"You will definitely stick to your birth plan" and 7 other myths about giving birth
Childbirth: it's all breathing and Rescue Remedy, right? Turns out - not so much. We asked Mumsnetters what were their biggest misconceptions about giving birth before they embarked on it themselves; if you're new to this whole baby lark, the answers may surprise you...
And if you've an infant in the offing and would like more insider tips on birth and what comes after, come along to our first ever Bumpfest, a one-day event all about birth and your baby's first six months.
MYTH: You will stick to your birth plan, come hell or high water.
FACT: "Your natural birth with zero pain relief may well fly out the window."
MYTH: Your carefully planned post-birth outfit will guarantee you'll look great in all the photos.
FACT: "It'll get ripped off and swapped for a baggy t-shirt in minutes."
MYTH: You will naturally get the urge to push when your body's ready.
FACT: "You will certainly get a 'feeling' when fully dilated (if you have not had an epidurual) but blind panic and terror meant that I fought against that (slamming my legs together and refusing to open my thighs)."
MYTH: Induction will inevitably be terribly painful.
FACT: "I was frightened, and I didn't need to be. An epidural didn't mean I had lost control, it gave me control and dignity. I'd be delighted to have an induction again!"
MYTH: First babies are invariably late.
FACT: "If I could go back to the day before my waters went, I would tell myself to call in sick to work, pack a hospital bag and buy some tiny baby clothes."
MYTH: Once the baby's out, naturally the pain will cease.
FACT: "Oh my god, the afterpains were excruciating and literally debilitating for the first few weeks. Labour paled in comparison. Having birthed a back-to-back baby at home naturally, I took all the drugs under the sun for the first few weeks!"
MYTH: It's of vital importance to prepare a playlist of relaxing music in advance.
FACT: "Turns out I want silence, darkness and to be left alone!"
MYTH: If things don't go according to your birth plan, you'll feel awful.
FACT: "After an induction and ventouse delivery with failed epidural and spinal anaesthetic I didn't give a monkeys. The birth is a process, it's every day after that one that actually matters."
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