Embarrassing Questions about Pregnancy, Birth & Afterwards {that no one talks about} -with Sarah McKay


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(With Sarah McKay, Doula, Lactation Consultant, hypnobabies instructor, mama of 6)   Okay let’s face it, at times we all wonder if we’re freaks of nature. We all wonder if what we’re feeling, thinking, doing & sometimes seeing during Pregnancy, Childbirth & after is “normal”. Even if we’re having number 2+, we’re still chartering our ‘mothership’ into foreign lands & unfamiliar territory.  And it feels downright uncomfortable at times. For lots of reasons.

So let’s just keep it real. And thank God for Sarah McKay, cause she’s all about keepin’ it real (she’s really good at making us laugh too :) ). She’s here to answer your most embarrassing questions…things like “what’s up with the vaginal discharge I’m seeing while pregs?” or “Snap..I have hair on my nipples!! Why & what do I do? Help!” 

If you’ve encountered it, we’ve asked it. If we didn’t ask it, ask it for everyone else. Because we’re all wondering the same thing.

life is most full when you give yourself permission to be imperfectTo be honest, you’re gonna wonder if you’re a freak, more than a few times, along your Journey to the Motherland. It’s ok. It’s normal.  We all do. And if you don’t, then congrats mama, you’re the first Preggo in the human race to never feel the slightest bit lost along the journey.  

It’s nice to know you’re not alone.

You’ll Also Learn:

  1. If wearing adult diapers (Depends) are really necessary if your water breaks prior to labor.
  2. What will happen if you poop during childbirth & if there’s anything you can do to prevent it.
  3. Definitely use the “bidet in a bottle” after birth- find out what that is & why you’ll need it.
  4. Why Sarah says “Kegels Now!!” when talking about varts.
  5. There’s so much more….oh so much more
The bummer about not getting questions like these answered…they easily turn into little seeds of fear. Then sprout their ugly little heads like a Chia Pet gone bad (learn how to get rid of fear here). Your amazing day is too important to let fear own any part of you!
By the way, here’s a helpful glossary of Pregnancy, Labor & birth terms {in mom speak} you’ll hear along your amazing journey- you can get smart & ask any questions. 

Who is Sarah McKay?

After chatting with Sarah for 30 minutes, I picked up her killer Southern Accent. Even my husband noticed I had a southern twang. Sarah’s accent hails from Tennessee, in a town just 30 miles from Nashville.  Sarah is the mama to 6, count ‘em, 6 kiddos ranging in ages from 9 to 21 years old.  Sarah is the CEO and Director for 9 Months & Beyond, which helps prepare expectant parents for birth! Sarah is a DONA certified Doula trainer, she is a Hypnobabies certified hypno-doula, oh and did we mention she’s a Lactation specialist too? Yep, this is one busy and energized mama! 

Watch the Interview  [private Premium Membership|Gift-Premium Membership|Coaching|Vault](or download the MP3)

 [/private]What Questions do you Have? Share in the comments below…



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Sarah McKay-Common {Embarrassing} Questions about Pregnancy, Birth & Afterwards.

That No One talks about.


Sarah Blight:               Hi, this is Sarah Blight with Your Baby Booty Interviews. Today we are chatting about the most embarrassing questions that maybe you’ve been dying to know the answers to, but you just can’t bring yourself to ask your healthcare provider about pregnancy, about birth, about afterbirth. So today we’re chatting with Sarah McKay and she’s been with us a couple of times before. She is the CEO and director of 9 Months and Beyond, they have a website, you can see their link below. She’s a doula, a lactation consultant, they do childbirth classes, she’s a hypno- babies instructor, she’s just lost 90 pounds, which is amazing, I just—like I’m so impressed with you and I’m so excited for you, and she has six kids. So this woman has a l—boundless energy.


Sarah McKay:              I don’t know about that.

[Cross talk]

Sarah Blight:               And she is so well—um, she knows a lot about what you’re going through right now, so we’re going to pick her brain. Thanks Sarah for being here again with us.

Sarah McKay:              Thanks!

Sarah Blight:               Okay, so we’re just going delve right into embarrassing questions. We’re going to kind of go from pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and then kind of the after you give birth phase. So the first question is vaginal discharge. Um, for women who many not have had much before, they may be noticing that they have a lot. What is the deal with this whole flood of vaginal discharge when you’re pregnant? Is that normal?

Sarah McKay:              It’s absolutely normal, and it varies from, “Oh, wow! That’s a little more” to “Oh my gosh! What just happened there?”

Sarah Blight:               [Laughter]

Sarah McKay:              Um, it’s a whole shift in hormones. More estrogen equals more discharge, and so it’s completely normal and it does get heavier as the pregnancy progresses.

Sarah Blight:               Oh, and we’re—while we’re on that topic, we were just chatting a couple of seconds ago before I hit record, about the good old mucus plug.


                                    Which I like to call the baby cork, because it’s just mucus plug, it just doesn’t—it’s just one of those things that like, do you really want to say that? So tell us, what is the mucus plug and what does it look like and when are women going to see this thing? Or will they?

Sarah McKay:              They may not see it. Um, some do, and when they do, it’s— can be a little shocking. It’s generally clear, maybe blood tinged even, late, late, late in your pregnancy, usually just even days, maybe weeks before labor starts. Um, it works like a cork, it kind of seals up the opening of the cervix, so that bacteria and other foreign stuff don’t get into the baby. So that’s the whole purpose of it, but as the cervix starts to thin and even dilate or open, getting ready for birth, then it may come out and it may come out all in one piece, it may come out little pieces and bits at a time, and yeah, it does look kind of funky, it’s like a…

Sarah Blight:               You said it looked like someone blew their nose…

Sarah McKay:              Blew their nose! And it can be, just a little bit or it can be just a big chunk of it, and it’s kind of jelly like or even, you know, mucus, that’s what it is, so…

Sarah Blight:               And you were saying to—and I want you to tell about that dad who—you have to tell the mamas.

Sarah McKay:              Uh, I had a dad that emailed or picture mailed me, back before there was iPhones and all that, in the middle of the night actually and said—had taken a picture  and said, “Is this what a mucus plug looks like?”


                                    And because that old story, everybody’s information-ing my phone, I was like, “Um, who is this and where did you find that?”


                                    I have some fun stories.

Sarah Blight:               Your [0:03:50][Phonetic] is really amazing. Okay the next question is, help, I have hair growing on my nipples. What is up with that? My baby is supposed to be feeding on these things. What is going to happen?

Sarah McKay:              Okay, so just like the hair on your head gets thicker generally, thicker, longer, um, you know, all good things  must come to an end and that eventually changes too, but you may notice that you have more hair or thicker hair or a different texture hair growing in all—anywhere on your body, your legs, your arms, whatever, and so it all has to do, again, with the hormones and the extra hormones that are kind of rushing through your body to help grow this baby, and those little hairs that may come up around your nipples, they may fall out. Um, the important things is…

Sarah Blight:               Yeah, go ahead.

Sarah McKay:              Not to use any like depilatories or anything like that on them, and to just let them be, it’s not going to hurt anything.

Sarah Blight:               Can you pluck?

Sarah McKay:              You could. Uh, don’t know that you’d want to [Laughter] Um, if you could stand it, sure, it’s not going to hurt anything. But yeah, I wouldn’t put anything chemical on them for sure.

Sarah Blight:               Okay. Um, what is it about pregnant women and being so gassy? Why is that—I mean even just burping and all that stuff too, what’s up with that?

Sarah McKay:              Again, we have to blame the hormones, we’ve been blaming them since we were teenagers right? Uh, so we get to blame the hormones for that when it’s well, it’s actually increase an increase in progesterone, that causes the digestive track to slow down and so that’s why we end up with a  lot of  gas sitting and building up. Now, yeah, all kinds. [Laughter]


Sarah Blight:               Right, all kinds and—I  mean, and unexpected times and places that you can’t necessarily control, right?

Sarah McKay:              exactly. So, you know, a lot of people will do Tums, or that kind of thing to kind of help curtail that. Also just watching your diet. Things that normally make you gassy, you may want to, you know, avoid those if you’re going to be in a small space with lots of people.


                                    Yeah, it’s normal and it’s just a side effect, again, on the hormones, and it does get better.

Sarah Blight:               Okay. What about sex during pregnancy? I know lots of couples have kind of different thoughts about it, but is the baby—obviously if you look at the anatomy, you know that the baby isn’t going to be poked by the penis entering the vagina. But is the baby affected at all by sex?

Sarah McKay:              No, if at all, um, latter in—late, much later in the pregnancy when we know that orgasm and sex can help stimulate some uterine activity, they may—baby may be getting a little squeezed and getting a little massage of their own there, but that’s about the extent of how the baby’s affected by it. The movement—they’re probably going to like.

Sarah Blight:               Uh-huh.

Sarah McKay:              But yeah, as long as it’s safe, as long as the doctor has said, you know, has not cut you off, then you’re good, you’re good, and we know that actually as we get toward the end of the pregnancy, that this may be a way to avoid an induction.

Sarah Blight:               Get that party started on your own.

Sarah McKay:              Absolutely. Sometimes it takes what got him in to get him out, so…

Sarah Blight:               [Laughter] that’s a good point. Okay, moving on to labor. Um, you know, I think it’s what ten or twelve percent of all labors, you know, start with the water breaking on its own or something like that. But for the women whose water breaks, um, will they have to wear an adult diaper while their water is breaking? What goes on when your water—what do you do with this water that’s breaking?

Sarah McKay:              Well, you know, a sanitary pad is fine if they’re going to be, you know, just strutting around the house hanging out. Um, most women are not going to, like, go out and do stuff after their water breaks, they’re really kind of reserved that way. There is that old story about —             and it is an old story. A lady who carried around a glass pickle jar, so that when her water broke, she would drop the jar, so that nobody would know that’s what it was, if it broke in public.

Sarah Blight:               [Laughter]

Sarah McKay:              You know, I kind of look and go, “It’s obvious you’re pregnant”. If there is a puddle of water beneath you, most everybody knows what it is. Um, but, you know you also have to remember, it doesn’t always just break with this big gush. It might be just a little trickle. If the baby’s well engaged, then their head kind of acts like a cork, and so, um, we just got a little trickle that comes with contractions if we’re at them, so…

Sarah Blight:               So wearing a pad probably is a good idea, even if it’s a trickle.

Sarah McKay:              After the water breaks…

Sarah Blight:               You’ll have wet pants.

Sarah McKay:              Yeah, otherwise you’re going to have wet pants, because it does continue to produce.

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

Sarah McKay:              It’s not like, “Oh! Pop. All the water’s gone” um, that is a myth I’ve had to dispel many times with grandmas, that there is no such thing as a dry birth.

Sarah Blight:               Oh, okay, yup.

Sarah McKay:              I think about birth as dry or clean.

Sarah Blight:               Yes.

Sarah McKay:              [laughter] Um…

Sarah Blight:               And pads are your friend.

Sarah McKay:              Right, right, they can be, they can be. Um, so it’s completely normal for it to continue to trickle, and so in order to stay comfortable, a pad’s not a bad idea.

Sarah Blight:               Okay, childbirth. This is like probably the number one thing I’m sure you hear. Will I poop while giving birth, and what is going to happen if I do?

Sarah McKay:              It is quite possible that you will.

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

Sarah McKay:              And it’s even more possible that you won’t even know it.

Sarah Blight:               And I think that’s what everyone is probably hoping for, who’s watching this right now.


Sarah McKay:              It’s awesome.

Sarah Blight:               And why is that? Why might we not even know?

Sarah McKay:              Well, a couple of things are happening. Um, we got a baby’s head coming down so very close to our rectum, that if there’s anything in it, it’s going to get pushed out. Um, it’s mother nature’s way of making sure that everything’s out of the way and there’s much room as possible for baby. Um, healthcare providers at this point are so great about, you know, it’s going to be clean, covered up, whisked away before you even know it was there. Um, and unless you have a minor child in the room who can point out that that has happened, um, which I have seen that happen…


                                    Um, then you’re probably not even going to know it. There’s so much pressure in your vagina from the baby that the rest of the pressure’s not even noticed.

Sarah Blight:               So is there anything you can do if you’re scared about this or you feel like you’re really self- conscious?

Sarah McKay:              Well, you know, ages ago they used to do enemas on hospital admission. But the truth is that it might have gotten out what was immediately just in the right [0:10:57][Phonetic], but this—you still put.

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

Sarah McKay:              I mean it’s kind of like squeezing a tube of toothpaste; it’s got to come out.

Sarah Blight:               Um

Sarah McKay:              I mean, there are women who will give themselves an [0:11:09][Phonetic] before they go in, because they’re really afraid of that.

Sarah Blight:               Yeah, [0:11:12][Inaudible]

Sarah McKay:              I don’t know that there’s really anything you can do about it.

Sarah Blight:               Yeah. Well, I will say along with the children, maybe tell your husband if he notices that you’re pooping not to say anything, ‘cause my one friend thought she was in the clear and then her husband was like, “Well, yeah, you pooped. Didn’t you smell it?”

Sarah McKay:              Ah!


Sarah McKay:              That’s why some of us doulas actually carry some pretty good smelling stuff…

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

Sarah McKay:              Just in case.

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

Sarah McKay:              Because it could happen, sometimes mom will notice it and it’s a distraction, to think that you’ve lost control over part of your body, and um, to te—you know, to replace that smell or even cover it up can ease that a little bit.

Sarah Blight:               Yeah, okay, cool. Um, alright, next thing. The first bowel movement after baby. First of all, I have to say, I was scared. I was scared to poop after giving birth because you’re just afraid it’s going to hurt. So, is that—what can be done and is that pretty common?

Sarah McKay:              It—that fear is very common and to be quite honest and full disclosure here, with my first, yeah, I refused for days.


Sarah McKay:              I was like, “No! I’m not going to do that!” Most hospitals now and even probably home birth midwives will suggest a stool softener, so that there’s not any real straining. You can continue that after you get home, Colace or something similar to that, it’s fairly general so that when you do have to go, it’s much easier to go. Um, if during pushing you’ve developed a hemorrhoid, which is common as well, then that’s going to be even that much more beneficial, cause we want it to be easy so that you’re not straining.

Sarah Blight:               Okay, let’s talk about wiping. Can—you know, in the hospital, if you give birth in the hospital, they give you those little like bulby things to like, kind of…

Sarah McKay:              [0:13:11][Phonetic] bottle?

Sarah Blight:               Yeah. What—I mean, when can a mom expect it, like—I mean do those things really work? Is it really going to get you clean?

Sarah McKay:              Um, okay, so we’re talking now—the perry bottle is more for the perineum. And that’s that little are between your vagina and your rectum, so even if there’s no episiotomy, no tearing, no anything, that can be some pretty tender tissue, and it’s been stretched, and it is going to go back, but because of that—because it’s going  to be a little tender, we don’t want to be wiping with tissue. So, to put warm water in that and kind of hose off—it’s like a bidet in a bottle, uh…

Sarah Blight:               That’s good.

Sarah McKay:              And just blot dry, much easier, helps that tissue have some time to recover.

Sarah Blight:               Okay, good idea, and so if obviously you’re doing a home birth, good thing to have on hand if—okay. Um, so how long will mamas need to wear the– you know, maxi pads in their underwear after birth.

Sarah McKay:              It varies. Breastfeeding moms or moms who’ve had a c-section tend to be a shorter period of time.

Sarah Blight:               Really?

Sarah McKay:              Uh-huh. The breastfeeding moms because it—breastfeeding releases the oxytocin, which encourages the uterus to continue to contract and stay contracted, then it controls the bleeding, and so you don’t have such heavy bleeding. But generally, for a couple of weeks, they can spot for as long as six weeks.

Sarah Blight:               Okay. So stock up on pads, basically, because there is fluid that comes—as you’re saying, there’s no such thing as a dry birth…


Sarah McKay:              Exactly.

Sarah Blight:               There are fluids that continue; kind of coming out after your baby is born.


Sarah McKay:              Exactly, but usually for about two weeks, you’re going to have what’s going to be similar to a medium to heavy-ish period, and then it kind of tapers off over the next week or so, and you’ll have days where, you know, it changes from red to pink to brown to gone, and days that you’re more active, you may see that you have some heavier discharge. I was surprised by the fact that I got up out of the hospital bed and took a shower, did it seem to really increase. But the hot water and being active made a difference, so don’t be surprised if you have a day that’s light, the next day’s heavy, so it just kind of varies for a couple of weeks.

Sarah Blight:               Okay, alright, sex after baby. Uh, another one for me where I was scared to have after baby. Is that something you hear commonly with the mamas that you work with?

Sarah McKay:              Absolutely, that’s a very, very, very common concern. That’s probably the last thing on mama’s mind.


Sarah Blight:               And the first thing on daddy’s mind. [Laughter]

Sarah McKay:              Exactly– well it depends, if you can’t…

Sarah Blight:               Well that’s true, it probably does depend.

Sarah McKay:              We do have the daddies who see it all and they go [0:16:13][Inaudible]


Sarah McKay:              Not again—um [Laughter] So, your body image is probably going to have changed, so it’s not just the physical part of being sexually active again, but the emotional side of that, that we don’t feel the same about our bodies and those parts of our bodies that were previously thought to be mainly sexual have now become more utilitarian, you know? Our breasts, for breastfeeding, and of course our vagina, ‘cause that’s where this baby came from.

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

Sarah McKay:              Um, so vaginal dryness is very, very, very common, especially in breastfeeding moms. So, know that you may need a little lubricant. We always recommend that you stay away from glycerin based lubricants, so we want to look at something that’s a little more natural. So…

Sarah Blight:               And why is that Sarah?

Sarah McKay:              Um, glycerin—in some women who are naturally kind of yeasty, glycerin kind of breaks down like a sugar in the body and feeds that.

Sarah Blight:               Oh, okay.

Sarah McKay:              So we want to make sure that we’re not, you know, feeding something that we didn’t want in there to start with.

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

Sarah McKay:              Uh, yeah you’re probably going to be advised that—no sex for 6 weeks—generally four to six weeks, to give everything time to heal and get back, kind of where it’s supposed to be.

Sarah Blight:               Uh-hum.

Sarah McKay:              Um, but hopefully daddy’s understanding of that and so, when—comes time for that first night alone, know that it’s going to be different. It’s going to feel different; you’re going to feel different. If you’re breastfeeding, um, there may be some milk involved…

Sarah Blight:               That’s what I—that was another thing I was going to ask. Yeah, leaking breasts, what—during sex?

Sarah McKay:              Absolutely.

Sarah Blight:               Oh, okay…

Sarah McKay:              Yeah, yes. So for a while, moms may want to leave their tops on during that, just because, you know, it wants to get [0:18:12][Phonetic], um…


Sarah McKay:              But, you know, it’s normal, it’[s absolutely part of the—how we’re made and that hormonal cocktail that’s involved with birth and sex and—you know, we talk about orgasmic birth, and women who literally do experience an orgasm when they’re giving birth. It’s the same parts! How can we not think that that’s possible?

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

Sarah McKay:              So, um...

Sarah Blight:               Good point.

Sarah McKay:              Yeah, just know that it’s going to be different and be patient and take it easy, a little bit at a time.

Sarah Blight:               Okay, my last question is personally one of mine. Okay, what is up with the varting? Okay, the vaginal farts?

Sarah McKay:              [Laughter]

Sarah Blight:               Okay, after childbirth, I was going to go back to yoga class, cause I loved yoga, and I was doing some stretches at home and I realized that I had air, like, when I would do stuff, like coming in and out of my vagina and it sounded like I was passing gas. And I was so—like, embarrassed, I never went back to yoga class. So is this normal?

Sarah McKay:              Oh, no. [Laughter]

Sarah Blight:               Well because I couldn’t control it, I mean literally it wasn’t like you can feel it coming on, it’s like, “Oh, what happened there?” you know, and it was very embarrassing.

Sarah McKay:              But you were probably not the only one in the room.


Sarah McKay:              That that was happening to you.

Sarah Blight:               I’m—well at the time I didn’t know, like is this normal, so—give us the scoop on varts.

Sarah McKay:              It is, it is. Um, how far post- partum were you?

Sarah Blight:               That was probably like six weeks out, and then—but it continued for a while, I mean my pelvic floor, I felt like was just kind of…

Sarah McKay:              Absolutely, that’s the culprit right there. Um [Laughter] It’s the pelvic floor! That’s the one that’s also—you know, we see our grandmothers that cross their legs when they sneeze.

Sarah Blight:               Yup.

Sarah McKay:              Um, that’s the same thing that’s responsible for that. Um, so if you’re not doing them, start working on Kegels, now.

Sarah Blight:               Kegels now.

Sarah McKay:              And that is absolutely— hopefully that will avoid any embarrassment in the yoga room. Um, so, Kegels actually are muscle exercises for the pelvic floor, and I remember my childbirth Ed class when I was expecting my first, which was almost 20 years ago, um…

Sarah Blight:               Wow.

Sarah McKay:              Talking about, “Don’t pull up next to me in a red light, because I promise, this is what I’m doing” [Laughter]

Sarah Blight:               [Laughter]

Sarah McKay:              Like, “Thanks lady! Um…” So, you know, set aside some time during the day or [0:20:54][Phonetic] at a red light, if that’s your preference…

Sarah Blight:               Or if you’re interviewing Sarah McKay! [Laughter]

Sarah McKay:              Yeah, absolutely! Um, doing it now!

Sarah Blight:               Do them right now while you’re watching.

Sarah McKay:              Yes! And it’s those muscles that if you were sitting on the toilet, that you would use to stop the flow of urine. So, you know—and we contract and release those muscles repeatedly, and, you know, there is lots of benefits to doing Kegels, and, you know, not just, you know, no air coming from your vagina and no embarrassment in yoga and no crossing your legs when you laugh, um…

Sarah Blight:               There’s sexual benefits, right?

Sarah McKay:              There are lots of sexual benefits, um, for your partner as well. And, guys can do them too!

Sarah Blight:               Really?

Sarah McKay:              So they have that same muscle—yeah, yeah. So…

Sarah Blight:               So, is it the same muscle they use the stop the flow of urine, is that for men’s—okay.

Sarah McKay:              It is, um…

Sarah Blight:               Interesting.

Sarah McKay:              But it’s—it’s funny, um, it’s the muscle that when your fella has an erection and he can make it move. [Laughter]

Sarah Blight:               Yes.

Sarah McKay:              That’s his kegels.

Sarah Blight:               Oh, okay.

Sarah McKay:              so um—Yeah, yeah. We all have them and it really—especially if you’ve had a long pushing phase, or if you’ve done a lot of that hold your birth and count to ten pushing, it really puts a strain on those muscles. So, we know that by getting those kegels in shape, even during pregnancy, that our pushing phase is going to be shorter, we have more control during crowning, so we have less likelihood of tearing or episiotomies, so we need to get those in shape now, so that, you know, that part of our life is easier, as well as afterwards.

Sarah Blight:               Awesome! Well, we’re going to end with the kegels now, um…


Sarah Blight:               Instructions. Um, to all the mamas watching, I mean, I hope we covered most of the ones that you guys are wondering about. If you have any other questions or comments or suggestions about embarrassing things we’ve talked about today, please leave them below this interview. Thanks always to Sarah McKay, check out her website below.

Sarah McKay:              Thank you.

Sarah Blight:               She has a lot going on there at nine months and beyond dot com. Um, thanks so much for joining us you guys, we’ll see you soon.

Sarah McKay:              Thanks!

[0:23:13]                      End of Audio