Delivering Your Baby: Fact vs. Fiction
The time has finally come. After 9 months of anticipation and excitement as you waited to deliver your little bundle of joy. And while you’ve done the research and prepared yourself for this magical moment, it’s nearly impossible to plan for everything you’ll encounter once it’s actually time to deliver your baby.
From horror stories, to unbelievably serene childbirths, expecting moms hear it all. With so much information out there, whether its books written by experts or the personal experiences of friends and family, it can be difficult to know what childbirth is actually like.
The bottom line is, even with so many helpful resources out there, not everything you’ve heard about delivering a baby is true. So to help you navigate this life-changing experience, let’s take a closer look at and debunk some of the most common delivery myths to ease your pre-baby mind.
You can induce labor on your own.
Fiction. Between bumpy car rides, eating spicy food and drinking castor oil, there are number of home remedies that promise to help kick-start labor. Unfortunately, medical experts believe that there just isn’t enough proof that these techniques actually work.
Fact. The good news is that while some of these labor-inducing strategies may not be all they’re cracked up to be, there are other techniques that medical professionals find more effective. For example, nipple stimulation and sex can release the hormone oxytocin, which stimulates contractions.
Your water will break before you go into labor.
Fiction. Maybe it’s because of all the dramatic TV and movie portrayals, but many expecting moms believe that their water will break naturally with a large gush of water.
Fact. The truth is, only about 10 percent of expecting moms will have their water break spontaneously. For the other 90 percent, it’s a doctor who will break their water, sometimes after they’re already experiencing contractions. On top of that, when your water breaks, you’ll notice a slight trickle, nothing near a waterfall.
It’s good to have birthing hips.
Fiction. You’ve likely heard the old adage that having good childbearing hips makes for an easier vaginal delivery; however, there isn’t necessarily any proof. At one point, it was believed that for some women, especially petite women, childbirth would be more difficult because of their small size.
Fact. While a wider pelvis may help with delivery, there isn’t necessarily a connection to your body shape or your external size. The only way to know the width of your pelvis is with the help of your obstetrician.
Your labor will be just like your mom’s.
Fiction. Depending on your mom’s experience, you may be hopeful that your experience is just like hers. However, with so many factors that can impact your pregnancy and your delivery, some genetic and some not, it’s impossible to say whether or not it will be like your mom’s.
Fact. However, there are some aspects of pregnancy, like the shape of your pelvis and your likelihood of developing conditions like preeclampsia that are the result of genetics. So, in this case, if your mom had it, you’re much more likely to.
Your second delivery experience will be easier.
Fiction. It has been said that after one vaginal delivery, the following deliveries will be shorter and easier.
Fact. Oftentimes, the first delivery experience is the longest and hardest, but this is not always the case, especially if there is long amount of time in between pregnancies. Furthermore, just because you’ve delivered vaginally before doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have a cesarean section in the future.
Your birth plan will go exactly as designed.
Fiction. Nearly every expecting mom has thought through her birth plan: thinking about all the possible options, making decisions and envisioning the perfect delivery experience. For some expecting moms, they see their birth plan as the best and only way to deliver their baby.
Fact. There is no doubt that it is incredibly important to think about your preferences and vision for your ideal delivery experience. However, many experts recommend preparing a birth strategy instead of a birth plan so in the event that something unexpected happens, you aren’t discouraged.
At GMC’s Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion, you’ll receive customized care and support during every step of the delivery experience. GWP's compassionate and dedicated team of specialists will work to follow your birth plan and fulfill the unique health needs of your family.