter
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10) Bleeding is normal

People tend to leave out the fact that you will bleed a lot after giving birth! Take your heaviest period times 20 - 
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11) Breastfeeding bother

I didn’t do any classes or anything, maybe I would have known this if I had, but breastfeeding is not easy. I always thought you just whip out a boob, put it in my baby’s face, and voila, you’re breastfeeding. So not true for everyone!!
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12) Praise comfortable knickers!

You will lose ALL of your dignity and will not care one bit. And also the underwear they give you (disposable stretchy elastic type) are honestly the most comfortable thing you can ever wear.

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