Birth is still a mystery to many doctors who though claim to have all answers related to it but still there are few which are left answered. Like, what starts the labor pain? How does the baby know she is ready to come out and starts to push? Hence the childbirth remains a mystery to many and there are many myths doing rounds about it. This may prove dangerous as harmless myths are a different thing but when it is associated with something as criticial as giving birth to a live being, there should be no misinformation regarding the same.
Let us go through few myths that surround the childbirth and try and bust them and find out the truth behind them
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Myth #1 – You can either go to private doctor or a public hospital:
Once the good news is confirmed after the initial tests, normally women are directed either towards the private or public hospital depending on whether or not they have insurances. As public hospitals are much affordable and cheaper than a private one, mom-to-be who do not have insurance are directed towards the public hospitals. If you have insurance you are directed towards the private one. Doctors forget that there is a third way of taking care of moms-to-be and that is the midwife who is available in both public hospitals and with private doctors.
This is the best model considering the fact those women who use mid-wife’s help and is in her care during pregnancy, have less chances of taking epidurals for pain during labor and have fewer chances of episiotomies or instrumental births. Also, women who receive mid wife led care and keep receiving it throughout the pregnancy are less likely to experience premature birth (child birth before the complete 38 weeks), to lose their baby in first trimester which is considered to be a risk prone time in pregnancies or to lose their baby overall.
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Mid – wives are trained personnel who work on the model centered around women and have experience dealing with needs of the moms and the babies. This also means that a mom-to-be would have the same mid wife or a group of same mid – wives so that they are aware of the complete case of the pregnancy and can help accordingly. They remain with the patient through the prenatal, birth and post natal stages.
Myth #2 – If you take midwives assistance you may skip drugs
Even when mid wives are used as an alternative, there are a lot of myths going around them too. One of them is that once you use their assistance and care, you will not need drugs and can still deliver safely. Though it is true that midwives based on their experience levels can administer some pain assistance but this too is mainly because moms to be are to more confident with the mid wives around and hence tend to give the drugs a skip. This happens more with the second or subsequent deliveries than the first as women are themselves more confident now than they were in the first delivery.
Myth #3 – caesarean is the ‘new normal’
Though c sections are considered to be the easy way – this is a myth. It is in no way an easy way out and is considered one of the major surgeries. It has a lot of risks like any other major surgery and there are also chances of risk to subsequent pregnancies. As it is a major abdominal surgery, moms take time to recover and hence first few days are difficult for both new moms and their babies. You can not sit up straight and hence face issues while breastfeeding too. Do not go for a c section thinking it is easy and that you do not wish to go through long hours in labor pain. With normal deliveries you go through labor pain for few hours but once done, you can go back to your normal self in the same day.
Consider c section as an option only if advised by doctors because of a safety concern. The umbilical cord stuck around the baby or the baby being in a breech conditions are two such reasons. There is also a myth regarding superior safety in case of c sections. Sure, they are much safer now than they were last decade but compared to women who deliver vaginally, those who deliver by planned Cesarean are 2.3 times more likely to be re-hospitalized within 30 days (19.2 out of 1,000 women for C sections, compared with 7.5 for vaginal births). Also there is a risk of repeat c section in your next delivery as doctors go for it in case you had a c section in your previous delivery.
Myth #4 – Epidurals are unnecessary and dangerous during child birth
Myths have it that managing the labor pain during natural birth is something every women should endure and that it makes you a real women. Some myths also claim that the real bond between the mom and the baby is formed only when the moms go through the labor pain. You will hear women proudly proclaiming that they managed the labor pain naturally and did not take any medication to help them during labor. Some also insist that epidurals are “dangerous” to both baby and mother. Not true. The risk of death from a labor epidural is less than the risk of death from a stinging bee.
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Epidural help in making the labor smoother and reduce extreme pain, thus helping the mother both mentally and physically. There is another myth regarding epidurals that you can’t get an epidural until you are at least 4 cm dilated. Many women falsely believe that they have to wait until they are dilated to a certain number before they can ask for or receive an epidural. This is not true and you may ask for an epidural as soon as the labor pain starts although the decision to give this or not remains with the doctor. But you do not have to wait for dilation to a particular level to receive this.
Myth #5 – Once a c- section, always a c-section
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To sum it up, in today’s time and age, be aware of your own body and do not feel scared to voice out your opinion. Of course, your doctor will know what is best for you and you should by all means listen to him or her. But remember you have a choice and you have a voice. Choose a care giver and a doctor that you trust and can talk to them about options. Be aware and be stress free and just concentrate on seeing the little bundle of joy soon!