Five Misconceptions About Labor

Are you pregnant and preparing for labor and delivery? OBGYN Dr. Gleaton breaks down some of the most common misconceptions about giving birth.

By OBGYN and fertility expert Dr. Kenosha Gleaton

Counting down until your due date and wondering about all the stories you’ve heard about labor and delivery? Dr. Kenosha Gleaton shares some of the most common misconceptions and what you really need to know about them.

#1. I will be electively induced and will meet my baby two hours afterwards: Myth!

  • Medical, done for high risk factors or pregnancy complications
  • Elective, done for scheduling and/or convenience

Inductions are often longer — since the body is being forced into labor — and often reported to be more painful. There are several possible explanations for this:

  • During an induction, your uterus can transition from a complete standstill to regular uterine contractions in a very short period of time. This sudden uterine activity can be more intense when compared to spontaneous labor where contractions can take hours to days to become regular. If you sign up for elective induction, just be prepared for the duration, which can be a few days.
  • When labor occurs naturally, oxytocin is released from the brain, causing cervical stretching and dilation. This release of oxytocin also stimulates the brain to release endorphins, which are powerful pain relievers similar to morphine. Unfortunately, pitocin, used for induction, does not cross the blood-brain barrier which means it can’t stimulate this same endorphin release.
  • During induction, activity is more restricted which can limit pain relieving positions and coping mechanisms.

Bottom line, induction of labor after 39 weeks, even when elective, is considered safe and for some women is best for them and their family. With that in mind, just be prepared, having the right mindset and expectation of your induction process. Talk to your OBGYN regarding your specific situation and if induction is right for you and your baby.

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