If you're going through your first pregnancy, chances are you've heard your fair share of pregnancy and labor related myths (like the idea that having a basketball-sized bump means you're carrying a boy.) The myths don't stop with pregnancy, either. There are plenty of old wives tales about pushing and other parts of labor that have been making the rounds for years.
Although pushing is the part of labor that most mothers look forward to — because it means the end of pregnancy (and the arrival of your little baby) is in sight — there are a few common misconceptions about the deed that deserve to be cleared up. Pushing isn't easy, in fact, it's a literal workout, and it's an extremely important stage of your labor, but it's oftentimes overlooked as pregnant moms research and build their labor plans.
More than likely, you'll be more focused on researching how to get through your contractions when you're in labor than learning about the truths (and non-truths) of pushing. But with these myths out of the way, you'll have a better picture in your mind about what pushing actually looks like, giving you an extra boost of clarity and confidence as your big day approaches.
Myth #1: Women With Curves Have An Easier Time Pushing
It's great to love your hips. But in reality, your outside appearance has little to do with the actual size of your pelvis. However, if your pelvis is actually wide, it could make for an easier trip for your baby. And according to Kid Spot, the vast majority of women have perfectly fine hips for giving birth.
Myth #2: Pushing Doesn't Take Long
You know those movies where the mother will be covered in sweat, pushes a few big times, and — pop! — out comes her squirmy (and usually much older looking) baby? Well, that's not necessarily how it usually works. If you're having an vaginal labor, pushing is likely to take 30 minutes to an hour, according to What To Expect.
Myth #3: You'll Feel An Overwhelming Urge To Push
Although in the vast majority of labors, you'll feel an overwhelming urge to "bear down" and push (almost like you need to go to the bathroom,) but in some cases that doesn't happen as strongly. If you decide to have an epidural, you likely won't feel the urge to push (or much of anything else,) according to to Very Well.
Myth #4: Pushing Always Hurts Less Than Contracting
Although the feeling is definitely much different than the pain of a contraction, when your baby crowns you'll feel a burning sensation called the "ring of fire," according to Mom.me. On the other hand, many women say they feel a sense of power with pushing (minimizing the painful aspect) since they have some control over what's happening.
Myth #5: You Can't Push With An Epidural
Although, as stated above, you may not feel the urge, you still will have the ability to push with an epidural. You'll just have to be more imaginative about it and use your muscles without actually feeling the full effect, according to Babble.