The miracle of birth can seem more like a scene from a science fiction movie than a medical procedure. Sure, the process of labor and delivery is methodical at this point in modern medicine, but giving birth can really rock someone's body from the inside out. The list of plausible side effects of birthing a human range from pooping on a table to orgasming.
"Birth is so individual, there's so much variation in how moms experience birth," says Adena Bargad, PhD, MSN, CNM, assistant professor of nursing and coordinator of women's health subspecialty at Columbia University School of Nursing. "The experience is theirs, so whatever particular feelings, behaviors, and attitudes come — it's all good."
We asked people who see a lot of births on the regular — Ob/Gyns and certified nurse midwives — what new mothers are most surprised about when it comes time for delivery. Here's the good, the bad, the ugly, and the miraculous truth about what happens when you produce a person from your body.
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.