Risky Baby Business – Question #2: Are You Getting Good Advice?

Have you noticed how everyone gives pregnant ladies a TON of advice? I’ve talked about this before — sometimes the sweet, scared new mommy feels like everyone’s picking on her when she’s too tired to shield herself and too round to waddle away.

Even I’m going to offer advice. I’m just going to try to do it in a way that empowers the new mommy, or those traveling down pregnancy’s (rugged) memory lane.

So, do you feel like you’re receiving (or have received) good pregnancy advice? Whether it is from medical professionals, your mom, or your BFF, even well-intentioned advice often stresses new moms out.

And bad advice? That will make a pregnant woman’s blood pressure rise.

Let me give you an example:

Two days after my due date, I had a female relative call me and ask me “when they were getting that baby out!” I’ve put the whole effed up saga in the memoir but here’s the punchline of what she said:

“I’ve been to like three funerals of babies who were FINE on their due dates and two days later they were DEAD.”

Yeah. That was a moment. I wish I was kidding.

She actually did mean well, even though it was an unkind thing to bring up. She wanted me to have a healthy baby and, due to her profession, she feels strongly about babies being born on time. She works with disabled children whose problems often begin in the womb.

Should she have said that to me? Absolutely not. Will people tell expectant mommies stories like this? Absolutely yes. You need to be prepared to say something along the lines of: “It’s really mean to upset a pregnant woman and you need to STOP.”

The conversation I descibed above was dreadful. I was REALLY upset about it for about a week. Plus, I immediately called my high-risk OB and drove him a bit crazy with questions about placenta breakdown.  I didn’t break under the pressure of her words, but I certainly sustained a pretty jagged crack in my composure.

At the end of the day, I was extremely lucky. My daughter was perfect, though my labor had to be induced at the two week mark. We always joke that Baby Girl must have really liked it “in the condo” (my womb). She didn’t want to come out of there.🙂

What about medical advice? How do you know you’re getting good advice from your professionals, or even seeing a good doctor at all?

This is a rough one to offer advice on. You can check online or ask around.

  • The nice thing is, we live in the information age where you can check this sort of thing out on the internet.
  • The bad thing is, a lot of the recommendations are subjective.
  • The other really hard thing is that most women start at ZERO knowledge about growing and delivering a baby and must study up at a time when they’re exhausted, distracted, nauseated or worse.

Here are two of my favorite online resources on how to choose your OB:

You should also ask your non-obstetric doctor for a recommendation. Doctors have babies too and they usually know which doctors have a good reputation or bedside manner. We got our amazing pediatrician from our OB – she took care of his kids and he really liked her.

At the end of the day, you need to trust your gut on which doctor is the best fit for you.

Last but not least, my favorite baby calendar website during my own pregnancy was www.baby-gaga.com. It’s nice and snarky, and very informative.

Baby Gaga elevated to hero-worship status when they told me what those excruciating pains were on the side of my abdomen, sorta near my hip bones. (That would be round ligament pain…Boo-Rah! DO read the advice on this – that’s some brutal pain.)

WARNING: If you are in a tenuous or high-risk pregnancy, DO NOT go to the forums n these websites that talk about grieving and loss or “angel babies.” Pass these on by, they’re not for you. You can find them again if you need them (which I hope is never).

I made the mistake of reading about angel babies in the first half of my pregnancy while we waited to see if we’d get to keep our baby and it was a BAD place for me to be. I cried for days. If you’re like me and must wait 19-20 weeks to get a thumbs up on your baby, under no circumstances should you read about people who have lost children. You can’t prepare for this scenario so just CHILL.

Remember, God’s in charge of the pregnancy, you’re in charge of the Zen. That includes your choices in reading material. I recommend you keep it light. I’ll gather a great list of books in the next few weeks so all my pregnant ladies know where the helpful books are.

FINAL WORD:

Pregnancy isn’t for sissies. Most men will tell you “that’s why women do it.” Seriously. The men I know who’ve watched the women in their life be pregnant will describe the new mommy as a cross between Xena (Warrior Princess) and Wonder Woman.

I personally think this description should apply to all women whether they ever get pregnant or not.

Do you remember hearing any really great (or really awful) advice about pregnancy? We’d like to hear about it, whether it was given directly to you or to someone else! I’m gathering it up for future posts.🙂

Jenny

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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22 Responses to Risky Baby Business – Question #2: Are You Getting Good Advice?

  1. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos says:

    I had got toxemia with my second pregnancy and my aunt, a long time Navy nurse, told me that she had seen “So many women, stroke out and die.” I barely understood what toxemia was at the time. I didn’t really realize the blood pressure aspects of it, just knew I was swollen and miserable. But the idea of having a stroke, dying, and leaving my husband and 18 mo. old daughter, and the new baby, should it survive, alone, threw me into a bit of a freak out. (Which in retrospect, freaking out was the WORST thing for someone in my situation to do. And she should have known better!)

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  2. I took most with a grain of salt. First off, the women of my mother’s generation had different experiences due to the simple fact medicine was different. Heck, in some hospitals they were still knocking women out and delivering by forceps!

    Secondly, I was able to see first hand how different each pregnancy and delivery can be simply by being around my sister (her youngest is 2 years older than my oldest). One thing that experiencing pregnancy and delivery though my sister taught me was that I wanted to do things as naturally as I could. I had midwives with all four (2 born at home and 2 born in hospital), though I needed to be induced with #3, and if you’re cleared for it I highly recommend it.

    The best advice I got was to trust my body. Even when I was worried about something, that would calm me down because I felt the same as I had the day before the worry set in.

    I don’t remember any horror stories being told when I was pregnant though I’m sure I heard my fair share, however, I did live through one. While I was in the “am I or am I not” pregnant stage with #4, my co-worker lost her baby at 30 weeks. She went in for a routine appointment and there was no movement or heartbeat. There had been no indication the previous day at work that there was a problem, she refused to talk about it when she came back, so I don’t know what happened. She now has two beautiful children.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      That’s wonderful advice, Raelyn! And I’m so sorry for your co-worker. Factor V women like me lose babies well into their second and third trimester so this was a huge concern for me. I’m delighted that she has children, but that is a HUGE blow.

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  3. K.B. Owen says:

    I usually ignored any advice not given by my doctor, or at least checked with him if it seemed like what I’d heard could be true. There really wasn’t any internet to speak of 19 years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, so I couldn’t just look up stuff on webMD or something. This is a good time to be pregnant, although as you point out, you have to be careful what you read, or you’ll scare yourself to death.

    My mom usually had pretty good advice, although her pregnancy with me was a nightmare (she was in the hospital longer than I was after I was born – I was breech, but they turned me and she hemorrhaged. Dumb ass doctor). However, there was one warning she gave me that just seemed too weird. I was near the end of my pregnancy, and reaching for something in an upper cabinet, and she stopped me and said the cord could strangle the baby if I did that.

    ???

    I didn’t argue with her at the time, but you’d better believe I asked the OB about that one, who kind of chuckled at the old wives’ tale.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Good for you on ignoring the dumb advice, Kathy! I like knowing that you tried to enter the world kicking rather than screaming. LOL….

      I’ve heard that arms over the head thing quite a bit. The problem with it is we all get superstitious about it…we don’t want to chance it in case there is a grain of truth in there. It’s the part of pregnancy and childrearing that drives me crazy.

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  4. Oh, and I meant to tell you, I think this is a great series you’re doing, Jenny! Keep up the great posts!

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  5. I love love LOVE your posts about pregnancy and motherhood. I only wish I’d known about this during my pregnancies…I could’ve used your words of wisdom. Thanks Jenny!

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  6. Hey, Jenny.

    It’s easy to get caught up in the gruesome stuff when you should be focused on what you can control such as good doctors, diet, exercise and etc. What’s not so easy is making someone, especially a close relative, backoff without causing offense even though it really should be a non issue. We’re facing this right now.

    You’d think they would have the sense not to be negative around someone who has health issues. Sometimes I wonder if deep down they know what they’re doing but do it anyway because at some level they enjoy this sort of thing and refuse to understand the harm it causes.

    They do it under the guise of I think it’s better you know or I know best type scenario. I have a relative who does the same thing and in her case I believe she does know but won’t stop then is hurt when no one wants to be around her.

    I love your excellent advice about reading the light stuff and skipping the heavy. I’m passing this post on to my daughter and taking it to heart.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Oh, Angela…I really hope someone takes a few moments to chew some serious backside! I think it’s so mean to terrorize these first time mommies. I know they don’t REALLY mean it, but it’s still extremely unkind.

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  7. I really hate the way so many folks seem compelled to want to haze pregnant women with pregnancy and birth horror stories. Some of the worst offenders are usually family members. Ugh. And sometimes the OBs are the very worst offenders. Don’t even get me started on how my OB tried to pressure me into a c/s almost from day 1. If I do have any cautionary advice, I always try to put it as positively as possible. Pregnancy/birth horror stories are for the non-pregnant who’ve had kids. Seriously. Never been pregnant and pregnant women should never hear these stories.😀

    The other stuff that drove me bonkers was the breastfeeding advice. I was told it’d be painful. It probably wouldn’t work (apparantly humans are the only mammals who routinely can’t make enough milk…weird). That my baby would probably gain too much weight or not enough. That my boobs would sag after. That I absolutely must wean by 1 year or my children will be over dependant freaks. LOL. That was where the parenting forums I was on at the time really shone. Lots of women who’d been there done that and had a down to earth view on the whole thing. It’s great to get adice when you’re having a problem and advice on how to avoid problems but nobody needs the war stories when they’re vulnerable.

    Love this series, Jenny! Awesome!

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Sonia! I always love your Saturday comments. I got some good breastfeeding advice and some not-so good advice. We did it as long as Baby Girl would allow it, then she weaned herself during all the craziness we had with taking care of my mother-in-law last Sept-Nov. Just quit cold turkey…but I’m still glad I did it.

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  8. Jenny,I cannot begin to tell you all the horror stories I heard since I was in a high-risk pregnancy and an “elder prima gravita” to boot. Many people asked if my pregnancy was a mistake, what was I going to do if the baby “wasn’t right.” and so on. The worst, for me, was that when at 20 weeks, I had to go on bed rest and went to talk to my boss, a woman, mind you. She said she wanted me to keep working, and asked what would happen if I did. I replied that I might lose the baby. She didn’t skip a beat, but asked. “Would that be a problem?”

    This is a great post–thank you for all of us for starting this series.

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  9. I’m in awe of you gals. I’ve always thought women had tougher lives than men in general and that childbirth was the epitome of it. After reading what some of you went through, I’m even more convinced of it.

    I wonder after reading these comments if women shouldn’t be fitted for 100% earplugs when they become pregnant and only take them out in their OBs’ offices. Wait – some of you got trashed there, too.

    Fortunately, my first wife had a relatively easy time carrying our daughter, even though we lived in caves back then. I don’t recall giving a lot of thought to her emotions as she went through it.

    BTW, Jenny, you said you had a perfect daughter. Is she a teenager yet? Still perfect? LOL

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LMAO David! By perfect I mean that we had to expect some genetic issues because of our age, etc. and there were none. You have no idea how blessed we felt. The entire pregnancy was sheer luck as we’d been told my eggs were only 6% viable and that it was unlikely I could carry a baby to term easily.

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