Pregnancy is a blessing, but it also comes with several tough decisions. Everyone seems to believe they have a right to tell you how to raise your child. Not only can all these outside opinions make social circles hard to navigate, but it can also be very anxiety-provoking.
Most mothers-to-be want what is best for their child, but sometimes remembering what you want for your child can be difficult with so many outside opinions. Before you give birth, consider trying to have a few of the following conversations with your partner, friends, and close family members. Talking out your decisions now will make it easier to stand by them once your baby arrives.
Breastfeeding vs. Formula
Breastfeeding has long been touted as the healthiest method for feeding your infant; however, choosing whether or not to breastfeed is still a personal choice. For some mothers, breastfeeding may not be possible or simply too painful. If you choose to breastfeed your child, you should also consider where you will feel comfortable doing so.
Breastfeeding in public is a hot debate, and even though there are laws in place protecting mothers breastfeeding in public, individuals in public may still respond negatively. Considering where and how you will feel most comfortable breastfeeding will help you establish plans and rituals for breastfeeding. The heightened comfort will also make it easier for you to stick to your guns should anyone question your reason for breastfeeding in public.
Lactation experts can help mothers determine which option is the best for them, and can help them find the tools to ensure that their child is getting all the necessary nutrition whether from breast milk or formula.
Homebirth vs. Hospital Birth
Home births are growing in popularity, and there has been quite a bit of controversy around them. Many believe that homebirths are unsafe or that midwives assisting in births are not trained professionals. However, it is important to note that homebirths are growing in popularity for a reason – women feel like they are in more control of their birthing experience. Women state that they are often more comfortable, less stressed, and experience greater satisfaction with a homebirth. The midwives that assist them are trained professionals, many of which are also Registered Nurses, and all have close connection with the local hospital in case something were to go wrong. Home births are also typically more affordable.
Although there is increasing satisfaction with home births, that doesn’t mean a woman should be ashamed to have a hospital birth. Hospital environments are comforting for some mothers-to-be, and others are not comfortable giving births without an epidural. For some women, their pregnancy is simply too high-risk to not be in a hospital setting.
Prenatal Testing vs. Not Testing
Testing is a very personal choice for many parents-to-be because of the power that it holds. While many women may shy away from prenatal DNA testing out of fear, prenatal DNA testing can actually provide a peace of mind in a variety of ways.
DNA testing is highly recommended for pregnant women ages 35 and older and those with a familial history of genetic abnormalities. However, prenatal DNA testing can also be beneficial for any pregnancy. Prenatal DNA testing from a reputable lab, such as Sequenom Laboratories, allows parents to determine if their child will have additional needs. By detecting genetic abnormalities early, parents have more time to find the resources and support they need to provide better family planning.
Which viewpoint a mother-to-be agrees with is irrelevant in these debates. Most parents are acting in the best interest of their children, and want to have a happy and healthy baby. How a parent chooses to raise their child in today’s ethically challenged world is entirely up to them. There are several paths to raising a healthy child, and we should respect a parent’s right to choose their own path.