When it comes to the birth of a child everyone suddenly claims to be experts on just about everything from what you should name your child down to the things you should eat, and your own personal birthing experience. While it may seem well intentioned, these pieces of advice can sometimes be further from the truth and do more harm than good in the long run. For this reason, we’ve chosen to use this article as a way to expose some of those common myths we hear about pregnancy, birth, and what instead look at what the experts are actually saying.
Fact versus fiction:
- Castor Oil: Mothers who’re tired of being pregnant and eager to meet their child will often go to extremes to start labor. I’ve heard many mothers recommending this as a good thing to get things going but the experts are now saying that this is the worst thing you can possibly do. In fact, babies are better predictors than even doctors in deciding when they’ve been in long enough and when they should be coming out. Women who use the castor oil can put themselves and baby at risk by causing dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting that is often associated as a side-effect of taking this. Some doctors have even reported children having died from complications of mothers consuming castor oil while pregnant.
- Walking: While this does certainly keep mommy in shape for the big arrival day, the baby will not come if it’s not ready. All the walking in the world will not cause you to go in labor any faster if the body has not already gone through the proper phases to prepare for arrival.
- Sex can harm the baby: For most couples this is untrue. Experts say that sex and more specifically semen from male ejaculation can help ripen and soften the cervix to better prepare it for labor and delivery, so in most cases it’s perfectly safe unless a doctor otherwise advices you not to
- You can’t breast feed while pregnant: Again, Experts are saying that it’s perfectly okay to breast feed one child while pregnant with the other. Often called Tandem feeding, there are no known associated risks involved.
- Breast feeding can help lose weight: Experts are saying this one can be true or untrue depending on what the mother is eating and how much her baby is feeding. While it’s true you’re burning more calories, breast feeding mothers may also consume more calories so depending on frequency of feeding, you may actually gain more weight than lose it.
- Co-Sleeping is safe: Again there are some stipulations to this. There are companies out there that have created products specifically for parents who plan to co-sleep and make it safer, but experts still recommend that baby sleeps alone in a crib until at least the age of two with no toys or blankets in their bed.
It is always best to take the advice of an expert over a well-meaning friend or relative. Just because something worked for someone during their experience of pregnancy does not necessarily mean it is either safe or appropriate for you and your baby.