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:
- An article from BabyCenter.com with great questions.
- WhatToExpect.com has great forums – you can find a local one here.
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.
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. 🙂