Facts and fiction about birth you should know by now. When you are pregnant, many people around you feel the need to impart their experiences, opinions and advice with you.
Moms, aunts and grans always claim to have the “right” answer to everything and will demand you listen to their advice.
With so much information available about pregnancy and giving birth, it’s no wonder it’s easy to get conflicting information. Doctors also seem to have varying opinions.
Have you ever walked out of the doctor’s office realising that the most important questions you wanted to ask had slipped your mind? Don’t worry; it happens to all of moms.
However, let’s puts your mind at ease by looking at some common beliefs and reveals which are true and which are false.
Facts And Fiction About Birth You Should Know By Now
“Breaking of the waters” (rupturing of the membranes) makes the contractions stronger, thus speeding up labour.
True. Once a woman is dilated, it can help speed the process but doctors will only rapture the membranes if it is absolutely necessary.
If there are complications and you have dilated up to 7cm, breaking the waters will fast track the last 3cm. If you have been in labour for too long but have no complications, they will not rupture the membranes.
Braxton Hicks contractions are regular and strong, and will wake the mother up if she’s asleep. Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic contractions and relaxation of the uterine muscle. Sometimes, they are referred to as “false labour” pains.
False. While Braxton Hicks may not be a walk in the park, you’ll know the difference because they won’t occur at regular intervals or increase in intensity as labour pains.
Real contractions feel like menstruation cramps and will start at the top of the uterus, and the intense pressure, which feels like a tight belt around her waist, will wake her up.
If you lift your arms above your head during pregnancy, the umbilical cord will slip around the baby’s neck.
False. The baby is suspended in amniotic fluid and thus gravity will have no impact.
Furthermore, the baby may become entangled in the umbilical cord because of the length of it, but the baby can actually pass through a loop in the cord.
Dilation of the cervix can occur at any time during pregnancy.
True. Women who’ve had a child previously have a slightly dilated cervix. Then there are some women with an “incompetent cervix” which means that the cervix doesn’t tighten properly.
In labour, dilation of the cervix can happen earlier in the pregnancy. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but your doctor will talk you through it, according to your particular situation.
An epidural (an anaesthetic, used especially in childbirth to produce loss of sensation below the waist) may not be possible if the mother previously had an extensive back injury.
True. Although this statement is true in certain circumstances, the skill of the anaesthetist will determine the likelihood of the mother having an epidural.
If you feel that this may be a problem, make an appointment with the anaesthetist prior to the birth to talk about your options.
An emergency epidural can be done if the baby is under stress.
False. This is not true as an epidural takes up to 20 minutes to have an effect. If the baby is under stress, 20 minutes would be too long to wait.
The most successful method of managing pain during labour is the one chosen by the mother.
True. To manage the pain of labour, the mother needs to be in the right frame of mind and have the right support.
There are times when a combination of non-pharmacological methods (hypnosis, reflexology, massage and water therapy) is more effective than pain medication.
Remember that pain medication has side effects that subsequently need to be managed with other medication. The term “mind over matter” has proven to help.
Should you rush to a doctor if you start bleeding during pregnancy?
True. Ignore those that say that you are overreacting. Get yourself checked out immediately as bleeding is always regarded as suspicious and should be investigated.
If the mother wakes up in the morning in the last trimester with a swollen face and extremities, she should go to the emergency room or contact her primary caregiver immediately.
True. This may indicate a rise in blood pressure and must be investigated straight away. Take a urine sample with, too.
The delivery of the placenta occurs within 15 minutes after the birth of the baby, and the mother will experience a contraction of the uterus to help with the release and delivery of the placenta.
True. The contraction isn’t as strong as those during birth, and the tissue is soft, so it will be easier than delivering the baby. So, there is no need to worry.
Are there facts and fiction about birth you should know by now? Drop your comments…….