Survival Guide for Awkward and Embarassing Birth Moments – Sprigs
Survival Guide for Awkward and Embarassing Birth Moments

Pregnancy

Survival Guide for Awkward and Embarassing Birth Moments

Survival Guide for Awkward and Embarassing Birth Moments

Pregnancy

Survival Guide for Awkward and Embarassing Birth Moments

There are so many things in life we can’t predict or control. ! Childbirth comes with a colorful variety of these things. From pooping yourself during childbirth, tearing your downstairs, your baby getting “stuck”, or your vagina never being the same again, there are some inevitable, uncontrollable, awkward, and uncomfortable birth moments that remind us how little control we have over our bodies. But perhaps the worst thing is that there is no knowing whether or not series of things will happen to you during childbirth. The uncontrollable awkward or horrifying moments of childbirth remind me of a time I was sitting at a red light once, blocked in by other cars on my right and behind me. All of a sudden a car came racing towards me on my left. I couldn’t get out of the way, and I wasn’t sure whether he would hit me or not. Like this car, some events of childbirth look horrifying and scary, you’re anxious but you aren’t sure whether you will even experience the trauma. The oncoming car stopped just inches before my vehicle. All this to say, you could poop yourself, but you may not. You might tear but you might not. Can you predict or control the size of your baby? Not really. It’s hard to predict how your sex life might change after childbirth. The ambiguity can be overwhelming, and will only be answered after the birth process ends. However, educating ourselves on these things can put our minds at ease so that instead of feeling anxious about the unknown, awkward, and embarrassing moments, we can feel confidence and peace.

Scared of Tearing During Childbirth?

I remember pushing during my first experience with childbirth. I was laying on my back, after hours of being on pitocin, and was being told when to push as the midwife “gently” pressed on my perineum to help stretch it. With each push, I felt like my vagina was on fire, and at one point near the end I felt a sharp stinging pain in my vagina up toward my pubic bone that I knew immediately was a tear. The recovery was long and awful. I vowed to myself that I would do everything in my power to prevent from tearing with my next birth. I did my research the next time around, and even discussed my fear with my midwife. Throughout my pregnancy I was much more committed with my kegel exercises and pelvic floor tilts, strengthening and toning my pelvic floor muscles. My midwife told me that something they practice during childbirth is a warm ginger compress. Part of my birth kit supply list was washcloths that they would soak in a crock pot with ginger. Using this compress helps reduce inflammation and the warmth helps the tissues to stretch. However, we never used the warm compresses during my second birth because I chose to do a water birth. Information is limited on whether water birthing increases or decreases the risk of tearing. But logic suggests the warmth from the bath would help tissues stretch, and water would help lubricate the area. Another choice that dramatically changed my outcome the second time around was to avoid coached pushing. I didn’t force myself or “bear down” with my second baby. I allowed my body to gently push the baby out. There are even supplements you can take that reduce the risk of tearing. Wheat germ oil is great to take during pregnancy. It can help revitalize the epithelial tissues throughout the body, including your downstairs. Wheat germ oil also provides the body with great nutrients that have shown benefit in reducing the risk of preterm babies. Toward the end of the pregnancy it can of ten times be helpful to give yourself a perineal massage with almond oil. This can help familiarize the tissues with stretching, as well as provide vitamin E and other enriching minerals to the tissue. Lastly, opting for an unmedicated birth can help you feel what’s going on down there and reduce your risk of tearing. All my efforts were successful! Even though my second baby was an entire pound heavier than my first, I was able to deliver without tearing.

Preventing tearing:
Kegels & Pelvis Tilts

Perineum massage: before, not during

Avoid coached pushing

Consider water birth

Ginger compress

Wheat germ oil

Unmedicated birth

What If I Poop?

It’s a horrifying thought really. As if you didn’t have enough of a mess going on down there, and you find out that many women even poop during delivery. I know approaching my birth I was so scared of what my husband would see happen down there. I was nervous enough that the stretching and a baby head popping out would be enough to make him squirm, the thought of pooping myself brought this shame to a whole new level. A few things helped me shift my view about this possibility. The first is birth is amazing! What the woman body can do is incredible, not gross. It is something I have evolved from being ashamed about to being extremely confident in. It’s amazing, beautiful, messy, and when I think of it, I am filled with awe. So if I poop myself, who cares! I’m birthing this human, and that’s beautiful. There are also a few things I learned about pooping during childbirth that actually helped me get a little more comfortable with the idea.

  • 1 Pooping during childbirth means you are using the right muscles. Many professionals will tell you that if you poop during childbirth you are activating the current muscles that help push the baby out.
  • 2 You will feel pressure on your anus. Whether or not you poop, you will feel like you have to because of the baby traveling through the birth canal and applying pressure.
  • 3 Pooping during childbirth exposes your baby to your gut bacteria, aiding in establishing their immune system. Before the baby is born, there is no gut microbiome, and they spend the first weeks of like establishing this. Introducing your baby, to the natural bacteria that accompanies childbirth can help jumpstart that process. 1

What if My Baby is Too Big?

I have a friend who’s OB scheduled a C-section for her, weeks before her baby was due. He defended his decision by telling my friend that she was small, and her baby was looking rather large. When her C-Section was performed her baby was a good size at just over 8 lbs… but not the gigantic baby the doctor made my friend fear she was carrying. All this to say, cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) is actually rare, and in most cases cannot be diagnosed before labor. In other words, you find out when your baby actually isn’t fitting. Here is some comforting truth bombs.

  • 1 Delivering on your hands and knees compared to laying on your back, allows for the pelvis to open 20-30% larger. So change up that birthing position!
  • 2 Remember, your baby’s head is not one bone, but sliding plates that can actually “squish down” during birth. Likewise, your pelvis is made of more than one bone and the joints can stretch. Remaining active during labor can help the pelvis to enlarge nearly a few centimeters.
  • 3 Fetal positioning can also hinder the ability for the baby to descend from the birth canal. Practice pelvic tilts on your hands and knees, or against a wall.

What if I’m Ruined Down There?

When I imagine pushing out a 9 pound baby out of my vagina, I wonder how it will ever be capable of returning to anything close to its pre-birth self. But once again, the human body is amazing. It is capable of incredible things. Things will get stretched, maybe even torn, stitched, and messy, but you will heal. Will it be different? Probably, but far from ruined. I seriously can’t say it enough… the female body is amazing. Here are some reasons your vagina will be salvageable, and sex may be even better than ever.

  • 1 Your body produces estrogen and in large doses at the end of your pregnancy. These hormones help your vagina stretch in ways that are not typically possible.
  • 2 Doing before and after can help the tissues of the perineum be more for delivery and help strengthen them and tighten everything back up. Do those I tried to do 10 every time I peed, and peeing is a frequent occurrence during pregnancy.
  • 3 Birth makes you more sexy. Many couples report an even better sexual bond after having a baby. It is womanly to make babies, point blank.

If you do suffer from some vagina trauma (which we all do to some extent - pushing babies out is no joke) here are some tips for speeding up recovery.

Padsicles (frozen pads)

Witch hazel pads

Eat well, lots of fiber

Bottle

Childbirth comes with its inevitable awkward and embarrassing moments that can put us in a state of fear. doesn’t help anything when it comes to birthing. Fear can cause us to tense muscles that we need to relax. The reality is, there is no need to fear, because you were made for this! Learning the truth things that scare us can make them seem much less intimidating.

Tatiana Schmidt - Holistic Nutritionist

Tatiana Schmidt is a certified Holistic Nutritionist and mama to AJ, a 3 year old boy and Baylin, a 1 year old girl. She has a passion for health, nutrition, and delicious food. You can find her work in the Sprigs Magazine, on the Sprigs Blog, and at tatianaschmidt.com.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.