Have you ever heard the phrase, “What got the baby in will help get it out!”? Aside from it being heteronormative-centric and devoid of any sensitivity or awareness to the countless methods of conception and various options in childbirth, it bears some truth. Let’s break it down:
That phrase, “What got the baby in will help get it out” is referring to Intercourse. Plain and simple. Kind of... Often the popular phrase gets used as a wink, wink suggestion to get intimate with your partner to stir up some Oxytocin, the love hormone. The rationale being it will bring on contractions. Fun idea— if it were only that easy! Some cuddles, a nice foot rub, let the Oxytocin flow!!.... The truth is, however, that it really all comes down to Ejaculation.
Human sperm contains high levels of Prostaglandin. Prostaglandin is a hormone-like substance that softens the cervix! If you’re familiar with an Induction, a synthetic Prostaglandin is what’s used in the hospital to do the same thing- ripen the cervix! When the cervix softens/thins out (Effacement) then opens wide (Dilation) we’re cooking with gas!!
So aside from the fact that this popular phrase makes the assumption that all pregnant people conceived a baby through Intercourse (incorrect) and perpetuates the myth that childbirth is reserved for strictly Vaginal Birth (also incorrect), it’s roots are based in Fact. Sperm does have high levels of Prostaglandin and that does prime the cervix for Childbirth. Who knew?! (We did...and now you do...)
The more you know- right? Have you heard any popular phrases about Childbirth you’d like to us unpack for you?! Send them our way! Curious about more Childbirth Education? Reach out!