And if we do do it, we tend to wait until the last minute: "Oh crap, the baby could be here any day now and we haven't picked a pediatrician." And I'm not talking about figuring out how to change a diaper, install a carseat or what bathtub works best (although those are all important!).
I'm talking about the big stuff that will effect your baby's health:
*breastfeeding (and other options if needed)
I want to eventually address each of these topics in separate posts of their own. There is so so much information to read over before you decide anything. My hope is that I will at least get you thinking, if you haven't already, about areas of your baby's life that are vitally important. Please get informed.
For now, here are a few things to consider in each area:
pku testing/newborn screening/heel prick test
This is my "big issue" because no one talks about it!! When the hospital staff comes in only a day or so after your baby is born to prick his heel, they use that blood to test for between 20 and 40 different types of genetic disorders. And while this test has been known to save some lives (each disease is extremely rare), it's what is done with the blood once it has been tested that all parents should be concerned about.
After the blood sample is tested, it is turned over to the state's health department. At that point, it's up to each individual state whether or not the sample will be destroyed or stored, and for how long. You can check here to see how long your state holds on to your baby's DNA. In California, they hold it for an "indefinite" period of time.
I don't know about you, but that's creepy. The government will have your baby's DNA on file forever if they choose. But you have other options. We had Isaac's blood taken and sent it to Baylor labs in Texas. You can order their kit here.
Will you do it? Take a class! Don't just think it will happen on it's own. It won't. It takes work. Talk to women who breastfeed or have breastfed. Surround yourself with encouraging women. Find a lactation consultant you can contact anytime.
Nursing is not an easy thing. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise. It may become second nature, but in the beginning you will want to give up. So be sure you have all the information you need before the time comes. If you aren't breastfeeding or end up not being able to, research other options. Can you get breastmilk from other women? Which formula is the best? Will you need to get a pump? Which one?
Find one whose philosophies are the same as your's. If you disagree with your baby's doctor, it makes things a lot harder. You are made to feel dumb or under-educated. But as a mom, you know what is best for your baby! If you don't want certain vaccines, find a doctor who supports that! And interview doctors before the baby is born. You can schedule a meet and greet with any doctor.
I highly recommend doing it and meeting with several doctors before choosing one. If your concern is mostly about immunization schedules, you can find a "vaccine friendly" doctor here.
Please do not just believe the CDC's schedule for your child. Do your research before baby comes. The first vaccines are given within hours of your baby's life and unless you sign a form to opt out, she will be vaccinated.
Will you make your own baby food? Do you know how? Which food will you start with? What is in jarred, processed baby food? Why is it recommended for babies to start on rice cereal even though their stomachs cannot properly digest it? Making baby food is actually a lot easier than it seems. All you do is puree veggies and fruit you already have in your home. Then freeze them in ice cube trays and viola!
Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg for each of these topics. Like I said, I will be posting separately about each topic in the future.
Let me know what your thoughts are!
If you have questions, leave them in the comments and I would love to address them.
Do you have any advice or suggestions??
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