5 Facts about Pregnancy and Birth That Will Blow Your Mind!

The power of your body during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period is nothing short of incredible. Below are my top 5 facts about pregnancy and birth:

1. How is it possible for your baby to fit inside you while pregnant, and still allow you to function?!

Well, when you fall pregnant, your internal organs will move out of the way as your baby grows! Your stomach muscles separate to make room and everything else changes position to clear space. The muscles separating is called diastasis recti and it's a perfectly normal part of pregnancy. In fact, it happens to every pregnant person in the 3rd trimester. Don't worry, your muscles will knit back together after you've had your baby.

Because of your expanding uterus that moves your internal organs to make way for your baby - you may feel a bit more breathless, need a wee more often and not be able to eat a huge amount - but everything does fit, even with a baby in the mix!

pregnant_woman_in_hospital_laying_over_birth_ball

2. How does your baby actually make its way out of you during the final pushing stage of labour?

This one will never cease to amaze me. Your baby’s fontanelles - which are the soft parts of your baby’s skull where the bony plates haven’t come together yet - move and slide over one another, to mould to your baby’s head and facilitate movement through the birth canal. Your pelvis is then able to flex and move as your baby is pushed down and out. Your pelvis will expand by 28% if you are upright, forward and open during labour which essentially means, that your pelvis is above your hips - just avoid laying on your back to enable your hips to open.

As your baby moves down the birth canal their head will start to mould and they will also turn to stop their shoulder getting stuck behind your public bone.

3. What about the substance that coats the umbilical cord? What’s that for?

Wharton’s jelly – this is a gelatinous substance that stops the cord from being able to form a tight knot. It protects the cord in your womb, and insulates it. It’s named after the 17th-century English anatomist who first discovered it, Thomas Wharton.

Wharton's jelly isn't a sure fire way of your umbilical cord not tying in a knot but it makes it much harder for the cord to get tied up and this helps keep your baby safe.

umbilical_cord

4. And as for amniotic fluid…what’s its purpose?

The clear fluid that surrounds your baby in the womb is a shock absorber, keeping them safe. It helps to maintain your baby’s temperature, and gives them space to move around which is important for bone development. Amniotic fluid also helps to compress your baby's lungs which prepares their lungs for the outside world.

5. And last but not least - will you do a poo during labour?!

The simple answer to this question is, yes - probably! Poo is pushed out when your baby’s head is about to be born. It’s nothing to be self-conscious of - trust me, midwives have seen it all! And it’s totally normal. In fact, it’s actually quite an important stage of labour. This is because it passes microbiomes onto your baby, which are healthy bacteria - also found in colostrum - that support your baby’s immune system. This is the human equivalent of mammals licking their newborns - the result is the same, the baby receives immune protection from their parents!

So there you have it, my top facts about your amazing body and it's ability to keep your baby safe during pregnancy and birth. For more information on topics like this be sure to check out our Instagram pageYouTube channel and of course keep reading the butterbean blog!

newborn_baby

5 Facts about Pregnancy and Birth That Will Blow Your Mind!

newborn_baby

The power of your body during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period is nothing short of incredible. Below are my top 5 facts about pregnancy and birth:

1. How is it possible for your baby to fit inside you while pregnant, and still allow you to function?!

Well, when you fall pregnant, your internal organs will move out of the way as your baby grows! Your stomach muscles separate to make room and everything else changes position to clear space. The muscles separating is called diastasis recti and it's a perfectly normal part of pregnancy. In fact, it happens to every pregnant person in the 3rd trimester. Don't worry, your muscles will knit back together after you've had your baby.

Because of your expanding uterus that moves your internal organs to make way for your baby - you may feel a bit more breathless, need a wee more often and not be able to eat a huge amount - but everything does fit, even with a baby in the mix!

pregnant_woman_in_hospital_laying_over_birth_ball

2. How does your baby actually make its way out of you during the final pushing stage of labour?

This one will never cease to amaze me. Your baby’s fontanelles - which are the soft parts of your baby’s skull where the bony plates haven’t come together yet - move and slide over one another, to mould to your baby’s head and facilitate movement through the birth canal. Your pelvis is then able to flex and move as your baby is pushed down and out. Your pelvis will expand by 28% if you are upright, forward and open during labour which essentially means, that your pelvis is above your hips - just avoid laying on your back to enable your hips to open.

As your baby moves down the birth canal their head will start to mould and they will also turn to stop their shoulder getting stuck behind your public bone.

3. What about the substance that coats the umbilical cord? What’s that for?

Wharton’s jelly – this is a gelatinous substance that stops the cord from being able to form a tight knot. It protects the cord in your womb, and insulates it. It’s named after the 17th-century English anatomist who first discovered it, Thomas Wharton.

Wharton's jelly isn't a sure fire way of your umbilical cord not tying in a knot but it makes it much harder for the cord to get tied up and this helps keep your baby safe.

umbilical_cord

4. And as for amniotic fluid…what’s its purpose?

The clear fluid that surrounds your baby in the womb is a shock absorber, keeping them safe. It helps to maintain your baby’s temperature, and gives them space to move around which is important for bone development. Amniotic fluid also helps to compress your baby's lungs which prepares their lungs for the outside world.

5. And last but not least - will you do a poo during labour?!

The simple answer to this question is, yes - probably! Poo is pushed out when your baby’s head is about to be born. It’s nothing to be self-conscious of - trust me, midwives have seen it all! And it’s totally normal. In fact, it’s actually quite an important stage of labour. This is because it passes microbiomes onto your baby, which are healthy bacteria - also found in colostrum - that support your baby’s immune system. This is the human equivalent of mammals licking their newborns - the result is the same, the baby receives immune protection from their parents!

So there you have it, my top facts about your amazing body and it's ability to keep your baby safe during pregnancy and birth. For more information on topics like this be sure to check out our Instagram pageYouTube channel and of course keep reading the butterbean blog!