8 Childbirth Myths (& Realities)

childbirthSo here's something odd I just learned. Apparently some women out there believe that childbirth can lead to sexual dysfunction, and so they're opting for elective C-sections. Really? Is this a thing? God, I hope not -- because that is bananas. First of all, childbirth does not lead to sexual dysfunction. Let me personally attest -- no, that's probably TMI from me. Here is a scientific study proving that childbirth does not lead to long-term sexual dysfunction. Okay? So there's one nutty childbirth myth debunked.

But there are more. Here are a few more childbirth myths we all need to stop laboring under -- heh heh.


2. It's not safe to eat while in labor. Hospitals used to ban eating and drinking for laboring women because there was a good chance those women would be put under general anesthesia. Now that's highly unlikely, even for a C-section. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently stated their opinion: If your pregnancy is uncomplicated, it's okay to drink "modest" amounts of clear liquids. They're looking into solids. Revered midwife and labor guru Ina May Gaskin says snacking on simple solid foods can actually be helpful for some women. 

3. Once you've had a C-section, you have to deliver the rest of your babies via C-section. This used to be standard procedure, but not anymore. VBACs (vaginal birth after a C-section) are on the rise.

4. You have to wait until you're dilated to 10 centimeters before you can push. All of you who started pushing when you were more like 9 centimeters, please raise your hands. It's generally considered better for your body to wait until you're at 10, but if you're that close, it should be okay.

5. Your second labor will be easier. Many women find their second labor goes more quickly, but not all. In fact, you can have complications in a second delivery that you didn't have with the first.

6. Your OB/GYN guides you through labor. Nope. In many hospitals, it's the labor nurses who do most of the work of helping you through labor. Most doctors might check in periodically, but otherwise they come in at the very end for the pushing.

7. Midwives are anti-medication. Many midwives support a woman's choice to use an epidural. Mine did. And many doctors will support a woman's choice to have an unmedicated birth. 

8. You go into labor right after your water breaks. You can go into labor long before your water breaks. Your water can break and you may not go into labor yet. One is not a guarantee of the other. However, you should always let your doctor or midwife know when and if your water breaks.

Do you know of other childbirth myths?


Image via KidStock/Blend Images/Corbis

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