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6 standard childbirth procedures that may do more harm than good
By Missy Jaramillo
Childbirth is a critical time for all expecting parents. All new moms want the comfort of knowing they're in good hands during the final hours of their pregnancy in which they are most vulnerable. Unfortunately, there are still many outdated delivery room procedures that may hinder your delivery rather than help. Here are six of the most common practices that should probably be retired.
1. Early labor inducement
This trend has become all too prevalent among modern women, namely for the sake of convenience. While waddling around with your nine-month belly may not be fun, asking your doctor to induce your labor early can actually have seriously harmful side effects for your child. Recent studies show that early inducement can actually interfere with baby development and leads to higher instances of C-sections, which may cause further birthing complications.
2. Elective C-sections
If there is no medical reason for you to undergo a cesarean, or C-section, procedure, you're better off giving birth the natural way. Babies born from these procedures are more likely to experience breathing problems or encounter surgical injury, whereas moms are more likely to experience blood clots, increased bleeding, infection, reactions to anesthesia and future C-sections, according to the Mayo Clinic.
3. Asking for the epidural too soon
There's no doubt about it - giving birth hurts. Bear in mind, though, that your body was designed to be able to handle the process of natural birth, and interfering could set you up for unwanted and potentially dangerous complications. Those who ask for an epidural too early risk slowing down the labor process, which could lead to more serious complications that might put your baby at risk.
4. Giving birth on your back
Women didn't always give birth lying flat on their backs, and when you think about it, why should they? This method of delivery was created by modern Western doctors who valued the convenience of being able to see and access the birthing canal over working with the body's natural mechanisms. When you give birth in an upright position, you've got gravity working with you. The National Center for Biotechnology Information supports this, stating that upright births are more likely to be faster, easier and less painful, and cause less trauma to a woman's birth canal as well as to the child.
5. Getting overzealous with the baby monitors
As if all the poking and prodding with ultrasounds during your pregnancy weren't enough, many standard delivery rooms will have you hooked up to electronic fetal monitors throughout the duration of the labor and birthing process. In most cases, these wires are medically unnecessary for the majority of the labor, and only serve to get in the way and make you uncomfortable. Ask your nurse or doctor to only hook up the monitor when necessary to avoid the restricted movement caused by this unpleasant delivery room device.
6. Allowing your baby to be rushed away to the nursery
In many cases, hospital staff may want to get your baby cleaned up and shipped off to the nursery as quickly as possible, allowing mom time to rest after the birth. However, this robs both mom and dad of valuable bonding time with baby. After all, would you rather your child's first few hours of life be spent among strangers and sterile hospital equipment? Or would you rather spend that time nurturing the child-parent bond and getting to know your little one?
What other standard delivery room procedures have you seething? Let us know your experiences down in the comments section!