26/03/2018 11:33 BST | Updated 26/03/2018 11:33 BST

Stacey Solomon Wishes She'd Been Told How Hard Childbirth Can Be. Here's What Else Mums Wish They'd Known

'Is there a secret code among women which means they don’t reveal just how traumatic childbirth can be?'

Stacey Solomon wishes she had been told how “traumatic” childbirth can be before she welcomed her first son, Zachary, when she was 18. 

Writing in her column in The Sun, the mum-of-two said she felt like the real details of how difficult it can be were kept from her. She had asked women she knew who had given birth to tell her about their experiences while she was pregnant, but she said most kept their accounts “quite vague”.

Solomon felt that because of this, she was not mentally prepared for what was about to come. “Looking back, I wish I had known a little more about how hard and intense childbirth can be for some, because I went in blind,” she wrote. “But it turned out to be one of the most horrendous experiences of my life.”

Solomon revealed she had a “gruelling 72 hours” labour with Zachary. She had to be cut and the staff had to help “pull him out”. “I was exhausted and sick and just wanted it all to end,” she wrote. But she also wrote that it was the best day of her life.

Solomon isn’t the only mum who wishes she knew more before giving birth to her first child. Jenny Kovacs, now 45, from London, was pregnant with twins when she was 38. She went into labour prematurely just half-way through her pregnancy and her twins did not survive. She told HuffPost UK she wishes she had been told about the possibility of premature birth, admitting it “wasn’t even on her radar”. She said it is important for people to speak out about premature birth as it shouldn’t be a “taboo” subject.

'You set yourself up for failure if you try to 'control' everything. Sometimes you just need to go with the flow."Mum Nikki Burch

Mum Sandy Hiscock said on Facebook she wished she had known that not everything will go to plan. “I wish I knew there was a possibility there wouldn’t be an anaesthetist on duty when you need an epidural,” she wrote. “I was 11 days overdue and things were progressing slowly. I had asked to have an epidural as the gas and air wasn’t having much effect, only to be told there wasn’t an anaesthetist available. So, eventually my daughter arrived at nearly 10lbs. Suffice to say I had an episiotomy [surgical cut], as before, but needed two attempts to stitch up due to heavy bleeding.”

And mum Nikki Burch agreed that understanding it won’t always be possible to follow is something she wished she had known when she first became pregnant. Burch said before she gave birth she totally fixated on “how it comes out”.

“Don’t,” she wrote. “I ended up having placenta previa [placenta is lying unusually low in your uterus], so had to have a planned caesarean at 38 weeks. In fact of my NCT group, only one of the five of us had anything close to the birth that they’d planned. Parenting comes with untold guilt from the minute you find out you’re pregnant and you set yourself up for failure if you try to ‘control’ everything. Sometimes you just need to go with the flow.” 

In a similar vein, mum Anne Jarrett said she also wishes she knew that having a natural birth was not the “be all and end all”. “I wish I knew that I should have just insisted they did the emergency c-section the first time I was whisked down to theatre,” she wrote. 

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