Wow…. in only a few short weeks Willow Jean will be arriving. I already shared my birth wishes with everyone, but here is a guest post with some other things to take into consideration before that big day comes.
When I had my first child, I told myself that since giving birth was a natural process there wasn’t much I had to think about in advance. By the time my third son came along, I knew much better. Modern medical advances have given women more options than ever before, but they also mean that expectant mothers have a lot of pre-natal decisions to make. Some of the most important ones of all can’t be left until the last minute.
There is probably no way for an expectant mom to get enough having a baby advice, but these tips and important information will help you and your precious little one get off to a good start together.
In some cases, a cesarean section is a delivery technique that ends up saving the life of the mother or the child. Most experts, however, believe that the procedure is vastly overused in the United States, where almost a third of all births are completed by C-section. In order to minimize your chances of being steered into a C-section that truly isn’t medically necessary, ask about the rate of cesarean section at the hospital where you plan to deliver. Also find out the rate for your OB/GYN and his or her practice. If the numbers you hear alarm you, seek out a different doctor and/or hospital.
Choosing a Pediatrician
Your new baby will need a pediatrician, and the right time to find one is before you bring him or her into the world. New moms still recovering from childbirth and learning to manage all those feedings have enough to do without worrying about the right doctor for well-baby care. Selecting a pediatrician in advance makes your life that much easier.
Meals for Later
Another way to make your life much easier when you get home from the hospital is to stock the freezer with some healthy, easy-to-prepare meals. This is a good task to work on if you take some time off before the birth, but even if you take little time off, you can still make meals for later by simply making double quantities of dinner each night for two or three weeks. Be sure to label all frozen food with the contents and date.
Planning for Complications
This was the least-favorite topic in my childbirth preparation class, but it’s an essential one. Find out when your OB/GYN will consider you “overdue” and ask how the situation is usually handled. Will your provider break your water and strip your membranes before using Pitocin to induce labor? Also find out how your provider will handle matters if your labor slows down after you have an epidural to reduce the pain. Speaking of epidurals, this is also a good time to discuss pain management with your OB/GYN.
Consider Cord Blood Preservation
In years to come, it could be important for your child or close relatives to have access to stem cells that are a genetic match. More and more medical treatments are being developed from these cells that are present in umbilical cord blood. If you wish to have your baby’s cord blood preserved for the future, you should start planning at least two months before the birth so the hospital can be prepared to assist in the collection process, which must take place immediately after your baby is born.