Top 10 Things No One Tells You About Labor and Delivery

Find out what your girlfriends don't tell you about childbirth!
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You've made it through 40 weeks of pregnancy...so now what?

You've been through classes, set up birth plan, and bought the baby gear. You have your go-bag packed and you've set your email to an auto-response. Even if you have everything in place when you feel that first contraction, you may be in for a few surprises!

We talked to women who've been there to find out what they wish someone had told them before they went into labor. Read on to see their top ten labor and delivery secrets!

10
You can plan all you want, but sometimes the baby is in charge.
The most important result is a healthy baby.
The most important result is a healthy baby.
Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Many women commit to a drug-free birth, water birth or personally-created birth plan. Childbirth involves two living creatures, and your baby might have other ideas. The position of your baby, progression of labor and other health factors could require fast action via c-section or other changes to your plan. Remind yourself that the end result - a healthy, happy baby - is the goal, and be open to the entire experience.

9
You might throw up.
Vomiting during labor is normal.
Vomiting during labor is normal.
GK Hart/Vicki Hart/Taxi/Getty Images

Wait, isn't all that supposed to be behind you? Well, vomiting during labor is actually normal. Nausea can be caused by pain, anesthesia, or the food your stomach is not digesting during labor.

8
Your teeth may chatter.
Mixing of blood with your baby may cause teeth chattering.
Mixing of blood with your baby may cause teeth chattering.
Jupiterimages/Pixland/Thinkstock

It's caused not by cold, but by incompatible fetal blood crossing into your bloodstream.

7
You pass gas -- sometimes loudly.
Don't worry, doctors, nurses and midwives have seen and heard it all before.
Don't worry, doctors, nurses and midwives have seen and heard it all before.
Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock

There's nothing to be done here - it's caused by pressure in the birth canal. You may even have uncontrolled bowel movements. Also, epidurals can "freeze" the sphincter. Don't worry, doctors, nurses and midwives have seen and heard it all before.

6
You might rip off your clothes.
Hormones are surging during labor.
Hormones are surging during labor.
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Your body is experiencing incredible hormone surges. You might yell, swear or even rip off that nightie that's suddenly unbearably hot, itchy and uncomfortable.

5
You may forget everything your learned in childbirth classes.
Once in labor, you might not remember a great deal of birthing strategies.
Once in labor, you might not remember a great deal of birthing strategies.
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Suddenly, all those breathing exercises and birth planning classes just go out the window. And it's very likely you won't remember a lot of details from the labor and delivery process.

4
You may not fall in love with your baby right away.
Don't worry if you need a little time to adjust to your baby.
Don't worry if you need a little time to adjust to your baby.
Jonathan Nourok/Stone/Getty Images

You've just been through an incredibly painful experience and you might need a little time to recover. Don't worry if you're not overwhelmed with joy immediately. It will come over you soon enough.

3
Your partner might be freaked out.
Dad's might be better off waiting until the little one arrives before going into the delivery room.
Dad's might be better off waiting until the little one arrives before going into the delivery room.
Blend Images/ER Productions Ltd/Getty Images

It's hard to watch someone you love go through violent spasms and scream with pain. In many cases, a friend or family member who's been through it before may be your best bet in the delivery room.

2
You're not done yet.
After delivering your baby, there is more to come.
After delivering your baby, there is more to come.
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Even after you've delivered your baby, and placed him on your breast to begin the latching-on process, you still need to deliver the placenta. You may also need stitches, especially if you've had an episiotomy. You'll also be passing blood clots in the first hours after birth - and these may be as big as tennis balls.

1
Pain doesn't end when baby arrives.
You'll need time to recover after your baby arrives.
You'll need time to recover after your baby arrives.
©iStockphoto.com/molka

Childbirth is major surgery, and your body needs time to recover.

For more information about pregnancy, labor and delivery, see the links on the next page.

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