LIES THAT MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS TELL CHILDBEARING WOMEN

Don't let them induce you

Quiz:  Guess what’s being sold when a medical professional tells you any of the following.  Some of these lies have more than one application in the childbearing year.

1.“THIS IS A HORMONE JUST LIKE YOUR BODY MAKES.”

2.“THIS IS OXYGEN”.  “THIS IS MOSTLY OXYGEN AND IS GOOD FOR YOUR BABY”.

3.“WE’LL GIVE YOUR BABY A SUGAR PACIFIER FOR THE PAIN AND HE WON’T REMEMBER IT.”

4.“THIS IS ONLY SOUND WAVES AND IT HAS BEEN USED FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS WITHOUT HARM”

5.“I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS FOR MY OWN WIFE.”

6.“THIS WILL HELP LOOSEN THE MEMBRANES FROM YOUR CERVIX AND HOPEFULLY YOUR BABY WILL COME BY HIS/HER DUE DATE SO WE DON’T HAVE TO INDUCE.  IT MIGHT BE A BIT UNCOMFORTABLE, THAT’S ALL.”

7.“THIS WILL RIPEN YOUR CERVIX.  IT’S THE SAME HORMONE AS YOU GET DURING SEX.”

8.“YOUR SEX LIFE WILL BE JUST AS GOOD AFTERWARDS AND YOU WON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT AN UNWANTED PREGNANCY.”

9.“NATURAL CHILDBIRTH IS OVER-RATED.”

10.“NOT EVERY WOMAN CAN DO THIS SO YOU SHOULDN’T FEEL BAD.  BE HAPPY THAT WE HAVE GOOD SUBSTITUTES NOWADAYS.”

11.“WE STOPPED PUTTING THAT PRESERVATIVE IN THEM YEARS AGO.”

Feel free to add more lies and to leave your best guesses.  Gloria

28 thoughts on “LIES THAT MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS TELL CHILDBEARING WOMEN

  1. 1. Pitocin as well as a few others, I’m sure
    2. ?
    3. Everything from PKU to vaccinations to (ugh) Circumcision (ugh)
    4. Ultrasound
    5. Ugh, everything. Does anyone else feel sorry for their wives?
    6. Stripping?
    7. Pitocin
    8. ? I don’t know this one but want to know!
    9. Drugs, drugs, drugs, interventions, and drugs
    10. Breastfeeding, progressing quickly in labor
    11. Mercury in Vaccinations

    I think you missed the most inhumane and overused lie:
    “IF WE DON’T DO THIS, YOUR BABY COULD DIE”

  2. Here are some (just to give an idea, because there are too much of them) of the lies in Brazil:

    * If your mother had a cesarean section, you will have one too;
    * If you do not have any dilatation by “X” weeks, you will need a cesarean section (the number of weeks depends of the ob/gyn, it can range from 36 to 40 weeks);
    * At 36 weeks your baby is ready to be born;
    * The umbilical cord will strangle your baby, cesarean section must be performed immediately;
    * Due to the evolution, human babies have bigger heads now, which makes nearly impossible for the baby to pass through the mother pelvis;
    * If you do not go into labor until you are “X” weeks, you will need a cesarean section (again, the number of weeks depends of the ob/gyn, it can range from 36 to 40 weeks).

    Basically, everything in Brazil becomes an indication for cesareans, especially if the woman is having the baby using health plans, but there are too many in the public health system as well (SUS). In fact, there is a lot of misreporting in SUS – women who had c-section, but their hospital papers have vaginal birth written in it. So many lies are told trying to make people believe that vaginal birth is bad and wrong, and c-sections are the new, clean, modern births. The same for breastfeeding and other things.

    Anything bad that happens or happened to a child is vaginal birth’s or breastfeedind’s fault. But if the child has any problem due to the surgery, it will be never the c-section’s fault, or bottle/formula’s fault… It is always the mom’s fault: for waiting to get into labor, for not understanding that breastfeeding is only for people that do not have money for formulas, and so on.

  3. What Kathryn Doyle wrote is also very true in there:

    “I think you missed the most inhumane and overused lie:
    “IF WE DON’T DO THIS, YOUR BABY COULD DIE””

  4. A little correction to my post: “But if the child has any problem due to the surgery, it will be never the c-section’s fault, or bottle/formula’s fault… ”

    I actually wanted to ‘say’: “But if the child has any problem, it will be never the c-section’s fault, or bottle/formula’s fault… ”

    🙂

  5. Good job, Kathryn. 2. is Nitrous Oxide
    Nurses here seem to think it is oxygen with just a bit of Nitrous gas in it and that it actually is good for the mother and baby. Surely they are just lying and they are not really that ignorant, or ? I wonder what they’d say if I told them to sit in a car with carbon monoxide running into the interior and said “Well, it’s carbon with oxygen so it’s good for you.” Boggles the mind.

    3. I was thinking of male genital mutilation
    8. I was thinking of vasectomy which I think is oversold as a benign treatment with no proper informed consent that it can diminish a couple’s sexual life.

    Thanks for posting the link to the “My OB Said What?” site, it’s a great compendium of the terrible misinformation (lies) that are being spread by professionals who know better. Please feel free to clip any of the ones I’ve posted here. Gloria

  6. 7. could also be prostaglandin gels, although some times oxytocin induction is started without making sure the cervix is favourable.

  7. Gloria I didn’t know about vasectomy having long term impacts, please say more.

    Thanks for a fab blog.

    Katrina
    Midwife in Australia

  8. Thank you for your insights on what misinformed doctors tell women about childbirth. Every year the medical profession, with the help of midwifes and dilligent women themselves are finding more and more new information on what makes for a safe delivery. We have come a very long way from the days when women used to rely on just the doctors input. There are so many resources to inform women about pregnancy and chilbirth. Keep up the good work and thanks again for your skepticism.

  9. are they really “misinformed”? that’s quite outrageous if you give it a little thought. if they really are that ignorant, then there’s something extremely wrong with medical school and the subsequent continuing education that OB’s are supposed to be engaged in.

    the alternative is that they’re deliberately malicious.

    either way, I’ll stick with doing my own prenatal care!

  10. are they really “misinformed”? that’s quite outrageous if you give it a little thought. if they really are that ignorant, then there’s something extremely wrong with medical school and the subsequent continuing education that OB’s are supposed to be engaged in.

    the alternative is that they’re deliberately malicious.

    either way, I’ll stick with doing my own prenatal care!

  11. Sigh… I sometimes wonder what hope women who birth in hospital have? Lists like this depress me…

    I also want to know more about the impact of vasectomy – the V word has been bandied about our house a bit recently. I guess I should Google, but am too scared of what I may find!

  12. Here’s a consumer type website that touches on the concerns about vasectomy that most men are not told by their doctors
    http://www.vasectomy-information.com/checklst/listndx.htm

    I am concerned about blocking the energy of sperm in the body. I worry about men having prostate problems (or worse) later in life. I know couples who went ahead with vasectomy and, then, the spark went out of their sex life which had previously been “hot”.

    It seems when things are “too good to be true” in life that they usually have a flaw.

  13. Women’s cervices dilate 1cm per hour.

    Breaking your waters, the pit and the epidural are your best chance for avoiding a cesarean.

    If we don’t break your waters, the baby won’t be able to come out.

    “You have to think about why you even wanted to get pregnant in the first place, and not be selfish” (this from an obstetricians who scared my client into consenting to induction at 41 wks because he was due to go away on a trip in two day’s time.)

  14. oh, some more I forgot:

    your pelvis is too small

    your baby is too big

    there’s probably something wrong inside your pelvis stopping the baby, something we can’t see. Your baby would probably die if you tried to have a vaginal birth.

    well yes I know the baby was head down and well engaged yesterday. But now it’s presenting shoulder first. Sometimes that happens with big babies, the baby is too big to fit into the mother’s pelvis, so the baby reverses out of the pelvis and tries to go with a smaller presenting part, like the shoulder. Yes, I’ve seen that quite a few times, the main cause of shoulder presentations is because the baby is too big. So she has to have another cesarean.

  15. Gloria – I agree Vasectomies can be scary, especially for my husband who has a strong family history of prostate cancer (his dad and nearly all of the male relatives on that side). Do you have any reservations about tubal ligations? I know all procedures have their risks, etc., I’m just looking at options for down the road.

  16. “Twins are ready sooner because they grow faster than singeltons.” related to me by a mom expecting twins and not convinced she should change OBs or hospitals after her first child ended up in the NICU for over a week.

    (and yes the mom of twins who told me this had them early due to “life threatning pre-eclampsia that they only diagnosed _after_ her induction)
    Can anyone come up w/ anything you can do faster when you add more? I certainly can’t.

  17. my kid’s dad so far so good with the vasectomy…

    am currently in a conversation with my sis in law… about the birth of my niece.. she (baby) was looking around the birth room (hospital birth with demoral) and the doctors suctioned her with a tube saying she wasn’t breathing.. and she wasn’t crying… but was alert… and looking around.. I know I said that already but I’m like wow.. I gave her the link to this…

    so they lie about the condition of the baby too??!!??!! ugh

    It seems my sis in law has some longstanding issues about her births.. go figure

  18. Here is a funny one. My pediatrician told me as a new mom just beginning the breastfeeding relationship:
    Pedi: “So how long do you nurse for?”
    Me: “It’s almost an hour.”
    Pedi: “That is much too long. After :20 minutes you no longer have milk coming out and your baby is just using you for a pacifier.”
    Me: “If I take her off that soon, she will cry as if she is hungry.”
    Pedi: “She just wants to keep sucking, give her a pacifier.”
    I didn’t buy it. I went home and looked it up. I found that, especially in new moms, it may take up to :30 minutes for the milk to just let down. I’m sure the next visit after following her advice, she would be advising me to supplement with formula because the baby wouldn’t have been gaining enough weight. Oy!

  19. From a pediatrician trying to convince parents to give their newborn baby girl a vitamin K shot:
    “Do you know what this does? When she loses her first tooth or falls and scrapes her knee, she won’t bleed as much, and when she is 11 or so and has her first period she won’t bleed too heavily.”

    They sweetly refused the injection, he stalked out of the room and snarled “You can find someone else to care for your baby then.”

    I was speechless.

  20. i was told I had a fever and needed antibiotics. I consented because I wasn’t messing around with hospital bacteria. The OB the following day came in, took me off the abx, and told me my temp hadn’t actually been high enough and it was just a side effect of the epidural. The pediatrician refused to stop my daughters abx even though her blood culture came back clean. She also lied and told me she was really bruised up to get me to do the vit k. The nurse later said she wasn’t bruised at all! Never again will I birth in a hospital! I wouldn’t wish that experience on the devil himself!

  21. “Posterior babies cannot be born vaginally. Their skulls will crash”.

    “If you birth on all fours, your baby will be in danger”

    “Don’t sit on the toilet in labour (first stage) or your baby may fall out of your pelvis and into the bowl”

    “It is physically impossible to breastfeed in the first 24 hours postpartum. Your baby needs formula or sugar water”.

    This is in South Korea.

    • Yeah, sure! I read that posterior babies can’t be born vaginally, too. That’s why I gave birth to a 9 pound first baby vaginally, at home, that presented posterior. It was tough; I’ll give them that. But I did it without surgery. So I guess it can happen:)

  22. AGE related
    1. You are too old to give birth
    2. Its safer at your age to have a c-section
    3. At ‘X’ age the body doesn’t dilate !!!!

    Some women don’t have it in them. Some = educated and from fairly well to do families with emotional and medical support.

    Lets get the baby out at/before due date because you womb has nothing to offer or nothing much is happening there.

    Best of all .. “you are taking a risk” well I’ll be …

  23. 1. Oxytocin/pitocin
    2. Nitrous oxide- I have always been curious about this. I see it used often in birth videos from the UK. I haven’t heard any pros/cons of it, just know it was phased out in the US. I would like to know more!
    3. Circumcision
    4. Ultrasound
    5. Just a phrase they use to make you think they are invested in you and to help you trust them.
    6. Membrane/cervical sweep
    7. Prostaglandin
    8. Vasectomy
    9. Another phrase to make you feel good about yourself
    10. Breastfeeding
    11. Mercury

  24. 1. Your baby will not turn on its own because it doesn’t have enough room to flip (breach 20 weeks) so you will HAVE to have a Caesarian.
    2. There are X amount of things wrong with baby and nothing you researched or is in your history matters because I am a surgeon and know better (dismissed and discharged in 5mins)
    3. You are having a really high risk pregnancy.. But no bed rest and you can get your Caesarian done at the small hospital that isn’t equiped to deal with nicu emergencies.

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