Birth & Delivery

Too embarrassed to ask these things about birth? Don’t be

Emma Harpham  |  22 Aug 2023


Your pregnancy and birth questions, with Dr Samantha Pfeifer

From unexpected bodily changes like bloating, gas, and vulva swelling, to the myths and realities of pooping during birth and the vulnerability of being naked in front of medical professionals, we’re here to provide a safe space to answer the pregnancy and birth questions that are often side-stepped. And no, we’re not shying away from addressing the postpartum chapter either, delving into the intricacies of sex after birth!

Based in New York at the world-renowned Weill Cornell fertility institute, Dr Samantha Pfeifer is a board-certified obstetrician/gynaecologist and reproductive endocrinologist with over 30 years of experience in the field, specialising in reproductive surgery, as well as fertility preservation and IVF.⁠

Watch as we dive into those “too embarrassed to ask” questions, and get her expert insight.

Does pregnancy cause bloating and gas?⁠

Well as it turns out, it’s a lot to do with variations in your gut motility… and eating more of certain healthy foods!

Watch as Dr Pfeifer explains why you might be feeling distended, even early on in your pregnancy.⁠⁠

Does pregnancy cause vulva swelling?⁠

“It can be similar to what you experience in your legs if you cross your legs a lot and get varicose veins.”⁠

Watch Dr Pfeifer explain why you might be at risk of experiencing this troubling but oh-so-common symptom, as your pregnancy progresses.⁠

Does everyone poop during birth?⁠

“It’s not uncommon, and it’s not a bad thing!”⁠

Pooping when you’re in giving birth can feel like an awkward prospect, but did you know it’s actually considered a positive sign that things are progressing normally?⁠

Do I need to be naked to give birth? ⁠

“It depends on the method of delivery, whether it’s a more natural birth, as some people may feel that may be more appropriate, but in a hospital setting, typically we cover the top half of a woman so that she doesn’t feel exposed in front of a lot of people”⁠

Will my partner go off sex if they watch me give birth from the ‘business end’? ⁠

“It can be a shock initially, especially for people who’ve never experienced that before… but pretty soon after that it’s like wow, this is amazing!” ⁠

Worrying that your partner might view you differently after supporting you through your birth is normal. Watch as Dr Pfeifer explains why this is not usually the case.

Will sex feel different after I give birth?⁠

It is no secret that your vagina and the surrounding area can feel sore after a vaginal delivery. But what does this mean for your sex life? And what if you’ve had a c-section? If you’re wondering will sex feel different after having a baby, watch as Dr. Pfeifer lifts the lid on postpartum intimacy and how “different” doesn’t have to mean worse.⁠

When it comes to your fertility, pregnancy and birth, there’s no such thing as a silly question.⁠

The experience can bring a rollercoaster of physical changes and emotions, and we’re here to assure you that the things you might feel hesitant to discuss are more common than you think.

Got more questions? Book a personal consultation with Dr Pfeifer at Weill Cornell fertility institute.

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