Have you heard the one about the full moon? Your mother, or even your maternity nurse, might have you believing that more women go into labour when the moon is full. Shut the curtains and climb into bed because while hospitals may seem busier, this one got ousted many – er – moons ago. Despite that, there are still other birth myths out there that even we would argue surely have some truth in them.
“Natural birth is best”
We all know people, close friends (or most likely your mother-in-law), who look at a natural birth as superior. Yet for some women, a natural birth means complications and danger for mum and baby — not so superior now, is it? Popping out a baby whichever way suits you is best.
“Spicy food will help you go into labour”
If your baby is late (probably because it’s your first one.. wait, no — also a myth), ordering yourself a curry has been touted to kick-start the process. Spicy food is said to stimulate your intestines and, in turn, jolt your womb into action. There’s no hard evidence for this one but what we can tell you is that a relaxing evening at home with a takeaway is always a good idea.
“Wide hips make going through labour easier”
“Good childbearing hips” is a phrase you’ll no doubt have heard in praise of someone’s hips, maybe even your own. The truth is, the size of your hips has little to do with the size of your pelvis (the part you’ll be pushing the baby through) during labour. Only your doctor or gynaecologist is going to be able to tell the shape of your pelvis. And childbirth is difficult for everyone, believe us.
“You’ll know when you go into labour”
The gushing waterfall you expect could just turn out to be a trickle. Sorry to disappoint. You might not even know when you’ve gone into labour, despite what TV dramas might have you believe. When it does happen, or if you’re concerned it might be happening, set that birth plan into action.
“Home births are not for first-timers”
It’s fine if you feel safer in the hospital ward, many of us do. Yet, we often forget that giving birth in the comfort of your own home can be an option (or we’ve just heard too many horror stories). Home birth is safe for any low-risk woman, even if it is your first time giving birth. Read up on the pros and cons, if you’re wondering if it’s for you.