Expecting a baby can be one of the most exciting–yet scary–times in a woman’s life. While she's growing a life inside her, she must prepare her home and her body for the arrival of the new bundle of joy. Before she can bring the little one home, she must endure childbirth. There are so many things to know and consider and research to be done before childbirth so you know what to expect. Many women will avoid this research after hearing horror stories from other women through the years. It's crucial to know what you're going into before you go into labor. Being prepared for the childbirth process can prevent any last-minute panic and decision making while also helping the parents prepare themselves for what's to come to the best of their ability.
There are many different options for the birthing process, and there are also many different types of moms. There are some things that all expecting moms will experience during childbirth, regardless of their personality and their birthing choice. How much do you know about childbirth? Put your research and knowledge to the test. Find out if you're prepared for birth or if you still have some resource gathering to do.
1After how many weeks, on average, do women go into labor?
After waiting for months and months, your baby is due to make his or her first appearance soon. You've been preparing the house and your body for the baby’s arrival. You're anxiously awaiting the day that you go into labor and have had your due date calculated by doctors for months now. It's been marked on every calendar since you found out. Not every new mommy goes into labor on her due date. After how many weeks, on average, do women go into labor?
2What common fear do many women have about the pushing stage of labor?
When the contractions pick up and the baby shifts down lower, all sorts of things start changing. The contractions become more frequent, the pain may become worse, and pressure starts building in places that it hadn't happened before. Many anxious mothers-to-be (especially first timers) share a similar fear due to the sensation that they feel when the baby shifts. This fear can hinder the birthing process. What's this fear that they feel as the result of an increase in pressure?
3How many centimeters must a mother be dilated before starting to deliver the baby?
For vaginal deliveries, certain criteria must be met before the mother can start pushing. The water must be broken, whether it broke naturally or the doctor has to break it. The mother must also have her cervix dilated a certain amount to allow the baby to best fit coming out. Normally, the mother is allowed to start pushing as soon as she reaches this amount of dilation. How many centimeters must a mother be dilated before starting to deliver the baby?
4What are expectant mothers permitted to eat during labor at a hospital?
There are a lot of rules that come with births, particularly if you're giving birth in a hospital. In many cases, only the parent who's not in labor can eat real food. This is in case the mother-to-be needs a C-section and to be put under general anesthesia. Sometimes, labor can last way longer than planned, meaning that new mothers become dependent on the one thing that they're allowed to eat. What are expectant mothers permitted to eat during labor at a hospital?
5Which of the following do expectant/new moms commonly do during labor that most of them never knew to expect?
There's a lot of stress that's put on all of the systems of the body during labor and delivery. Not only is there physical stress but also emotional and mental stress. This can create various reactions in the body throughout the birthing process. Whether it be from pain or the buildup of emotions, many moms experience this unpleasant phenomenon during or after labor and delivery. What do expectant/new moms commonly do during labor that most of them never knew to expect?
6What's actually happening when your water breaks?
Some women don't realize that they're in labor until their water breaks. There are common misconceptions about this release of fluid that was started by the media. Moms confess that they often hear a loud popping sound prior to the fluid releasing. There's then a rush of fluid that comes out, oftentimes, more than what the mom anticipates, based on movies. This fluid can flood the ground and can soak through multiple layers of fabric. What's actually happening when your water breaks?
7What's an advantage of natural births over births that use drugs?
Contractions can be the most painful part of labor and delivery. This is some of the worst pain that the mother may endure in her lifetime. Some mothers choose to undergo a natural birth and feel everything, no matter how bad it hurts. Other mothers may choose to get a dose of medication in order to dull the pain of contractions and delivery. Each has its pros and cons. What's an advantage of natural births over births that use drugs?
8Who ends up delivering as many–if not more–babies than the doctor does?
Many expectant mothers get as comfortable as possible with their OB/GYN prior to giving birth. They ask all the questions that pop into their minds, review their birth plans, and make sure their doctor is familiar with their exact situation. Sometimes, all of this planning is nullified when the doctor cannot make it to the birth of the baby. This can be because they're with another patient or because they couldn't make it to the place of birth in time. Who ends up delivering as many–if not more–babies than the doctor does?
9How is an epidural administered?
For those who decide to get the pain dulled by medication, this can be an overwhelming experience. Once the medication is administered, the mother-to-be cannot leave her bed, as it becomes too dangerous. The benefit is that the mother will not feel as much pain as she would expect to. There's a lot of guessing, as the medication cannot be administered too far in advance or too close to delivery. How is this medication given to the anxious mom-to-be?
10Which of the following is a medication that kickstarts labor?
Sometimes, the dilation process doesn't start like it should, or contractions don't happen when they should be. While waiting for labor to start on its own is best in most cases, sometimes, a baby is more at risk staying in momma's belly than being born. Induction can sometimes be kickstarted with light exercise or by waiting a few days to deliver the baby. It can also require medical intervention in drug form. Some drugs kickstart labor, making contractions happen more frequently and helping the mom to dilate. Which of the following is a medication that kickstarts labor?
11What's one of the elements of labor that a mother should decide in advance in case of an emergency?
Many doctors advise that expectant mothers create an emergency plan in advance. This is so the mother doesn't have to make a decision in the middle of a crisis. It also prevents anyone else from making a decision that the mother doesn't want. Oftentimes, these plans come into play if there's a danger to the mother and/or the baby. What's one of the elements of labor that a mother should decide in advance in case of an emergency?
12What's cut in order to allow the baby to come out easier?
During labor, the doctor may determine that the baby needs more room to get out. If this is the case, they may perform an episiotomy. This allows a little more wiggle room for the baby to slip out after pushing. For many mothers, the thought of this sends chills up their spine. Not only does it sound painful, but it also freaks out many new moms. Newer research now shows this procedure to be unnecessary and that tears actually heal better. Still, many doctors push for them. What is cut in order to allow the baby to come out easier?
13In some plans of action, the result may be a baby with a cone-shaped head. What could contribute to the cone-shaped head of the baby?
Some babies can be stubborn. These babies can make labor and delivery a giant headache. In some cases, the baby won't be positioned correctly. In other cases, the baby won't move with the pushes that the mother is doing. Most of these difficult babies require some intervention from the doctor or midwife helping with the birth. In some plans of action, the result may be a baby with a cone-shaped head. What could contribute to the cone-shaped head of the baby?
14How do most doctors reassemble the perineum after birth if it tears or an episiotomy is performed?
Although episiotomies are becoming less frequent, they still happen. This can be an uncomfortable process that an epidural may lessen the pain of for the time being. If a mother is birthing naturally, the doctor may inject some topical numbing agents in that area first. In some cases, the birthing process may lead to this area ripping on its own due to the force and the size of the baby. This means that the pieces need to be put together after the baby is born. How do most doctors reassemble the area post-birth?
15When a woman starts having back labor–meaning they're experiencing contractions in their back–what's a way to combat the pain without medication?
Contractions often feel like menstrual cramps or a tummy ache in the beginning. Some women may not even acknowledge the contractions until they start to become a lot more unbearable. Depending on how the baby is positioned, cramps can be felt through various parts of the abdomen and into the back. This can cause severe, breathtaking pain. When a woman starts having back labor–meaning she's experiencing contractions in her back–what's a way to combat the pain without medication?
16How long after the water breaks do doctors start to suggest they interfere with drugs to get the labor process going?
Water breaking tends to be the go-ahead for the labor process to begin, if it hasn't already started. When the amniotic sac ruptures, it increases the potential for infection-inducing bacteria to creep into the cervix, limiting what the mom-to-be can do after the water breaks. For some women, the active labor process may not start right away. If this is the case, how long after the water breaks do doctors start to suggest they interfere with drugs to get the labor process going?
17What do most moms who had an epidural say happened to them?
An epidural can make the entire lower part of the expectant mother’s body go numb. This can be a bizarre feeling, although many new moms say it's a nice source of pain relief. With this numbness comes a variety of things that the mother can no longer control. This is often when they won't let a new mom get out of bed. There are more embarrassing side effects to an epidural. What do most moms who had an epidural say happened to them?
18What's a common after-effect from pushing out a baby?
Pushing can be stressful on the body. If going forward with a vaginal birth, pushing is necessary to get the baby out. Some people may only need to push for a few minutes, while others may need a longer amount of time to deliver the baby. The body isn't used to pushing things out in the way a mother has to push a baby out, so it can create some issues within the body. What's a common after-effect from pushing out a baby?
19What do new moms have to wear post-delivery that may interfere with how they fit in clothes?
Many new moms expect to be able to wear their normal clothes when leaving the hospital. This is usually not a reality for most mothers, as their bellies don't go down enough and they experience a certain level of discomfort. Many new moms wear their maternity clothes or clothes that they don't care about for a few weeks as they recover. What do new moms have to wear post-delivery that may interfere with how they fit in clothes?
20About how long does a new mom bleed post-delivery?
The birthing process isn't for the faint of heart. No matter what the approach is, it can be a gruesome scene after the baby arrives. While most hospitals try to clean up as quickly as possible, some new mommies still get a glimpse of everything that came out of them during the process. It often looks like a violent scene occurred. New moms can expect to see a fair amount of blood for a while. About how long does a new mom bleed post-delivery?
21Why do new moms need a peri bottle of fluid on hand in the bathroom?
When new moms are able to get up to go to the bathroom, they're often given a serum, fluid, or a peri bottle full of warm water to put near the birthing area when they're finished going to the bathroom. This is particularly common for the new moms who had to get their perineum stitched up after birth. This is recommended for use after going to the restroom each time for a while. What does this fluid do that benefits the new mom?
22Many new moms are unaware of the after-birth and are therefore unprepared. What's the after-birth?
Once the baby is out, new moms breathe a sigh of relief. They just pushed out a multiple-pound baby after carrying it for nine months and after being in labor for a period of time. The only thing these new moms want to do is hold their newborns and love them (and maybe sleep). In many cases, there's still something for the moms to do after they push out the baby. Many new moms are unaware of the after-birth and are therefore unprepared. What's the after-birth?
23Why are stool softeners more important for C-section moms?
New moms experience a number of unpleasant side effects after their baby is born into the world. Luckily, the baby is always worth it. Many moms question why they're being given so many different instructions, medications, and devices. One thing that many new moms are given is stool softeners. There's often confusion as to why, but C-section recipients receive the stool softeners more regularly than other mothers. Why do moms who birth via C-section receive them more often than moms who birth vaginally do?
24Why are C-section mommies told to breastfeed while laying on their side?
Many new moms don't anticipate things that'll happen after the baby is born into this world. Moms tend to go in with the mindset that they just need to get through the labor and the delivery, and then, they're in the clear. However, new moms can experience side effects from giving birth for a few weeks or even months. Moms who get C-sections are often taught to breastfeed while on their sides. Why is this the way that they're taught?
25Which of the following symptoms do new moms tend to experience that make them nervous?
New moms often break into a panic when they notice certain things happening with their bodies after birthing the baby. They tend to experience things that no one made them aware they could experience, which lead them to believe something is wrong. Eventually, they're told that their body is adapting to the blood loss and the hormonal change from giving birth, which causes the system to go haywire. Which of the following symptoms do new moms tend to experience that make them nervous?