The first urge when you know that you are pregnant is to start googling and reading absolutely everything related to pregnancy and labor (or at least that was my case). Internet is a great resource and it has tons of information to offer, specially related to a topic that popular.
There’s plenty of blogs and websites that try to stick to the facts and are definitely a good source of information but there are others that are way too biased and will generate more questions than answers or, even worse, will push you towards choices that might not be fully aligned with your principles. Be careful and “take the posts with a grain of salt”.
As you will see, most of the topics related to pregnancy and labor (specially labor) will require that you make a decision about what is best for you and your baby so how do you differentiate between facts and opinions? Here is a list of the things that I considered while doing my own research:
- Keep your “analytical” hat on: Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Although people might have good intentions when they are posting information, they might not always have the facts straight so make sure that you contrast the sources and read more than one post related to a specific topic.
- Research and make your own decisions: Although it might be time consuming, it’s worth reading different posts and/or websites related to the same topic. Don’t let people spoon-feed-you what they called “the best choices”. What works for them might not be the best option for you.
- User your “BRAIN”: This is one of the most important take-aways from my prenatal classes. This method will help you make decisions during your pregnancy and labor (and even later on in your life!). The acronym BRAIN stands for:
As you can see, this method basically tells you to evaluate every decision from every single point of view: the pros, the cons, consider alternatives, etc.
For example, if your doctor offers you the epidural while in labor, you or your support person should ask about both the benefits of getting it and the risk factors, asking for alternatives (natural birth, spinal block, c-section, other narcotics/pain killers, etc). Once you have all the information, also think about what your gut feeling is telling you: does it feel right? Do you feel comfortable doing it? And finally, you can ask your doctor if you have to make a decision right away or if you can have more time to think about it (and evaluate the consequences of doing nothing at that moment).
Always keep in mind that ultimately you are the one making the final decision. You have the right to say YES or NO.
I also recommend you that you research about all these methods ahead of time and prepare a birth plan. Believe me, you don’t want to be trying to understand the pros and cons of a drug or a procedure while in labor pain!
- Talk to your doctor: If you ever have any health issues or any questions during your pregnancy, don’t look for advise in a website: Talk to your doctor instead. Your doctor is always the most reliable source of information for you because they have all the details about you and your pregnancy. Although you may want to check what other first-time-moms are doing keep in mind that your situation is unique so there’s no better advise than the one your OB or family doctor will provide you.
Do you use a different method when making a decision? Share it with us in the comments section!