Top 10 Things Googled from the Delivery Room
Congratulations! You’ve got your go-bags packed, a childbirth class behind you and a birth plan devised. But if you’re anything like most pregnant women, you may still find yourself researching up until the moment you meet your little one face to face. Save yourself the hassle by reading up now so you can devote your energies to what really matters during labor. Here are the 10 most common questions Googled from the delivery room.
1. How long will my labor last?
This is the most frequently asked question and it comes with a series of sub-questions. How long does an induction take? How long will it be before pain medication kicks in? How long will I have to push? While it’s said that the average first-time mom labors for about eight hours, no two births are identical (meaning there is no way to truly determine how long your labor will be until it’s actually taken place). Your best bet? Arm yourself with information about the stages of labor so you can better assess where you are in the journey (and rest assured that it will end!).
2. Have I started...and is this normal?
If labor began like it did in the movies, not only would you know when it truly started but everyone around you would too, as you would spontaneously begin to grunt and groan in agony, declaring “The baby’s coming!” Reality is far from the movies, however, and two little words that don’t receive much thought beforehand (can you say “mucus plug”?) become a subject of much inquiry. What it should look like? Has it already passed? Has your water actually broken? If you have any concerns, forgo the web info and consult your doctor or midwife to get her advice.
3. Inductions 101.
Induction medications such as Pitocin and Cirvidil and a Foley bulb likely received a brief overview in your birthing class. However, it’s likely you mentally checked out if you weren’t planning on induction. In the event you find yourself being induced, you will have plenty of questions that can be researched while you wait (and since it’s more than likely you will be in the delivery room before going into labor, you may feel that’s actually a good time to get the 411, stat!).
4. Epidural info.
Whether you plan on using pain medication or not, there are several intricacies you would be wise to know, such as how epidurals are inserted, how long they last, what they feel like and when during labor you should ask for one. Epidurals can be something of a hot topic because some women desire to avoid them and then, in the heat of contractions, change their minds. In any event, doing your own personal research on epidurals before labor can provide greater peace of mind, whether or not you have one.
5. C-section outcomes.
If you were already scheduled for a c-section, then you were likely asked a myriad of questions by your doctor and had some time to prepare, but a mom may feel blindsided if her labor necessitates one and it wasn’t part of her original birth plan. Parents preparing for an unexpected c-section most commonly Googled information about the surgery itself, complications that can arise and recovery—all to best prepare for a much-changed birth experience.
6. What’s going on down there?
Labor can be incredibly painful, but one of the most surprising locations for intense discomfort can be found just south of the birth canal, within the rectal area. Rest assured it is normal to be sore there throughout recovery because of all the extreme pressure and strain that comes from labor and delivery. To your credit, you’ve earned bragging rights when mentioning you worked your rear end off to bring Baby into the world!
7. I think I feel sick.
The ring of fire? Sure, you’ve heard stories about it. But chattering teeth, loose bowels and the urge to throw up? Where was this bit of information when you needed it? If anything feels out of the ordinary, consult your doctor to confirm things are alright, but rest assured there are a multitude of labor sensations that can occur that are all perfectly normal, albeit unpleasant.
8. Episiotomies or tearing?
No one likes the prospect of tearing or cutting in their nether regions, but giving way to fear helps no one. Put down the phone, relax and refuse to allow worst-case scenarios to enter your head. Instead, focus your attention on delivering a healthy baby. And remember, if you do end up tearing or requiring an episiotomy, many a mama has been there, done that and lived to tell the tale. Your OB will help you, and recovery should only last a few weeks.
9. Music and entertainment
When Overland Park mom Emily Beecher showed up for her scheduled c-section during March Madness, she found herself with some spare time in pre-op. “I filled out my NCAA bracket right there while I was waiting!” she says. For others, the only thing of interest is starting a playlist of relaxing music or signing into Netflix. Using the internet as a means to entertain and distract has become the modern day replacement for a focal point during labor.
What comes next? Many moms put so much time and effort into preparing for labor and delivery they feel lacking in information about what to expect afterward. You can brush up on postpartum basics online, but ultimately it’s best to have a personalized plan developed by your OB or midwife based on the type of delivery you had.
Lauren Greenlee’s lightning fast labors left no time to do any additional research during them! She cares for her three young boys and writes from her Olathe home.