Labor & Delivery

Top 10 Things Googled From The Delivery Room

We know you’re going to take the childbirth class, but some things can come up during labor that you’d never expect. And you might just ask your partner to whip out his phone and do a quick search.


We know you’re going to take the childbirth class, but some things can come up during labor that you’d never expect. And you might just ask your partner to whip out his phone and do a quick search.

1. How much longer?

We asked Bumpies to reveal the most probing question they had in the delivery room, and by far, the most popular response was, "How long..." How long will I be in labor? How long will I push? How long do inductions take? Length of time is such a common question because, well, your body and your brain are programmed to get that baby out, and (obviously) because labor hurts, so you'll be feeling pretty impatient. Plus, there's such a wide range of how long things can take, from a few hours to days (sorry!), so there's a good chance it will feel like longer than it's supposed to. Don't worry — it will end. But one thing's for sure: There's no perfect answer in minutes or hours as to when.

2. Induction medications

They may have mentioned induction in your childbirth class, but maybe they glossed over the details — and may not have mentioned things like Pitocin, Cervidil or a foley bulb. So if you find yourself being induced, you're liable to have plenty of last-minute questions — and since you'll probably be in the delivery room before you start to labor, you just might feel of sound enough mind to use your phone to try and answer them. (Read up on inductions here.)

3. Epidural details

Opting for pain meds? There are a lot of intricacies you might only realize while you're experiencing them. Christine M. says she asked, "'Can you dial up the epidural?' Mine only worked on one side. The answer was 'no.'" Erin P. was shocked that getting an epidural meant having a catheter. "I knew nothing about catheters, and was a bit taken aback when I received one," she says. "In retrospect, I would have like to know about that beforehand!" The other reason epidurals can be a hot topic is because some women never expect to get them, then change their mind when they're actually experiencing contractions. So you may want to keep and open mind, and read up on epidurals before labor day, whether you expect to have one or not.

4. Is this normal?

"I Googled 'mucus plug' because mine came out, and I wanted to know if it looked the way it should look," says Bridebylaw. "It did, so everything was fine." It might not be a mucus plug that you're worried about. It might be how your water broke, or that your labor isn't progressing, or that baby's heart rate lowered. And while we're big fans of doing research and gaining knowledge, in most cases, you doctor or midwife will probably come up with a more reliable answer than your phone — this one's personal!

5. C-section scenarios

A mom-to-be who has a planned c-section is sure to have peppered her doctor with questions in advance, but if it's something that comes as a surprise, she might find herself pretty unprepared for the surgery. That's why everyone should do some research. Check out our 10 Things No One Tells You About C-Sections to see some things we bet you didn't know about the procedure.

6. Aches and pains

Labor pains in your thighs? A "ring of fire" as you push? There are some labor sensations that might be total shockers to you — and we can't prepare you for all of them, since every woman experiences labor slightly differently. If anything feels too weird, definitely ask your doctor, "Is this normal?" (It probably is, but it's smart to check.)

7. What's going on with my butt?

Not to totally freak you out or anything, but one of the strangest sensations, say Bumpies, is pain in your, um, rectal area. "It felt like my butt was going to explode," says Anna S. "I asked, 'Are you sure it's not going to explode?'" No, it won't explode, but it might be sore for a while during recovery, due to all the pressure and strain in that area.

8. Music and entertainment 

Surprise, surprise. Some Bumpies found themselves with a little unexpected time on their hands in the delivery room. "The only thing I Googled in labor was Netflix," says Pitterpatter129. "We watched reruns of The Office." And — you never know — even if you don't think you're the kind of mom-to-be who wants calming music during delivery, you could prove yourself wrong. "My husband looked up Vivaldi's Four Seasons for me when I asked him to," says Anna W. "He hates classical music but muscled through it, since I was in labor."

9. Episiotomies and tearing

One of the biggest delivery fears is having any tearing or cutting down there, so it's understandable that you'd be so worried about having either that you'd be feverishly looking them up on your phone. But try to relax, forget about the worst case scenarios, and focus on giving birth to a healthy baby. Remember: Plenty of moms have had episiotomies and stitches and lived to tell about them. And if you happen to be one of them, your OB will help you through, and you should heal within a few weeks.

10. What happens after… ?

"I wanted more postpartum info," says Amanda H. Some women are so focused on getting through labor — and so eager to care for baby — that they forget about what they need to do to care for themselves. You can brush up on postpartum care basics, but ultimately, it's important to get personalized advice for you and the kind of birth you have. That's why your OB or midwife, doula or postpartum nurses are the best resources you've got. Don't be afraid to ask them all your most probing questions.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Labor and Delivery Questions — Answered!

Surprising Things That Happen After Delivery

Shocking Confessions From the Delivery Room

By Elena Donovan Mauer