Dispelling 3 crazy birthing myths
The countdown is on. I’m due in 16 days, and as I sit here feeling this baby roll around like a well-cooked rotisserie chicken, I’m reminded of three crazy birthing myths.
I had no idea what to expect when I gave birth to my daughter a year and a half ago, and there were certainly a lot of birthing myths floating around that I was able to dispel prior to delivery by speaking with the nurses and doctors. Here are three:
Myth: I can’t have an epidural because I have a “tramp stamp.”
Not true. When I had my epidural, my anesthesiologist and I had a lengthy chat about this myth. He said it actually comes down to the size and location of your lower back tattoo. I have quite a large one, so naturally I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to have an epidural. I had heard that the needle might push the ink deeper into my body. According to this ParentsCanada article, there are no known reports of complications related to the placement of an epidural through a tattoo, however my anesthesiologist avoids them. Since mine is so low on the back, it wasn’t an issue. If it were higher up, he said he wouldn’t have put it in.
If you think you might not be able to have one when it comes time, just ask your doctor. Also, check out the ParentsCanada article for more myths on epidurals.
Myth: I have to remove my nail polish prior to delivery.
I had never heard this myth until a friend brought it up at lunch, and if you check pregnancy forums online, there are apparently a lot of women asking the question. I decided to ask the nurse when I was waiting to deliver my daughter.
Apparently the myth is that you need to remove your fingernail polish prior to delivery so the pulse oximeter can determine the oxygen level in the blood. That’s that little alligator-type clip the nurse puts on your finger when you enter the delivery room. The nurse mentioned that years ago this was true because the technology wasn’t strong enough to read the level properly through the nail polish. Today, the technology works just fine, so feel free to get that pre-baby manicure.
Myth: C-sections are less painful than vaginal births
And finally the infamous, painless C-Section… or is it? While I haven’t had both, it’s hard for me to judge on this one, and I don’t think my personal experience would be much help to anyone either, as it always comes down to the individual.
What I do know for sure is that pain comes with both. While it’s said that patients shouldn’t feel any pain during the actual C-section, they can expect pain for two to six weeks following the operation, probably more if you’re chasing around other kids. But that’s also true with a vaginal birth, plus the pain during the actual delivery.
Then again, a Canadian woman just had a child “fall out of her” on an airplane not knowing that she was pregnant. So anything is possible.
There are also many other myths surrounding C-Sections that you may have head. Here are six more that the Huffington Post published.
When it comes down to it, if you’re pregnant for the first time, my advice is to ignore “advice” and just ask your doctor. But if you have any other myths that you are curious about, post them here. I’ll be sure to add them to the list when I head in to have my son in a couple of weeks.