… you know what it’s for and why you need it!
Why? Because this is exactly where expectant moms start to feel like they’re only passengers in their own pregnancy. As Ron Robinson, DC, writes in his Pathways to Family Wellness article “Take the Wheel:”
“With all of the doctor appointments and ‘routine’ tests, it leaves many women feeling overwhelmed and fearful for the journey ahead.” (source)
He goes on to write about how frequently women end up in his office in tears, feeling “helpless and scared” because their care providers are simply telling them what to do, aren’t open to alternatives or even discussion, and are dismissive when the women express their hesitation towards various tests or screenings.
This is YOUR body!
This is YOUR child!
This is YOUR pregnancy!
You are allowed to have doubts, ask questions, express your concerns, and have reassuring conversations about what’s going to happen to you and your baby during this scary and precious time.
You can’t, however, have these conversations, or “take the wheel” during your pregnancy, if you’re ill-informed or unprepared.
I know you’re busy, but this is important, right? You have to find the time. You have to make the time. Ask questions. Take things slow. Don’t say yes until it feels absolutely right to you. Do some basic research.
For example, you don’t have to memorize the similarities and differences between folic acid and folate, but you absolutely should know that your prenatal multivitamin should contain folate and NOT folic acid.
You should also be aware of the dangers of ultrasounds and not simply take their safety for granted, especially when your caregiver may suggest multiple (possibly unnecessary) ultrasounds during your pregnancy.
I’m not saying to obsess over every detail, and I don’t mean to increase your stress levels, but do increase your awareness enough to feel confident in your own pregnancy, to trust in your own body, and to make choices you will forever feel proud of.
This experience is yours. This child is yours. I encourage you to be an active, confident participant in your pregnancy.
For some guidance, check out Wellness Mama’s list of Healthy Options for Pregnancy and Prenatal Care or peruse through the list of blog post topics over at Evidence Based Birth. Then take a deep breath and have that well-informed chat with your caregiver.