How to talk to pregnant friends (part 1 of an occasional series)

27 May 2009 at 3:50 pm 2 comments

This post is more a plea for advice than a how-to per se. I am having a lot of trouble figuring out how to talk to some of my pregnant friends. 

I know they don’t have to all use my midwife or have homebirths or even go all natural, like I did. They’re separate individuals, and what’s right for them, individually, may be different than what was right for me.

That’s not really my issue. My problem is that I have no idea how to respond when one of my pregnant friends says something like the following:

  • “My 30-week ultrasound shows that the baby’s already over 6 pounds–it’s going to be HUGE! I don’t know how I’m going to squeeze out this giant baby!”
  • “I know I’m never going to go into labor on my own–my doctor says my body just won’t do it.”
  • “My OB says my baby’s breech, so he’s just going to schedule a c-section for 39 weeks so I don’t risk going into labor first.”

What do you all think? How do you respond to statements like the above without sounding like a judgmental know-it-all? So far I’ve mostly kept silent, but as more of my friends start having babies, this is clearly an issue that will recur.

–Christina

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An Old Book for New Homebirth Women Still the same

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jill--Unnecesarean  |  28 May 2009 at 9:33 am

    Please let me know when you figure it out. 😉

    Many of us struggle with it. I remain grateful to the women who planted the seed about normalcy in birth while I was pregnant. If you’re a loving, supportive person, you probably aren’t coming across judgmental at all. Some friends will never challenge their own belief system. When you put so much faith in doctors and technology, it’s like someone is committing blasphemy when they ask, “Have you considered a second opinion from another doc or a midwife?”

    I tend to not say enough, I think. I always figure that my friends know that I’m an out-of-hospital birth kind of gal and that they know where to find me.

    Reply
  • 2. mfomgal  |  29 May 2009 at 1:40 pm

    For the first one, I always say something like, “It’s great that it shows your baby is growing and thriving so well, but ultrasounds are horrible predictors of weight. I have yet to know of a woman whose baby is as big as the ultrasound indicated it was, so don’t worry.”

    For the second one, I am glad I have never heard a woman say it, but I would say, “I have never heard of a woman staying pregnant forever. Your body is amazing and is building a new life. Try and find a quiet moment to honor all of the amazing things your body has done to build this baby these past X months. You will start labor when your body and baby are ready.”

    For the 3rd, I would say, “I find that concerning, because most research would agree that an elective section after labor has naturally initiated has a better outcome for the infant. Why don’t talk to him about waiting, and there is a good chance that your baby will turn by then anyway. There are many effective ways you can try turning your baby if you are interested.” (Refer to spinning babies, accupuncture, Webster technique).

    Then I might plant a manipulative comment like, “I’d hate for you to have to undergo major abdominal surgery just because your doctor doesn’t want to help you get your baby in an optimal position. If you really prefer a vaginal birth, perhaps you may want to consider a nurse-midwife practice at that hospital?”

    I think I get my mainstream birthing friends open up and talk to me because I don’t care where they birth or how, I just want them to make choices that will give them a birth that doesn’t violate them emotionally or physically (without cause). I tell them when an epidural makes perfect sense to me or even a c-section.

    This was all very hard for me immediately after my own homebirth, when the issue felt more emotional to me. for the first 4 months or so post partum, I felt like I wanted to convert the world to homebirth, even though I didn’t really try, and that led me to many awkward talks with new mom friends.

    Reply

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