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Truth About Pregnancy

21 Things About Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the First Days That the Books Leave Out

Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about labor and delivery surprises.


With all the information out there about pregnancy, labor and babies, you would think we would know everything there is to know before we start our parenting journeys.

Related: Would you dare to wash your baby like this? The baby bath video that's awed millions!

But alas, after having three kids of my own, I can tell you that plenty of things surprised me along the way. Here are some examples:

  1. When you are far enough along to get a positive pregnancy test result, you are already four to five weeks pregnant. Maybe everyone knew this except me, but I was like, "Cool! I've already covered some ground here."
  2. Your body produces excess saliva when you're pregnant. I spit it out constantly, in mostly socially acceptable places.
  3. Not all labors are slow. My first baby came fast and hard. Thus, we didn't have much use for the Sex and the City DVD box set my hubby and I planned to watch while I labored.
  4. One word: catheter. Say what? Couldn't someone have tipped me off to the fact that if you elect to get an epidural during your labor, you may need to have a catheter inserted so you don't pee on yourself. I mean, talk about things I'd rather not experience…ever!
  5. You may require stitches if you tear during delivery, or need an episiotomy. Sweet Lord. WHY?! PS — It actually isn't that bad, I promise!
  6. You may not lose ANY weight right after you have a baby. I gave birth to a 6-pounder, and weighed EXACTLY THE SAME at discharge. Grrr.
  7. Contractions don't always stop when you deliver your baby. I experienced afterpains for hours post-birth with my third.
  8. They give you these weird Oompa Loompa pantyhose cutoffs to wear postpartum. You will never feel less sexy.
  9. Baby fingernails are like razor blades.
  10. Babies poop constantly. Seriously their little buns are like a fountain (I apologize for the visual).
  11. Bilirubin is a real word, and refers to pigment levels in your baby's blood. It's common for newborns to have high levels, which leads to jaundice. Having given birth in the South, I thought my nurse was suggesting a baby name: Billy Ruben.
  12. Newborns sleep all the time. I'm talking 20 hours a day.

Here are some more things you may not know about pregnancy, labor and babies, courtesy of our BabyCenter community:

  1. "If you have a son, make sure you point his penis down when changing his diaper." — Meggood
  2. "Bring toothpaste and shampoo to the hospital." — Harmony19
  3. "Bring your own pads. The ones at the hospital are massive." — Mommytolivia (Amen, sister!)
  4. "Newborn poop is like a missile." — awall22
  5. "Poop will come out the back of the diaper." — growingwillow
  6. "If you have a boy, they can and will get erections. Don't freak out, it's normal and not sexual!" — Sundee25
  7. "You bleed for weeks afterward." — bee joyful (Totally shocked me too!)
  8. "You don't need 6,000 little newborn outfits. They won't wear them." — PhotoMom1979
  9. "The best way not to get peed or pooped on is to place the clean diaper under the baby's bottom with dirty diaper still on." — purdy222

Now it's your turn: What surprised you about pregnancy, labor and babies?

More great reads from BabyCenter:
25 celebrity moms and their surprising BFFs
Do you let your child play with toy guns?
Would you let your child play with an anatomically correct doll?
9 back-to-school party ideas

Source: Flickr user a4gpa

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