Despite childbirth being a universal experience, there are still a lot of myths and misinformations surrounding it. And unsurprisingly, many take these myths and misinformations for hard truths.
In her Romper story, Sarah Hosseini finally sets the records straight, listing down the 9 so-called myths about childbirth that need to stop making the rounds.
Myth 1: C-sections are the easy way out
According to Mayo Clinic, women take a much longer time recovering from a C-section than a vaginal birth. C-sections also risk blood clots, blood loss, and other infections.
“I’m not sure any surgery, especially major abdominal surgery, could ever truly be considered an easy alternative to vaginal child birth,” Hannah says.
Myth 2: “Natural childbirth” means through the vagina only
Many vaginal births often use medications and epidurals, Hannah says, so what exactly makes childbirth natural?
“What if a mother gives birth vaginally and unmedicated, but her water is broken in the hospital?” she asks. “What if forceps are used? Is that natural? It’d be nice if society accepted the idea that however a mother gives birth is natural. All births are natural.”
Myth 3: You have a low pain threshold for pain if you get an epidural
Not all women are created equal, and what hurts one may not hurt for another. Not only that, a lot of factors contribute into how painful childbirth can be. In fact, Fit Pregnancy says genetics can play a role in delivery pain.
“Bottom line, women who get epidurals are not wimps,” says Hannah. “Their pain is their pain and no one should judge that.”
Myth 4: You have a higher chance of getting a C-Section if you have an epidural
Hannah says: “If you’ve had an epidural and you’ve labored a long time, but still want to deliver vaginally, simply ask your doctor if the baby is in distress. If there is no medical risk to continue to labor, then labor if you desire.”
Myth 5: You can’t eat or drink during labor
This one is a big untruth. Childbirth is hard work, and hard work requires energy. In fact according to American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), it’s perfectly fine for healthy women to eat during labor as long as there is no complications.
Myth 6: Vaginal breech birth is unsafe
Hannah says that many doctors and midwives still practice breech vaginal births, but it depends on the kind of breech.
“The American Pregnancy website said it’s best to try to flip a breech baby between 32 weeks and 37 weeks,” she says. “That is of course, if there are no medical reasons as to why the breech baby has to stay in the breech position.”
Myth 7: Vaginal birth after C-sections (VBACs) are unsafe
Just because you have delivered a baby via C-section once doesn’t mean that you have to deliver the rest of your babies the same way.
According to Mayo Clinic, 60 to 80 percent of women who attempt a VBAC deliver vaginally successfully. But of course it’s still important to talk about this with your doctor to make sure you know what’s the best route to take.
Myth 8: Your second childbirth will be easier
Parents magazine says that a woman’s labor with her second baby will be shorter, because the cervix isn no longer as rigid as it once was. However, shorter doesn’t necessarily mean easier.
Myth 9: You will have an instant bond with your baby
“The truth is the bond doesn’t always happen immediately,” says Hannah. “For some moms it takes time. ”
According to WebMD, about 20% of parents don’t feel an attachment to their babies in the first hours after birth. For some, it may even take weeks or months.
“This is nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about,” she adds. “Knowing that it’s completely normal and not judging yourself as a new parent is really important for your self-esteem and happiness.”
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