5 Resources to Have an Informed Pregnancy & Birth
“Being informed”...what does that even mean in a day and age where influencers have more power than traditional marketing and every stay-at-home mom can start a vlog to grow a following of thousands without ever taking off her yoga pants or washing her hair. It’s hard to know who is actually qualified to talk about whatever they’re sharing and who is just being paid to share their latest gluten-free pasta and organic face mask.
When it comes to pregnancy and birth, it can be a million times more challenging to navigate all the information coming from every direction. Everyone will have an opinion about all the things all the time, so go ahead and brace yourself. The best thing you can do as an expectant parent is to educate yourself on your options and what the data says is safe and appropriate care. We’ve gathered the 5 best resources to help you navigate pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with evidence-based information and empowering education.
- Evidence-Based Information: Evidence Based Births This should be your first step when you are faced with a decision about your pregnancy or your birth. Rebecca Dekker received her Master of Science in Nursing and her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Kentucky. She publishes articles that compile research and stats for all things pregnancy and birth. If you are pregnant, this could very well be your most used resource.
- Book: Expecting Better This is a must-read for all expecting parents. Dr. Emily Oster is an economist that has compares “standard practice” and what the data actually shows to disprove typical recommendations in today’s labor and delivery units (and even before!). Emily lays out the numbers so simply that you walk away understanding questions you didn’t even know you had to begin with. Professor Oster breaks down the most controversial topics like eating sushi and deli meat while pregnant. She even tackles drinking coffee and newborn vaccinations! You won’t find a clearer picture of what the science says than Expecting Better.
- Book: Crib Sheet Dr. Emily Oster wrote a second book that is a “data-driven guide to the early years” and you know we had to give it a review. She, again, delivers the most interesting statistics that leave you feeling dumbfounded as to why we have some of the current recommendations we have today. She is tackling topics like birth weight, circumcision, and sleep training. Professor Oster delivers this evidence-based material in digestible forms that leaving your feeling empowered to make the best decision for you.
- Community: The Birth Lounge One of the biggest (and best!) pieces of advice someone can share with an expectant parent is to find a village BEFORE their baby arrives. Connecting with other expecting or new parents will be a game changer for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Ask any human that has ever had a baby and they will tell you that the support system around you (in-person and online) is everything and that’s exactly what The Birth Lounge provides! This is an online space that connects you to other expectant parents so you can begin to prepare for your birth together. The Birth Lounge steps you through preparing for your birth and planning for your tiny human’s arrival.
- Podcast: The Informed Pregnancy Podcast Doctor Elliot Berlin is an award winning prenatal chiropractor, childbirth educator and birth doula. Dr. Berlin hosts a podcast that serves as a platform for birth professionals (medical doctors, doulas midwives, alternative medicine doctors) to share casually and openly about their experiences in the field and their opinions on various topics. This podcast is fascinating and is binge-worthy on all accounts.
You have ¾ of a year, 40 weeks, 9 months, 280 days (roughly) to prepare for your baby. In this time, you can explore all of your options, create the perfect plan and find the confidence you need to achieve your ideal birth. There’s no rush if you start making small decisions now and gradually approach the “scarier” topics. Start small by watching gentle birth videos or reading birth stories. The only way to turn scary topics tiny topics that you’re confident about is educating yourself on how you can stay in control of these scary situations. Knowing what choices you have will help remind you that you are in control. Take the time to connect with a community before your baby arrives. These people will help support and encourage you when you need it most plus give you advice when you have no clue where else to turn. Seek out support in understanding what the science says and what standard practice looks like at your birth place. Sit down and think about the choices you need to make and explore the options you have for each one. Be intentional with putting together a birth team that understands your preferences and will support you in those.
Nature has given you the time to learn. We’ve given you the resources to explore. Now, jump in and get ready for the journey of a lifetime! Becoming a parent will change you at your core and you will experience a love like no other. Knowing how to best support your baby (and yourself) in this time doesn’t have to be stressful, we’ve made it easy.
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