But one woman in Sweden ended up bleeding through her clothes for a very different reason. Petra Vinberg Linder posted a photo of her crotch-stained trousers on Facebook to highlight the gruelling reality of life as a midwife in the Scandinavian country.
"Night shift midwife = had three childbirths. You don't have time to pee or change sanitary products. Thanks and goodnight," she wrote in the post, which had garnered nearly a thousand reactions and more than 250 shares at the time of writing.
Linder's image, which she shared at the end of her night shift, was initially only visible to her Facebook friends but she changed the privacy settings after numerous requests for it to be made public. It has since received attention from leading Swedish national media, Scandinavian media and international outlets.
"I shared it for my private friends on Facebook, went home and went to sleep, then when I woke up I saw people had asked me to make it public. So I did, then it became a big thing, but that wasn’t the original idea," she told The Local Sweden.
Linder said she uploaded it to highlight the demanding nature of the job, whereby the midwives at her Stockholm hospital are each assigned two deliveries to work on at any given time – often leaving them with no time to change their sanitary products.
"It's a very difficult field of work. I love my job, I chose it and I want to work in this field, but I wonder after a night like this how many years I'll manage. I'm 40, I'll work to 65 if I'm fit, but can you manage that?," she said, adding that while many people in Sweden are attracted to midwifery, they're put off by the working conditions.
"Though I've only worked as as a midwife for a week, before that I was an assistant nurse here for many years and it was always high pressure. But it has escalated. It's just getting worse and there has to have a change," she continued. "We need another clinic in Stockholm, and there's a problem in the countryside too, where they closed the maternity ward in Sollefteå."
Midwives and maternity wards are similarly stretched in the UK, with dedicated professionals leaving the field in droves as a result. Recent data from the figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) revealed that the number of nurses and midwives leaving the profession has risen by more than half (51%) in four years.
It means that more midwives and nurses are now leaving the register than joining for the first time in recent history. This is despite calls from the NMC for the government to end the pay cap in a bid to stop people leaving.