8 Moms On What They Wish They Would Have Known About Giving Birth

Every mom wishes that she could have a Magic 8 Ball to give her all the answers to the questions she has about giving birth — will you poop? will it hurt? will you be one of those mystical creatures who looks fabulous right after pushing a human being out of your body? will it be anything like you think it will be?

Unfortunately, no such magic ball exists, but we do have the next best thing, with some tips from real-life moms on what they wish they would have known about giving birth.

{ MORE: As the Due Date Approaches, Panic Sets In }

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Carly Russell was surprised that even with a midwife, she found herself primarily alone during labor. “Having a midwife, I thought she'd be with me a lot more than she was for my first pregnancy,” she says. “But she didn't even come in the room till very end .. and the nurses only came in to check me … I thought I'd have more help laboring. Everything happened relatively fast though and went perfectly.”

Every woman will want different thing during labor, but talk to your midwife or doctor about what an uncomplicated labor will look like and if the policy is not to spend a lot of time during labor with you, consider hiring a doula. Some insurances will even pay for them!

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“That I have a voice!” says Katy Hilgendorf, “I was 21, delivered at 22, clueless and naive. I never voiced a concern or question and I should have. That was with my oldest, the other two experiences were entirely different.”

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“That when your water breaks, it's not a rush of fluids but it's like a constant trickling,” notes Megan Smith. “I wish I knew this with [my son]!!

{ MORE: Welcoming Babies Around the World: Beautiful Traditions }

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“That you have contractions after labor!” exclaims Megan Bishop.

Yup, and those get worse with each baby, sorry ladies.

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“That it's OK not to want visitors at the hospital the day the baby is born,” says Maggie Payne. “It's exhausting!”

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#ImWithHer on that one, for sure.

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This tip comes new to me and I worked as an OB nurse for years, so it just goes to show you that there always new tips for birth!

“That there is a numbing shot they can give you before they put that huge painful IV in,” says Meg R.

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That you have the right to change nurses!” advises Meagan Jo Harpst. “I had the worst experience with a nurse with my 1st. She was insensitive, rude, and belittled me at my most vulnerable state. My family was disgusted with her demeanor, I was grateful for her experience when things went south. However, with my 2nd I was sure that I would NOT have that experience again and labor and delivery was 10x better!”

And finally …

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This one about sums it up:

“Expect nothing,” Hannah Southerland quips. “It doesn't go the way you think at all.”

What surprised you most about giving birth?

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8 Moms On What They Wish They Would Have Known About Giving Birth

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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