You have read the books and the articles, seen the videos and social media posts, and heard from others’ personal experiences, but have you ever wondered about those things that no one talks about? What will really happen when you walk into that labour and delivery room, what to expect when pushing, the joys of being pregnant, but also the things that might not be so exciting?
Pregnancy and birth are beautiful, yet messy experiences! Read on to learn about some top myths about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum based on the very things every mama wish they had known!
MYTH: Nausea and vomiting are the only early pregnancy symptoms
FACT: Everybody talks about nausea and vomiting, and we’ve all heard about morning sickness, but did you know that there are many other early pregnancy symptoms to be prepared for? Often breast tenderness, frequent urination, and some serious sleepiness are some of the first signs you are pregnant.
MYTH: Your body begins making breastmilk after your baby is born
FACT: As soon your placenta is functioning around 12 weeks of pregnancy, your body can start producing breastmilk. This early breastmilk is known as colostrum, and you might even find that your breasts start to leak colostrum in the weeks before the birth of your baby.
MYTH: Breastfeeding always comes naturally and doesn’t require much practice
FACT: There is a definitely a learning curve for both you and your baby as you begin your breastfeeding journey. This is a new skill for both of you and absolutely requires patience and practice! Give yourself grace, and seek help from a lactation professional early on for specialized education, knowledge, and guidance.
MYTH: When your ‘water breaks,’ it is an isolated event with a gush of fluid, and then it’s over.
FACT: When your amniotic sac breaks, you will most likely experience a continuous leakage of fluid until the birth of your baby. You might notice a slow trickle of fluid or leakage in larger amounts that seemingly never really stop. If or when your water breaks, it is important to pay attention to the COLOUR of the fluid, ODOR of the fluid (if any), AMOUNT of fluid, and TIME that your water breaks so that you can share these details with your healthcare provider.
MYTH: You can only get your epidural at a certain time during your labour.
FACT: Patients often ask if they are getting an epidural too early, fearing it will run out before they deliver. The reality is that it runs on a continuous pump and therefore will never run out until the pump is turned off. There is no right or wrong time to get an epidural, unless you are fully dilated and it is too late! Do what feels right for you and your labour.
There are myths that getting an epidural slows down your labour, however, an interesting systematic review concluded it does not really matter when the epidural is initiated for first time mothers. According to the review, the timing of insertion should primarily be related to mother’s requests and, whether initiated early or late, does not impact a c-section, operative birth, length of second stage of labor, or malposition at delivery.
MYTH: Vaginal bleeding only occurs with a vaginal delivery
FACT: All women will experience bleeding, also known as lochia, after birth for about six weeks. This bleeding occurs as your body sheds the thickened uterine lining that supported your pregnancy and nourished your baby. Your uterus is also working hard to heal the space where the placenta was attached!
MYTH: The postpartum period is supposed to be full of joyful, blissful moments.
FACT: Recovering and caring for a brand-new baby comes with its fair share of challenges. Not to mention, your body is going through a lot of changes as it transitions from a pregnancy body growing a baby to a recovering, postpartum body nourishing a newborn. The ‘baby blues’ are a normal, self-limiting change in emotional status beginning a few days after the birth of your baby and can last for a few weeks. You might find yourself overcome with love for your new little bundle of joy one minute and inexplicably in tears the next minute. If you notice your symptoms are not improving or worsening, let your healthcare provider know as this could be a sign of postpartum depression.
And finally, how strong a mama really is!
FACT: Alright, this one is definitely all FACT. Whether you are thinking about conceiving, currently pregnant, recently gave birth, or at any other point on your motherhood journey, you are strong beyond measure!
Need comprehensive expert support during your pregnancy from trusted professionals? Our PUSH Prenatal Program was developed to help expecting mamas like yourself feel supported and confident as you carry and care for your bundle of joy. Registration is now open, learn more at https://thepushprenatalprogram.vhx.tv/.