8 Childbirth Myths (& Realities)

Say What!? 62

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

labor & delivery


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Dani Madden

IMy water never broke on its own. I was long into labor with both my babies before they broke my water even. I was 7cm with my fist & 8 going on 9 with my 2nd. 

Cleme... Clemency3

wow....I can't believe some women believe it leads to sexual dysfunction....just look at all the women having pregnancy after pregnancy and each time delivering vaginally. Never did that to me. I wonder if this a story that some OB's are trying to pass of in order for their patients to go the c-section route. 

Savannah Christina Woltjen

This was very helpful and interesting. I'm 4 months pregnant with my first child, a baby boy. So I'm researching everything as you can imagine for about to be new mom.

MrsRo... MrsRoberts413

The ones I hear the most are that twins and multiples always require c-sections (I'm a second-born twin who was delivered vaginally!) and that c-sections are easier and spare the mom a lot of pain.  I'm 5 months with our first, I have also had major surgery before, and I have a really hard time buying the idea that having a newborn while recovering from major surgery could possibly be worth "sparing the pain" of a vaginal delivery!  I don't understand elective c-sections at all! 

Emmie25 Emmie25

People Always Say The More Kids You Have The Easier The Labor Is. Im Pregnant With Our Fourth And The SEcond One Was The Easiest. Number One And Three Were Hard And Painful.

caleb... calebsmama12312

I wasn't allowed to eat or drink while I was in labor after my water broke. They gave me an i.v for fluids though. I was also in labor for like days before my water broke. I started dialating & having contractions like almost a week prior to giving birth but apparently it's pretty common.

Jespren Jespren

Doing people a disservice withe saying sexual disfunction can't happen. When a woman tears those tears (or their repairs) which can go up or down can lead to painful intercourse, loss of stimulation, or even inability to climax. I'd call that sexual disfunction. I *personally* am related to females who have this problem after a badly repaired tear up into the external genitalia area after an otherwise uncomplicated delivery. I have spoken with several people who, after poorly repaired tears (including 'husband stitches' where the doctor purposesfully tightens the vigina) experienced longterm painful intercourse. Sexual disfunction after birth HAPPENS to some women when tears (or episotomies) are not well fixed. A comfortable pushing position, no purple pushing, and mother-led pushing are key to avoiding tears. And if you *do* tear get it fixed properly, and don't be afraid to tell your doctor is the tear/scar/repair makes sex disfunctional, likely something can be done to help.

casso... cassobeano

My second child's labor was much worse than my first.

With my first, I barely remember details. I know that I did not feel a lot of pain. I actually slept until 45 min before they told me to push. Active labor, maybe 4 hours (they broke my water at 8 am).

With my 2ND, 15 hours. I arrived at 5:30 am ,(induced, gestational diabetic) pitocin by 6, contractions by 7. My epidural pulled out twice, because the nurse couldn't roll me. By 10: 22 pm, our second was born.

I'm thankful it was as easy as it was, not an immense amount of pain, I really just laid in bed the whole time. All I really remember is being impatient because I wanted to meet her, and I was hungry.

antfa... antfarmer101

I don't know about any others, but #2 was about enough to send me over the edge with my first. I went into labor three weeks early, after working a night shift and coming home to sleep for about 4 hours. I hadn't eaten in over 16 hours by the time I got settled in my room and when my nurse told me I couldn't have anything to eat, I very politely told her that they could either get me something or I would have my husband go do it, but I WAS going to eat something. They brought me a turkey sandwich lol

Jaghd810 Jaghd810

It's the same mothers who go out to eat at restaurants, eating GMO foods, breast feed their infants but then attack women who formula feed their infants. To be honest. Those women who breast feed after eating those foods are poisoning their children beyond what any formula could "poison."  But of course no one thinks that far ahead. They just preach bs so theyre poor self stem has some sort of relief. 

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