My first job after graduating undergrad was as an editorial assistant at one of the nation’s top pregnancy magazines. Now, I was 22-years-old at the time. Babies were the last thing I wanted or really knew anything about, but oh, trust me, I learned quickly.
Disclaimer: I have never had children. Most women who have been pregnant will tell you it’s the most amazing, beautiful experience of their lives. I’m sure it is. This article is not meant to offend any women who have given birth, because if there is one thing I really learned working at a pregnancy magazine is that mothers going through pregnancy and childbirth are strong, powerful, and amazing women that deserve to be nothing but cherished. But I’m currently on the outside looking in, and I’m sure one day I’ll love every minute of having kids.
Today is not that day.
1. People eat their placenta.
Yes, placenta. Yes, that nasty, goopy thing that falls out of your vag mid-birth. Yes, I get that it’s supposedly chock-full of vitamins and nutrients and super good for you, but good God man, that’s gross. January Jones brought a lot of attention to this craze after she gave birth to her son, Xander Dane, in 2011, but trust me, I will never pop any pills full of placenta. If the hospital or midwife really insists on handing me my placenta after I give birth, I’ll just plant it in my backyard with a tree or something else like other mothers do.
2. You doctor may vacuum your baby right out of you.
If you’ve been pushing your baby out for a while, your doctor may recommend the use of a suction vacuum or forceps to get your baby out safely. While this can relieve you and your baby of unnecessary stress and health complications, I tremble at the thought of a suction vacuum being shoved up my vag and attached to my baby’s head to suck them out. Um, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize my baby was something to GET OFF THE FLOOR.
3. Don’t do sit ups to get your figure back after childbirth.
Trust me. Just don’t. But if you really want an explanation, it’s because you’ve likely developed a gap in your abdominal muscles from having your body expand for nine months. Doing sit ups prematurely can damage or exacerbate that gap leaving you with holes in or other damage to your stomach muscles. Your body needs time to heal from delivery (natural or cesarean) before you try to work those muscles out.
Yeah, I get that this is supposedly one of the great inventions of modern medicine, but OUCH. When I worked at this magazine I learned that a lot of people don’t actually know what an episiotomy is, so I’ll enlighten you: it’s a planned surgical cut of the skin between the vagina and the anus to avoid vaginal tearing mid-birth. Great idea, yes. Necessary, yes. Would I currently rather have my eyes gouged out with rusty sporks than have someone cut me down there? Yes.
5. The husband stitch
So up until the 1950s (although I’ve heard in some cases it still exists today, but I don’t have enough knowledge to make a statement one way or another), if a woman had an episiotomy, her husband could request that when sewing her up, the doctor would prefer what is now referred to as “the husband stitch”. Basically, this meant sewing the woman up to repair all tearing but then unnecessarily sewing part of her vaginal opening closed so that sex would be more pleasurable for her husband. Not a lot is enough to silence my sarcasm, but I’m so disgusted I flat out have nothing witty to add here. Moving on.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful, wonderful, miraculous experience, and I fully support every woman’s right to do so or not to do so. However, in late pregnancy, in preparation for breastfeeding, breasts will produce a substance called colostrum, Colostrum is a yellow-y substance that is packed full of good vitamins and nutrients for your baby, but the thought of my boobs leaking something thick and yellow-y makes me want to hurl.
7. Post-delivery blood clots
A lot of young women think that one fantastic thing about pregnancy is that you don’t have a period for 9 months. However, Mother Nature is a cruel mistress, and after you give birth 9 months worth of periods become the Red Sea with a vengeance. And, to make matters worse, the tide will be accompanied by massive blood clots. However, the nurse may just tell you “Oh, let me know if you pass a blood clot larger than a grapefruit. That’s only when we have to worry.” Oh, so grape-size clots are okay? Apple? Maybe a nice rutabaga? NURSE. THERE’S A MASSIVE HUNK OF BLOOD FALLING OUT OF MY VAG AT RANDOM TIMES A DAY AND YOU’RE TELING ME THE ONLY THING I HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IS THAT DAY’S PRODUCE SELECTION? I’M SO NEVER HAVING KIDS.