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What I didn’t say…

November 29, 2010

I was at the dentist last week for one of my every-six-month cleanings. The hygienist (whom I’ve gotten to know fairly well over the past couple of years) calls me back and to my surprise (kind of) she’s beautifully pregnant.

This sounds kind of crazy, but just that morning I had been thinking about her and had the random thought that if she had gotten pregnant around the time of my last appointment that she would be six months pregnant now – and, physically, obviously pregnant. You can imagine my reaction when I saw her beautiful round belly (she’s due in January).

Somehow, despite me having my mouth wide open for the next hour, we had quite a good conversation, all while she made my teeth look like new. But there were definitely things I didn’t say, that I would have liked to, if we were in another setting, say, having coffee at Starbucks (White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha anyone?).

So, here’s what I didn’t say . . .

1. You don’t want to be induced, really. You may be uncomfortable now but taking care of a newborn is no picnic. As a first-time mom, being induced greatly increases your risk of delivering by cesarean section. Most pregnant women do not want to have a c-section, for a reason.

2. Not all women who are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes will grow a baby too large for them to birth vaginally. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states, “When the mother’s glucose level is high throughout pregnancy, the baby can receive too much glucose. As a result, the baby can grow too large. A large baby may make vaginal delivery difficult.” If your sugars are well-controlled, the chances of having a very large baby are diminished. Besides that, MANY women are able to successfully birth large babies. Do just a bit of reading to educate yourself on how you can increase your chances of delivering a large baby vaginally. I highly suggest picking up The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth.

3. Practitioners are not able to predict a baby’s size with any degree of accuracy via ultrasound. And inducing because of a suspected large baby isn’t even advocated by ACOG.

4. 37 weeks is not full-term for ALL babies. It’s full-term for SOME babies. If your baby is born before he or she is ready there is a good chance they will have some kind of health issue and may even require a stay in the NICU. You do not want a baby in the NICU. How do you know if your baby is ready to be born? You let your baby start your labor, not a doctor or midwife. In addition, if your due date is off at all (which is entirely possible as not all women ovulate on day 14 of a 28 day cycle) you could end up with a very premature baby, ensuring a stay in the NICU or worse. Not something you want to mess with if you don’t have to. If you want more information about inductions go check out THIS article at Nurtured Moms.

5. Don’t just ‘try’ to go without the drugs. Prepare for it. If you’re not willing to prepare for an unmedicated birth then you probably don’t REALLY care if you get one and you probably WON’T have one. It gets tough. Really tough. If you’re in a hospital, laying in bed, tethered to monitors, it’s going to be tougher. If you really want to try, then read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. The birth stories will totally inspire you (if they don’t, then just chuck the whole idea of a natural birth and sign up for the epidural now). Figure out why you don’t want the drugs and stick to your guns (there are more reasons than just wanting the elusive ‘medal’). I’ve written lots on natural birth and you can find more resources HERE.

6. Breastfeeding can be hard, especially in a society that seeks convenience and self first. You need to have knowledge, perseverance and support. I have lots of resources listed above; just click the Breastfeeding Resources link up there (or HERE). Do you really want to breastfeed your baby? Why? You should know the answer now so that when things get hard, you will know why you’re doing it. Do you know other women who have breastfed (or are breastfeeding currently)? Tell them you want all the help they can give. If you don’t know anyone who could help you, then seek out a Lactation Consultant and/or your local La Leche League now. Get to know them so you feel comfortable calling if things get tough and you feel like giving up. Breast really is best. You can do it!

Find out what I did say HERE in Part 2.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2010 10:46 AM

    Great post!! There is so much I want to say to every pregnant mother I see. I need to just type all this up and hand it out as I walk around LOL! 🙂
    It’s such a fine line we have when speaking about pregnancy, birth and parenting in general. We don’t want to scare or judge or offend, but we do want to make sure the mother is FULLY informed with the truth. Having a unmedicated birth is not brave or heroic or superhuman… its NATURAL. Our bodies were created to birth and nourish babies! We need to teach women THAT instead of society instilling fear and dread regarding birth and breastfeeding. They really are the most amazing experiences we are privileged to have!

  2. November 29, 2010 1:33 PM

    Great post!! (and thanks for the plug :)) The “must induce for big baby” thing is one of the most egregious lies about induction. This systematic review (of several studies) published in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that induction for fetal macrosomia increases cesarean rates with NO benefit to mothers or babies.

  3. reba permalink
    November 29, 2010 9:48 PM

    I stumbled across your blog from Inspired to Action. Just felt I had to comment because I went to 42 weeks with all four of my babies. Tried everything and the midwife and I finally decided to be induced. All of my babies were 9 lbs or larger. Biggest one was 10lb. 4oz. And all of them were vaginal with no problems at all. I only agreed to the induction because it is really really unfun being pregnant for so long. LOL. And at 42 weeks, well chances are the baby is done and ready to come out of the oven. The point is, big babies don’t mean trouble! They mean happy, babies who sleep really well! In my experience anyway….

    • November 29, 2010 10:14 PM

      Glad you found me! And thanks so much for sharing your story. I would have been induced at that point as well. My biggest baby was 9lbs, 4oz and I pushed him out w/o any trouble at all, not even a tear, on all fours. The trouble happens when you’re stuck on your back trying to birth a big baby. I can’t even imagine.

  4. Jennifer permalink
    November 29, 2010 10:58 PM

    You should totally print this up and go back and give it to her! 😀

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