Friday, 16 September 2011

Things I Know - Pregnancy and Birth

image courtesy of
Today Mini Hoges and I caught up with a dear friend who is 7 months pregnant. It is her first pregnancy, so naturally, she is excited and anxious all at the same time, depending on which directions her hormones are taking her. We talked about how she was feeling physically and emotionally and about the exciting stuff, like how much baby bonus you get these days, how many grow suits is too many and painting baby's room. 

Two comments that did get me thinking though was how this amazing woman said that she was going to feel quite anxious at the time of the birth, and that she doesn't like not being in control. Her mother is a midwife and supports her so well. Her husband is loving and wants the best for her and their baby. The second comment was that her doctor has told her to slow down on the eating because she is gaining a bit too much weight. This clearly is not true. My friend looks healthy, and is by no means one of those HUGE pregnant women that everyone gawks at and is worried that they are about to have the baby at their feet. No, she is healthy, with a moderate baby bump. It got me thinking. 

What could I say, as a friend and a fellow mother who has had two healthy and normal pregnancies and births? What positive encouragement could I offer?

Things I Know - Pregnancy and Birth

  • Trust that your body can do this. Women have been birthing for centuries. It is only in the past 50 years that we have medicalised a natural process. (that is not to say that I think intervention is wrong...thank goodness for medicine, and choice)
  • Having an emotional release each day is good for you (even if it is prompted by drama tv, like Grey's Anatomy). It allows you to let go and release unnecessary worries.
  • Doctors should not tell pregnant women to slow down on their eating, unless there is a genuine concern about the health of the mother or baby. A woman who has gained 10kg during pregnancy is totally healthy and within the norm. I gained 26kg in my first pregnancy.
  • First labour can be scarry, but it is also exciting, energising and empowering, provided you have the right positive support people with you.
  • It is ok to change your mind about what you want during labour. Whilst it is nice for you to prepare a birth plan, chances are, you might leave it at home or abandon it altogether in the throes of labour.
  • Life will never be the same after baby arrives
 What friendly and positive advice have you given to first time mothers to be? 

Don't forget to check in and see what everyone else knows this week at Yay for Homes' Things I know linky.

Be Happy, 


Unknown said...

All of those things are great advice. I suppose I would just add that knowledge is power. Watch those births on youtube, read a million birth stories, visualise how you want your birthing experience to be - because fear=tension=pain=fear - and you're only afraid if you're unaware or not expecting what is happening to you. And this goes for any kind of birth - medicalised or natural or waterbirth or whatever.
I'll stop now!
Loved your post - and that picture!!

Kate Sins said...

What great advice... I wrote a post in a similar vein! I always tell my friends to be mentally prepared for things not to go to plan. Too many of my friends have had one idea in their head then reality has kicked in. And, for all those who really get hung up on the pain I remind them there are drugs that can help. I didn't have any drugs either time but was open to it if the need arose.

Kirsty said...

I agree with the above comments - nothing went to plan really in all 3 of my labours so I had to let go of my plans and just go with it. In the end, you want to take home a healthy, happy baby - if that means intervention when you didn't expect it, don't get hung up on it. Labour is one day (hopefully) in a whole lifetime of togetherness - concentrate on the wonderful life ahead of you!

Tanja said...

I agree whole heartedly!
Popped on over from TIK :)

shae said...

I love the quote that "the secret isn't that birth is painful, the secret is that women are strong"

Anonymous said...

Great quote from Shae! What she said. :)

Jane said...

Hi Nic I'm your newest happy follower. You've made some great points here. I know how different my first pregnancy was compared to my 2nd and 3rd - that 'not knowing' first time around was indeed the scary bit.

The one thing I would add is that we mums really have to trust our intuition a lot more. Of course, medical advice has its place but we know our children best, especially once they're born. We're their advocates - their voices to speak up on their behalf when they can't. Wishing your friend only the best J x