5 Common Myths About Labor And Delivery

Birth—  the thing that brings everyone into this world yet remains something few like to get into great detail about. Stories of labor and delivery may be told among close friends and family, but there are still several misconceptions that surround one of the most magical functions of a woman’s body. With roughly 10,267 babies being born in the United States every day, birth should be a topic that is celebrated, not left to the unknown.  

Common Myths About Labor And Delivery

While giving birth is a very personal and deeply emotional process, the truth about the process is out there for anyone to discover. At Kernodle OB/GYN, we are dedicated to providing the best care possible for you and your baby. As part of that commitment, we have compiled a list of common myths about labor and delivery to help you better understand fact versus fiction.

Myth #1: C-Sections Are More Painful Than Vaginal Birth

A C-section is used to deliver a baby through surgical incisions made in a woman’s abdomen and uterus. It’s estimated that nearly 30% of births in the United States are by cesarean delivery. Furthermore, more than half of women voluntarily undergo C-sections. However, the common belief that C-sections are significantly less painful than vaginal births is not necessarily true. Although your doctor will administer anesthesia before the c-section, the pain and recovery time afterward may outweigh the initial pain of vaginal childbirth. Keep in mind that a healthy mom and baby are all that counts at the end of the day, no matter how you choose to deliver. 

Myth #2: All Moms Instantly Bond With Their Baby

In the movies, the mother gives birth, the baby is placed on the mother’s chest, and there is an instant connection. News flash, sometimes bonding with your baby is a gradual process! Studies have found that about 20% of new moms and dads feel no real emotional attachment to their newborns in the hours after delivery. The baby blues can last anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Yet, should you have persistent feelings of anxiety, crying spells, mood swings, or difficulty sleeping, it is essential to contact your doctor, as you might be at risk for postpartum depression. 


If you feel little to no connection to your baby postpartum, try not to blame yourself or feel guilty; many different factors can interfere. Just remember it will come with time, and you’re doing a great job!

Myth #3: Wide Hips Make For An Easier Birth

Have you ever heard of the term “childbearing hips?” Essentially, this term was coined for women with wider hips, as it is thought to make childbirth easier. However, having wide hips does not always equate to seamless labor and delivery. Factors that can affect your birth experience regardless of hip width include the baby’s size, the baby’s position, your overall health, and the strength of your contractions.   


So, can wide hips make for an easy birth? In some cases, yes! Yet, the width of a woman’s hips is not the sole determinant of an easy or less painful birth. 

Myth #4: Your Second Delivery Will Be Less Painful

When having a second child, some women experience a similar labor experience, while others may experience something very different. The good news is that the cervix, pelvic floor muscles, and birth canal all have been stretched by the first baby the second time around. However, this does not mean that your contractions before and after are not as painful or that you’re less likely to experience complications. In fact, you may experience more pain with your second pregnancy due to your uterus losing so much muscle tone with your first labor and delivery. 

Myth #5: Your Water Will Break Like It Does In The Movies

Hollywood may have you believe that your water breaking is like a waterfall of amniotic fluid that soaks the floor around you. Although this can be true, it’s different for all women. Some women experience a small trickle down their leg, and others are induced at the hospital. Additionally, your water often breaks well after your contractions begin, meaning some women may have an inkling it may be nearing that time even before the waterworks. 

There is a lot to learn about the labor and delivery process, but you don’t have to navigate it alone! Kernodle OB/GYN can provide you with answers and resources about the incredible phenomena of birth. Check out our website or give us a call for more information.

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