Saturday, September 10, 2016

Labor & Postpartum Low Down: What No One Tells You and You Need To Know


Yes, you can poop while giving birth. There is a very real possibility you will tear during vaginal delivery. Pooping after giving birth can be extremely terrifying. Sex after birth even more so... I will give you the real low down on labor, delivery, and all that is postpartum self care. Be sure to scroll down for detailed tips on the scariest topics. Now, without further delay, grab a snack and lets jump right in!

Things Nobody Tells You About Labor & Delivery

  • Your mucous plug can be clear, white, yellow, dark brown or even green; 
  • Your "bloody show" can last hours or days;
  • Your water braking can be anything from a slow trickle, huge gush, or anything in between; 
  • If you get an epidural, you will swell and stay swollen for a while. This is from the IV fluids you will get before and during your epidural administration; 
  • You will also need to have a catheter inserted to collect your urine if you choose to get an epidural; 
  • Epidurals can slow the progression of your labor (I still received an epidural and I do not regret my decision); 
  • An epidural may take to only one side of your body. This is because the medication is largely distributed through gravity so be sure to try and move sides as soon as you start to notice one side is more numb than the other; 
  • IV drips can be cold and in turn make you cold; 
  • You will most likely tear if you deliver vaginally (about 95% of women tear during vaginal delivery); 
  • 80-90% of women poop while giving birth (see my tips on how I prevented this); 
  • You will only see your OB doctor for a very short period. Most of the labor and delivery will be handled by your designated nurse. I only saw my OB for about 10 minutes. My awesome nurse, Wendy, was the real MVP;
  • On that note, nurses are use to delivering babies all the time because of doctors getting tied up with other patients or not making it in time; 
  • If you deliver on the weekend you might not get your OB but whichever doctor is on call for that weekend; 
  • You can break blood vessels in your eyes or face from pushing during vaginal delivery; 
  • You can get hemorrhoids from pushing during vaginal delivery; 

Things Nobody Tells You About Postpartum

  • You will cramp more than normal during breast feeding sessions; 
  • breast feeding will take a lot longer than you expected (I think this was one of the biggest shocks... just how time consuming it is); 
  • Your baby may have an abnormal bilirubin count if he/she isn't eating enough which might lead to jaundice testing (since I wasn't producing enough, I decided to supplement with formula and my baby's bilirubin count leveled out); 
  • You will feel immense pressure on your hoohaa. I literally felt like my vajayjay was going to fall out. I wore compression shorts on top of my mesh undies to help combat this sensation; 
  • If you receive an epidural, you may have shooting pain up your spine afterwards; 
  • You will continue to have horrible cramps while your uterus continues to bleed;
  • You will bleed A LOT. It will slow down and then rev back up again, full force. This can go on for weeks or over a month; 
  • Pooping will be terrifying. Make sure to take a stool softener ASAP; 
  • If you get stitches, they will itch A LOT. I used Earth Mama Bottom Balm on my stitches after the first two weeks and this helped immensely; 
  • If you got stitches you will not be able to take a bath until they have healed; 
  • You will be advised not to drive for at least three weeks; 
  • You might feel your ribs roll as they slowly move back in to place; 
  • Sex may not feel normal for a very very long time. I recommend lube and lot of wine; and
  • The first 3 months of your child's life may be the hardest you ever endure. Just remember, it gets better and it is all worth it in the end; 


Pooping While Giving Birth.

About 80-90% of women defecate while giving birth. Why? This is due to your body using the same muscles to push out a baby as you do to perform a bowel movement. In my humble opinion, there are measures you can take to reduce the chances. I believe that because of the actions I took, I was one of the 10-20% of women that did not poop while giving birth. Articles will tell you not to worry, but lets be honest, most of us do. 

     What did I do? I ate small portions towards the end and made sure to ask for an enema as soon as I was sent into triage prior to being admitted. I then asked for an enema after being admitted. (side note: you can not have an enema after you have received an epidural, so if you are planning one make sure to ask for it ASAP) Enemas are not as common as they use to be. Articles will tell you there is no real proof that they reduce your chances, but honestly once you have undergone an actual enema there is just no way you could think that. 

     The low down on an enema: 1) tech fills up a whole bucket with water; 2) tech inserts one end of a tube into the bucket and the other end in your anus; 3) you clench and take in as much water as possible; 4) when you cannot take on any more, you clench and run like the wind to the bathroom, sit on the toilet and let goooooooo. You will sit there for a while. Now you tell me if after all that you still think you'll need to go #2. I didn't go again until 4 days after giving birth!

Pooping After Vaginal Delivery: 

        In one word, terrifying. What I did to make it less daunting: 1) took a stool softener, such as Colace, as soon as possible. 2) when it was time to go I took a warm wet wash cloth and applied pressure to the skin between the anus and the vaginal opening. 3) while pushing, I continued to apply pressure. 

         You will probably want to set up a station near the toilet with your numbing spray, heavy duty pads, extra underwear, peri bottles, bottom balm, and wash cloths. As for urinating, they will tell you to use the peri bottle to squirt water onto your hoohaa then tap with toilet paper. If you have stitches, this will be a nightmare. The paper sticks to you so I would recommend patting with a dry wash cloth. 

         I hope this was an insightful post for you. Feel free to leave me any questions in the comments below. If you liked the post, don't forget to subscribe and become a part of our online #momtribe.

                                                                                                                                                                    Maria Elena        


  1. God bless you Mommas that are willing to go through all of that to keep the human race going - I personally plan on keeping my uterus a no parking zone. XD

    1. Your "no parking zone" has me literately laughing out loud 😂💕 love it!

      Maria Elena