As Mommy Docs, one of the great things about being in practice together is having the opportunity to compare notes. We repeatedly hear the same questions and concerns from our pregnant patients, sometimes even several times a week. There are a number of myths and misleading information repeated time and time again, causing confusion and sometimes unnecessary stress. To debunk some of these myths and answer these questions, we compiled a list to answer some of the questions mothers-to-be often ask. We’ll start where it all begins: getting pregnant.
1. Do birth control pills cause birth defects?
There are no current studies which link birth control use to birth defects, even if a woman is taking birth control pills before she learns she is pregnant.
2. Must my system be cleansed of birth control hormones before I conceive?
Once you take your placebo pills, the pill is out of your system. You don’t need to wait after you stop the pill before you conceive. This means you can get pregnant that next cycle.
3. Can you get pregnant while breastfeeding?
While it is difficult to conceive when you are exclusively breastfeeding, at least eight times a day, it isn’t impossible. Your body experiences hormonal changes when nursing, specifically the production of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin prevents ovulation. Once you slow down on breastfeeding, though, the prolactin levels lower in your body and you could begin to ovulate again. We recommend that you use a contraceptive method during this time.
4. Is it harder to get pregnant after a miscarriage?
It’s often said that once you have a miscarriage, you should wait six months to a year before you conceive again. This is a myth! All it takes for the uterus to heal from a miscarriage is one normal menstrual cycle, and then it’s ready to accept a new pregnancy. While there are no medical reasons for waiting, some women may not be emotionally ready to try again and may benefit from a short break, so we ask you to keep this in consideration.
5. If you’ve had a cesarean delivery, when can you get pregnant again?
If you’d like to have a vaginal birth for your next baby after a cesarean, it’s wise to wait at least eighteen months before giving birth again. The risk of uterine rupture during VBAC is three times higher if the previous cesarean was less than eighteen months ago. If you prefer or are okay with having another cesarean, there’s no need to wait to conceive again, and you can start trying as soon as you feel well enough.
6. I was told I have a tipped or tilted uterus and will not be able to get pregnant. Is that true?
This is a myth. Your fertility and ability to conceive have nothing to do with the position of your uterus.
For more frequently asked questions and frequently repeated myths, visit page 454 of The Mommy Docs’ Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth.