When I talk to moms, I hear a lot of different things that are very common. Many of these (though not in all cases) are just myths that are passed around. It’s really important to have correct information, so that if you are faced with an unusual situation, you can make an informed decision (with the help of your doctor).
What are these myths? Keep reading to find out!
Please note that it is possible, but very unlikely, that these myths are true for a select number of women. The problem is they’re not true for most, but a lot of women believe they are. I’ll note under what circumstances these may be true.
#1: You can’t deliver a big baby (over 9 lbs.) vaginally.
Truth: Of course you can, in most cases. There are some women who have unusually shaped pelvises or a very small frame, but the vast majority of women are fully capable of delivering a large baby vaginally. Birth position (which I’ll talk about later this week) has a lot to do with it. Lying on your back is, unfortunately, one of the worst positions for delivery. I personally know a woman with a fairly small frame who delivered a 10 lb. 8 oz. baby vaginally…and at home (without any complications). So yes, it is absolutely possible! According to one midwife I know, it’s actually easier to deliver bigger babies because they’re stronger and they can “help” more.
#2: After your due date, your placenta will deteriorate.
Truth: Probably not, and this is assuming that your due date is even right in the first place. Babies’ “required time” in the womb varies from 38 – 42 weeks normally, and can be slightly less or more than that. As long as your pregnancy is still progressing normally (no worrying/unusual symptoms), it is unlikely that your placenta is deteriorating. In fact, it doesn’t even make sense in most cases! Your placenta isn’t stamped with a “best before” date, after which it simply deteriorates even while you are still pregnant. If the placenta were deteriorating, you would likely show some symptoms…or, more likely go into labor. A healthy woman’s body won’t keep a baby it can’t support.
#3: You have low fluid, so an induction is necessary.
Truth: This is possible, but really rare. What is more likely is that your fluid is “lower” because your baby is so big, but well within the normal range. It just may be hard to tell how much is there because it is behind the baby or in another place where it can’t be felt or seen on ultrasound. Many women who are told they have low fluid actually have a pocket behind the baby, but they don’t discover this until they’re induced and their water breaks…and goes everywhere! One midwife I know has only truly seen low fluid once in her career.
#4: You’re going to have a really large baby for sure.
Truth: It’s really difficult to tell how big a baby really is before it is born. Estimates can be off by the size of your belly, position of the baby, position of the placenta, amount of fluid, etc. Baby weight estimates are generally within 2 pounds either way…which is a lot when you’re talking about an average 7.5 lb. baby! Therefore, your doctor may say “your baby is definitely over 9 lbs.” but it turns out your baby is a very average 7 lbs. And going back to myth #1, even if your baby is large, you will probably be able to deliver it anyway.
#5: Once a c-section, always a c-section.
Truth: Most of us are well aware this isn’t true anymore. Even ACOG has stated that it’s safe for most women to attempt a VBAC or even VBA2C, provided they are generally “low risk” and in an appropriate facility. So, if this situation applies to you, be aware of what your options are, and discuss them with your doctor early in your pregnancy to determine the safest method of delivery for you (which may be a repeat c-section…but, it may not).
Have you heard these or any other myths?
Top image by DarkMarty