The truth about giving birth

The six things only mothers will understand about birth

Six things about birth only mums will understand

The 'tongue and cheek' truth about giving birth you will only get when you’ve been there

Birth: The reality

  • What birth is REALLY like

Nothing in the world can prepare you for giving birth, not really. Classes and books can help you get an overview but until you’re there, you won’t really know. 

There are some things about birth you can only understand if you’ve been through it, and even if you told someone who hasn’t, chances are they wouldn’t believe you.

We take a look at some of the things people who haven’t given birth just simply couldn't understand.

What would you add?

1. Plans out the window

Plan, plan and plan again, doesn’t matter, chances are you will be adamant before you give birth classical music will keep you calm, but reality could well see you shouting for silence.

2. Dignity follows plans out the window

Doesn’t matter how much you say you would never do it, there's a fair chance you may poo in front of nurses and doctors, have the worst flatulence of your life, but with everything that will be going on, you probably won’t even care. (Until you have a flashback a few weeks after the event).

3. Nothing can prepare you for the mucus plug

There is no preparation in the world that can prepare you for when you’re mucus plug goes, it really is an experience only someone who has given birth can understand.

4. Many are vocal

Even if in normal life you are one of the quietest, understated people around, you may well find you're not during labour. You could find yourself shouting, screaming and possibly even giving your other half grief for getting you in this situation.

5. ‘After’ birth

‘After’ birth is badly named, it can be more like, ‘another’ birth. As if giving birth to your beautiful new baby isn’t enough, you then have to give birth to your placenta, surely there’s got to be another way?!

6. It’s all worth it

Doesn’t matter how bad a time you have, all the pain, discomfort, worry, loss of dignity, the minute you hold that baby, all is well in the world again and you just know you would go through it all again.

However, finally and in all seriousness, for some women, birth can be frightening. Perhaps the baby’s heartrate dipped, leading to an emergency caesarean section. Maybe you or your baby suffered injuries as the result of the birth. Or maybe you felt that you weren’t well looked after in labour, or you weren’t told what to expect.

The Birth Trauma Association (BTA) is a charity that supports women who suffer birth trauma – a shorthand term for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after birth.  The charity has a team of peer supporters: women who have all experienced traumatic birth themselves and been through a process of recovery. If you’d like to talk to them over email about your experience, please contact them at

Birth: The reality

  • What birth is REALLY like

The truth about giving birth