50 THINGS other mums want you to know before giving birth

50 things to know before giving birth

The birthing suite is a sacred space – you never really know what goes on in there until you’re birthing your own babe. But we’re pulling back the curtain and taking a peek at what mums really want to know before giving birth.

We’ve called on the sisterhood (also known as the half a million mums on the Mum’s Grapevine Facebook page) and asked for the one thing they wished they’d known before giving birth.

These little gems of knowledge from women who have laboured before you aren’t meant to frighten, but rather empower. There are helpful hints, things to expect, emotions you’ll feel and how best to prepare.

These are the 50 things other mums want you to know before giving birth.

50 things to know before giving birth

  1. “Go in with an open mind. Don’t try to plan it all, you never know what can happen.” – Charlotte
  2. “You will poop. Don’t stress about it.” – Nicole
  3. “You will say, ‘I can’t do it’ but you really, really can. Women are amazing and you can.” – Gina
  4. C-sections aren’t as bad as everyone makes them out to be.” – Veronica
  5. “It will hurt but the joy of seeing your little one does take it away.” – Jacqui
  6. “The first shower after bub is amazing but messy.” – Laura
  7. “It doesn’t matter how you give birth, you’re no less of a mother.” – Telle
  8. “Leave your dignity at the door … you can pick it up on the way out.” – Marissa
  9. “Remember each contraction means you’re one step closer to meeting your baby.” – Cassie
  10. “It hurts no matter what size the baby is.” – Louise
  11. “Don’t fight your body or the pain. Let it happen and make as much noise as you like about it. If you fight it, it will likely bring things to a halt.” – Sarah
  12. There’s literally no medal for a drug-free birth. If you want the pain relief, ask for it!” – Lotti
  13. “Your vagina does eventually go back to normal.” – Shanneill
  14. “Listen to your body! It knows what to do. But you also need to listen to your midwives/doctor.” – Samantha
  15. “You won’t recognise your postpartum body. But it will go back to ‘normal’ it just takes time.” – Jess
  16. “Not everyone has a horror story. I absolutely loved my birth!” – Melissa
  17. “Your birth plan is just a guide, your baby has its own agenda so be prepared to go with whatever is best for you and baby because at the end of the day a happy healthy baby and mum is the goal.” – Karena
  18. “If you’re having a c-section, obviously you don’t feel pain but you can still feel movement. I wish I’d known.” – Melissa
  19. “Go in with little expectations and walk away with magical memories.”- Michelle
  20. “You don’t need to prove anything, take the epidural especially if you are induced.” – Anya
  21. “You don’t need to be the first person to hold or even lay eyes on your baby in order to love them more than anyone else ever will.” – Crystal
  22. “Take loads of photos at birth. I wish the nurses took photos for us (c-section).” – Claire Maree
  23. “If opting for an epidural, if your waters have/been ruptured get up and pee beforehand and wiggle around a little as it may help more liquor to come out, making it more comfortable for the epidural to be put in it. Also, DO NOT LOOK AT THE NEEDLE.” – Danni
  24. “Work those pelvic floor muscles! I found I recovered quicker when I practice pelvic floor muscle exercises the second time found.” – Kate
  25. “Don’t be afraid to tell the doctors and midwives NO. Not that anything is going to go wrong or anything but just remember it’s your body, it’s your baby!” – Jennifer
  26. “You’ll cry. At everything. A lot.” – Anne-Marie
  27. “Believe in your body it was made for it!” – Emma
  28. “If you have gas you may throw up.” – Jacqui
  29. “When you really, really think you’re at breaking point and can’t do it anymore, you might even ask to go home and come back tomorrow – you’re probably really close. The baby is nearly here.” – Jade
  30. “Make sure your birth partner know exactly what you want in case of an emergency.” – Sherryl
  31. “It’s ok to be scared. Trust your instincts. What works for one person may not work for another.” – Rebekah
  32. “You will probably have an episiotomy if you have a natural birth (I was told you hardly ever need it but it’s actually seven in 10 natural births).” – Kathryn
  33. “After birth pains! I had no idea these were a thing until I had my kids! Ouch!” – Kacie
  34. “You won’t look like Princess Kate when you leave the hospital.” – Fiona
  35. “The first poop after birth is more painful than birth.” – Anna
  36. “I puked and peed on myself before I pushed. So beware of those. But when you have your baby in your arms its amazing and worth every ounce of pain or bodily fluid on you.” – Alishia
  37. “Don’t look at it afterwards. Down there I mean. Especially if you’ve had an episiotomy. Unless you want to cry. It’ll never be the same again.” – Jessica
  38. “Afterbirth pains are real and last for a while. And haemorrhoids can come days after giving birth and hang around for months!” – Femke
  39. “It is okay to have all the drugs. Or none of them.” – Ali
  40. “That the love and connection to your newborn may not come instantaneously and that’s NORMAL. It can grow and build with time. It doesn’t make you a bad mum if those glowy feelings aren’t there right from the start.” – Pip
  41. “Blood during labour! Didn’t even think about it prior and I freaked when started seeing it.” – Natalia
  42. “No matter how much you prepare or how old you are you are never really ready for what’s to come so saddle up sister!” – Ann-Maree
  43. “Sadly sometimes, you will remember nothing. But you will have every other memory of raising your kids.” – Anna
  44. “Your idea of what will happen in birth and what actually happens can be two VERY different things, so don’t plan on anything and roll with it as best you can.” – Maria-Louise
  45. “You can plan all you like and tell everyone how your labour will play out but that baby hasn’t read your birth plan and will do what it likes on the way out.” – Margie
  46. “They’re going to poke your coochie every now and then to check how far you have dilated. No one told me about that so I was horrified when I had my first child.” – Iluña
  47. “Once your waters break it just keeps coming out randomly, it feels like you are peeing yourself and it’s rank. I was not prepared for that.” – Jenna
  48. “You have to give birth to your placenta too! And contractions continue for up to a week nearly every time you breastfeed. But none the less, it’ll be the most amazing experience that nothing in life could compare.” – Eden
  49. “Throw away your birthing plan. Everybody’s delivery is different, keep moving – if on the bed – stay up on knees – gravity! Enjoy every second of your experience, blink and it’s gone.” – Nikki
  50. “You’ve never known love till you hold your new baby.” – Laura

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50 things to know before giving birth