Fair   39.0F  |  Forecast »

Gross Things About Pregnancy and Childbirth No One Tells You

Nausea, discharge and poop – there are tons of strange things that happen to your body before and after pregnancy. Find out what to expect.

When I got home from the hospital after giving birth to my son, I sent my husband to the drugstore for some emergency supplies. I'll never forget his shopping list: Preparation H, Metamucil, nursing pads and a giant box of maxis.

I didn't feel at all bad.

After all I'd just been through, and everything he'd witnessed along the way, we had no shame left.

Yes, pregnancy and childbirth are miraculous, joyous and awe-inspiring. But they're also sometimes downright disgusting.

Even with all of today's TMI, there are some topics so awkward, you might not hear about them from your OB-GYN – let alone bestie.

Just so you're prepared, we're dishing the details.


"Morning sickness" doesn't begin to describe how foul the feeling can be. Not to mention the fact that it can last all day. The churning in your stomach may get so bad you'll dream of throwing up for relief.

Smells that never bothered you can cause revulsion. Foods you once loved can make you gag.

Eating is the only thing that makes you feel better, yet it seems everything that goes down is destined to come right back up.

The good news is, it usually passes by the first trimester – and you can indulge your cravings in relative peace.


How, you might ask, could someone have a false alarm that her water has broken? Well, among the many things those pregnancy hormones do (linea negra anyone?), they stoke vaginal discharge to a crescendo that can actually cause you to mistake it for your amniotic sac rupturing – or, at the least, a small accident.

And that's not all. In addition to peeing at all hours of the night, you may drool on your pillow more. Cute, huh? And those nursing pads I mentioned … trust me, you'll need them.

Persistent period

Think your normal cycle was bad? Stock up on some super-sized panty liners. Many women are ill-prepared for the flow of post-birth "lochia."

The discharge can last up to 10 weeks after delivery, changing color like a kaleidoscope.

The first phase, red due to the large amount of blood it contains, lasts a few days. Then: a thinner, brownish-pink substance that can persist up to 10 days. Finally, it fades to a white or light yellow flow that tapers over time.

You're eliminating by-products of pregnancy, and it's totally normal. In fact, variations can point to postpartum hemorrhaging or genital lesions, which you should immediately report to your doctor.

Push poops

In the old days, women had to worry about surviving childbirth. Today, our No. 1 fear often involves "No. 2." Yes: Most women indeed poop in the delivery room. The muscles required to bear down and get that baby out are the same ones we use to go to the bathroom.

It seems horrifying, but in reality your doctor, nurse and midwife have seen it all before. They're so expert at whisking it away you probably won't be aware it happened.

So many other things in the delivery room strip you of all dignity, it's really the least of your worries.

Plus, you're likely to be constipated for a bit after you bring baby home, so might as well give in.

First fecals

Speaking of poop, you're about to be become obsessed with it. Your newborn's bundles of joy are going to fill the diaper, spill out of the pail and become the topic of everyday dinner conversation. Believe it.

And it's not pretty.

Your newborn's first nappy will introduce you to meconium, a greenish-black tar-like substance (waste products your baby collected in utero). In two to four days, you'll notice "transitional" stools that fade to green and are a bit less sticky.

Next, breast-fed babies produce mustard yellow, green or brown stools that can be seedy or pasty – at least five times a day. Formula-fed? It's browner and thicker, arriving three to four times a day.

It's gnarly, but your baby's bowel movements give you a window into his health and well-being. Things that were unimaginable before you became a parent suddenly seem, well, natural.

Before you know it you'll be hoisting that little baby's butt up to your nose and giving it a sniff.


Add your comment:

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Popcorn Treats for Halloween

Popcorn Treats for Halloween

Get popping with these kooky recipe ideas that are perfect for All Hallows' Eve. Learn how to make a white chocolate popcorn skull, popcorn balls and more!

Popsicle Stick Spider Web Craft with Pompom Spider

Popsicle Stick Spider Web Craft with Pompom Spider

Classic DIY materials are a cinch to transform into a darling Halloween decoration! Have kids get involved with this simple project for October.

'Breaking Bad' Action Figures Pulled from Toys R Us Shelves

'Breaking Bad' Action Figures Pulled from Toys R Us Shelves

After a Florida mom petitioned on Change.org for the toy store chain to stop selling the dolls from the AMC TV show, the toy store has agreed.

Starry Nights and Snowman Fun: Winter Crafts with Olaf, More

Starry Nights and Snowman Fun: Winter Crafts with Olaf, More

Turn a white sock or marshmallows into everyone's favorite goofball from Frozen or gear up for snowy evenings with a constellation lightbox and table runner.

Kids and Indoor Exercise During Cooler Temperatures

Kids and Indoor Exercise During Cooler Temperatures

Keep your kids off the couch this winter and get them active and healthy with these family-friendly fitness tips from the community program director at the Macomb Family YMCA.

Sage Yet Strange 1920s Baby-Naming Advice

Sage Yet Strange 1920s Baby-Naming Advice

Modern flapper era mamas had plenty of progressive advice. But when it came to baby name tips, it was a mixed bag. (And especially tough for poor Lenora!)

Dessert Pizzas Recipes That Kids Will Love

Dessert Pizzas Recipes That Kids Will Love

Slice into sweetness with these kid-friendly ideas – thanks to Betty Crocker, Taste of Home and more – that transform pizza into something oh-so-sweet!