Today we’re talking about all the myths in labor and delivery. So many people have heard about the husband stitch, but there’s lots of pregnancy & labor myths that we’ve heard as two labor nurses.
Today’s guest is my friend Chantel. She’s been a nurse for ten years, with the last five being in both postpartum and labor and delivery. She’s one of my favorite nurses I’ve ever worked with.
Big thanks to our sponsor The Online Prenatal Class for Couples — get the real truth from an experienced labor and delivery nurse. Be sure to use the coupon mentioned in the episode to save!
Pregnancy & Labor Myths
In this episode
The Husband Stitch
Rubbing your belly too much
Not getting out of bed or showing after the baby.
Not stepping over ropes during pregnancy
The walking epidural
Don’t exercise during pregnancy
You have to do what your doctor says
Full moon puts you in labor
Pitocin is bad
How to tell if it’s a boy or a girl?
How to keep your baby from being ugly.
Other things that might interest you
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out my other pregnancy podcasts:
[00:00:00.355] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on Episode 80, we’re talking about the husband Stitch. That’s right. We’re talking about my favorite labor and delivery myths, pregnancy myths, you are not going to want to miss this one. Let’s untangle it.
[00:00:22.885] – Hilary Erickson
Welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast, I’m Hilary, your curly headed host on the podcast, where we untangle everything from pregnancy, parenting, and home routines. I want you to know that there are no right answers for every family. And I find that simplifying my priorities is almost always the answer. It’s tangled just like my hair.
[00:00:49.595] – Hilary Erickson
And now a word from our lawyer. Hilary is a nurse, but she is not your nurse. This podcast is for entertainment purposes only. Please take the advice of your provider who understands your needs and circumstances. Thank you. Guys, before we get started, can I beg you to leave us a review? We have so many listeners, not so many reviews, because this is a podcast for busy moms. I know you’re busy, but no other busy moms are ever going to find this podcast if you don’t leave a review.
[00:01:18.905] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks, guys. Superexcited for today’s guest. I worked with her at my last hospital. She has been a nurse for 10 years. She’s been an O.B. for five years. She just switched to labor and delivery. Just adore the heck out of her. I want to introduce my friend Chantel.
[00:01:33.275] – Hilary Erickson
Do you feel prepared for your delivery? In just three short hours, you can be prepared for the competent collaborative delivery you want. You’ll know what to expect and how to talk with your health care team. And there are no boring lessons in this class. I’ll use humor, stories from my twenty years in the delivery room to engage both of you. I love how Alyssa told me that she found herself laughing at things that used to sound scary. Most of all, you guys are going to be on the same page from Bump to Bassinette.
[00:01:58.085] – Hilary Erickson
Join the online prenatal class for couples. Today you can save 15 percent with coupon code untangled. You can find the link in the show notes. Hey, Shantelle, welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast!
[00:02:09.525] – Chantel
Hey! I’m excited to be here.
[00:02:11.405] – Hilary Erickson
I know, Chantel and I were talking. I’m so excited that she’s here. And it was we were like it’s just like in real time sitting at the nurse’s station being like, oh, my gosh, you know what?
[00:02:19.805] – Chantel
I just heard so many things to hear at the nurses station.
[00:02:23.975] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. OK, so we’re just going to go back and forth sharing our favorite myths. But let’s start with the big one. The husband Stich. I see this one a lot on tick tock. Have you ever seen a husband search?
[00:02:33.645] – Chantel
Apparently not, because you told me I’m like, I don’t know if that is
[00:02:37.595] – Hilary Erickson
so just for you listening, the husband stiches if when they ask the doctor to put in an extra stitch. So if you tear when you have a baby, the doctor is going to stitch you up and they could put in an extra stitch, although really what it makes sense and I’m not sure how it would heal, but I have seen it done not at the hospital that we worked out together, but what I worked in California.
[00:02:59.645] – Hilary Erickson
We did have a few doctors of a particular nationality, which I won’t name who would do it. And you could see the dad’s like, look at them. And then the doctor would nod and the dad would nod. And I was always like, this is really weird. But the nurses were like, oh, that’s the husband’s stitch. So, I mean, this was a long time ago. This was the first hospital I worked out so early 2000’s.
[00:03:20.675] – Hilary Erickson
I bet they don’t do it anymore because I just wonder how it heals, because it’s just skin that you’re putting together with a stitch. It’s not going to do anything. Yeah, definitely not going to return you to your pre baby Glory.
[00:03:31.865] – Chantel
Right. It’s no, I don’t think that would heal at all. So it hurts.
[00:03:37.835] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I then of course there was lots of talk in the nurses station about like I guess he felt like he needed it. Whatever. I’ll just leave it there. I’m going to leave that there because it’s a great podcast. OK, Chantelle, what’s your favorite myth.
[00:03:51.875] – Chantel
Mine probably is the one that says you shouldn’t rub your belly too much because your baby will be spoiled when it comes out. Have you heard that one?
[00:04:04.505] – Hilary Erickson
[00:04:05.285] – Chantel
That one always makes me laugh. But I’m like, how does rubbing your stomach equate to being a spoiled baby?
[00:04:12.965] – Hilary Erickson
I gallss it’s like holding the baby right where you’re, like, padding their back. But I’m pretty sure that over the layers of fluff that were over my baby and probably didn’t notice much when I pat my belly.
[00:04:22.745] – Chantel
That one always made me laugh.
[00:04:27.675] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I think I’m scratched my belly, although stretch marks.
[00:04:33.455] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, pretty good. OK, another one that I got when I worked in California with lots of different cultures is that you are not supposed to get out of bed or shower for six weeks after you have the baby. So and a lot of cultures, you have your baby at the home, your mom comes over, your aunties come over and they help take care of the baby and you and you’re supposed to stay in bed for six weeks. Not a good idea.
[00:04:56.705] – Hilary Erickson
Oh, and you’re definitely not supposed to have a shower like that’s a big one in their culture. And so women would get up and shower and they were like they would have to hurry and do it while their mom was gone because they knew that their mom would be upset that they had shower because they said that it would ball up your uterus and it would never return to your pre pregnancy shape. And I was like, it will never return to shape anyway.
[00:05:20.075] – Hilary Erickson
So take a shower. It’s going to feel so good. The first shower feels so good.
[00:05:24.245] – Chantel
Yeah, it makes you feel human. I guess I would take the shower, definitely.
[00:05:29.465] – Hilary Erickson
But I will say that there are a lot of people overdo it, especially on subsequent babies. So there is definitely something we should take from the Smith in that you should rest more. And I have so many people email me or text me friends who say I started bleeding more. It’s like baby number three. And I’m like, well, what did you do today? And they’re like, I just did a Costco run. And I’m like, no, that’s too much lifting.
[00:05:49.925] – Hilary Erickson
Not good. So things that were OK before aren’t going to be OK in those first six weeks. So be nice to yourself.
[00:05:55.805] – Chantel
Yeah, definitely. You have to be nice.
[00:05:59.795] – Hilary Erickson
Also take a shower.
[00:06:01.805] – Chantel
I will take shower, I will smell good after I have a baby
[00:06:04.955] – Hilary Erickson
or just not be as sticky in my downtown.
[00:06:08.525] – Chantel
Yes that… Yeah that totally is a good reason to take a shower.
[00:06:12.815] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. OK, what’s your next month.
[00:06:15.065] – Chantel
My next mission would be that this was someone I used to work with. She would say that she couldn’t step over the ropes because it would tie her cord in a knot or cause a nuchal. Oh wow. Or the choreographs the baby neck. And she said she was from her ancestress from China. And she said that that was big there, that they wouldn’t step over ropes or strings or anything because they didn’t want to cause that.
[00:06:42.725] – Hilary Erickson
Oh, you know, that there was somebody in their village or their culture that had that happen. And then there was a knot. And they reference back to when they stepped over a string. That’s such a sad, but that is a very sad risk.
[00:06:53.765] – Chantel
But yeah, it cost her a lot of stress. So, like, I’m pretty sure that is what she had. Nurse she was. Yes. You’re stepping over lines all the time.
[00:07:04.275] – Chantel
[00:07:05.275] – Chantel
But. Throughout my career, she was not a man, she calmed down towards the end, the more we kept telling her this is not true. Do you of IV lines at my time? Yeah. Oh, that’s sad. When when miss that extra stress to. That’s not a good thing.
[00:07:23.835] – Chantel
No, not at all. So it’s good to do the research on some of these myths. Yes.
[00:07:28.275] – Hilary Erickson
OK, my next myth is the walking epidural because I get asked that a lot online. I’ve actually only ever been in a room like maybe once or twice. But there is the myth that your anesthesia can give you an epidural that you can still walk with. And I’ve asked a ton of anesthesiologists, I think that there is. But at the same point, it’s also not giving you very good pain relief. And also, I have heard that even if they give this so-called walking epidural, you can’t get up and walk like you might be able to take two steps to a commode.
[00:07:56.355] – Hilary Erickson
So you might not have to have a catheter.
[00:07:58.275] – Hilary Erickson
But yeah. Have you have patients ask you about the walking epidural?
[00:08:02.565] – Chantel
No, I haven’t. Yeah.
[00:08:04.485] – Chantel
Usually they just want the federal and they want it to work and they want it good because
[00:08:09.325] – Hilary Erickson
you’ve got to think if the epidural is only working so that you can’t you can still walk because you have the sensation in those in those appendages, then it’s probably not going to stimulate the contraction pain or the baby coming out, which is what I’m paying for.
[00:08:22.695] – Chantel
So I’d be very sad to pay that bill and not have had any relief.
[00:08:28.425] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I have had anesthesiologists put in the epidural like with twins or like vacs and they’ll put it in early and you can still walk with that. They just have a dose it. So they just have it sitting there waiting for its special time to work. So that is possible, but also kind of rare. I haven’t seen that much.
[00:08:44.265] – Chantel
I’ve never seen that. So I think I’ve seen it twice.
[00:08:48.975] – Hilary Erickson
OK, what’s your next one?
[00:08:50.835] – Chantel
My next one would be you shouldn’t exercise while you’re pregnant. And that one always makes me laugh because labor is pretty intense. You might want to do a little bit of exercising to be able to handle labor.
[00:09:05.025] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, and it’s nine months. It’s not like it’s a home you shouldn’t be working out six weeks after, but those nine months leading up to it. Yeah. One of the people I follow actually says if you work out at a similar level because you probably shouldn’t like now now is my marathon time, right.
[00:09:19.815] – Chantel
[00:09:20.525] – Chantel
You shouldn’t start doing a bunch of stuff
[00:09:23.055] – Hilary Erickson
but if you work out at a similar level, you’ll actually end pregnancy in better shape than you were to start with because you have all that extra blood volume that you’re still working out at the same level, although I would say most people month nine and are not working out at the same level, but they’re doing things that are help their body move. And I think that’s super important. I think it really helps the aches and pains of pregnancy.
[00:09:42.555] – Chantel
Actually, it does. I think I was blessed with my third kid and still exercising, and I did feel the best with that one.
[00:09:51.195] – Hilary Erickson
So what did you do?
[00:09:52.215] – Hilary Erickson
What did you do to exercise
[00:09:54.195] – Chantel
a lot of walking? I didn’t ride a bike at eight to nine months, but I rode my bike a lot before that, before I hit eight months. And then I would just go to the gym and do the treadmill and lift some light weights, a little little squats. I wasn’t squat and past ninety degrees, but little squats, lunges and a lot of arm exercising. Yeah.
[00:10:17.415] – Hilary Erickson
All that’s so helpful, I have to say that I felt like I was doing full lunges and then Drew took a picture of me and I think a kid was next to me doing it with me. It was doing squats but maybe was bending my knees. I don’t know what was going on.
[00:10:32.845] – Chantel
You were moving. That’s great, right?
[00:10:35.385] – Hilary Erickson
He just took it at the wrong moment where you were on your way back up.
[00:10:39.795] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, yeah. I definitely agree with that. Oh, OK. My next one is that you have to do what your doctor says. I get this a lot on tick tock. This is for my tick talkers out there that if your doctor recommends it, like, that’s just what you have to do. And it’s called a recommendation because it’s a recommendation. It’s not a you have to do so. Even if your doctor orders that you can’t eat, you can still eat.
[00:11:04.005] – Hilary Erickson
Even if your doctor says you need a C section, you could say, I don’t want one. It’s up to you. We don’t just go with what the doctor says so you can make your own choices. Just take all the input that you can. Yeah, yeah.
[00:11:15.285] – Chantel
That’s your body. You can make decisions and you can decide what’s best for you and your baby.
[00:11:21.225] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I always say that I’m here for a collaborative hospital. Births. So you’re taking your feelings, your partner’s feelings. Talk with the nurse, see what she’s thinking with your physician and then your mommy gut. See where you’re at. Yeah. And honestly, if it’s an emergency, you’ll know because there’s going to be twelve nurses in the room. Emergencies don’t happen. Well, the nurses standing there with their arms folded, staring at the doctor, kind of rolling her eyes, correct.
[00:11:44.865] – Chantel
Yes. You know, those emergency. So we’re all in there. We’re all moving really fast. Yes. We’re not at all all of our faces, but things are happening really quickly. And you pick up on that as a patient.
[00:11:57.735] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, OK. What’s your next month’s schedule?
[00:11:59.535] – Chantel
My next myth would be which I don’t know. What do you think about this one, Hillary? But the full moon. They say it can’t put you in labor, but I have driven home so many times with the full moon and I’m like, that’s why my shift was so crazy.
[00:12:14.205] – Chantel
What are your thoughts on that one?
[00:12:15.795] – Hilary Erickson
So I went to an advanced fetal monitoring once with I think it’s Christine Miller, something Miller who’s big on fetal monitoring. And she was like, total myth, myth busted. She’s like, you just notice that it’s a full moon. And then you’re like, that’s why she’s like. And so now I start to go out on our crappy shifts and I’ll be like, Oh. Turns out the moon isn’t full, just a crappy day.
[00:12:38.085] – Chantel
I’m going to start paying attention on my drive home then.
[00:12:41.745] – Hilary Erickson
I mean, there is some talk about like barometric pressure and all that kind of stuff. And you’ll hear of like tornadoes or hurricanes that a lot of people go into labor maybe before. I don’t I’m not a weatherman here, but I don’t know some of that sort of makes sense.
[00:12:55.215] – Hilary Erickson
But again, it’s just going to bump you into labor. You’re not you know, you were already almost there. Yeah, no, I agree.
[00:13:00.645] – Chantel
And I had read that one, too, that it’s more about the barometric pressure changes. But I wouldn’t want is there a barometric pressure change with the moon?
[00:13:09.085] – Chantel
I don’t think so, no. So I know it’s probably a myth, but in my mind it’s not. Yeah.
[00:13:15.285] – Hilary Erickson
And if you were 40 weeks, it probably wouldn’t be either. You’d be like heaven for the full moon. Let’s get this out. Yes, exactly. OK, my last month, although you say yours, made me think of one more. So stay tuned for my bonus math at the end. But my last one is that pitocin is bad. A lot of times I’ll see you on birth plans, absolutely no pitocin and I’ll start talking to them about like, why no pitocin?
[00:13:38.115] – Hilary Erickson
And they’ll be like, well, I heard adduction is bad. And just so you guys know, we use Pitocin after you have your baby, too. And they’ve been doing that for years. They even do that at home. Births like pitocin is the thing that helps her uterus cramp back down. So you don’t believe because that’s one of your highest risk of having a baby is hemorrhaging after the baby comes out. So if you don’t want an adduction, that’s fine.
[00:13:57.465] – Hilary Erickson
But pitocin, I’ve seen it keep lots of people alive. So not a bad drug? Not at all. Yeah. What is wrong? It is a bad drug, but when used correctly, it’s good.
[00:14:06.725] – Chantel
Yes, definitely. It’s my favorite when we need it. Definitely. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:14:12.255] – Hilary Erickson
OK, your last month chantel,
[00:14:14.145] – Chantel
my last myth has to do with telling if you’re having a boy or a girl. Have you seen it. Where are they. On a string. They hang a ring or I’ve seen it done with just like a needle and you lay down and someone holds the string over your stomach and then it slowly starts to move. It swings in a circle.
[00:14:32.955] – Chantel
You’re having a boy. If it swings back and forth, you’re having a girl.
[00:14:36.985] – Hilary Erickson
I know. I heard it had to be your wedding rings, had to be your wedding ring.
[00:14:42.315] – Chantel
That may not work in everyone’s case.
[00:14:44.295] – Hilary Erickson
That’s true. So I tried those. So we had two boys and then a girl and all of my unit was obsessed with finding out what gender that last baby was. So we tried all the things. Most of them, like half of them, are right.
[00:14:56.385] – Chantel
Really? Like my full moon one. Yeah, I think it’s right, but probably not. Yeah.
[00:15:03.435] – Hilary Erickson
So and a lot of people asked, oh, do you think the heart rate beats it’s a boy or girl. I’m like, they sound the same.
[00:15:10.065] – Chantel
Yeah they do sound the same for that one too.
[00:15:13.395] – Hilary Erickson
Or bad a lot. It’s a boy my my most still kid is a boy so he’s probably mine too.
[00:15:20.595] – Chantel
But he was my first. So they say the first doesn’t move as much either. Well I you notice it as much, right. Because you aren’t really knowing what to look for. Maybe. I think it’s gasping.
[00:15:30.085] – Hilary Erickson
[00:15:30.385] – Hilary Erickson
Every once in a while now I’ll be like, oh the baby’s moving up like but we didn’t mention the Hartford one though. That baby broke that Harbord because he had buckets of hair. Zero. Harper Really. Yeah. And my kids that had no hair more.
[00:15:45.735] – Hilary Erickson
Harbord So all the fun with all of them and they all had like just a tiny bit of hair.
[00:15:51.375] – Hilary Erickson
So they say that there’s like some progesterone that causes hair growth, yada, yada. They say it’s true, but not in my case. OK, are you ready for my final math and favorite. So my friend, her husband was Vietnamese, she was white and her mother in law told her that she couldn’t wear black or the baby would be ugly.
[00:16:10.425] – Hilary Erickson
And I was like, did she wear it with your husband?
[00:16:15.465] – Hilary Erickson
I love him, but he’s. Yeah. Anyway, I just thought it was funny. I was like, where did we find the correlation for that one? I don’t think that’s true.
[00:16:23.205] – Chantel
I’ve heard of you. Look at an ugly animal. Your baby would be ugly for the same culture, but not the wearing black.
[00:16:29.265] – Hilary Erickson
Oh, that’s so funny. Yeah, I’m not a huge Neuborne fan, so most of them come out and I’m like, yeah, Kirkup about two months baby. Look a little more normal so.
[00:16:40.105] – Chantel
Yeah, yeah. Between the conehead and. Yeah. All the fluid in their face. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:16:45.645] – Hilary Erickson
They’re not the cutest they’re going to be but definitely take pictures because they’re never going to look like that again.
[00:16:50.265] – Chantel
You always feel like they’re the cutest in that moment. Thank goodness for hormones. Otherwise you might be like let’s just put that one aside.
[00:16:57.735] – Chantel
Exactly. It’s sad but true.
[00:17:00.735] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So if you have a pregnancy meant that you think is true, take it to your doctor. Are you guys or, you know, if you’ve held it in your heart for all pregnancy, ask your labor nurse, tell them, hey, I heard this, you think this is true and just give them a laugh for the day. That’s all. The nurses really were pretty easy.
[00:17:16.655] – Chantel
Yeah, we definitely want this to smile and laugh, so. Yeah, yeah. It’ll make our day. Yeah. So thanks for coming on, Chantelle. Thanks for having me.
[00:17:25.385] – Hilary Erickson
OK, guys, I hope you like that episode. Hopefully nobody got their feelings hurt about some of the crazy things that we hear in labor and delivery. This isn’t to say that if you’ve heard those things or you believe those things, that you’re wrong. But like we were talking about at the beginning, if if these types of things are causing you stress, definitely bring it up to your doctor or your provider. Or if you go into the hospital for an amnesty, just mentioned it to the nurse.
[00:17:45.215] – Hilary Erickson
Sometimes people are more willing to bring up stuff like this with nurses because I don’t know, we seem less like authoritative than your doctor. But yeah, bring it up, see if what you’re stressing about is really something that you need to be, because the less stress during pregnancy, the better. Right.
Thanks so much for joining us today. I hope we help smooth out a few of the smiles in your life. We drop an episode every Monday and we always appreciate it when you guys share and review until next time. We hope you have a tangle every day.