7 Gross Things That Happen During Labor That Aren't Poop

newborn baby with vernix
iStock.com/RapidEye

Childbirth is equal parts ridiculously beautiful and super freaking weird at the same time. When it comes to delivery, the knowledge that you're probably going to poop copiously in a room full of people is enough keep most women up at night. Fortunately (or not), dropping a number No. 2 is probably low on the list of gross things that happen during labor. In fact, here are 7 of those things. 

  • When your mucus plug finally lets itself be known

    Like pretty much every other gross thing on this list, your mucus plug exists for the sole reason of protecting your precious bundle of love. It builds up at your uterus over the course of your pregnancy and is pushed down into the vagina during dilation. The end result is a thick, bloody, mucusy wad of yuck that looks like something straight out of a horror movie.  

  • Advertisement
  • Puking your brains out

    Nausea and labor go together like peanut butter and jelly. This is especially true that the beginning of labor and directly after. The combination of heightened senses, meds, and that general icky feeling all culminate to make you spew like you've never spewed before. 

  • The bursting of the amniotic sac

    Ah, the amniotic sac. That beautiful little pouch that keeps your baby safe and sound while inside you. No one can predict what's going to happen when it bursts. Whether you're going to get a nice little trickle or a gushing waterfall of fluid, you might need to keep a mop handy just in case you're lucky enough to get the latter.

  • That white stuff your baby comes out covered in

    In films and television, babies come out all soft, cuddly, and sweet. In reality, they're covered with stuff like vernix, a "waxy cheese-like" substance that helps protect babies' skin while they're inside of the womb. It is almost indistinguishable from cottage cheese and there's no way anyone would willingly touch something covered in the stuff unless it came from them. Even then, it's still pretty gross. 

  • The good ol' afterbirth

    After it's done providing your baby with all of the oxygen and nutrients she needs to stay healthy, that placenta is 100 percent ready to evacuate the premises. After passing it through your vagina much the same way many of you did with your child, you get to behold the terrifying, bloody organ in all of its gross glory. 

  • Your uterus prolapsing and completely destroying your ability to control your pee

    Sure, uterine prolapse definitely doesn't happen to all women but when it does, it's about just as fun as it sounds. Labor causes a weakening of the muscles in the vagina and cervix, and for some, this weakening can cause the uterus to prolapse, which can lead to super-fun complications like incontinence. This is where kegels tend to come in handy. 

  • That thing sticking our of your baby's belly button

    Once labor is done you're supposed to be able hold and cuddle the baby you worked so hard to make. And you can definitely do that, you just have to get used to being near the dried, shriveled, disgusting umbilical cord stump first! 

pregnant life postpartum recovery