If there’s one thing I’ve learned (after doing birth work for a bunch of years) is that, ladies, y’all need to get to know your vaginas a little bit better. In this post I will share with you 3 things you need to know about your vagina before you give birth.
I could probably come up with a list of 10-20, but 3 seems more manageable, you know? Let’s get started!
3 Things You Need to Know About Your Vagina Before You Give Birth
Without further ado, here are the 3 things you need to know about your vagina before you give birth.
- Your Vagina is Not a Crystal Ball
- Nor is it a Vacuum Cleaner and
- It’s Definitely Not a Steel Pipe
Your Vagina is Not a Crystal Ball
When I was pregnant with my first child, I swore up and down that when I got closer to my due date I was not going to ask to know my dilation in pregnancy. I knew that by having a vaginal check I would be tempted to start prophesying about when my labor would start and what my birth would be like.
For example, if I found out I was dilated to 2 cm at around 38 weeks I could easily think that I would go into labor before I reached 40 weeks.
Of course, I had no self-control and I asked for vaginal checks starting at 35 weeks. I found out I was 2-3 cm dilated and 40% effaced.
I could have easily started stressing and wondering if I would go into labor before my due date. I could have got really self-confident and assumed my labor would be shorter because I was already 1/3 done dilating.
I didn’t do any of those things because I knew that my vagina was not a crystal ball. I repeat. The vagina is not a crystal ball.
Did you know that there is little benefit to receiving a vaginal exam (to find out how far dilated you are) during pregnancy? This is especially the case, if you’re receiving a vaginal exam weekly towards the end of the third trimester. You’re wasting your time and energy.
Most women, when they “get checked” will drive themselves insane with the information they receive (dilation, station and effacement). INSANE! And I’m not exaggerating… have you been on any of the pregnancy forums lately?
This post, called Your Vagina is Not a Crystal Ball, will give you all the information you need to know about what dilation in pregnancy means and about how to keep your head in the game if and when you get a vaginal exam.
Your Vagina is Not a Vacuum Cleaner
Next up, on the list of things you need to know about your vagina before you give birth, is your vagina is not a vacuum cleaner.
Likely, you already know your vagina is not a vacuum cleaner, but hopefully at this point you’re wondering what a vacuum cleaner has to do with giving birth.
Tick tock. Tick tock. That is the sound of the clock ticking after a woman’s water breaks. Tick tock, better start contracting! Tick tock, let’s get that baby delivered!
After a woman’s amniotic sac breaks and fluid leaks, most moms are told they need to have a baby within 24 hours because of the possibility of infection.
Once the amniotic sac/barrier is gone, bacteria can be pushed up past the cervix and that bacteria can sometimes cause infection in mama. However, I have something very important to tell you.
Your vagina is not a vacuum cleaner. I repeat, your vagina is not a vacuum cleaner. Your vagina is not sucking up bacteria. Actually, fluid and mucus is coming down and out of your vagina.
So, you might wonder, how exactly does this bacteria climb up past the cervix?
In a nut shell, infection in labor does not happen because your vagina sucks up bacteria. Head on over to find out what actually causes infection in labor!
Your Vagina is Not a Steel Pipe
Finally, on my super amazing list of things you need to know about your vagina before you give birth, it’s important to know that your vagina is not a steel pipe.
Steel pipes are made of metal (duh) and because of that they do not expand or contract depending on the contents in the pipe. At least, that’s not their design. Plumbers have designed pipes to accommodate water in and waste out. The system works quite well!
The vagina, on the other hand, is much more accommodating – it will hold a tampon, penis and even a baby! The vagina is not a fixed size. Just like a penis, a vagina will change shape, and just like a penis, its integrity is not compromised when doing so.
Head on over here to learn more about how the amazing vagina accommodates a baby at birth!
And because what you’re likely really wanting to know is how to prevent tearing, head on over here to learn about the things you should and shouldn’t do to prevent tearing.
3 Things You Need to Know About Your Vagina Before you Give Birth
To recap, the 3 things you need to know about your vagina before you give birth are:
- Your Vagina is Not a Crystal Ball
- Your Vagina is Not a Vacuum Cleaner
- Your Vagina is Not a Steel Pipe (and you can prevent tearing!)
BONUS! – Your Vagina Doesn’t Have to Be GBS +
Because I had a hard time stopping at 3 things you need to know about your vagina before you give birth, here’s a bonus tidbit for you.
Did you know that there are many natural remedies for group B strep? Once diagnosed GBS+, there are things you can do (like yogurt sex or tea tree oil tampons! lol!) to get rid of the bacteria. Your vagina doesn’t have to be GBS +.
Tuesday 18th of September 2018
I had a t cut c-section my second child how high of a risk is it to have another baby and if I have a vbac birth is it risky
Monday 5th of February 2018
Great article, unfortunate choice of a picture of a woman lying prone. As a childbirth educator, it does women a disservice to perpetuate the tradition of placing womenin a position ensures the convenience of medical personnel and works against gravity and the natural birthing process.
Friday 18th of December 2020
I think you mean supine?
Friday 16th of December 2016
This is my second pregnancy and I'm on medications I wish I didn't have to take. I have an under active thyroid and I also have epilepsy. Due to the epilepsy my pregnancy is considered high risk and I have to see a Perinatologist because I am told that my anti convulsent could cause nuero conditions and spinal conditions such as spina bifida. This naturally has raised my anxiety level during this pregnancy. Is there any natural remedy I can use take or even breathing exercises that can calm me and help my mind not to get the better of me. I also suffer from chronic pain and have been off my meds for pain for awhile and it's almost unabarable to tolerate my pain. Is there any advice on how I could manage it better.