Maybe you’re asking this question because you’re planning a homebirth and want to know if your carpets will ever be the same afterward. Maybe you are planning to birth away from home and just want to know how much bodily fluid to expect from the situation. Maybe you’re worried about the ick-factor of birth.
I got you covered like the chux pads that will be covering your bed. 😉
First the short answer: As with many things in birth, it depends and it’s different for everyone. There will definitely be some fluids flowing though, so read on to find out details.
What we need to start with is an understanding of what kinds of messes we might be looking at with birth. Basically, if it’s a fluid that can naturally flow out of a person, there’s a good chance it’ll show up during labor and birth.
So yes, there may be blood, amniotic fluid, vomit, tears, saliva, poop, and pee. Though you’ll likely spend a good amount of time on the toilet so that last one usually gets where it needs to go. And if you have an epidural, you’ll get a catheter to take care of it. No guarantees about the rest.
Okay, does that sound dire? I don’t mean it to be, just laying out the possibilities. So many things can happen in birth!
So you can be pretty sure you’ll get some amniotic fluid coming at some point since the amniotic sac has got to open to let baby out. (Though interesting fact: this can happen any time from before labor begins until after baby is out. Yes, baby can be born with the sac still in tact!)
You can also be sure you’ll see some blood at some point. The quantity may vary, but at the very least you’ll be bleeding to some degree after the baby is out (your care provider will watch how much to make sure it’s normal). This will mainly be coming from the placental site as well as any tears that may have occurred.
The rest may or may not show up. You actually may never know if any poop showed up cause you’ve got a lot going on in that area and your team will just quietly clean it up.
Now at this point you may be like “OKAY MOLLY, ENOUGH WITH THE FLUIDS, I JUST WANT TO KNOW IF MY ROOM WILL LOOK LIKE A HORROR MOVIE.” Right, yes. I like having all the info, so I figure everyone else does too. 🙂
Let me give you the answer to that burning question:
Birth involves messes, but will not make your room a nightmare to clean.
Want to know why?
Cause your team has systems and handy tools in place and they are absolute masters at containing messes! They have plenty of chux pads (big, disposable mats, absorbent on the top, waterproof on the bottom – see the first photo above), garbage cans, bowls or vomit bags at the ready, and are quick with a tissue. They’ve seen it all before and are ready for the mess before it even arrives! They’ll even get you set up with fresh sheets after the birth. And if you’re at home they’ll probably even start a load of laundry for you!
If you want to see some of my favorite midwives and birth centers who are simply THE BEST at taking care of their clients, go visit my resource page!