I often wonder where we get the idea of what birth looks or feels like. Do we gather our ideas from media? Are the births shown in our favorite tv shows and movies realistic? Let’s uncover some facts/myths regarding real birth versus tv birth….
- BOTH–Your water will break in the middle of a party, work day, shopping, or in some other dramatic way…–While it is true that your water might break anytime, it is unlikely to do so during one of these opportune or embarrassing moments. Only approximately 15% of women experience their bag of water rupturing naturally.
- MYTH–You must speed to the hospital immediately after starting to have contractions.–Most doctors recommend the 5-1-1 rule of thumb for full-term, healthy pregnancies and deliveries. Many women and families choose to stay home during early labor to enjoy optimal movement, rest, nourishment, and comfort.
- MYTH–The doctor will be by your side coaching you the entire time.–Typically doctors are in and out of the room throughout your labor experience. They will be there to catch your baby but often times only pop in every few hours to check on you. Rest assured, they are keeping an eye on your monitors. Your nurse will visit more often (approximately every hour or so) and your doula will remain by your side throughout your entire labor and birth.
- BOTH–You will scream at your spouse, doctor, friends, and family.–While this is a possibility, in my three years as a full-time doula, I have yet to see a woman scream at those supporting her. There have been curt comments, frustrated exasperation, and irritation, but I have yet to hear the screaming.
- BOTH–Your spouse will faint during the epidural or delivery.–This might happen but it is uncommon. Having a doula by your side is helpful because if your partner is squeemish, your partner can stand near your head and face you while your doula supports your leg during delivery.
- MYTH–You must birth lying down in a hospital bed.–This is a huge myth that has certainly been perpetuated by media. You can birth safely and comfortably in many positions. We encourage clients to move freely and comfortably and rest in the bed when needed.
- BOTH–Birth is super fast!–It can be! I once attended a 17 minute from the hospital to delivery birth but it is very unlikely. The average for first time mothers is 14 hours. It typically decreases gradually with each birth, but like most things birth related, not always.
- FACT–Your baby will emerge! Whether via cesarean, vaginal, or magic, the baby will be born and you will be holding your sweet bundle of joy and the labor will be a fleeting memory until you ask yourself, “are we ready to do this again?”
Written by: Melissa Nauss, Owner | Lead Doula of Stars and Stripes Doulas of New Orleans