When I was pregnant with Little Boo, I did a lot of reading. A lot. I read pregnancy and baby books given to me by friends, and ones I came across at Chapters that looked good, pamphlets from my doctor's office, everything. (My favourite pregnancy book, by the way, which I've recommended to many friends since, was Ann Douglas's The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. She writes with honesty, clarity, and the wisdom of many, many real mom interviewees - accessible and sensible.)
|My baby "bump" at 33 weeks|
So many of the books I read recommended developing a birth plan, a description of how I wanted my labour and delivery to proceed. This is a great idea, as the process of developing your plan will involve a lot of learning about how this whole pregnancy thing ends up, and the options available to you. And, if you have a plan, you won't be left scrambling at the 11th hour when the delivery team start asking you questions. But whatever you do, don't get too attached to every specific of your birth plan. Labour and delivery can throw a lot of surprises at you and flexibility may be required.
My birth plan was pretty simple. I knew I wanted a hospital birth with an OB/GYN. I was absolutely having an epidural. And I wanted to nurse as soon as possible. I also held out hope I'd get one of the birthing suites with a bathtub and planned to labour in there as long as possible. I couldn't wait to hold my baby and bond with him and have my husband take an excessive number of pictures of us together.
As it turned out, I got the epidural, hospital birth and OB/GYN. But that was about it. My water broke early; I didn't go into labour; they had to induce; baby was in distress; and we were rushed into the OR for and urgent C-Section. I physically couldn't hold my baby, and couldn't try to nurse until about 4 hours later. Meanwhile, he'd been fed with formula from a cup because his blood sugar was dangerously low. And my precious little 5 pound boy was whisked away to the NICU for what turned out to be 15 days.
Needless to say, this was not an ideal birth experience, and I don't have any of those special mommy and baby pictures from the moments right after he arrived. But, at the end of the day, none of that really matters. What does matter is that we did bring our baby into the world, he got the care he needed, and he's now a healthy and active 7 year-old. My birth plan went out the window, but at least having worked on it I knew a whole lot more about what to expect and what the various outcomes might be. And I was ready to answer tough questions at the hospital about how to proceed.
I skipped out on taking a prenatal class, mostly because of timing issues with a busy work schedule, but lots of parents-to-be find these classes really helpful in addition to whatever reading they may do. In August, Walmart Canada and P&G began sponsoring a series of prenatal programs in hospitals and community centres across the country, providing soon-to-be parents in those programs with special gift packs. The reusable Walmart shopping bags include a package of Pampers Swaddlers, the number one choice of Canadian parents for newborns*, a sample of Pampers wipes and an educational pamphlet. This program will reach 55,000 new moms from coast to coast, providing helpful tips on everything from how to secure a car seat to birth plans. Again, knowledge is power, and I think it's so important to gather up all the information you can to prepare you for all the decisions you'll have to make, not just about labour and delivery, but about being a parent in general.
A GiveawayOne of my lucky readers will win a prenatal pack (approx. $65 value) courtesy of Pampers and Walmart Canada, including a $50 Walmart gift card, Pampers Swaddlers Newborn, sample of Pampers wipes, educational pamphlet courtesy of Pampers & Walmart Canada, and a reusable shopping bag. Entries are via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EDT, October 27. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. Best of luck!
* Based on the sales of the Swaddlers New Baby specialized hospital diaper.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own. By entering this contest you are accepting that, if you win, your contact information will be shared with a P&G PR and shipping agency for the purpose of mailing your prize. Please allow 4-6 weeks from the contest closure date to receive your prize. This giveaway may appear on other blogs as part of the #PGmom program. However, to be fair, you can only win once per giveaway. If your name is chosen more than once, another winner will be selected. All winners must be from within Canada excluding Quebec.