10 Questions Every Twenty-Something Has About Giving Birth


photo: Skull Island


Whether it’s due to a pregnancy scare or forward-planning, there comes a time in every twenty something’s life when she realizes that she doesn’t know as much as she thought she did about giving birth.

We’ve collected a short list of questions we’ve all asked ourselves about the joys of giving birth…

How much time do I have to get pregnant? 

Fertility starts to drop off around age 30, with rates of pregnancy dropping to 5% by age 40. Although women are having kids later in life due to breakthroughs like IVF, the time when you’re most likely to get pregnant is in your 20s (hey, we’re not advocating for it; don’t shoot the messenger!)

What’s a doolah? 

A doolah is a woman who gives support and advice to a mom-to-be, both during pregnancy and after birth. A doolah is not the same as a midwife (midwives are trained to assist women with childbirth); think of a doolah as a birth coach, and a midwife as a healthcare provider.

Am I supposed to want to film it? 

For some people, the joys of birth are meant to be re-lived. Other people don’t relish the idea of re-watching a close-up of a baby being pushed out of their private parts. To each her own!

WTF is a birth plan? 

A birth plan is literally just a plan for how you want to give birth. Whether that’s in a hospital or in your home, with or without the help of numbing drugs, if you want to induce birth or not…this is just a plan for what you hope happens on the day. (Whether it happens that way or not on the day of is an entirely different story…)

Do I have to eat the placenta? 

NO. God no. If you want to, talk to your doctor. But this is in no way mandatory.

OK, but it’s not going to be that painful, right? Women have been doing this for thousands of years! 

Yeah, doesn’t mean it’s not painful. Lorelai Gilmore likened it to doing the splits on a pile of dynamite…If you’re doing the whole natural birth thing, we can respect that. But don’t expect it to be a walk in the park.

Does the father have to be in the room? 

You don’t have to have anyone in the room that you don’t want to, but when the time comes you might need some support. Whether that’s your man or your mom, tell your doctor who you want in the room beforehand and they’ll make sure your wishes are respected.

What’s a Braxton Hicks? Is that a contraction?

These are pains that happen in the 3rd trimester, that mimic the feeling of contractions (remember the episode of Friends where Rachel thought she was going into labor, but wasn’t? That’s what that was!)

I have to be in labor for HOW long? 

The average time in labor for a first-time mom is eight hours. Even if it’s longer, websites report that it shouldn’t last more than 18 hours. Better strap in…

Will I poop myself? 

The subject we don’t reaaaally want to talk about, but all want to know. The answer is most likely. There’s a simple reason: The very same muscles that you engage when you’re having a bowel movement are the same ones you use when you’re pushing. It’s the perfect recipe for pooping during labor.

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Charlotte Bailey


Charlotte Bailey is an freelance writer living in London. Originally from Canada, she's a word nerd, compulsive list-maker, and lover of novels & film.

  • Camille Beygui

    Having a child is the most frightening thing ever

  • Simi Atanda Lindgren

    So funny I had just written a post recently about the 23 things they don’t tell you about childbirth on http://www.whiitelist.com

  • Amy Spires

    Good grief.

    • Elishia Chave

      That was my exact thought!

  • Elishia Chave

    I’m really hoping that my ‘clock’ kicks in because I have the issue that I want kids… but nothing on the earth can convince me to go through that pain (at the moment)!


  • Khan

    Good thoughts shared! But I think its all about controlling your nerves. I find an other blog i.e., https://www.thepregnancyblogs.com, this blog have most of the information on the topic of pregnancy

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