Midwife answers 4 'awkward' yet common childbirth questions

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Childbirth is a lot of things. Joyful, heartbreaking, scary, messy and painful to name just a few.

So it makes sense that mums-to-be (and their partners) might have an endless list of questions for their doctor, nurse or midwife.

A young Asian mother lays in her hospital bed in the delivery room after giving birth to her son.  She has him laying on her chest as the share an intimate moment together and some skin-to-skin time.  She is wearing a blue hospital gown and has a white blanket draped over the newborn.
A midwife has answered those 'awkward' childbirth and pregnancy questions you're too afraid to ask. Photo: Getty Images.

Some questions are easier to ask than others, however, meaning those more personal queries — such as 'Will sex while pregnant hurt the baby?' — go unanswered due to fear of awkwardness or embarrassment.

But as Elizabeth from the Australian College of Midwives tells Yahoo Lifestyle, no question is too awkward or embarrassing when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth. They've seen and heard it all before, and their main focus is the health and safety of mums and babies, anyway.

To mark the Australian College of Midwives' recent endorsement of the Cetaphil Baby Range, Elizabeth has answered four frequently asked questions about hair removal 'down there' and — yes, you guessed it — poo.

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Will having intercourse "damage" my baby?

Many couples are afraid to have sex during their pregnancy as they believe having intercourse will hurt their baby or they believe when the woman has an orgasm the baby will be deprived of oxygen.

Intercourse is absolutely safe during pregnancy and we highly encourage it as long as your membranes haven’t ruptured or there is no bleeding.

A female midwife checking the progress of a woman's pregnancy using a stethoscope on her belly
Midwives are there to help - not judge. Photo: Getty Images.

It is now more liberating and more enjoyable to have sex, as there is no longer the pressure of the baby-making process or the pressure of not accidentally falling pregnant. We want to ensure that oxytocin (the love hormone) and endorphins (the happy hormone) are always at their peak making you feel more relaxed and less stressed.

Do all vaginas look the same? 

Every woman is different and there are so many contributing factors such as body size; integrity of the skin around the perineum and size of the baby.

Remember, we spend a lot of our time looking at all different types of vulvas, so we are never comparing — we’re too busy thinking about the safety of baby and mum.

Will I poo whilst giving birth?

A lot of women have heard that during the pushing phase women poop. Most women will poop whilst they are pushing as the same muscles to poo are the same muscles that push the baby out.

That is why as midwives WE LOVE THE POO!!! We know the baby is on the way, so don’t worry! Your baby will not be born with poo on its face. It’s all in a day’s work for a midwife, who will clean it up with some gauze or a clean towel.

Should I shave before I have my appointment? 

The fact is, midwives are not bothered one way or another. Our priority is to facilitate a safe birth for both mother and child.

We aren’t worried or thinking about the presentation of the women’s genitals. So don’t worry about being judged.

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