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5 Things Your OBGYN Won’t Tell You | Mother Rising

5 Things Your OBGYN Won’t Tell You

About How to Have a Better Birth and Postpartum

When I was using an OBGYN for my pregnancies our visits were short and rushed. I typically spent more time waiting for my appointment than in my actual appointment. Even though the staff was friendly and helpful, I felt like just a number.

Despite many good intentions, the way prenatal care is today, leaves much to be desired.

Here are 5 things your OBGYN won’t tell you about how to have a better birth and postpartum.

When I was using an OBGYN for my pregnancies our visits were short and rushed. I typically spent more time waiting for my appointment than in my actual appointment. Even though the staff was friendly and helpful, I felt like just a number. #Pregnancy #postpartum #birth #hospitalbirth #thirdtrimester #naturalbirth #informedconsent #momlife

1. Stay Healthy and Low Risk

One of the most powerful things a woman can do to help have a better birth and postpartum is to be healthy and to stay low risk throughout pregnancy.

Some complications are out of our control, but many are not.

Gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), for example, are three common pregnancy complications that can turn a healthy pregnancy into a more complicated fiasco, all increasing the chance of cesarean, induction and sick babies (which obviously make for a more difficult birth and postpartum).

Did you know that these three pregnancy complications do not necessarily happen by chance? There are simple things you can do to decrease your risk.

For example, by simply eating probiotic rich food or taking a probiotic daily, you can reduce the chance of ALL the pregnancy complications listed above.

All of them.

Did you read that?

If you drink one delicious smoothie (like the one above) every day during your pregnancy, you can help stay low risk and have a better birth and postpartum. Amazing.

(PLEASE click through the link above, read it and check my sources before commenting below.)

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you’ll love my natural pregnancy resource list. It’s free!

2. A Less Painful and Shorter Labor is Possible

We all want a shorter and less painful labor, right? Well, baby’s position has A LOT to do with that! As you know, baby needs to be head down for birth, but that’s not all.

Baby needs to be facing mom’s back (which is called the anterior position) and also their chin needs to be tucked down.

When baby is not in an idea position, mom’s body will spend the majority of labor attempting to reposition the baby. Once baby is lined up, things progress normally.

Now that we know what we know, doesn’t it make sense to start working on an optimal fetal position during pregnancy instead of waiting until labor?

Spinning Babies created an amazing video about how to align our bodies in a way which will encourage baby to move into a more favorable birthing position. I can’t tell you how many times I have helped babies move to a better position prenatally or in labor and subsequently had relatively fast and straight forward labors. Knowledge is power!

3. Epidurals Come at a Cost

The one thing I remember from my college economics class is that “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Basically, what my professor was saying was that there is a cost for everything. There’s always a catch.

This idea is true for the epidural in labor.

When you get an epidural, there is a cost or a trade-off to that decision.

  • The risk of cesarean birth has increased.
  • The risk of distress to baby has increased.
  • The chance of having to use a vacuum to get baby out has increased.
  • Your chance of perineal tearing has increased.
  • You are now confined to your bed, and cannot eat or drink.
  • Your baby has a lower chance of moving to the optimal fetal position which can make your labor longer (see above).
  • Sometimes an epidural doesn’t work, or only works partially on one side.

I am not against epidurals, and have seen them used wisely and compassionately.

My problem with epidurals is that women don’t know to weigh the benefits and the cost of such a tool (and nobody is telling them that there is a cost).

For a normally progressing labor, the cost of an epidural is greater than the benefit.

If you are preparing to have a natural birth in the hospital and would like to avoid an epidural you should consider hiring a doula.

The current medical model is not set up to fully support a woman having a natural childbirth. Sometimes all that a nurse can do (because of her high patient load and paperwork) to help is to offer you drugs and epidurals.

4. Lower the Risk of Cesarean

Here are 5 ways to lower the risks of giving birth by cesarean.

Consider a homebirth.

Yeah, I know this sounds so completely out of the box, but is a valid option to consider. I have personally witnessed some of the lowest cesarean rates in low risk, healthy women in a local homebirth practice. Believe it or not, research studies back me up on this.

There is something to be said about giving birth in your own home, not having to leave your home in the middle of labor (disrupting the flow of oxytocin), and having the extraordinary care from a competent and educated licensed midwife. The one-on-one care you receive via a homebirth midwife is incomparable to even a hospital midwife. The time, the relationship developed and the access to the midwife sets a mom up for success.

I understand if you need to have your baby in a hospital, but if homebirth is an option, consider it! The documentary The Business of Being Born is one of the best birth documentaries, and will get you started.

Hire a doula.

By having a doula present at your birth you will be more likely to have a vaginal birth (source) and less likely to need extras like epidurals and vacuum assisted births. Doulas lower the chance of having a cesarean birth. Amazing!

Avoid an induction.

In a nut shell, an induction increases the risk of a cesarean birth. (source)

“One-quarter of those who had a labor induction ended up needing a C-section, versus 14 percent of those who had a natural labor.”(source)

Familiarize yourself with common reasons for induction like low amniotic fluid and going past 40 weeks beforehand so you have an answer when the induction conversation happens.

Check out my posts about inducing naturally with things like castor oil and pineapple juice! 😉

4. Labor at home if possible.

In my experience, the further along a woman is in the labor process, the harder it is to disrupt the flow of oxytocin, which is the hormone that causes contractions. If a woman shows up at the hospital 1-5 cm, her labor pattern is more vulnerable to influences like adrenaline, which slows labor.

However, if a woman shows up at the hospital 6 cm and up, her labor pattern is typically strong and resilient to any influences like adrenaline. To lower your chance of a cesarean, try laboring at home as long as possible.

But you know, make sure you get to the hospital and don’t have a car baby. I’m kinda over seeing birth videos all over Facebook where women are unexpectedly having car babies. Car babies aren’t fun! 😉

5. Plan for a natural birth.

Things like an epidural and pitocin greatly increase the risk of cesarean. Planning for a natural birth will help decrease the risk of cesarean. This is where childbirth education and hiring a doula are mandatory. You cannot simply hope for a natural birth, you must plan for one.


I once heard an OB ask their patient if she had taken a childbirth class. Mama answered no, to which the OB said, “Oh, don’t worry, I’ll walk you through it.”

Yeah… that won’t ever happen.

Maybe she’ll walk you through the pushing stage, but she sure isn’t going to walk you through pain coping techniques, how to labor at home, how to lower your chances of surgery and other interventions, etc.

You might think that women have been giving birth for eons and eons, so you’ll get through it just fine, right?

Here’s the thing – until recently, women have not had to give birth in the medical system that modern women do. Women used to attend each other’s births and gain knowledge and wisdom from each other.

Since birth switched from home to hospital, women have lost the wisdom gained from one another. Birth became something unseen.  This then left the modern woman ignorant – navigating pregnancy, birth and the medical model. What a mess.

Birthing From Within childbirth classes, for an example, are an excellent mix of information learned and at the same time addressing the mother as a person, and how she can prepare for childbirth as a mother.

Whatever you do, find a good childbirth class to plug into. A good way to find a class is to send an email to a few local doulas asking their opinions on classes. Doulas are the information keepers of birth communities.

BFW childbirth class shot

5. Breastfeeding Preparation is a Must

Women have been breastfeeding their babies for eons and eons, so breastfeeding books and classes are a waste of time, right? Nope.

The same reason childbirth preparation is a must can be applied to why breastfeeding preparation is a must. For awhile in the 1900s, breastfeeding almost went extinct (in America). Formula companies told doctors that their product was better than breast milk, formula was marketed to moms and everybody believed the lie.

The result was the loss of breastfeeding knowledge that was typically passed down from generation to generation. Ideas like how to get a good latch, how to know if your baby is getting enough and how to increase milk supply were lost. The profession of lactation consultant was born, and boy am I thankful. Contact a doula or a midwife to get a good referral if you end up needing some extra help.

Luckily, new moms today have more breastfeeding support than their mothers and grandmothers did, but we’re still not back to where we used to be. I highly recommend taking a prenatal breastfeeding class.

Simply Breastfeeding Online Course

If you are a visual learner, Cindy & Jana’s Simply Breastfeeding online course is PERFECT for new parents! I’ve personally taken this course and LOVE it!

Why learn about breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is natural but it takes time to learn. New mothers say:

“I never imagined breastfeeding would be so hard and so time consuming.”

“They don’t really prepare you for how overwhelming breastfeeding can be.”

Parents who wait until their baby is born to learn about breastfeeding feel overwhelmed.  The learning curve is steep, especially when also dealing with exhaustion from the birth and overrun with company.

I’ve seen plenty of tears and heard families’ frustrations over not knowing how often to feed, whether their baby was getting enough milk, or how to avoid breastfeeding pain.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

You can feel confident breastfeeding your new baby. Spend time snuggling instead of frantically googling. Cindy and Jana have helped thousands of new families and can help you as well.

Simply Breastfeeding is an indispensable resource which takes you step by step through the things you will need to know about breastfeeding. Your subscription never expires; you can refer back when you have questions and learn at home at your own pace. Pause, rewind and replay as often as you like.

As Registered Nurses and Lactation Consultants with over 20 years experience, Cindy and Jana’s goal is to help you discover the real expert for your baby — YOU! ——>>>> CHECK IT OUT!

Do Your Own Research

The one thing I hope you gleaned from this article about things your obgyn won’t tell you about how to have a better birth and postpartum is that you need to do your own research and advocate for yourself to achieve a better birth.

You are your advocate, and you will find nobody advocating for yourself like you would. Speak up and let your voice be heard! If after reading this article you’re not sure if your care provider is the best fit, it may be time to fire your OB!

NOTE:  This article was so popular, I made another! Head on over here to read 5 More Things Your OBGYN Won’t Tell You (About How to Have a Better Birth and Postpartum)

Typical prenatal care leaves much to be desired. Here are 5 things your OBGYN won't tell you on how to have a better birth and postpartum.


Monday 25th of March 2024

I looked at her sources as she asked. First, I had to click through two other blog posts on probiotics to get to the source. She bases her opinions on probiotics and preeclampsia on ONE study that is observational; not a randomized controlled trial and it has a lot of flaws. Didn’t even bother looking at the rest of her sources since that one was so weak. I’m in the 3rd trimester of my 2nd pregnancy now and I’ve had Greek yogurt almost daily along with vitamin d and still have preE. Systematic reviews (which are considered the pinnacle of scientific research) currently show that the only intervention shown to have a significant effect on the development of preE is maternal intake of 81-160 mg of aspirin daily starting between12-16 weeks of gestation. Nothing wrong with taking in probiotics, but don’t expect it to prevent the complications listed. And please don’t inadvertently shame those of us who develop these conditions by continuing to suggest otherwise using weak evidence as your support.


Tuesday 4th of August 2020

This is garbage. You can’t stop gestational diabetes by drinking that smoothie everyday. I am 108 pounds, eat mostly plant based, have absolutely no risk factors and still got gestational diabetes. It is due to placental hormones. This is going to make people feel guilty for no reason.


Saturday 13th of April 2019

This article is a bunch of BS! No one can control if they get preeclampsia and you are one of those people who make the ones who have it feel like shit! Also where are all the risks of having a child at home. At least in a hospital if something went wrong you would be in good medical hands. Your OBGYN doesn't tell you these things because none of it is true! Maybe you should get some medical advice


Monday 19th of November 2018

Great article! Wow, reading all the comments really opened my eyes to how personal we sometimes take things that aren’t a personal attack on us.(I’ve done this before in the past)

While I understand where everyone is coming from, (To some extent, although some of the comments were kinda rude) I don’t find it at all necessary to say mean things towards the writer.

Yes, there are some things you can’t prevent. Sometimes **it happens and there’s nothing you can do about it. However, there are instances where there are things we can do to prevent certain outcomes or atleast be prepared for them. Cancer is an example of an illness anyone can get, some if the healthiest people get it, but there are also things we can do to hopefully prevent it.

I’m not going to stop taking measures to prevent it or be well-informed aboutbit just because its’ envitable in some situations am I??? No. Same goes for childbirth. Yes, some things are inevitable and it seems no matter what you do it happens. (such as GD or preeclampsia) However, that doesn’t mean we stop doing things to prevent it or make ourselves well-informed about it.

I am currently pregnant with baby number #5. I’ve had two hospital births and two homebirths. Three natural unmediated births and one with an epidural. One birth with a Doula and the rest without. All iof my births were unique and special in their own way. I enjoy birthing at home for my own personal reasons and enjoyed birthing naturally for personal reasons. When people ask me about my experience I share MY experience. I tell them I think homebirths are great because mine were. That doesn’t mean I’m against hospital births (because I’ve had two) it’s just my preference.

Do what works best for YOU. Don’t take others opinions so personal or criticize them for sharing what they know. Take what resonates, throw the rest out, and find an article that better suits you.

I’d like to thank the writer for sharing this!

No one should ever be made to feel guilty for sharing what they know based upon their knowledge, experience, and expertise.


Friday 2nd of November 2018

I would NEVER EVER EVER recommend having a home birth!!!!!!! I had a healthy pregnancy with my son and a healthy labor everything was simple and as one might call “textbook”. When my water broke they found that there was meconium in the sack. Upon my sons entry to the world, he breathed that in and was not breathing air upon entry. This was unavoidable and we thought everything would have been normal. My son was blue! He was intubated immediately and raced to another hospitals NICU. He recovered just fine and is a perfectly healthy toddler. If I would have a home birth or not been in the hospital my son would have died from a completely curable thing. If you want to go 100% natural, ok I can respect that. But please choose to deliver in a hospital!!!


Monday 5th of November 2018

While I totally respect your story and opinions, it really has nothing to do with the article. This article is focused on finding a quality care provider, paying attention to those internal nudges that something's not right, etc. No matter where a woman has a baby, these skills in finding a highly skilled, knowledgable, compassionate, etc. care provider is critical.