6 Labor and Delivery Myths All Moms-to-Be Should Get Straight
Including why hot sauce probably won't help
You’re having a baby? Congrats! Before you actually have it, though, we recommend reading up on these common misconceptions about the whole labor thing. And don’t worry, it’s not as crazy as it seems in the movies.
Myth: Your Water Has to Break for Labor to Begin
Truth: Nope, many women go into labor without their water breaking, and it might not break until just before you deliver. Since contractions often precede water-breaking, you might not even realize you’re in labor, depending on how mild these initial contractions are.
Myth: There's Only One "Right" Time for an Epidural
Truth: Contrary to the belief that getting an epidural "too late" can lengthen labor or "too early" can increase your chances of having a C-section, doctors have recently concluded that there really is no bad time to ask for an epidural. Per a study by the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, "Early or late initiation of epidural analgesia for labour have similar effects on all measured outcomes." So there you have it: Listen to your body and it'll work out.
Myth: “Birthing Hips” Make Labor Easier
Truth: It makes sense that ladies with wider hips would have an easier time pushing a baby out, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your measurements), outward appearance doesn’t necessarily correspond with the width of your pelvis.
Myth: Spicy Foods Can Induce Labor
Truth: Sorry, but this one is scientifically unproven. In fact, there are no non-medical methods that have been proven to induce labor. Still, if you plan to try any natural methods (like taking long walks or having sex) run it by your doctor first.
Myth: Your OBGYN Will Be by Your Side Throughout Your Labor
Truth: In most cases, it’s actually the nurse or nurses who will guide you through the whole thing. In normal, complication-less labors, RNs lead the charge until the end, when your doctor will come back and, you know, do the delivering.
Myth: Once You Have a C-Section, Subsequent Deliveries Must Be Via C-Section
Truth: This used to be the case, but now, VBAC, or vaginal births after cesarean, are quite common. For most women it’s totally safe. As with all things pregnancy-related, you should consult your doctor to determine if a VBAC is a viable option.