Ask any mum how she she'd describe childbirth and the answers will be as varied as each woman and labor is different.
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It can be as dramatic, protracted and painful as it can be magical and transformative and many mums will happily admit to having enjoyed their labors.
But while our bodies are geared to helping us through childbirth even before that first contraction when our hormones soften the ligaments in the pelvis the impact, both physical and mental, can be huge.
Factor in a reluctance to often talk openly about what actually happens during and after birth and no wonder many mums-to-be have developed very specific concerns.
A report was done on the most common fears many mums-to-be harbor and are helped through.
Also known as a surgical cut to the perineum, it's done in an emergency to quicken the birth.
Healing times vary in women. The deeper the tear or cut, the longer it may take to heal.
Michelle Lyne from The Royal College of Midwives advises in this instance "it may also help to pour water over your stitches at the same time as passing water to dilute your urine and reduce any stinging."
According to Michelle, eighty-five per cent of women who have a vaginal birth will experience some perineal trauma.
2. Difficulty enjoying sex after childbirth
Owing to the effects of an episiotomy / vaginal tearing, many women understandably are concerned their sex lives will change.
New mums should speak to their obstetrician, GP or midwife in the six weeks after childbirth if they are experiencing problems in this area.
A stillbirth is when a baby dies 24 weeks or more into the pregnancy, but before birth. Brenda Manning, who on the fears many mums-to-be feel said: "It is a normal apprehensive response to the unknown in a situation beyond their control.
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"A lot of women report vivid, sometimes distressing dreams during pregnancy; this is normal and not a negative thing."
4. Accidental bowel / bladder movement during birth
Although this may seem like a huge indignity, as Brenda points out:
"It is a completely normal thing to do when pushing out a baby, that whatever is in front of the babies head will need to come out first.
"This is simple normal physiology. Should it happen, it wouldn't bother the birth attendants one bit."
Additionally, and according to the Royal College of Midwives, epidurals also have an impact on the bladder and women may also experience difficulty in recognizing they need to empty their bladder, so need to be reminded.
Meconium is natural -but the baby may release it if in distress during labor
5. A C-section
In most cases, it takes longer to recover from a caesarean section than it does after a vaginal delivery.
You should update your midwife or GP if you suffer from symptoms such as severe pain, leaking urine, excessive vaginal bleeding, swelling or pain in your calf.
Babies born still inside the amniotic sac are more common during caesareans
Meconium is a soft greenish black sticky substance that sits in the baby’s gut.
It is there from about 16 weeks' gestation and is made up of matter the foetus has swallowed and generated in the intestine during pregnancy.
Nothing can be done about it being present ,but do inform your midwife about any concerns.
If the foetus becomes distressed in labour it will open its bowels and pass meconium which will stain the normally clear or straw colored liquor (amniotic fluid) green or black.
7. Cord around the baby's neck
As Brenda points out, "a high percentage of babies have their cords loosely looped about their bodies somewhere."
However, in some instances, it can tighten and cause the baby distress.
When it gets stuck, Michelle explains that an attempt will be made to create a loop of cord to allow delivery of the baby through it.
If this is not possible, the cord may be clamped and cut to allow delivery of the rest of the baby.
However, this is increasingly not recommended because touching the cord may interfere with its function.
The umbilical chord can stretched or get compressed, leading to brief drops in fetal heart rate
8. Giving birth prematurely
Understandably, pre-term births are cause of anxiety for expectant mums.
A pre-term birth, one that happens before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy, is the leading cause of newborn deaths and the second leading cause of deaths in children under five.
A lot has been said recently about how we address pain in childbirth - or if it should even be addressed at all.
But one thing every expectant mum should do is be surrounded by people whom she trusts, no matter how she chooses to give birth.
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