Many mums will happily admit to having enjoyed their labours. But while our bodies are geared to helping us through childbirth, even before that first contraction when our hormones soften the ligaments in the pelvis the impact, both physical and mental, can be huge. Factor in a reluctance to often talk openly about what actually happens during and after birth -and no wonder many mums-to-be have developed very specific concerns.
Also known as a surgical cut to the perineum, it’s done in an emergency to quicken the birth. Healing times vary in women. The deeper the tear or cut, the longer it may take to heal.
Difficulty enjoying sex after childbirth
Owing to the effects of an episiotomy vaginal tearing, many women understandably are concerned their sex lives will change. New mums should speak to their obstetrician, or GP in the six weeks after childbirth if they are experiencing problems in this area.
A stillbirth is when a baby dies 24 weeks or more into the pregnancy, but before birth.
Accidental bowel bladder movement
Although this may seem like a huge indignity, it’s a completely normal thing to do when pushing out a baby, that whatever is in front of the babies head will need to come out first. Additionally, epidurals also have an impact on the bladder and women may also experience difficulty in recognising they need to empty their bladder, so need to be reminded.
In most cases, it takes longer to recover from a caesarean section than it does after a vaginal delivery. You should update your doctor if you suffer from symptoms such as severe pain, leaking urine, excessive vaginal bleeding, swelling or pain in your calf.
Meconium is a soft greenish black sticky substance that sits in the baby’s gut. It is there from about 16 weeks’ gestation and is made up of matter the foetus has swallowed and generated in the intestine during pregnancy.Nothing can be done about it being present ,but do inform your doctor about any concerns. If the foetus becomes distressed in labour it will open its bowels and pass meconium which will stain the normally clear or straw coloured liquor (amniotic fluid) green or black.
Cord around the baby’s neck
A high percentage of babies have their cords loosely looped about their bodies somewhere. However, in some instances, it can tighten and cause the baby distress. When it gets stuck, an attempt will be made to create a loop of cord to allow delivery of the baby through it. If this is not possible, the cord may be clamped and cut to allow delivery of the rest of the baby. However, this is increasingly not recommended because touching the cord may interfere with its function.