9 Things Pregnant Women Who Have Given Birth Need You to Know

It’s true that after you give birth, you don’t remember much about the pain. Even though I could tell you that I felt a burning sensation (similar to what many would describe as having a ball of fire go through my birth canal) moments before my newborn baby took her first breathe in the world, I didn’t think much about the pain.

Interestingly, while the science won’t back up the claim that women forget entirely, it does suggest that over time, many women remember labor and birth pain as being less severe than they originally recalled. And I believe it!

With that being said, there are so many thing about giving birth that many women don’t have a clue about.

woman in labor
Credit: Shutterstock/Fabiana Ponzi

Here are 9 things pregnant women who have given birth need you to know.

1. Your Birth Canal Will Never be the Same

Credit: Shutterstock/SweetLeMontea

The birth canal or vagina is 4 to 7 inches long. Vagina length varies from woman to woman, and the vagina expands in length and width during sex, according to health professionals. During childbirth, it stretches to let the baby through, but regains its normal size later. So sorry, mamas: your birth canal will truly never be the same.

2. It Hurts Like a Mother

woman in labor
Credit: Shutterstock/foto593

There is pain and labor does hurt, but it was not as bad as television shows or family and friends made it out to be.

It doesn’t matter if it takes you two hours or 22 hours to give birth: I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman who has said that childbirth was ‘easy’ or ‘painless.’ It’s almost impossible. Take it from me. It hurts like a mother you-know-what.

Yet, no matter what kind of labor your mother or sister had, neither you nor your doctor can predict how long or tough your first delivery will be.

3. Contractions

woman in labor
Credit: Shutterstock/antoniodiaz

They are going to happen whether you are prepared for them or not. For example, they may start off lasting a few seconds and occurring 10 minutes apart, but every hour they get closer and closer together and last longer. On average, a real contraction lasts from 30 seconds to one minute each. Typically, you’ll start off with four to six contractions in one hour.

If you are gauging “real labor” by contractions alone, pay attention to your body and what it’s trying to tell you. The contractions are going to get stronger and come along faster and there will be nothing you can do to avoid it. Real labor will not go away when you lie down or take a walk. In other words, it’s show time, baby.

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