Friday, January 22, 2010

Top Five Things I Wish Every Expectant Family Knew

I recently found this article on Birth At Home In Arizona, a new blog I'm following. So it inspired me to write my own Top Five list* (a few of these are on that other list too, but I decided to give my own little explanation).

Top Five Things I Wish Every Expectant Family Knew BEFORE They Give Birth:
  1. Your doctor is not God, and you have the right to question him/her. Like Stephanie said in her article, you are the one that hired your doctor, and you have the right to fire them, too. Doctors aren't always right, and they don't always have YOUR best interests in mind (many times they're just trying to avoid a potential law suit), so it's up to YOU to decide what you want to do. I know it's easy to be intimidated because they've gone to school for so long and have a fancy degree. If you find yourself questioning your doctor but too scared to say anything or ask the questions you want to ask, take someone with you to your appointments who will speak up for you. If you feel like you have to constantly fight for what you want, maybe you should consider changing doctors/midwives.
  2. "Due dates" are not set in stone. Be patient. Yes, the average pregnancy is 40 weeks. However, unless you track your cycle religiously, you don't know when you got pregnant and your doctor is using an average number to give you a "due date" (it's more like a guess date). Sure, they also can see how big the baby is with an ultrasound, but this isn't always accurate. You should give yourself a two week window before and after the guess date your doctor gave you. Your baby will come when it's ready.
  3. Induction is a no-win situation, so it should only be used for true medical reasons (newsflash: a big baby is not a good reason). Being induced leads to a snowball effect of medical interventions, and greatly increases your chances of getting a cesarean. Watch this documentary for a great explanation of this. So unless you want a c-section, you shouldn't ask your doctor to induce you because you're tired of being pregnant. Or because you think the baby is too big. Or because you want to choose your baby's birthday. When interviewing doctors, ask how long they'll let you go past your guess date before they insist on induction (ideally they should say 2 weeks). This is important, because you don't want to feel pressured-you want your baby to come when it's ready!
  4. You should watch The Happiest Baby On the Block. I wrote this post last month explaining some of the principles of the video, but you really should watch it before you give birth. Keep it in the house for a couple weeks after baby is born so you can go back and review the techniques when you're stressed and can't remember them. You can probably find it at your local library, movie stores, or just buy it used on Amazon.
  5. Diapers aren't your only option, believe it or not. Diapers are expensive. Diapers are bad for the environment. Diapers can hinder your communication with your child. They can even hinder your child's development. You didn't realize diapers could do all that, did you? Yes, there is a better way, and it's not as gross or time consuming as you might think. You might even ENJOY it! You can read more in this post, and I highly recommend you get this book from your library/bookstore/Amazon. Trust me on this one. I was skeptical at first too, believe me! But when I finished this book, I knew that this was the alternative to diapers I was looking for.

*I am not a medical professional. These are simply my conclusions after researching each of these topics extensively. You should do your own research on these topics and then decide what's right for you.

1 comment:

  1. You have a great blog! I love this post!

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