15 Myths of Childbirth: Uncovering the Truth

by Birth Without Fear on November 2, 2010

Truth about childbirth, birth and pregnancy

Thanks to the AMA, ACOG, news media, Hollywood, and horror stories being passed down from generation to generation, there are many disheartening myths surrounding childbirth. Unfortunately these myths are taken as truth. Here at Birth Without Fear, we have shed light on a number of these myths. By revealing the truth, maybe we can get one step closer to birthing how God and nature intended us to.

Here are some myths of childbirth that have been discussed here:

  1. Doctors only do interventions that are truly necessary.
  2. Continuous fetal monitoring is safer than intermittent monitoring.
  3. You have to birth on your back.
  4. The umbilical cord: you have to cut and clamp the cord immediately after birth and if it is wrapped around the baby’s neck it is dangerous.
  5. Inductions: It is safe and if you are not induced you will not go into labor on your own.
  6. Labor begins when a pregnant mama’s water breaks and she must birth between 12-24 hours after it does.
  7. You can only push when dilated to 10 cm.
  8. You can not eat or drink in labor (or do anything else your body is telling you to).
  9. Going past your 40 week due date is dangerous.
  10. Babies often get too big to deliver vaginally.
  11. A c-section is easier and less painful than a vaginal birth.
  12. Epidurals don’t affect baby.
  13. Vaginal breech birth is unsafe.
  14. Vaginal Birth After Cesareans (VBAC) are dangerous.
  15. Homebirth is not safe, hospital birth is not safe, no birth is safe.

It seems pretty much every thought surrounding birth is a myth. In all honesty, it’s frustrating. Arm yourself with knowledge and you’ll be a step ahead of the game!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather May 15, 2013 at 12:50 am

I am a strong supporter of home birth even though mine went wrong. Everyone looks at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I birthed at home and I tell them its so peaceful to labor in your own home. I would say “birth in your own home” but I wouldn’t know. My pelvis broke and I was in so much pain that I don’t even remember feeling him crown. I do remember that his cord was around his neck so tightly that it had to be cut. However, after I was transferred to the hospital, we had him admitted so he could be with me the whole time. Even the doctors said he was one of the healthiest babies they’d ever seen! Now, he is 17 months old and my pelvis had to be surgically put back together and I’ll never get to birth naturally again. 🙁 I’m also terrified of a c-section, but still want more kids. Even with all my troubles, I still support home births! I always tell people that my issue is very rare. Even the doctors at the university hospital had never heard of this happening!


Sharon May 16, 2013 at 9:30 am

Hey Heather. I got to witness my cousin’s home birth and it was wonderful. I wanted the same thing. I chose a midwife and a birthing center. I had an easy pregnancy then on the 26th week my water broke. I went to the hospital, thinking they could fix it and send me home. I was wrong. No more midwife for me. I was in the hospital for 6 weeks until I gave birth to my daughter. I didn’t efface (sp?) no epidural. Due to prematurity and her not breathing I got to meet her several hours later. I was terrified of C-Sections and therefore chose no drugs as I was of the opinion that a c-section would be where I was pushed if I was drugged and if things weren’t going in a timely fashion.

So second child. I went full term and was about 9 1/2 centimeters when they lost the heart beat on the monitor and I was in excruciating pain. (Mainly in my kidney area) Long story short I had to have a c-section and had to be put to sleep because the epidural would take too long. The doctor even said as they were wheeling me in that I was terrified of c-sections and were trying to get me back to normalcy. The cause of the pain for me and loss of heart beat was due to uterus clamping down around her face. They had to cut my uterus like a pie to get her out. Due to my recovery from being put to sleep, I got to meet her a few hours later. This c-section definitely took longer to recover from than the vb.

For my third, due to previous issues, I scheduled a planned c-section. I got an epidural. My husband finally got to cut the umbilical cord. I got to hold her immediately after birth and the recovery from this c-section was much better. (I think because it was not an emergency c-section?)

I used to have guilt that I couldn’t have my child the way I wanted to. Naturally, at home or outside of the hospital setting. I tried to control how my birth happened but I couldn’t. Long story short, If you have another child, C-section or not, your child will be wonderful and there is no shame in what you can not control. Peace


rose May 15, 2013 at 1:03 am

I was induced at 37 weeks because of massive kidney stones causing horrible pain… it resulted in a c section because the doctor would only give a low dose of the medicine. Nothing else was done to move my labor along, then because I wasn’t dilating, my doctor recommended that I have a c section, despite my birth plan I told her. She felt because they had to stop labor at 27 weeks that a c section would be best. After about 10 minutes, I gave in and felt horrible for giving into being bullied. For my second, I contracted 2 minutes apart, horriedly strong contractions, for a month and still nothing was done for me until I was again pressured into getting another c section. Now my ob says it has to be c section every time, and I am pregnant with my third, I became pregnant only 4 months after my second, and she fears if she let’s me contract, my uterus will tear. I do not want another c section… I wanted a birth without an epidural, I didn’t and still don’t want a large needle in my spine. It has given me horrid back problems… I really want a natural birth, but made to feel that at this point, it is impossible. 🙁 I never wanted a c section. Ever.


Charity May 15, 2013 at 3:18 am

It’s great to hear so many powerful stories and so much encouragement toward natural deliveries. I’m a labor and delivery nurse in a unit where both certified nurse midwives and obstetricians practice. We work together to have great outcomes. I get really discouraged by the women who come to us as failed home birth or birthing center deliveries and believe that we are going to intentionally harm them or their babies. Honestly, we are generally in support of intermittent monitoring and low interventions but things do go awry and sometimes birth plans have to get overlooked in the best interest of saving a babies life. Shouldn’t we all be able to work together to attain the healthiest moms and babies?


Miranda May 15, 2013 at 5:45 am

Myth number 4 caught my eye. I was uncomfortable on my back from very early my pregnancy. I arrived at the hospital at 10cm (because I knew that they would not allow me to eat or drink and I get super grumpy when hungry). A voice kept asking “Can you move on to your back?” and my wonderful Doula kept answering ‘No’. If I hadn’t been so busy giving birth I would have told that young Dr that I thought that she was there for my convenience and not the other way around.


Holly Reynolds August 17, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Number 10 is definitely a myth, I birthed an 11lb 7oz baby. He was also sunny side up. ☺️


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