Loose bowels and broken bones: Women share the unspoken realities of childbirth

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
Mothers from across the globe took to the thread to reveal the unspoken truths of childbirth [Photo: Getty]

We all know that childbirth is no easy feat and a recent Reddit thread has encouraged women to open up about their personal experiences.

From the realities of labour injuries to the likelihood of post-birth sex, these are the unspoken truths we learned:

Your birth plan will probably change

Although not every expectant mother chooses to write a birth plan, some find it comforting to let their doctors and midwives know what they expect to happen. And experienced mothers took to the thread to share their own personal experiences.

One user took to the site to write: “It’s ok to have a ‘birth plan’ but expect that plan may change. Don’t suffer if you need pain killers/epidurals. You may end up in the operating room getting a C-section.”

She continued, “Be vigilant and aware and your own self-advocate but the situation may change instantly and you have to let go and go with the flow.”

It’s completely normal to suffer incontinence following birth

One mother used the thread to address a common side effect of giving birth: “Lots of women wear adult diapers afterwards. It’s more convenient than giant pads and achieves the same thing. Don’t be embarrassed.”

Another user agreed, “This is one of the most underrated pieces of advice! It makes dealing with the aftermath so much easier. I tell my pregnant lady friends this once they are closer to their due date. If you do anything post birth, this is the way to go.”

Birth can loosen your bowels

Giving birth involves a lot of pushing and for some, it can result in the loosening of your bowels. But many took to the Reddit thread to normalise the topic.

One user wrote, “I’m a nurse. Trust me… no one cared about your poop.”

While another shared their own personal experience to make other expectant mothers feel at ease: “I vividly remembered pooping in a nurses hand. Unfortunately I was super constipated the week leading up to it, so the poop just kept coming and coming…”

The Reddit thread encouraged women to speak up about their personal experiences of childbirth [Photo: Getty]

It’s possible that you could even break a bone

One user recalled their mother’s birth and explained that her newborn son broke her coccyx on the way out.

While another took to the thread to write: “Birth injuries. They happen and are not talked about nearly enough. Doctors almost never discuss them. So many things can happen to you as a result of giving birth than can affect sex, continence, etc.”

You might not be able to have sex for a while afterwards

It is recommended to wait at least three weeks after giving birth to have sex with your partner. However, the thread encouraged mothers to speak up about the true realities you can face after birth.

One mother explained: “You can actually develop vaginismus from the trauma to the area. I learned that first hand! I couldn’t have sex for over 18 months after.”


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