5 myths about managing pregnancy and childbirth in the US - ForumDaily
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5 myths about the management of pregnancy and childbirth in the US

Thousands of women from all over the world go to the United States to have a baby in comfortable conditions. Residents of post-Soviet countries, who most often choose large cities with warm climates, such as Los Angeles and Miami, as their birth place, are no exception to the rule. However, around the births in America, many myths are spreading, which are not always grounded. ForumDaily figured out the myths about childbirth in the United States along with American obstetrician-gynecologist Albert Starikov.

Фото: Depositphotos

Myth 1. Epidural anesthesia is dangerous.

There are especially many myths regarding epidural anesthesia, and one is worse than the other. Thus, among expectant mothers there is an idea that the use of epidural anesthesia, which is widespread in the United States, can have a bad effect on the child, and the drug itself can enter the baby’s blood and cause harm to him. Another frightening myth is that this type of pain relief can cause paralysis.


Over 50% American women, by information American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology, agree to epidural anesthesia during labor, not wanting to experience pain. The position of American doctors is clear: properly administered epidural anesthesia is the key to an easy birth, but not a reason to worry.

This position is also shared by obstetrician-gynecologist Albert Starikov from the SVM-MED clinic located in Miami. Starikov has more than 17 years of practice in the USA. Russian-speaking women often come to their clinic to give birth, and more than once he had to convince them of the absolute harmlessness of epidural anesthesia.

“In the USA, epidural anesthesia has been used for 50 years,” says Albert Starikov. “This procedure is so simple that it is not even performed by a doctor, but by a nurse anesthesiologist. Moreover, medical personnel have been trained for many years on how to do it correctly, bringing the manipulation to automatism. Therefore, there is no need to worry! Anesthesia can only ease childbirth and the condition of the expectant mother, as well as her husband, who will not suffer while watching his loved one scream in pain.”

There is also no reason to fear for the health of the child in the womb, the doctor says.

“The drug used for epidural anesthesia cannot have any effect on the baby, because the substance does not enter the fetal blood: the injection is given into a space where there is nothing but liquid. There have been no cases of paralysis after epidural anesthesia in the United States at all,” explains Albert Starikov.

Obstetrician-gynecologist Albert Starikov from the Miami-based SVM-MED clinic. Photos from the personal archive

Epidural anesthesia is performed by a specially trained anesthesiologist. The drug is injected through the catheter into the intervertebral space, which contributes to pain relief, literally immediately the woman in labor stops feeling pain. With proper epidural anesthesia, there are no consequences for the body of a woman and a child.

At the same time, before giving birth, a woman is always asked if she wants to use this type of anesthesia, is given an opportunity to get acquainted with possible side effects, including shortness of breath, low blood pressure, trembling and headache in case of spinal anesthesia, and get her consent to the manipulation.

Myth 2. In the US, everyone does a cesarean section

On Internet forums where expectant mothers discuss the characteristics of labor in the United States, there is always information that almost every second woman in America has a cesarean section. They say that it is easier for doctors, plus they will take much more for a cesarean section than for normal delivery.


recent medical research showed that in America, as throughout the world, the percentage of women having cesarean sections is growing. Now it is 32.2% - significantly more than in Russia (18%), Ukraine (22%) or Kazakhstan (23%). However, despite all the stereotypes, America is not among the top countries with the largest number of such operations. For example, in the Dominican Republic and Brazil, more than 50% of women actually have a caesarean section. Moreover, even within the US statistics The number of caesarean sections varies greatly. Thus, in New York or Florida this percentage is higher than the US average - 33.8% and 37.4%, respectively.

However, according to Dr. Starikov, they will not perform a caesarean section without a special need and without the desire of the patient herself. The most important thing for American medicine is human life and the principle of “do no harm.”

The doctor claims that at the SVM-MED clinic, doctors perform a cesarean section in only four cases:

— there is a threat to the life of the mother or child;

- natural childbirth is impossible (for example, if the child lies feet first);

- after a previous caesarean section, because normal childbirth in this case poses a risk for the mother;

- if the woman herself prefers this concept to natural childbirth.

“So many celebrities choose surgery because they want to lie down beautifully on the table, with makeup and hair done, and half an hour later hear: “Congratulations! You are mom!” But believe me, they study a lot of information before making such a decision. If you ask any good American doctor, they will tell you the same thing. Doctors never insist on performing an operation without a reason,” Albert Starikov convinces.

Фото: Depositphotos

Myth 3. In America, pregnancy is bad

Coming to the United States, many women who have already given birth in their home country begin to compare the management of pregnancy not by qualitative, but by quantitative indicators - how many tests were taken, how often she went to the doctor, what other manipulations were performed. The comparison, of course, is not in favor of America, because here they register later, look at the fetus less often with an ultrasound, and, indeed, take fewer tests. In a normal pregnancy, of course. That is why many expectant mothers have a question: are they managing my pregnancy well enough? Have you missed anything?


The average American woman finds out about an “interesting situation” by taking a pregnancy test purchased at a pharmacy and gets her first appointment with a doctor no earlier than 6-8 weeks (with a normal pregnancy), and usually later - depending on how long you will have to wait for your appointment. At home, everything is usually the other way around: only after learning about pregnancy, women are sent for all kinds of tests, including early ultrasound diagnostics.

Albert Starikov explains that the standards of pregnancy in the United States and the post-Soviet countries are indeed very different, but this does not mean that they are worse in America. On the contrary: here medical standards are unusually scrupulous and invest huge resources in their development.

“To make any discovery or recommendation in the United States, billions of dollars are spent on research, hundreds of people and dozens of institutions work on the project. The same applies to tests - many years of research have allowed scientists to understand which tests and in what quantities are sufficient to properly manage the patient. This is the biggest difference between the USA and any other country!” - says the doctor.

Starikov confirms that while conducting pregnancy in Russia, more research is being done, but they often cannot explain why this is being done.

“In America they take only those tests that are necessary. Additional studies are prescribed only if necessary. For example, if there is a suspicion of pathology,” explains the doctor at the SVM-MED clinic.

Фото: Depositphotos

Myth 4. Pregnancy is led by a nurse

Some women who have had childbirth experience in their country and in the United States like to complain that their meetings with the doctor were short and all the work of managing the pregnancy was mostly performed by nurses.


There is a clear hierarchy and segregation of duties in the US medical system. Doctors work in close cooperation with medical personnel both during pregnancy and during childbirth. And despite the fact that a woman can really communicate more with the medical staff, only the doctor makes all the important decisions and determines the need for a particular procedure.

For example, all tests, such as blood sampling and measurements, are carried out by nurses, but only a doctor can analyze the data obtained and draw conclusions. During childbirth, the same thing happens - when the expectant mother arrives at the hospital (no one uses ambulances here, since it is very expensive), the medical staff takes tests, installs sensors and constantly monitors the patient’s condition using high-tech medical equipment, only transmitting information to the doctor . The doctor usually meets with the expectant mother only when the baby is about to be born.

“None of the doctors has been standing over the patient since she arrived at the hospital. It is not necessary. Nurses take readings using sensors and monitor the state of the future mother. Information from the sensor also comes to the doctor on the phone. The nurse does nothing without consulting the doctor, ”says Albert Starikov.

In addition, all American doctors adhere to the same standards, and these standards are very high. Albert graduated from one of the most prestigious universities in the USSR, and after moving to the USA, he graduated from medical school in New York, and therefore could compare the quality of training.

“The training of American doctors is very serious. The licensing exams are considered the most difficult in the world. After all, no matter what doctor you study to become, you must have fundamental knowledge of all medicine. You either know or you don’t know, it’s impossible to guess. They make you into a robot, and rightly so. You should have basic knowledge that you don't have to think about. You should know the answer in advance, it was invented before you. This didn’t happen in the USSR,” explains the doctor.

Фото: Depositphotos

Myth 5. The woman who gave birth ceases to care for herself after the appearance of the child.

There is an opinion that the lack of a postpartum diet, lack of personal time, and sometimes finances, do not allow Americans to fully recover from childbirth, regain form, and again feel like women.


Despite the fact that maternity leave in the United States is no more than 3 months, American women, as a rule, rush to recover after childbirth, play sports and devote time to proper nutrition. Especially progressive mothers carve out funds for special procedures that give a “second life” to intimate organs - aesthetic or cosmetic gynecology is very common in the USA and is becoming more and more popular every year.

Thus, Albert Starikov, although he considers himself a very conservative doctor - he does not perform abortions and does not welcome home births due to the high risk - believes that the myth that the previous body cannot be returned after childbirth should become a thing of the past. A woman should feel beautiful after childbirth, he is convinced. That is why, in addition to obstetrics and gynecology, he is professionally engaged in cosmetic gynecology, performing intimate plastic surgery at a serious level. The most modern equipment of the SVM-MED clinic allows you to carry out any procedures related to the recovery of a woman after childbirth.

“A pregnant woman is beautiful in herself - she will become a mother. After giving birth, she realizes that she is a woman and wants to be even more beautiful. The latest technologies and ultra-precise lasers make it possible to restore a woman’s lightness and grace after childbirth,” says Albert Starikov.

Thus, in order to make the right decision on whether to go to childbirth in the United States or not, it is worth exploring the features of pregnancy and labor in America, it is advisable to find a doctor in advance and discuss with him all the important points about your pregnancy and find out all the information first hand , not trusting myths walking across the vast expanses of the Internet.

Material prepared in partnership with


phone: +1 (954) 204-0054
+1 (786) 202-5086

Miami, USA:
1920 E Hallandale Beach Blvd
Suite 901
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

Moscow, Russia
Medkonsul Ltd.
ul. Polyanka B, 42
Moscow, Russia

Kyiv, Ukraine
LLC “SVM-MED Ukraine”
36D Yevhena Konovaltsia St, Suite 45K
Kyiv, 02000, Ukraine

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