We’re talking babies again! So far we have covered: birthing facilities/options, doulas, and lightly talked about birth plans. Now we are going to talk about childbirth classes, lactation consultants, and vaccine choices.
The old saying of “You don’t know what you don’t know” is so true when it comes to pregnancy and birth. Pre-pregnancy me found the thought of childbirth classes silly. Who needs to be told how to breathe?! We’ve seen it done in movies thousands of times over! Pregnant and ‘crunchy’ Becca, however, quickly learned I was so naïve. Sure, if you aren’t too concerned about pain management and want your epidural (which is totally fine!) there aren’t as many options you really need to worry about. If you, however, are someone that is really trying for a natural birth you get to choose between Hypnobabies, Hypnobirth, Bradley Method, Lamaze, Birthing From Within, and many others. Who knew!?
All of these methods have their benefits, so it really is a matter of finding which works best for you and your birthing partner. Ask yourself how you respond to pain, how you manage pain, and what you picture yourself doing during labor. Many women have a visual in their head of what that delivery room activity looks like and that can really help narrow things down. We chose Hypnobabies (I didn’t know there was a difference in Hypnobabies and Hypnobirth at the time) Home Study. Admittedly, I didn’t really stick with it and never even broke it out during delivery, but have heard the in-person classes are far more valuable.
There are also many other classes offered in our area. These include Newborn Care, Sibling Care, and even breastfeeding courses. The one course I really regret not taking last time was the nursing class. I really went through pregnancy thinking, “nursing is natural, you just put the baby to your breast and he/she feeds.” Remember that saying I mentioned earlier about not knowing what you don’t know? Yeah I learned quickly after delivery that Lactation Consultants are true angels!
Because my labor was so long and had some complications, nursing was affected a bit. Add in a small lip tie and lots of food sensitivities and it was a perfect storm for frustration, tears, and prayers. Since I delivered at Vandy, I had the ability to go back and utilize their lactation services a few times after leaving the hospital and this helped a ton! After a few months, I then started attending a group called Weigh to Go Baby. Mothers met with their babes and we weighed the babies, nursed, and then weighed again to measure how much milk the babies were actually getting. This was super helpful for me to see that he was getting enough.
There are also private companies that offer lactation services. Most everyone in our area that has a baby knows the name Kate Cropp and I highly suggest her group! She is wonderful and so knowledgeable. Then there is also La Leche League. Depending on what area you live in, you can attend the group meeting and get a load of valuable help and info. Another source to use is www.KellyMom.com. This site is great if you want to read info online, check how often you should nurse at any given time, and get answers to many other random nursing questions.
Now, to a topic that ruffles a lot of feathers - vaccine choices…yes I said choices. Because it can be such a sensitive topic, I am going to keep this one pretty light. Regardless of your stance, as parents we are all on the same side - making a choice that we know to be in our child’s best interest. Period. Anytime a decision involves possible mandates and those mandates involve corporate profit, we should all be able to make an informed parental choice and go from there.
I’ve had people ask my thoughts on vaccinations or what we chose to do. While I answer their questions, my biggest push is to make sure they make an informed decision. Don’t just read one side of the argument or listen to one person’s opinion, take the time to read both sides, read vaccine inserts, watch movies, read books, ask your pediatrician. After all of that, then decide where you stand on everything. I’m a big supporter of having an open mind - I wouldn’t be in an alternative field if I wasn't!
In the state of Tennessee you can be vaccinated fully on schedule, vaccinate on an adjusted schedule, or choose to avoid vaccinations with a religious or medical exemption. The choice is completely yours as the parent. This goes for any vaccinations at birth, too. The Hepatitis B and Vitamin K vaccines are the two most widely discussed after birth choices, along with the ‘eye goop’. Until July 1 st , 2016, it was actually a misdemeanor in our state to opt out of the antibiotic eye ointment, although many hospitals did not enforce the charges. Many women feel that the routine procedure is not necessary if the mother was not put at risk for Gonorrhea or Chlamydia and tested negative for it during pregnancy. As for the Vitamin K shot, some women choose to use liquid vitamin k drops on a designated schedule to help boost baby’s levels - the most popular brand of drops is from our Biotics line.
These are all big decisions as a parent! Do your research, find where you stand, and then find a doctor that you feel not only comfortable with medically, but that also supports your decision. Just as some parents look for pediatricians with separate sick waiting rooms and Saturday office hours, many look for doctors that do or don’t support vaccinations across their patient base.
Nashville Birth and Babies
Nashville Birth Network