Is there a baby boom happening? I don't know if there really is or not but it seems like I know a lot of people who have recently had babies or are planning to soon. So that got me thinking about all of the issues you are faced with as a new or soon to be parent and I thought I would write on a different subject each week for a month or so and help those that are looking for healthy, maybe not mainstream information. Even if you plan to do everything very mainstream or conventional you may be interested in just seeing what's out there :)
This week I thought I would talk about the birth and things to think about before the blessed event.
Let's assume that you took good care of yourself. Took a good (natural, not synthetic) prenatal vitamin, no smoking or drinking, ate healthy, got some exercise,etc.
Good job! Hopefully all went well having a great pregnancy experience :)
One thing I would suggest is a good birth plan!
There is always the unexpected. You can't plan for every situation but in general you can let your preferences and wishes be known and hopefully the doctor and staff with follow those wishes.
You can google birth plan and about a million choices come up, look some over and find one that works for you. You can even make your own :)
Ok, you have that magical day circled on the calender, you have your support (like your significant other, mom, sister, doula, etc.) lined up and ready to go at a moments notice. Good support is really, really important by the way :) They can help you, make sure your wishes are followed and anything else you need.
What if you go over your due date?
Do you plan to induce or do you have a c-section scheduled?
Personally, having been induced, I say never again!!! (Unless of course there is some serious emergency) I have never heard of a baby not being born. They tell you that the placenta can start to break down or not work well but this can be monitored and appropriate action taken if needed. What you also need to keep in mind is that your due date is not an exact science.
I can't say induction and c-sections are wrong for every situation but I would strongly urge you to look into those procedures and do some research before hand so you are not making an uninformed decision at the hospital when you are maybe not thinking clearly!! For some interesting information about c-sections you may want to check out this website http://www.childbirth.org/section/section.html ( they have birth plans and other info too!)
Find what you are comfortable with and let your doctor or midwife know what you are willing and unwilling to do and be firm. This is the birth of your child (and your body) so don't feel bad having a strong opinion! Let them know if you want to be free to move around, not stay continually monitored, eat and drink, listen to music, or whatever else you can think of. This is where the birth plan can help :) One piece of advice.... if your provider is not supportive of your wishes, find someone who is!!! This is REALLY important. If you don't feel comfortable this won't be the birth experience you are hoping for and if you and your provider don't see eye to eye on matters then there could be more stress than you want to deal with when the big day comes :(
There are many other things to consider when preparing a birth plan.
*Are you considering pain medication? If so, do you know which ones would be ok if you are planning on nursing, do you know about the side effects related to those medications?
*Do you want the umbilical cord clamped and cut right away or would you like to wait until it stops pulsing? Some say that if you wait the baby gets all of the beneficial blood and nutrients from the placenta.
*If you have a son are you planning on circumcising?
That is definitely a personal decision, I think most people lean towards circumcision, although that is beginning to change. For some circumcision info that is not as mainstream you can check out http://nocirc.org/
*Would you like the baby to stay with you at all times or taken to the nursery?
*Are you going to breastfeed or bottle feed?
*Cloth or disposable diapers?
*Are you planning on vaccinating at the hospital, waiting, or not vaccinating?
*Antibiotic eye gel/cream? Look into it b/c it's not really necessary unless you have an STD.
*Vitamin K shot?
There are other topics that may be important to you that you would want to include. Just remember to take your time, do some reading and make the best decisions you can. Then make sure your support people know your wishes and pass those on to your doctor, nurses, or midwife and hopefully you will have a wonderful birth experience!!
I will be offering information and suggestions on some of these topics in the coming weeks so be sure to check back!