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Pregnancy 35 and Older Community
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1666434 tn?1325265950

Redheads and childbirth...

I was curious if there were any other natural redheads on here that get concerned with some of the myths that are surrounded with redheads and childbirth.  Some say redheads have a high pain tolerance and others say they have a low pain tolerance.  The other main myth is that redheads bleed more than any other hair color during birth.

I am curious what others have heard and experienced first hand.  With my first two births I did bleed more in the end, but I always wondered if this was more so the position of birth I was in v/s my body.  They say you bleed more when you are birthing laying down v/s squatting.  And the word hemorrhage was never used per se both times, but I did have to get a few stitches where I had baby "skid marks" on the inside.
10 Responses
377493 tn?1356505749
I'm not a redhead, but how interesting. I have never heard any of this before..perhaps because I'm not a redhead..lol.  I am curious to see what other redheads in the forum might say.  Curious.
Avatar universal
I am a natural redhead (not the bright red...auburn) as are my mother and my daughter. My mother had a spinal block with all three of her children (all vaginal births) so I can't answer to the pain issue with her. However, she did not experience any unusual bleeding with any of her three.

I have had two children vaginally, no epidural with either. With my first I was given IV Demerol early on (I was dilated to 4) but had a very bad reaction to it. With my 8lb 4 oz son I had no pain meds at all and had a very easy birth (the most painful part was when they did a local to stitch up my perineum after he was born...they did an episiotomy with no local because his shoulders got caught up). I had no unusual bleeding with either of my children.

My daughter has not yet had any children.

I had never heard any of these myths regarding redheads :)
1666434 tn?1325265950
Yes this is actually something pass on to midwives too, if they see that you are redhead they prepare for more bleeding.  I can't really say that I bled more than someone else being a natural redhead because I have nothing to compare it to or measure.  I do know that I have terrible reactions with pain medicines so I opt to not have anything during birth.

I can say that with my postpartum bleeding that I noticed my vegetarian pregnancy I only bled for 2 weeks after birth v/s during my meat eating pregnancy I bled for about 6 weeks.  So that was an interesting dietary observation.

But yes even with doctors/midwives they always say to me "oh you are a natural redhead" and proceed to tell me of the myth.  Will be curious if anyone else out there has had this experience or reaction.
1066572 tn?1296243601
I have heard this too.  I am a natural redhead and had a c-sx because he was breech.  I was told that redheads may need more pain medications afterwards.

I recovered really quickly.  Very little blood loss.  Very tolerable pain.  Only needed toradol (anti-inflammatory medication) after the surgery - never needed anything stronger.
1666434 tn?1325265950
I think if anything I have a pretty high pain tolerance from what others have noticed.  Knock on wood of course, I don't want to jinx myself lol

I had 2 natural births and the first time they gave me one regular motrin afterwards to help with after cramps but that was it.  The second birth I didn't have anything.

I do bleed a lot initially but then it stops when my uterus begins to close up and I breastfeed.  I was thinking about doing some Vitamin K supplements weeks before birth this time to maybe help with this.   Still reading up on that.
Avatar universal
I am a natural redhead, and I can not take any type of  Anesthesia because I get extremely sick. I'm not sure if I bleed more or less then  others , but it depends on the situation. I have nerve pain and tendonitis in various areas so to me it feels like I can't take pain. I am very concerened with having to stop nerve pain medicine and anti inflamatories/muscle relaxers if I get pregnant, aswell as dealing with labour.
Avatar universal
I am a natural redhead, and I can not take any type of  Anesthesia because I get extremely sick. I'm not sure if I bleed more or less then  others , but it depends on the situation. I have nerve pain and tendonitis in various areas so to me it feels like I can't take pain. I am very concerened with having to stop nerve pain medicine and anti inflamatories/muscle relaxers if I get pregnant, aswell as dealing with labour.
Avatar universal
Hi I'm a natural red head. I made it to a full 10 cm dialated with no pain meds but ended up having an emergency c section. ad for the bleeding I bleed a lot but I Dont  know if it was just me or a red head thing. the nurse did felons red heads bleed more. I guess every one is different  and it just depends on that.good luck.
Avatar universal
I am a redhead (medium auburn hair), and have had issues with waking up during ear surgery (one time sitting up on the operating table and trying to pull out the trach tube intubating me), not having anesthetic take effect at dentist's offices, etc.  Redheads, because of our melanocortin-1 receptors, do not absorb anesthetics and pain medications the same way everyone else does, and it takes a lot more medication to treat our pain, which is why the side effects of said medications are greater.  I've had three kids, the first one with a partial epidural to block a spasm from an old SI joint/hip injury, and that anesthetic did not block labor pains any differently from a natural birth, although it did calm the hip spasm.  Here's an article from the National Institute of Health about redheads and anesthetic requirements:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1362956/
Avatar universal
I'm a natural redhead. I have bled many times, to the point where I am limited on birth controls and still have to take blood thinners to go with it. I cannot stand pain. I remember when I had my wisdom teeth pulled and I asked for more and more meds as they were pulling each tooth out. I am on my 4th child. So far 2 were vaginal and one was an emergency c-section. I've bled plenty after the vaginal, and had to get my c-section stitches restitched because I leaked a few weeks after that pregnancy. I'd say every pregnancy is different, but I wonder how this birth will go. Also, maybe it's the crazy nurses I get, but twice now I've had nurses give me bloodwork and I've watched my blood squirt out of my arm with the needle still in somehow. I have had unfortunate experiences.
3 Comments
Hello!  My niece is a red head, love it!  wish I were!!  I've heard one thing unusual about red heads is anesthesia doesn't take as well.  This is not just the epidural but general anesthesia should you ever need that.  Did you experience any of that type of difficulty?  I actually listened to a pod cast on it and called my niece who is pregnant!  
Hi Specialmom.. My husband is a red-head. He has woken up or came to on the operating table twice! They have now put this information in his permenet file. Red-heads are great! # red- head lover
Oh my gosh!  That must have been terrifying!  Wonder if you will have a red head!!!  
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