Instagram | @triplets_of_copenhagen

11+ Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby

emily.mcwilliams 23 Nov 2018

If you're currently pregnant, please don't freak out after reading this article.

Your life is about to go through some amazing changes, but I won't lie, some of these facts sound like they are straight out of a sci-fi novel.

If you are a new or seasoned parent, you might read these with nostalgia, or like me, learn something new.

That's right, I have a child and still learned something new about pregnancy and giving birth.

Ultrasounds are not like how they are depicted in movies.

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First of all, you don't get an ultrasound at every prenatal appointment.

Two is common for a normal pregnancy, and only if your doctor needs to check up on something do you get more.

Second, you have to drink a lot of water before your ultrasound. No one told me this.

I almost peed my pants for my first ultrasound because I drank a little too much water, but a full bladder makes it easier to see the baby.

So, yeah, it's not quite that magical movie moment that everyone thinks it will be.

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Babies can breastfeed for hours.

Instagram | @michacsantos

It's called cluster feeding, and honestly, why didn't anyone tell me about this?

It is extremely common and normal for newborns to have a period every day where they want all their feedings close together.

Like, we're talking four-six hours of nursing with a nap or two thrown in.

The reason for this phenomenon is because your baby is trying to help you build up your milk supply.

Babies also nurse for comfort, so while they are still adjusting to the world, they need that extra reassurance.

Nursing mamas, my best advice is to get comfy on the couch and beef up your Netflix queue.

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Mamas, you'll want some diapers for yourself after giving birth.

Instagram | @chrissyteigen

The first few days and weeks after giving birth, new moms will sport some oh-so-stylish mesh underwear.

Okay, so it's really not stylish but it is very practical.

After having a baby, a woman's body will continue to discharge blood and other fluids. This discharge is called lochia.

Mesh underwear, pads, or even adult diapers are all used to catch lochia.

I will be honest and say I went with the adult diapers the first few days so I could toss them and not worry about any stains.

Think of it as twinning with your newborn babe. Matchy-matchy!

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It's common to have pretty bad BO when you're postpartum.

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Remember when we talked about all those extra fluids a woman gains during her pregnancy? Well, once the baby is born, they have to go somewhere.

Excessive sweating very common in the first few weeks after giving birth to get rid of all the fluids.

Also, with your hormone levels still adjusting, it is likely that your sweat might be a little smellier than it was before you had that bundle of joy.

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Women become more flexible during pregnancy.

Flickr | AkilahWasem

As a woman's body prepares for birth, it begins to generate more of the hormone, relaxin.

As its name implies, this hormone loosens ligaments, adding a bit more flexibility that will be needed during the birth.

This sounds great, right? It is, but if you are pregnant, be aware of your new, flexible body. It can be easier to pull a muscle, so be mindful when working out or stretching.

Another unfortunate side-effect of the increase in relaxin is that it can cause charley horses. I had them all the time and they are the worrrrrst.

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Your hair will go through drastic changes.

Instagram | @teena.lee

Many women report thicker, shinier hair during pregnancy.

Thanks to the increased levels of estrogen, the hair's growth phase is extended.

This means that you aren't shedding as much hair as you normally do, which is why the hair looks thicker.

When you're postpartum and your hormone levels begin to return to normal, it's time for all that hair to finally shed.

It can be a little scary to see so much hair come out at once, but this hair was going to fall out eventually. It just hung around a little longer than normal.

After this post-partum shed, you'll start sprouting cute little baby hairs.

Did I say cute? I meant annoying. Oh well, nothing a hairband can't fix.

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A typical uterus expands to 500 times its regular size.

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Before pregnancy, the uterus is roughly the size of an orange.

By the end of the third trimester, it'll have expanded to the size of a watermelon to accommodate the baby and placenta.

I'm not sure why we use fruit when discussing uterus sizes, but at least it provides a good frame of reference, right?

Back to the sheer size, it is really amazing if you think about it.

The uterus will slowly shrink back down to its original size after birth, but it takes a few weeks.

My advice? Continue wearing your maternity pants for the first few weeks postpartum. They are so comfy.

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Breastmilk can get backed-up and cause clogs.

Instagram | @lucamilky

Here's another fact that absolutely no one told me before I had my son.

Especially in the early months of breastfeeding, it is very important to feed or pump regularly. If you do not express the milk when you need to, it can literally clog up your ducts.

A clog feels like a hard lump and can be uncomfortable. If the duct stays clogged for too long, it can also lead to an infection called mastitis which needs to be cured with antibiotics.

So nurse and pump when you need to, and be sure to invest in a few wire-free nursing bras.

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Babies pee in the womb.

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YUP. THIS IS NEWS TO ME AND I HAVE A BABY.

So apparently, babies start peeing around 10 weeks gestation and that urine goes right into the amniotic fluid. They also drink that amniotic fluid. Weird, right?

Besides essentially drinking their own pee, the taste of amniotic fluid will change depending on the mother's diet.

For the record, babies in the womb prefer the taste of sweet things.

There you have it, folks. Life is such a confusing, beautiful mystery.

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Ladies, meet the peri bottle.

Instagram | @annagreeno

Along with your mesh underwear, it's likely that after giving birth you'll be handed another fun mom tool.

It's called a peri bottle and you get to use it to splash warm water on your fatigued lady parts when you pee.

It sounds odd, but soon you'll think of this bottle as a lifesaver. I think of it as my mom trophy.

Most women experience some tearing during childbirth, so the peri bottle makes things more comfortable in the days following.

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Pregnancy brain is kind of a real thing.

GIPHY | Saturday Night Live

You know the stereotype of the forgetful pregnant woman? There is a bit of truth to that, but not for the reasons you think.

Most researchers believe troubles with memory or cognition stem from tiredness and lack of sleep.

This makes so much sense to me. Growing a person is hard work. Obviously, the mom is tired! Duh.

Also, it is really hard to get a good night's sleep when a small person who lives inside you is kicking you internally all hours of the night. Just sayin'.

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Nursing moms can sense when their baby needs food, even when they are apart.

Instagram | @gabunion

The bond between mom and baby is intense. Many moms report feeling the urge to nurse if they hear a baby cry, even if it isn't their own child crying.

Even more amazing (or strange depending on how you look at it), many moms will feel the urge to nurse or sense that their baby is hungry even if they aren't in the same room.

Cool, right? It's like they are connected telepathically.

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Breast milk isn't just for feeding the baby!

Instagram | @jessicruickshank

Breast milk is like super milk. Not only does it provide important nutrients and antibodies to the baby, but it can be used to clear up a number of other common conditions.

Breast milk can be used to treat diaper rashes, which are never fun for a baby.

You can also try dabbing a bit of breast milk in the corner of a baby's eyes to clear up a clogged tear duct which can cause gross eye boogers.

Super milk saves the day!

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A new mom's brain will completely restructure itself.

GIPHY | America's Funniest Home Videos

There is new evidence to suggest that besides all the physical changes a woman goes through during pregnancy and the post-partum period, there are also intense changes happening to her brain as well.

These changes prepare her for the mental and emotional work of responding to the baby's needs.

We often don't pay attention to the emotional and mental stress of becoming a mom, but learning how to be one can feel overwhelming.

If you're a new mom and reading this, know that it is normal to feel stressed or scared.

Your brain is adjusting to this new life, so be kind to yourself!

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The swelling is real.

Instagram | @nannajessen1

Anyone who has ever been pregnant can probably relate to this photo.

Swelling. It happens to your feet, your hands, your face — just about everywhere that you can imagine.

Most pregnant women I know give up on wearing rings and try to live out their third trimester in flip-flops if they can.

The reason for all this swelling is because of the increase in fluids and blood in a pregnant woman's body. The increase in fluids helps soften the body and make room for that growing babe.

The good news is that, thankfully, it is temporary!

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This is what it looks like to be pregnant with triplets.

Instagram | @triplets_of_copenhagen

Maria Jorstad of Copenhagen, Denmark went viral when she shared this selfie of her baby bump in 2018.

Maria was 35 weeks pregnant with her triplets when she took this photo two days before her scheduled C-section.

At the time, her belly weighed nearly 45 pounds. Way to go, Mama.

Maria gave birth to two girls and a boy on September 12, 2018.

She and her husband named them Iben, Agnes, and Filip. So precious! Congrats to Maria and her family!

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