Decisions, Decisions…

I’ve only been blogging for a few days, but I’ve received a lot of requests for me to share my choices on some basic, but critical decisions as a parent. Here they are:

1. Midwife or Obgyn?

We opted for a midwife supported birth process, and made the decision to be attended by a black midwife. We felt that midwife support was aligned with our values and needs as parents, while having access to clinical support as and when we need it.

We felt that obgyn were too clinical in approach, and the c-section rate in private practice made this choice even less appealing. We felt that generally, obgyn problematise pregnancy and treat it like a disease, where complications are inevitable, as opposed to midwives, who see pregnancy a medical, physiological condition and personal journey where complications may arise.

We found our midwife’s approach to be empowering, supportive and honest. The relationship was more personal and intimate.

We did experience some health issues in both pregnancies, but our midwife was always able to assist because we kept an open and honest relationship with her and relied on her advice as a medical professional with over 30 years experience.

Midwives work with back-up obgyn anyways, and so we had the best of  both worlds.

2. Natural or C-section?

I chose to deliver my babies naturally, but of course was not opposed to a c-section, in the event of an emergency.

To me, a c-section is a huge and invasive procedure, and I feel that as such, it is only something to be done in emergencies. In what I read, I discovered that there are many underplayed potential short and long term risks associated with c-section operations and that natural birth, where possible and safe, was best for baby and mum.

3. Epidural or nah?

I didn’t have an epidural. I did get some gas for pain relief for a few minutes right before I had to push, during both births, which was great.

I had pubis symphisis dysfunction in my second pregnancy, so during our last few consultations, we explored options for pain medication to assist me through the birth. My midwife gave me a small dose of pain medication during the birth. I don’t think it helped much, but I guess it helped me enough, because I was able to deliver my child quickly and easily.

4. Water or land birth?

Both my children were delivered by water birth. Both were quick and easy. I think position is everything. For me, the squatting position came the most naturally. I can’t imagine giving birth while lying on my back.

5. Circumcision?

There is nothing in my culture that necessitates circumcision, so we didn’t. Our son can make his own decision when he’s older.

6. To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?

We vaccinate. You have to do your own research and weigh up the risks for yourself.

7. Breast or bottle?

Breast milk is best for baby. This is a fact. Formula is fine though.
Not everyone can or wants to breastfeed for whatever reason. That’s cool. I breast feed, and on demand. The health and emotional benefits are totally worth it for me.

8. Co-sleep or cot?

Co-sleeping (first having  baby in the bed, then a cot next to the bed) is convenient for us and just feels more natural. The thought of sleep training fills my heart with dread. We are just not those people. Our eldest isn’t sleep trained but he’s establishing his own sleep patterns and habits independently, at his own pace.

9. Natural family planning or hormonal contraception?

I was only on hormonal contraception for a year in my early 20s. I felt my body deserved better. I’ve been cycle tracking, and using barrier methods for 9 years. I feel more confident in my body’s rhythms because of it.

For more information on natural family planning : http://www.ethicalfamilyplanning.com

10.  Big or small age spacing?

Our kids are 18 months apart. Flames. We have agreed that I will be a stay-at-home mum for a few years, to allow us to essentially raise twins :’) I have the privilege to choose to not work, that’s why a small age gap is working for us.

Anything else? Holla back.

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