Science Does Little to Dispel Pregnancy Myths – Part 2

In part one of this post, we looked at the many pregnancy myths out there – and how there is precious little actual scientific backing or solutions offered for pregnancy myths and pregnancy problems.

Traditional wisdom assured us that we couldn’t get pregnant during our period, however that myth is now exploded. There is so much more about pregnancy that is not backed by scientific research:

Pregnancy Myths 1. A VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section) was discouraged on the grounds that there was the risk of a uterine rupture, putting both mother and baby in danger.

However, we now know that the risk of a uterine rupture is extremely low, much lower than previously thought, and the risk of maternal death no higher than if a woman elected to have another c section.

In fact, 70% VBACs are successful, but hospitals are yet to change their policies.

2. In the interests of advising women to undergo natural and un-medicated childbirth, a number of misconceptions have become associated with epidurals, which is the pain blocking medication given to the spinal cord to ease the pain of labor.

Women are told that epidurals will slow down labor and prolong it, increase chances of a forceps or vacuum delivery, and even hinder establishment of successful breastfeeding because the effect of the local anesthetic causes babies to be born sleepy and groggy.

In spite of research that has set us straight about these myths about the epidural, women continue to eschew the epidural or are made to feel guilty if they do opt for it, when in fact epidurals are safe and effective.

So it is important for pregnant women to cut through the scare mongering and the cultural contexts relating to pregnancy and childbirth and to make decisions based on clear information about possible risks weighed against the possible benefits.


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