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post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok, please give me the real deal. Every picture I've ever seen of a birth, there doesn't seem to be that much icky stuff. Yes, there's some blood, and there's a HUGE placenta, and of course, amniotic fluid, which is clear. Sometimes there's poop or meconium, but that gets cleaned up quickly, and isn't really left around til after the birth... right?

I was telling my friends that I wanted to give birth on my bed, and they all freaked out, saying what a huge mess it was going to be. That after the baby comes out, there's a HUGE gush of blood, and it's so messy, and I'll never want to take care of that after giving birth.

Only one of my friends has ever given birth, and it was in a hospital, unmedicated.

So, is it that messy? Who does the cleanup? No midwife, so that leaves you, or dh, right? Where do you toss it? What do you do with the umbilical cord? You can't just throw it in the garbage, can you? Cause it's biowaste, right?
post #2 of 20
i actually am planning on covering the bed in a plastic sheet, putting on some old sheets (that we are replacing anyway) and that's it. maybe a couple of chux pads for right under me- but since the sheets are old, we'll probably throw it all (plastic, sheets, etc) away.

i actually plan on birthing in the tub (we have a garden tub, which would work nicely), so the big part of the mess will be contained.

as for cleanup, i hope to be able to do it as we go. i'll bring a large trashcan into the bathroom and when disposable stuff gets too wet/bloody/etc, it'll get tossed and the reusable stuff (towels, clothing, etc) will get put in the landry hamper right away. at least, that is what i am planning. at the time, it may all go right out the window.
post #3 of 20
post #4 of 20
dark towels and more dark towels... if you give birth in a tub it's not so much an issue. chux pads are good for if you are going to do it on the bed, but a lot of people feel more comfortable giving birth elsewhere, like the floor next to the bed, or the bathtub. And then it's always good to have plenty of "pads" on hand, weather they are cloth or disposable, cause you definately keep on dripping after the baby comes out (for me it was for 6 weeks+)

what you can do with the cord is keep it. Your child might find it fascinating that at one point all of his/her nourishment was coming through that small cord of fiber. It dries easily if you just rinse it and hang it somewhere not damp. My second DD's cord is still in the freezer, and I'm planning on thawing it at some point and twirling it into a spiral shape to dry like that in honor of the goddess.

I'm weird.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
No, not weird, at all! But I don't want to keep it. I'm going to keep the placenta, and I don't think I need the cord too.

What I was planning on doing is, covering the bed with a plastic sheet, then a cloth sheet, then another plastic sheet, and another cloth seet, and then some chux pads, so I could clear off the bed right away, and have a clean bed. Dark towels are a good idea though.

Seriously though, how much of a mess is there? A lot of blood? Other than blood, and a placenta (and I'm not counting amniotic fluid), what is there?
post #6 of 20
Everyone is different, but I think for most people there's not going to be enough mess to get excited about. Here's how it was for my last birth:

I pooped a bit while pushing, husband wiped. My water broked with a gush during pushing, towels were beneath me, so those we just threw in laundry. Blood came with separation of placenta, I was sitting on towels again, and to be honest there wasn't that much. When the placenta came out I was squatting over a bowl, a lot of blood came out with that (not enough to cover the placenta, but when we lifted the placenta we could see blood pooled in the bottom of the bowl.) Then the blood flow tapered off quite a bit, I continued to sit on towels and then changed to menstrual pads.

We did a wash immediately so blood stains were not a concern, but if blood stains set in, hydrogen peroxide takes care of them beautifully! Just put some in the wash water.

The placenta (and umbilical cord) are still in the freezer, but eventually I'll bury them in the garden. I don't know what the laws are about putting them in the garbage... the hospitals make a big enough deal over it that there probably is some law about it. Seems kind of silly when you think of all the animal meat thrown away...
post #7 of 20
I believe in a normal birth (one that does not have PPH or excessive bleeding), there isn't really that much mess to sneeze at : )

My waters broke once out of the pool and then the babys head moved down to seal the gap, then at some point more waters gushed out while i was in the pool. It was just amniotic fluid.

Then after my daughter was birthed, nothing came out with her. I guess there might have been a drop or two of blood but not enough to stain the pool waters.

After I got out of the pool, there was a seperation gush as my placenta detatched and blood came out at the same time as my placenta. (I did this on some towels) It seemed like a lot but was only about 200ml and after that I just laid down with a towel between my legs to catch whatever blood came out. There really wasn't much at all.

i'd definitely give birth on my bed with a plastic mattress cover and my normal sheets on top with maybe a couple towels under me : )
post #8 of 20
Originally Posted by *Mamajaza*
dark towels and more dark towels
now why for Pete's sake did I buy a ton of white towels, white sheets, white facecloths? I guess I was a glutton for the sight of blood!
Next time, dark towels.
I personally am very much for Peroxide- cleans all sorts of messes, especially bloody ones.
I am a heavy bleeder- so I think I lost a ton of blood with Sydney's birth. We did Chux- but they didn't cut it, for me anyway.
It was a mess- only because I could tell it was a mess against all that friggin' white! Really made it stand out kwim?
I think once you are in the moment, you could better assess what you need as far as cleanup.
Dh did all the cleanup for me.
I am assuming that most mamas after birth are not eager to get up and do a load of laundry?
We tried to plan ahead as far as necessary things, like food and water and clean clothes. We had everything premade and prepared days before the anticipated birth, that way Dh could do the immediate cleanup and the other things were ready and waiting for us.
And I agree that the tub is a great place to birth- a little water goes a long way!
post #9 of 20


I gave birth on my bed with my first (midwife assisted), and it wasn't a problem. I had dh double make the bed, as suggested previously (clean sheets, plastic, then another set of sheets). When my water broke, I put towels under me. I didn't move around much during labor (I loved being in my bed), so we just switched out the towel a couple times. When dd was born, I had a Chux pad underneath, which was switched out as needed. Cleanup was no biggie; we just tossed all the towels and the top sheets into a plastic bag. The disposable items were thrown away, and I was left with a clean bed to sleep in that night. My midwives did take the placenta and cord, though, as we had nowhere to plant it. We didn't do the laundry for a week, since we didn't have a washing machine, so we did have some issues with moldy towels. The sheets and towels, however, didn't have blood stains.
post #10 of 20
It really isn't that messy IME. 1st birth was in the bed and a few chux pads worked fine. Towels and blankets were more cozy to me though, but definitely chux on the bottom to protect the matress. We bought a waterproof matress pad so I don't worry about wet messes too much anymore. 2nd birth was in the H20 and we just used towels and chux pads. I say the best bet is to have the washer free to put all those things in ASAP and get a few bottles of peroxide for the wash and if you drip on the floor. I am a heavy bleeder so I drip going to the bathroom sometimes. You still go kinda often for a few days until the uterus goes down. Probably isn't a bad idea to get a couple of cheap shower cutain liners to have on hand. The blood was kind of a lot but normal for me, some women don't bleed much at all. The placenta can be birthed in the water or if you wantto squat over a bowl or even on a toilet straight into a bowl. Don't worry your husband will be able to handle it because it isn't a big deal.
post #11 of 20

mild rant... grrrr

Persephone~ What a great question! Every one of my girlfriends, even the ones who have had babies (all in the hosp ) have the same reaction! They're more concerned with the mess than with any safety issues. As much as one has to pay for a hospital birth... (assuming one has no or lousy insurance, not in the military or whatever).. I would (might) just hire someone to help out if dh or I didn't want to deal with anything! Hire a CNA for a day or two after the birth to cook and clean! I bet you'd still save money. Sounds to me like it's no big deal, especially if you have time to prepare a little.

What's funny is that I didn't have to deal with any mess personally in the hospital.. didn't even really notice it though I figured it was there. So, WHY are all these ladies so worried about a mess? Why are they uncomfortable with their own bodily fluids? I think it's just another way the "medical establishment" if you will, just tries to create ... fear? disgust? 'laissez faire' inclinations? towards our own bodies... Our own natural functions? Even something as beautiful as our own amazing ability to birth our own children???

Let's see.. my babies health and safety, my health and safety, my peace of mind? or a mess in the bedroom/bathroom? How aggravating that so many women settle for less, without even knowing that's what they're doing.

But, thanks for the info, experienced mamas! Every little bit helps as I build my case for my dh!

post #12 of 20
I just had my baby on Saturday night. There was VERY little mess. Hardly enough to even pay attention to, actually - and I did birth on the bed (hands and knees).
We have 2 diaper pails - one in the bathroom, and one next to the bed. Everything goes in the diaper pail - fluid-soaked diapers/pads (my water broke about 12 hours before labor started), cloth wipes, undies with blood on them, any towels we used that got fluid or blood on them, baby diapers, bloody diapers (what I used for postpartum pads the first day), all of that kind of stuff. And then I washed it all together, just like I do my diapers - one wash cycle on cold with detergent, then one wash on hot with a half-measure of detergent, baking soda, and about 15 drops of lavender oil. Everything came out clean.

I did use chux pads on the bed - I sat on them, kneeled over them, and what have you. If I had known the baby was coming so quickly, I would have put a couple fresh ones down right before pushing....but as it was, he came so fast that he was birthed over a single pretty-soaked chux, and a small puddle of amniotic fluid spashed onto the bedspread - maybe about the size of a dinner plate. (It's still there - I really could care less about a slightly blood-tinged fluid patch on my bed.....but that's just me )
I asked for a fresh bedpad right after he was born, wrapped him up in a couple recieving blankets (which got changed as they got damp, and those went in the diaper pail, too.), and then when I felt the next contraction coming, I asked for a basin to squat over, and birthed the placenta right into that. No fuss, no muss

We kept the placenta in the basin nearby, and cut the cord a few hours later, before going to bed. DH is *supposed* to wrap the placenta in a plastic bag & stash it in the freezer until spring, when we will bury it outside. But we don't have any plastic bags right now, so the whole basin is sitting in the freezer :LOL

I think changing a poopy baby in the middle of the night is tougher to handle than "birth mess"!
post #13 of 20
Congratulations Mama!
I agree - explosive projectile poopies are a chore at 2 am.
Giving birth is not.

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Stell, thanks for sharing. I can't wait to hear your birth story! Amniotic fliuid is not really enough to mention to me, the only thing I even care about is stains. If blood were clear, that wouldn't bother me either. But one of my friends was like, "Oh, but after the baby comes out there is this huge gush of blood, and it'll get over everything"... and I was thinking, ok, neither one of us has given birth, nor have we seen anyone give, birth, but I"m the one obseesed with it (hee), and every picture I've sene there isn't that much. (And I've seen some pretty graphic pictures of birth!)

Thank you all for setting my mind to rest about the mess. (I was really more worried that I had some idealized idea of birth, and that I was in for a rude awakening when I actually do give birth.)
post #15 of 20
Yeah, that "gush of blood" doesn't usually come out right after the baby (when you'd have your hands full, and not be able to catch it on something very well), but with the placenta, which usually takes a bit of time to decide to detach & come out. By then, you usually have enough time to set yourself up on a bedpad or a stack of towels, get a basin ready, and have plenty of help getting yourself moved. In most cases, nobody is gonna get hit with a big gout of blood shooting everywhere

Actually, come to think of it.....I think a lot of birth pictures look bloody only because the doctor cut an episiotomy. Stay intact, and you're likely to see very little blood anywhere.
post #16 of 20
Actually, come to think of it.....I think a lot of birth pictures look bloody only because the doctor cut an episiotomy. Stay intact, and you're likely to see very little blood anywhere.
LOL! That's a very good point there! I've always wondered why the babies came out covered in blood and blood at birthing in all those birth pictures I find on the net - all usually hospital births. I thought there was something weird or fake about that because it didn't seem normal.

I don't know why I didn't think of epistomies before as a reason
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well, it also explains why I DON'T see a lot of blood... I look at pics of home births and UCs.
post #18 of 20
As far as the placenta goes-a homebirthing friend of mine told me that she froze hers and then threw it out on trash day. She is doing an uc this time and I really want to as well, so we have been talking about it alot lately
post #19 of 20
We have had both a hb with a mw and an UC.

With the mw. We put an old shower curtain over the bed and the oldest sheet we had over that. We used what ever towels we had on hand. The mw and her assistants threw things in the wash as needed. I NEVER saw any mess. They put the placenta in a zip lock bag in the freezer for us to decide what to do with it.

With our UC. We used the SAME old sheet whe had used with our last birth. It had had it. We had bought a huge plastic cover for about 4 buck and put that to cover the matress. I bought a dozen towels from Sally's beauty supply, the kind they use in a salon, for about 8 or 9 dollars. We didn't used them all and the ones that did dh tossed along with the sheet. We buried the placenta in the yard. Really the only mess to clean was to wash the scissors we used to cut the cord and the bowl the placenta was in.

IMO birth really isn't that messy if you prepare a little. The only way I could see a mess happening is if you water breaks all over the floor (or where ever you might have to clean it).

Another thing, un related to the mess issues, that my mw did that was nice. Before she pour the herbal bath into the tub she took some out, squirted on some pad and put them in the freezer. They felt really good after the birth when I was a little sore.

post #20 of 20
I forgot to mention that using light color (white) towels and sheets is kinda a good idea. You will be able to see the blood easier and know whether you might be bleeding too much.
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