Before the rise of technology, old wives’ tales about pregnancy used to be passed around via word of mouth and before childbirth preparation classes got started.
Thanks to the Internet and social media, these old wives’ tales are now being passed around via online forums and groups. This isn’t always good because it can freak new moms-to-be out and cause them to come into the doctor’s office super frazzled and freaking out that birth will be difficult because they read something online.
Sorry folks, but modern old wives’ tales such as having wide hips doesn’t mean birth’s going to be easy and the others featured below are easily debunked by both science and a bit of plain old common sense.
18 Spicy Food Helps Bring Baby Into The World
Nowadays, it seems as if everyone has a “neat trick” that they swear up and down worked for someone they knew to help a pregnant mother-to-be to induce labor if she’s past her due date.
According to Today’s Parent, this apparently includes eating copious amounts of ridiculously spicy food; but there’s a better chance that instead of labor, mom’s going to have heartburn instead.
17 All Natural Birth Means No Pain Meds
Amongst moms and moms-to-be on Internet forums and groups on social media, there’s the erroneous belief that “all-natural” birth equates to “ZOMG NO PAIN MEDS EVER!”
Romper debunks that idea by pointing out that giving birth au natural doesn’t automatically rule out the mom in question getting pain relief because there are so many medical items used even in “natural births” that makes the term a bit silly.
16 There Is No Eating And Drinking Allowed During Labor
Another widespread belief is that under no circumstance will a mom-to-be have the chance to eat a meal while in labor because it can seriously mess with the knock-out drops they get.
Romper points out that this is total bullshit and eating a meal can help keep their energy up during labor. Plus, the American Society of Anesthesiologists have said that it’s a-okay for women to eat a light meal during labor and there’s only an issue with the knock-drops if they have serious complications.
15 Only Moms With No Pain Tolerance Wants The Epidural
Some folks online nowadays judge and even shame a mom if she makes the choice to get an epidural during labor because CLEARLY that means she’s a total wimp that can’t tolerate pain.
People, listen to Romper—this is FALSE and pain tolerance is largely due to the mom’s genetics. Epidurals don’t equal wimpiness, my dudes.
14 Boys Always Have A Low Heartbeat
Mother and Baby writes that one modern old wives’ tale that gets circulated around like wildfire from Game of Thrones is that moms-to-be can always tell they are having a boy if the fetal heartbeat is less than 140 beats per minute.
Moms, if you want to know 100 percent if the baby’s a little boy or a little girl, just get a sonogram.
13 Moody Moms Tend To Give Birth To A Girl
Mother and Baby adds that another bizarre belief often found online is that moms who struggle with really intense mood swings during the pregnancy often give birth to girls.
Uhhh…how does anyone believe that drivel? Pretty sure science can debunk this misogynistic idea; besides, why would mood swings from pregnancy hormones even affect the gender of the baby?
12 Eating Eggplant Parm Is Good For Late Babies Since It Starts Labor
What To Expect point out that Scalini’s Restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia boasts that their eggplant parmesan dish can help pregnant women past their due date induce labor and 300 women in the past 25 years have had “eggplant” babies.
Sadly, this isn’t really true. Sometimes certain kinds of food—like this eggplant dish—can trigger contractions because the gastrointestinal system got kickstarted, but that is rare and you can’t force your body to start the labor process by chowing down on yummy Italian food.
11 Baby Won't Be Able To Breathe If You Pick A Water Birth
According to Baby and Company, one common misconception people tend to have about water births is that they are worried that the newborn won’t be able to breathe when they are in the water.
That’s total bunk because when a baby makes their entrance in the world, their lungs still have fluid inside and they get their oxygen via the umbilical cord still. Of course, then they easily make the transition from womb to wide world and start using their lungs very quickly.
10 Babies Stay Still Just Before Labor
Another myth that gets passed around the wide world of the Internet is the belief that babies in the womb somehow magically know that labor is starting and they stay still so mom can bring them into the world.
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby writes that this is a cute idea, but there’s zero truth to this.
9 Once You Have A C-Section, You'll Always Need One
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby points out that there are a lot of people nowadays that don’t know all of the facts about getting a c-section and erroneously think that once a woman has a c-section, she’ll never be able to give birth au natural.
In reality, barring any serious health issues or any major complications, even if a mom had a c-section with her previous child, she’ll be able to go the all-natural route with child number two.
8 Epidurals Increase The Odds Of Needing A C-Section
Another old wives’ tale that is often repeated online is the belief that moms who chose to get an epidural during the labor and birthing process are more likely to wind up needing a c-section in order to allow the baby to make their debut in the world.
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby writes that this isn’t true; there is some evidence that might point to epidurals leading to the doctor having to use forceps, but definitely not a c-section.
7 Moms Instantly Fall In Love With Baby After Giving Birth
Thanks to modern media and their portrayal of moms giving birth, there’s a lot of people out there that think once the baby is born, moms automatically bond with them like they are some sort of robot.
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby notes that while some moms may instantly bond with their wee one, it’s also common for many moms to NOT feel attached at the hip to the baby and the bond develops over time.
6 It's Easy To Tell When A Woman's In Labor
Modern media also has stamped an inaccurate portrayal of labor into society’s collective consciousness: everyone seems to think that moms will have a dramatic labor with their water breaking and will instantly know that they’re having contractions.
Meanwhile, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby points out that this is SO not true because sometimes the signs are so subtle that moms-to-be miss them entirely—especially if this is their first rodeo.
5 Big Hips Help Baby To Enter The World
Not sure why this old wives’ tale just won’t DIE already, but there are still folks out there that equate wide hips to easy-peasy childbirth.
Errr, hate to break it to y’all, but Pregnancy, Birth and Baby says that’s nonsense. There’s a lot of different factors that go into whether a birth will be a breeze or be difficult—including the position mom is sitting in—but hip size doesn’t matter.
4 Only Go To A Hospital Labor Ward
Another misconception many folks have about giving birth is that the parents-to-be need to high-tail it to the hospital ASAP so that mom can be admitted into the labor ward.
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby adds that while a hospital labor ward is a good choice for moms that could be at risk for complications or have some kind of medical condition, it’s perfectly safe to pick a birthing center or have a home birth instead.
3 Natural Birth Is The Superior Option
For whatever reason, it is super trendy nowadays for moms to pick a “natural birth” and refuse to take any kind of pain relievers whatsoever during the process; this often leads to shaming other moms that picked a different option online because “natural births are superior” or some such nonsense.
Fatherly writes that no, 100 percent natural births aren’t superior to other options out there and there are even some moms that are unable to give birth that way; thus having to go for a c-section instead.
2 Giving Birth Au Natural Allows Mom To Have Better Control Of Her Options
Birth plans are all the rage for moms-to-be and there are some folks online that feel giving birth all-natural is the only way to not be under the thumb of a tyrant doctor that will make a spur-of-the-moment decision for you during labor.
Fatherly notes that this is a ridiculous concept because labor is ALWAYS going to be unpredictable and instead of being a stickler for one plan, chat with the doctor or midwife about having several backup plans in place should the process get a bit hairy.
1 Home Birth Equals Zero Pain Relief
Another popular misconception about moms that decide to give birth at home is that they have to tough it out without any kind of pain relief, such as an epidural.
NCT points out that the midwife can bring pain-relieving gas in the form of nitrous oxide and oxygen or they can give mom an injection of pethidine to ease the aches. Plus, there’s always yoga breathing techniques and acupuncture to help mom breathe through the pain too.
Sources: Today's Parent, Romper, What To Expect, Scalini's, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby, Mother and Baby, Baby and Company, Fatherly, and NCT.