Friday, July 25, 2008

Dr. appointment and a class

Wednesday was a double-whammy on the pregnancy front. In the morning we had a check-up with our primary doctor, Dr. Browne. (Highlights included her calling me "so skinny".... what a nice person!)

We talked about a TON of stuff more related to the delivery than to pregnancy, and found out that we are still happily on the same page. For instance:

Eating during labor: (Some doctors won't let you eat, in case you need a c-section later.) She says totally, bring snacks. Just don't bring your favorite food in case you throw it up and don't want to eat it ever again!
When to clip the cord: (Standard is pretty much RIGHT when the baby comes out.) She says "Yeah, we can wait until the cord stops pulsing. Just bear in mind you might have to remind us--we get a little excited!"
When do you use a vacuum/forceps: She hates forceps and the only situation where she'd use a vacuum would be if the baby was in enough distress that it needed to come out NOW. And she would always give the mother the option to say no to the vacuum, even if the only other choice was a c-section.
Birth plan: By all means, write one. Try to deal in positives ("dim lighting" vs. "no bright lights") so you don't make people scared of you. :)
....AND about a bajillion other points.

THEN I had a class on breastfeeding that evening. There was just me and one other woman (with her husband) in attendance, so it was nice and personal.

The first 1/3 of the class was geared toward convincing you that breastfeeding is a good idea. Preaching to the choir, folks! But there was a bunch of really good information about the proven benefits, such as the mother having reduced risk of osteoporosis later in life, and the baby getting REALLY good odds against ever contracting two kinds of lymphatic cancer later in life. (Those were some of the more dramatic examples--there are also other things like fewer ear infections and doctor visits, higher IQs, etc....) It reenforced my belief that there really is no good reason not to breastfeed.

The middle chunk of the class was really cute, because obviously you can't really just TALK about how to nurse properly, or the idea just isn't really going to arrive. So what they would do is talk about "here is how to get the baby to latch on" and then show a little video set to music of a bunch of teeny tiny babies latching on properly. The other woman and I were just sitting there giggling every time they played a video--the babies were just TOO cute! We did separate sections on latching on, nursing, how to fix improper nursing, and the baby being done. That last one mostly consisted of babies falling asleep all over the place. SOOOOO CUTE. The nurses call that the "drunken sailor" look, because they totally look like boozed-up happy little passed-out sailors.

The end of the class was about how you can maintain breastfeeding along with work and stuff and how you can involve the dad, so we went over bottles and pumps and how to figure all that stuff out. (Did you know that frozen breastmilk can last up to a year? I didn't!) After the class I was examining the example products and rather admiring a hand-powered pump that would work nicely for what Alex and I are planning for his part in doing feedings (we really don't need a big electric one) and the nurse who taught the class told me that secretly, they use those exact ones on the delivery floor and if I ask for one after I deliver, they'll give me a freebie to take home. :D


Christibale said...

Good stuff MEL!

I'm going to email you a copy of my birth plan in case you wanted something to look at or start from or butcher!!! It has been passed on to at least 10 other pregnant women who used it in PART some way!

Also, you can get a free electric breast pump from your insurance usually, because it is considered medical equipment, and once you have maxed out your deductible, you don't have to pay. Moral, have the baby and then get one from/through the birth center. I recommend it because I used it VERY little for work and everything, but I really enjoyed pumping milk to donate to a mama that needed it!

Diana said...

I like this doctor! So down to earth and sensible.

About snacks - even if you don't end up being hungry during labor. I was STARVING after each delivery and really appreciated having my own food at the birth center. When I had Amy in the hospital they only had toast available (because she was born during the night) and I was thinking more in terms of steak. It was a very long wait for breakfast.