Thursday, September 22, 2011

research all expecting moms should do

As expecting moms, we tend to get so wrapped up in the pregnancy, labor and delivery part of the whole thing (no, I'm not expecting). I think a lot of the time we forget to look into what comes after that!

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:

*pku testing
*breastfeeding (and other options if needed)
*pediatrician
*immunization schedules
*baby food

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.

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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.

breastfeedng
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.

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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?

pediatrician
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.

immunization schedules
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.
Alt vaccine schedule Pictures, Images and Photos
Today the CDC recommends your child get 24 vaccines before the age of 2! When we were kids, that number was like 10. You can see the comparison chart here. And just because the CDC says you should give 6 at a time doesn't mean you have to. Consider spacing them out.

baby food
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!

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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??


linked up with Casey Wiegand

7 comments:

  1. Our midwife reminds us as soon as she's done pricking the baby's toe that we need to sign the "destroy sample sheet [because it's on our birth plan] it's so creepy that most people don't even know about it!

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  2. Good post Jessie :) It baffles me when parents know so little. We have to be our own advocates though. To do that, we have to know what they're doing to our children and why. Not just do things because they expect it.

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  3. I don't understand what is "creepy" about a state keeping your child's DNA. If your child were ever kidnapped and later found, this would be one method of identification. There are so many useful reasons to keep DNA on hand. On the other hand what if your child grows up to be a criminal only identified by his DNA in the database. Well, good on that too. I just don't see a negative side.

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  4. We refused the hepatitis shot when she was born. There was no need for it. And we delay all her shots and she will not get the chicken pox, or flu vaccine. She's almost 3 and VERY healthy. I pumped because she couldn't latch it is a lot harder than people think.

    And were an organic family!

    I can't wait to see what else you will be writing about!

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  5. I am excited about you doing this! So many new moms are uninformed about some of the most important decisions regarding their baby's health! My mom and I were just discussing the formula thing this morning. I know that there are those who just can't breastfeed. Either mom has to work and doesn't have a supply to be able to pump enough for baby, or something. But I think it's important to get the word out about Goat's milk being a better alternative than formula, or how you can make a MUCH better formula at home, according to Weston A. Price. But few know about these alternatives!

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  6. Can I fly you out here to help me before my baby comes one day? :) Hehe you're a rockstar!

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  7. Mae- Good to know that Texas has a directive to destroy option. We didn't have that in Cali :/

    Alexis- You bring up some really good points. And while some parents may feel it's important for the government to have access to their children's DNA for those reasons, it should be a choice and one in which all parents are informed before the birth. Just as having your child fingerprinted is a choice. Just as vaccinations are a choice.

    As the procedure is done now, the government basically steals our private property (my child's blood) without any consent and even without notification. Most mothers assume it's the hospital testing the blood and it's done. What they don't know is that it's the government. And that's what is creepy. If they can just come in, take the DNA and keep it without my knowledge or consent, what else are they doing that I am unaware of?

    But again, all of these issues have to be left up to each individual parent. There is no "one size fits all" for any of these categories.

    Heather- of course! I'll think about a fee and get back to you :P

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