The Ugly Side of Pregnancy & Birthby Emma Longden
If you are currently pregnant, you may want to stop reading this now. Seriously, you have been warned. This isn’t one of those lovely positive pregnancy posts that talk about the miracle of childbirth. This is the stuff that often gets missed off the what to expect posts, but it is always nice to go into things prepared... Meanwhile, if you have been through it all and lived to tell the tale, you may be able to relate to the ugly side of pregnancy and birth that I am sharing with you today...
Yep, haemorrhoids are often a side effect of pregnancy that isn’t talked about. I hadn’t even really heard much about them until I was pregnant (they are swollen, itchy veins around the bum, in case you were wondering, or wanted to be put off your dinner), when it became something I became terrified of.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had thrush throughout the entirety of my second trimester. It wasn’t just uncomfortable, it was really frustrating. Apparently vaginal secretions and the PH levels change during pregnancy, making ailments like thrush more likely.
Who knew that pregnancy could make you sweat more? I have been unlucky enough to be heavily pregnant throughout the summer with all three of my children. Being pregnant in the heat is not fun, but increased sweating can be an issue whatever the season due to an increase in hormones and blood flow, which can cause your body temperature to rise, and your body to sweat whilst trying to cool back down.
Erm, yeah. Farting is more common during pregnancy due to increased levels of progesterone, and the extra good news is that the gas you produce during pregnancy often smells worse than normal too. Joy!
Ok, so when it comes to the birth, something I was totally unprepared for was the poop. I know I pooped myself during at least one of the births, but I reckon I actually did it all three times and people were just too kind to alert me to the fact. Doing a poo whilst pushing is really common, and the medical staff are all prepared for it. I just wish I had been!
It is common to tear during a vaginal delivery, when you are pushing the baby out. The level of these tears vary. I was fortunate with all three of my births and only experienced minimal tearing, and didn’t need to be stitched up, but a friend of mine experienced such bad tearing, she had to go into surgery for them to sew her back together again. Her story haunts me to this day and makes me glad I have stopped at three children.
Another fun symptom post-birth. Blood clots often come out soon after the baby and they can be bloody scary (pun unintended). I had one that I was convinced was an internal organ, only to show it to the midwife and have her tell me it was a ‘small’ one. If that was small, I would hate to see one that was big.
After birth, it is usual to become constipated. It can be difficult to go for that first poo after you’ve had the baby, as psychologically it brings you right back to that moment you were pushing the baby out, and who wants to relive that so soon afterwards? I have no tips, other than to try and get it over with as soon as possible, as the longer you leave it, the more constipated you will get, and the more painful it will be when you do finally go...