Let’s be honest about it, ladies — having a baby can be a beautiful experience. However, it can also be terrifying and unpredictable. In fact, according to an article published in Psychology Today, Dr. Sharon Dekel’s research shows that somewhere between 4.6 and 6.3 percent of mothers experience postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PP-PTSD).
The good news? Dr. Dekel says that the stress of childbirth mixed with the feeling of shame associated with “not enjoying the birthing experience” can be part of the problem. So, accepting that the roughly 140 billion births worldwide each year (according to The World Bank) are seldom beautiful experiences and preparing yourself for the reality of birth can be key to avoiding PP-PTSD.
Check out these seven things to expect when you give birth in a hospital:
1. You may be sent home.
According to What to Expect, the early stages of labor where you’re having contradictions can last for up to three days, but if there are no changes to your cervix and your contractions are too far apart, you will be sent home to wait until your contractions get stronger and closer together.
Bonus tip: when you’re home, rest as much as possible to prepare for labor, but be sure to be moving around when you’re awake as this will speed up the contractions.
2. Your insurance company might not cover everything.
According to ABC Life, when having a baby in a public hospital in Australia, most of the costs will be covered by Medicare, but it could cost you up to $1,500 out of pocket. Additionally, a private hospital in Australia will cost you anywhere from $2,500 and $20,000 out of pocket and there’s usually a 12-month waiting period for obstetric services with most private insurance plans. It’s important to financially prepare by seeing what Medicare and/or your current health plan will cover. For example, Medicare generally covers C-Sections, but not always under Medicare Part-B.
Consider checking out hospital cover insurance plans now to see what the best option will be for giving birth. There is a lot of financial responsibility that comes with being a new parent, so don’t get in debt over birth alone. By looking into health insurance that covers critical access hospitals, you will have peace of mind and know that you will be helped financially whether you go private or public when choosing a hospital. Plus, when you compare hospital care with iSelect, you can use their variety of tools to check out extra coverage if you require medical insurance to cover things like mental health services, physical therapy, cosmetic surgery, or other types of medical care.
Bonus tip: Considering the possibility of PP-PTSD and/or postpartum depression, having a health plan that covers mental health services could be a smart decision.
3. It’s going to hurt (a lot, probably).
According to What to Expect, there is “no way to predict your pain level.” Be ready to ask for pain medication and discuss these options with your doctor beforehand as some doctors will be unwilling to give you an epidural if you’re too far along in labor.
This is why it can be a good idea to consider a full service hospital in Carthage, NY. Depending on your health insurance plan and your proximity to New York, this Carthage area hospital provides comfortable birthing suites and healthcare providers responsible for winning a “labor and delivery” excellence award in 2018. It seems safe to say that your pain will be managed the best it can be at one of the best full-service hospitals in New York.
4. If you deliver vaginally – you’re probably going to poop.
According to What to Expect, the muscles used to push out your baby are the same muscles you use to have a bowel movement. Therefore, if you’re pushing right, you’re probably going to poop a little bit (in fact, according to What to Expect, most women do).
5. You’ll deliver more than just a baby.
According to What to Expect, some women think once the baby is out, the work is done. But that’s not completely true. After the baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut, you will still need to deliver the placenta. There will be more blood and mild contractions to push out the placenta. While you’re doing this, your baby will be cleaned, checked out, and most likely given a vitamin-k shot.
6. It can be chaotic.
According to Queensland Health, when you’re in the labor ward you should expect to see “busy staff” moving about and assisting pregnant women and their support people (usually a spouse and other family members). If you get lucky and deliver your baby on a “slow day” you may see very few people and get all the attention you want, but that might not happen.
It’s possible that your doctor won’t be with you the whole time because they’re delivering other babies. There is also a possibility that lots of people will be around in the early stages of labor. You may be moved around to an assessment zone, then a birthing suite, and then to a ward (every hospital is a little different).
There could also be multiple machines hooked up to you to monitor your contractions as well as yours and the baby’s heart rate. Every birth is different. The midwives interviewed by Queensland Health recommend doing your own research so you’re prepared for all the possibilities.
7. You may need a Caesarean Section (C-Section).
According to a 2016 study, 18.6 percent of births worldwide were through a C-Section. That means that, depending on where you live and your risk factors, your chances of requiring a C-Section are about 1 in 5. There are numerous complications that can make a C-Section necessary so it’s best to be prepared for that reality and to discuss the possibility with your doctor.