5 Labor Myths Busted

When women become pregnant for the first time, the mere thought of going into labor can be frightening. With so many myths about the pain, morning sickness, water breaking, and ways to induce labor, one doesn’t know what to believe. So, we've compiled a list of bogus myths surrounding going into labor in order to soothe your worries. Below are five common labor myths explained and busted.

Inducing Labor is Dangerous

Using home remedies to induce labor is definitely not recommended. Most often they do not work and may cause complications. Often when you are pregnant and miss your due date your doctor may induce labor using drugs called prostaglandins. It is often used on the cervix in gel form. It is used when you are two weeks or more past your due date or your water breaks and labor does not begin. Another reason is a test shows your health is at risk or your baby has a problem.

Another way they induce labor is to use a gloved finger to separate the amniotic sac from wall of the uterus. The action can induce hormones that will trigger contractions. Doctors sometimes use a balloon catheter that causes the cervix to expand. Another drug is injected into your veins in the hospital in small amounts called Pitocin. Often women go into labor within a few hours of using this drug.

Sometimes inducing labor can cause complications. It is not without some risks. Sometimes it leads to a C-section, longer hospital stays, and complications during birth. Overall it is safe, but can sometimes lead to complications for both the child and mother. Labor induced by a doctor that knows the woman’s medical history is much safer than home remedies.

Labor Is Painful For All Women

Labor is painful because the muscles of the uterus are contracting so that your baby will be squeezed out of the body. Contractions come and go and your body is not in constant pain. How much pain a woman has depends on the strength of the contraction, whether labor is induced, the baby’s size and position, whether the baby faces up or down, and the speed of the labor.

Labor pain is different for women. Early labor has mild to moderate pain and later more intense. Medications and support from doctors and nurses in the hospital can alleviate a great amount of the pain. However, you will hear from women that giving birth wasn't as painful as they had previously thought.

When Your Water Breaks Labor Has Begun

This is not true. Often it could take days to go into labor even after your water breaks. You should let your doctor know and find out if you need to go to the hospital. They will know what is best for your situation. If you don’t have a fever and your baby is still active you probably don’t have to go to the hospital. Water breaking before labor is common for many women.

Your Doctor Will Expect You to Have A Epistomy

This is a small cut in the vagina to keep the opening from tearing. This procedure has declined over the years and is not common anymore. A doctor will often access the need for this operation when the baby’s head is crowning. If you do not want this procedure make sure that you talk to your doctor before going into labor.

When You Have An Epidural You Will Need a C-Section

Epidural medications have improved over the years. This means that often women that take them go into labor faster and do not often need c-sections. A three year study done at Northwestern University found that women given epidural medications needed less c-sections and had shorter labor time than women given an analgesic pain killer.

Overall going into labor is stressful for first time and experienced mothers. Knowing when you are going into labor and the myths surrounding it helps you cope better. Talk with your doctor about labor myths before the time comes. Remember that most myths come from fear not knowledge. 

By Joan Russell