So you’re pregnant – congratulations! What a wonderful new phase of your life.
Life is not all it appears to be in the movies though. Life can be hard, life can be strange and life can be GROSS!!
In your mind, once you fall pregnant, you will be glowing. You will look so ethereal with your baby belly, you may get a little morning sickness, but that passes in days, and your mother-in-law is fully supportive of all of your decisions. There is the crippling first labour pain that hits out of the blue, a bit of sweating and grunting then BAM! Your baby is out. Happy days. Sure, labour looks a little scary but you’ve got this right?!
Sure, it can all be like that. The reality is, a lot of women experience pregnancy and labour in a whole different way.
If you’re thinking about conceiving or have just found out you’re pregnant, hell – even if you’re a parent trying to scare the living bejeesus out of your teens as a bonus round for the contraception talks, take note. Pregnancy and labour have a dark side, scary, shocking and even just plain freaking gross!
Don’t believe me yet? Well, take a look through our 10 gross things about pregnancy and labour that no one told you about!
1. That cute pair of expensive ‘treat’ shoes you just bought – more than likely aren’t going to fit ever again.
Excess pressure on your feet combined with ligaments relaxing in your body thanks to the pregnancy hormone, Relaxin, can result in your feet expanding up to a whole shoe size. While swelling may subside after pregnancy, if your feet have spread due to ligaments going all loosy goosey, you can kiss that cute size seven foot goodbye. You’re now in the major leagues. If you were a size 9-10, you’d better start your search for the elusive 10-11 sized shoes. It’s a whole new world out there now.
Oh and a little ray of sunshine – with each pregnancy, there is a real chance your feet may continue to spread. Goodbye cute girly girly shoes, hello sensible, supportive, sturdy shoes. This is by no means any excuse to opt out of life and just plod around Crocs. There is no excuse for that!
2. Your belly isn’t the only thing that’s swelling.
Oh hello swollen labia. Due to the increase of blood being directed to your uterus, the tissues in your vaginal walls and external genitalia also cop a hit. You may now be presented with a potentially lopsided, bruised, lumpy and even sore vagina (well it’s technically your labia). No more ‘fitted’ pants for you – unless you want that supersized camel toe being the feature!
3. Peeing yourself, and not just because you’ve heard a good joke.
You will probably be running to the toilet every 2 minutes due to the extra pressure on your bladder from poking little arms, legs and well just a whole little human doing a bloody gymnastic routine in there. If you make it to the toilet without letting loose, don’t get too confident. You may want to get a supply of panty liners on standby as a glimpse of your 80-year-old self is presented and you may now, well, drip a little when you laugh, sneeze or lift something. You are going to want to take note of these three words. Pelvic Floor Exercises.
4. Women ‘glow’ during pregnancy.
This is due to the increased blood flow during pregnancy – you can look amazing and healthy and well, glowing. What they fail to tell you is that you may also start getting blotching on your face, due to the increases in melanin, add to that possible skin tags popping out all over your body. Random fleshy flaps of skin are just hanging around. Oh and also – you may be lucky enough also to get a rash. Referred to as PUPPP (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy) which is a hive-like rash driving you absolutely bonkers with an itch. Starts as bumpy itchy papules that turn to red scalded-like skin with welts. It starts on the abdomen but then can spread to other parts of the body. You will be glowing alright – though more like a fire engine.
5. You start sporting hair in places like never before.
Not only does the hair on the top of your head start growing at an amazing rate, but you are also now ready giving your partner a run for his money with your newly acquired moustache. As if that isn’t bad enough, you may notice a matching beard now sprouting on your chin, a luxurious shag pile on your back and belly, and let’s not forget your nipples. Yes, in short, you will feel like you now resemble bigfoot. With your newly acquired size 1000 feet, and your all over coat of glistening hair, no wonder sightings are on the rise!
So pregnancy sometimes isn’t all Hollywood has made it out to be. There really IS a whole other side they don’t really tell you about. Let’s now take a look at labour hey?
6. The ‘Plug’
Sure they tell you about it, it’s often also referred to as the ’show’. At the time, you’re not really that focused on the details — until it appears. A blob of mucus that is like a plug that keeps all the bacteria out of your uterus and the fluid in there from just splashing out all over the place until the baby is ready to make its appearance. Resembling the biggest booger you’ve ever seen, it is gross. It is a pre-curser to what awaits you for the rest of your labour.
7. You’re likely going to shit yourself.
We mean literally. The muscles we use to do a poop are the same that we use to push the baby out. Hell, I was even told during my first birth when I got the urge to push, push like you are going to do a dump. Well not that exact terminology, but for effect, let’s go with that.
The nurses won’t even bat an eyelash and are quite used to this happening, so there is no need to feel embarrassed. They’ll just clean you up and continue on with the job at hand.
This may not be the only toileting accident you will experience either – there is a chance you may also pee yourself during labour. Again this is due to the pushing you are doing, but hey, what’s a little extra grossness in this whole show!
8. Your baby isn’t going to be clean.
You often see in movies the baby comes out clean and well just wet. THIS.IS.A.LIE!
When you have finally delivered your little angel, and the nurses place it on your chest for the very first time. Be warned. Your baby will be covered in blood and a waxy cottage cheese-like looking substance. The Vernix (waxy cheesy stuff) protects your babies skin while in the womb. It can honestly be a little shocking if you weren’t expecting it.
9. The Placenta
You’ve delivered your baby and think it’s all over — oh hell no. You now have to deliver the placenta! This can be quite simple, other times you may need a little help with a gentle but firm push on your uterus to push that sucker out. Other times, if the placenta is retained and won’t come out on its own, you will need medical and manual attention, to get in there and manually remove it. It is important that it all comes out and you are often shown the placenta that is a massive blood clot-looking alien. You may want to hurl.
10. Post Birth Bleeding
You’re thinking ‘Phew, so glad that’s all over with. The whole childbirth experience is done’. Nuh-uh not quite yet. Stock up on those surfboard sanitary pads because this post birth bleeding will more than likely put your periods to shame. The postpartum bleeding and expulsion of other ‘stuff’ from your body can be expected to last from two to six weeks. You may experience the passing of blood clots that can be horrifying for the un-forewarned. This is normal, but if you are concerned about the amount of bleeding size of clots or length of time that has passed, speak to your doctor.
What was the grossest thing about your pregnancy or labour?