Merry tagged me as part of a blog hop she’s holding for TommyÃÔ Baby charity and Bounty UK to help them launch their new 5 Point Plan for healthy pregnancy, and I’ve been pondering this post for a few days. There was a prompt:
What did you learn from your first pregnancy? How have you changed things with later pregnancies? Can you share your story, whether something huge and life changing, or small and funny, that made you manage your approach to pregnancy differently? Do yyou feel there is enough information available? Do health carers help you or frustrate you? How did your approach to physical and mental well being change over your pregnancies?
Looking back, I’m amazed at how little I knew during my first pregnancy. I just went blindly along with whatever I was told, pretty much. My assigned midwife went off sick after I’d met her twice – I never saw her again I don’t think, and I never had the same one twice running after that. And all I knew about was hospital birth, although I was lucky enough to get on to a trial program of hypnotherapy, run by a consultant anaesthesiologist as a research program.
All of which meant when I presented at hospital in labour they didn’t believe me. I was put to bed (in the room I’d had my hypnotherapy sessions) with a sleeping tablet, which I believe then meant Big required resusc when she was born not that many hours later.
So what did I learn from all of that?
I learnt that information is power. That you will have a much smoother run of it if you surround yourself with knowledge, and I don’t just mean from google 😉 So in subsequent pregnancies I learnt about homebirth, and how to juggle a vegetarian diet to improve iron absorption (cut out the tea with tannin is a really good tip, and did you know that while spinach and other foods can be iron rich, it’s in a very difficult form to absorb? Boost the Vitamin C too, and look into floradix or spatone if you want to supplement) and also why dropping Hb levels aren’t necessarily a bad sign. (It’s called haemodilution. It’s supposed to happen to a certain degree.)
All of this meant that I had a very successful homebirth with Small. And eventually with Smallest too, and I’m aiming for another I think, although I haven’t fully decided yet, and I don’t actually need to yet.
Obviously you’ve got to be careful where you get your information from. But there are lots of useful resources out there – Radical Midwives have a yahoo group that is invaluable, and I’ve been pointed at Red Tent on facebook as another helpful group. And maybe one of the best things to do is ask someone who has already been there. And there are plenty of us about 😉
I’m tagging Luschka over at Diary of a First Child – I know that she’s had a tough time in pregnancy, but hoping she has hints and tips to share for anyone else struggling – not everyone has it easy, I know that. If anyone else would like a tag, just drop me a comment and I’ll add you in 🙂