Birth can be an amazing, yet intimidating process for many people. Everyone has different views on birth, and everyone who's had a child has different thought and memories about their experiences. With so many different views and with policies and protocols changing through the years, it is not a surprise that sometimes popular information is actually myth. Don't believe me?
Here are 5 birth myths that you should know about!
1. Your water will break in a huge gush before you know you're in labor.
This may happen, but not nearly as often as television would have us think. Water breaking is the first sign of labor for only about 1 out of every 10 births. Plus, there may not be a humungous gush even if your water has broken; sometimes there might just be a small, slow trickle. Fear that your water may suddenly break should not cause you to fear going out in public! Get out and embrace the time you have before the new baby comes.
2. You NEED the Epidural ASAP.
It is a common myth that you will be absolutely miserable unless you get an Epidural as soon as one is available. And it's true that for some people, labor truly is that uncomfortable even in early labor. But for many people, labor does not start out so terribly. A lot of people don't even realize they're in labor for the first few hours since contractions may be so sporadic and light. Epidurals can especially benefit laboring women who are exhausted or who are in great pain; but there are many women who find the discomfort tolerable throughout labor.
3. Your "downstairs" will be completely ruined by birth.
It is true that everything gets stretched during a vaginal delivery. But that does not mean that things do not return to place for the most part. The vagina is made to stretch, and it is made up of tissue that can expand and still scrunch back down in the days and weeks following delivery. Yes, things will be swollen and irritated immediately after birth, but it does not stay that way forever.
4. Your partner will faint.
Well, this may be a possibility, but it is not a given. Birth is an amazingly powerful process, and it is one that your partner most likely will want to stay completely awake for. If he does faint, nursing staff is right on hand to help him wake back up.
5. Your partner (or your mother, sister, cousin, etc.) can be your doula.
It is true that a friend or family member can support you, but that does not mean that they are exactly the same as a doula. They may still give you awesome support, but there is still a difference. A doula has been specifically trained in various methods to support a laboring family physically, emotionally, and with educational resources. A doula is a trained professional. In the same way that simply knowing how to change a tire does not make you a mechanic, knowing how to support someone does not make you a doula.