Labor and Delivery – Myths and Misconceptions
Pregnant mothers can sometimes feel overwhelmed with the endless amount of material pertaining to labor and delivery—and at times become targets for unsolicited advice. It’s hard to decipher what is fact or fiction when there is an abundance of information to sift through. We’ve debunked some common misconceptions and myths to ease your mind.
1.) Your second or third childbirth will be easier.
Myth –The labor and delivery might not go as quickly or smoothly if you waited several years between pregnancies. Also, a c-section might be needed if your second or third child is not lined up in the birth canal properly or is larger than your other babies.
2.) Once you’ve had a c-section you must do it again.
Myth – 60 to 80 percent of women who have previously undergone cesarean birth can successfully give birth vaginally. However, if you had a condition that required a c-section the first time, you might be advised to deliver via cesarean again. Talk to your health provider about your condition and your options to ensure you are making an informed decision.
3.) Your doctor will be with you throughout labor.
Myth – It’s hard to imagine the physician you’ve seen for the last nine months might not be delivering your baby. He or she will be in the office seeing patients during the day and, when it gets close for you to deliver, might already be at home. It’s not uncommon for your doctor not to see you until after your bundle of joy arrives.
4.) There are ways to kick start your labor.
Myth – You’ve probably heard it all or tried it all to induce labor, such as eating spicy foods, walking miles, having sex and drinking castor oil. But none of these wives’ tales have been scientifically proven to induce labor. “I even made labor inducing cookies and ate them while I walked around our neighborhood, just to jump start labor,” says Amanda Barnes from Belton.
5.) If you’re having contractions, go to the hospital immediately.
Myth –Usually your first and second births will allow you stay at home in the early stages of labor, but if your contractions start suddenly and strongly, then it’s recommended you go to the hospital. Talk to your doctor about when you should come in or whether you have a medical condition that requires you to come in earlier.
6.) There is nothing you can do to make labor easier.
Myth – Your labor and delivery are greatly influenced by your body, emotions and state of mind. Taking care of yourself while pregnant will greatly affect your labor and delivery. It’s important to eat healthy, exercise moderately, stay rested and remain positive. “I walked and stayed in shape while pregnant, which I think made a huge difference,” Amelia Reed, Olathe, says. “I only pushed five or six times during delivery.”
Giving birth is such a joyous and remarkable event in a parent’s life, but the fear of the unknown can also make it very scary. Ask questions if you have any concerns or worries and don’t be afraid to ignore all of that unsolicited advice.
Jennifer Duxbury, an Olathe resident and a SAHM to her 3-year-old son, fell for the labor inducing wives’ tales and tried them all!