Here are our top ten myths in Kosovo about Childbirth:
1. Coke and chocolate will help bring on labor. MYTH!
Wouldn’t it be nice if this were true! But it simply is not, and while it could make you feel better in the short-term, the caffeine and sugar will agitate you and the baby and dehydrate you, which is not good for you or your baby. There are some other common ideas about bringing on labor. One is drinking castor oil, but check with your doctor first, as it can give you terrible diarrhea. If your cervix has already started to efface, you can try walking and sex (your husband’s semen helps soften and dilate your cervix, while your orgasm will cause your uterus to contract). Nipple stimulation can bring on labor by releasing the hormone oxytocin, but it's a slow process; you need to do it for an hour, three times a day.
2. Water breaking means baby is coming out very soon. MYTH!
Real life is not like the movies, where a woman’s water breaks and she is raced frantically to the hospital, only to deliver her baby within minutes. Don’t we wish! Only 10-15% of the time do the waters break before a woman goes into labor. Most of the time your contractions have already started for real. If contractions didn’t start before the waters broke, they will usually start within 12-24 hours. Call your doctor when your waters break to confirm the time and to describe the color of the liquid. You should go to the hospital within 24 hours of your waters breaking.
3. Labor starts when you lose your mucus plug. MYTH!
Also called a “bloody show”, this does not mean you’re going into labor either. The mucus plug usually comes out between one-to-seven days before your waters break, or sometimes at the same time. You might not notice it come out, and that’s OK.
4. A C-section is less painful than a vaginal birth. MYTH!
You might not feel as much pain, but you will likely still feel some pain or discomfort during the process and after when the drugs wear off or give side-effects. Your recovery from birth will probably be longer and tougher and you will have pain in the weeks after delivery and will need medication. You will also have difficulty in picking up, caring for or feeding your newborn and other older children who might need extra attention given their new sibling.
5. “Good birthing hips” make labor easy. MYTH!
Birthing a baby has nothing to do with a woman’s size on the outside. Some might look wide, but the pelvis can still be small, which can make delivery difficult. The doctor is the only one that can determine the size of your pelvis. The same goes in reverse; even if you look like you have small hips, you might not have a small pelvis, and it doesn’t mean you will need a C-section.
6. Your labor will be like your mom’s. MYTH!
It’s not true. While you have a 50/50 chance of having the same pelvic shape as your mother, but there are many other factors that can make your experience completely different. And just because your mother might have had a C-section, doesn’t mean you will need one.
7. Daughters give you a more difficult labor. MYTH!
The sex of your child makes no difference to the difficulty of your labor. A more difficult labor is only caused by the position of the baby as it descends the birth canal, if the baby is very large, or if the mother has pelvic abnormalities (including a narrow pelvis) or uterine fibroids. Also, every person perceives pain differently, so what is painful for some is tolerable for others.
8. Lying down during labor will help. MYTH!
The opposite is true. Lying flat on your back is not helpful, walk and change positions often if able to help make labor easier.
9. Labor will for sure be extremely painful. MYTH!
Labor is different for every woman, with sensation ranging from pleasure (yes some women orgasm!) to discomfort to extreme pain. Fear increases tension; tension intensifies pain, and pain produces additional anxiety that leads to fear and further tension. You can break this cycle through knowledge and relaxation techniques, which reduces the perception of and feelings of pain.
10. You can’t or shouldn’t hold your baby skin-to-skin right after birth. MYTH!
All hospitals in Kosovo should allow mothers to hold their baby skin-to-skin right after birth, unless there is a complication with the baby and/or mother. The benefits of holding your baby skin-to-skin immediately after birth are tremendous. It makes it easier for baby to latch on and latch on well,it lets baby maintain body temperature better even than in an incubator,it helps baby maintain normal heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure, it gives baby good (higher) blood sugar levels,baby is happier and less likely to cry,baby is more likely to breastfeed exclusively and breastfeed longer,baby can better tell mother when it is ready to feed, and, baby is less likely to develop allergies because he gets the same bacteria from you. See how here.