Thursday, March 22, 2012
Having a Natural & Organic Birth, Labor, and Baby: The Ideal, the Plan, & the Reality (part 1)
As a chiropractor with a clinic that focuses on pediatrics and prenatal care, I was already aware of the “to dos” and “not to dos” of pregnancy and labor. When I actually got pregnant, I found out that making many of those decisions is much harder and requires more work than I sometimes cared to do. In preparing for the birth of my child, I realized that there’s the ideal, the plan, and the reality.
Currently, I am 36 weeks pregnant and you can call it nesting, or call it whatever you want, I’ve decided that sharing this crazy journey of attempting a natural, organic pregnancy, childbirth, and eventually child rearing with my readers is a good idea. Side note - did you know that the author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, Heidi Murkoff, wrote the entire first edition of her book during her first pregnancy based on frustrations with what pregnancy books were available at the time? (Now is not the time for my soap box on that book, and how I don’t recommend any of my patients read it… that will be a future post on its own).
So, although I don’t anticipate this blog series turning into a movie someday, I do hope that it can be a tongue in cheek, yet informative series for many of my patients and readers on the planning process of having the more natural -and non-assembly line pregnancy and birth.
Prior to getting pregnant, I thought I knew exactly how everything would play out once it happened. I had had a lot of advanced training on avoiding unnecessary medical interventions, what to not eat, what to be sure to eat, what special supplements to take, what products to avoid in the nursery… and on and on and on. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but knew it was important for our future child to be protected from many of the unnecessary (and potentially harmful) hospital procedures and from many of the toxic products that surround pregnancy and infancy.
First bump in the road of “the ideal organic pregnancy and baby”… no pre-pregnancy cleanse. We found out we were already pregnant when we were already 5 weeks along. I admit that my husband and I were very fortunate and did not have any trouble getting pregnant, and I actually got pregnant 1 month earlier than we “planned on trying”. So, my original plan to begin a more natural and less toxic diet to “prepare” my body for pregnancy changed from plan to reality. Had I been able to do the pre-pregnancy cleanse, it would have involved eliminating alcohol, tobacco (I don’t use tobacco- but for those of you who do, now is a good time to start quitting), caffeine, and all the obvious junk food offenders. I would have continued buying a lot of organic produce, and begin taking my prenatal package of vitamins, and even started to exercise/run more. Of course, much of this pre-pregnancy cleanse would have included my husband since he contributes half of the genetic makeup of this future child.
It was semi disappointing to know that I had started this process off not as planned as I will admit to being somewhat of a perfectionist and idealist in nature. But, once we learned the exciting news of our pregnancy, we immediately scheduled an appointment with our midwife, I started taking a load of prenatal vitamins, and I poured out my 7&7. (Ok… I wasn’t actually drinking a 7&7 at the time of finding out I was pregnant… but I figuratively poured it out :o).
Over the next few weeks and months, I plan on writing many blog posts on this entire process including subjects like:
-Home birth, birth center, or hospital
-Prenatal nutrition and exercise
-Prepping an “organic” nursery
-The natural birth plan
-Hard medical decisions once the baby has arrived (vaccines, circumcision, breast feeding, Vitamin K shot, gonorrhea drops, etc…)
-Natural/Organic decisions once the baby is home (cloth diapering, co sleeping, baby wearing, etc…)
This blog series is meant purely to give my journey of decision making, and although it will include many statistics, numbers, and facts, this is not meant to be a mother’s (or father’s) end all be all resource for natural and organic decisions. I will include books, dvds, and websites on the subjects for that purpose, though.
Please excuse my sarcasm and potentially offensive opinions… and try to enjoy with a grain of salt.
Part 2 will be on home birth, birth center or hospital.