Friday, February 5, 2010

in which I talk about knocked-uppery

Yes, I am child-free but yes, I'm still going to talk about pregnancy and babies, just a wee bit. Mostly, how bullshit weaves its way into pregnancy and what you can do to ensure you're getting accurate information.

If you are an alive person, chances are you know someone who had to deal with THE CANCER. Chances are, too, that someone you know is or has been or will be pregnant. Now, I have no interest in having children myself, but I do have a vested interest in knowing that future generations are wanted, loved, cared for and provided with appropriate education and health care. The best time to start in on that is before you know you're pregnant, of course, so if you're of "child-bearing age," unless you know you don't want kids, you should probably be taking folic acid. And if you're actually trying to get pregnant or think you might want to soon, quit. fucking. smoking. Actually, you should quit smoking now, regardless, but specifically if you're going to be pregnant. And talk to your doctor about any meds you are on that might affect your ability to conceive or bring a pregnancy to term.

That's basic common sense. But you will get mad crazy advice about everything from everyone, most annoyingly from people like me who have never had babies but still know exactly what you should be doing about everything. Because, let's face it, what's more American than spouting off about shit about which we know nothing?

In this case, though, while I may not have any practical womb-on experience, I do have some resources and some recommendations -and what else is a blog nobody reads for, if not for linking to junk you think is important for everyone to read?

Enough rhetorical questions. On to the meat of the matter! (mmmm, meat)

Like I said, everyone will be giving you advice and anecdotes but in reality I have no advice other than this: don't take any shit from anyone. You'll know what's right for you and if you want info, ask ask ask, but don't be afraid to tell people to shut the hell up.

Just keep in mind, there's a lot of crazy out there on the internet so try not to panic and check with your doctor before worrying about things! Actually, that holds true for everything, not just knocked-uppery.

Certainly, depending on your situation and risk factors it might make sense to stay away from certain foods and beverages for the duration -but that's something you learn from your doctor.

Books you might like:
A Child Is Born by Lennart Nilsson (reviewed by a friend of mine as "very interesting and informative"
Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine, reviewed as "a cute light read"
What to Expect When You're Expecting, the basic 'bible' to pregnancy, by Heidi and Sharon Mazel, reviewed as "good to answer all the neurotic questions" [EDIT 9/09/11: ACK!! I take it back! I take it back! Too much CAM!!]
And might I also recommend another viewpoint? What to Expect When You're Expected: A Fetus's Guide to the First Three Trimesters by David Javerbaum

Internet resources (yes, much of this is science- and reality-slanted, because that's the only thing that makes sense to me):
BabyCenter, where you can sign up and receive weekly updates on how baby is developing.
My Labor Nurse, practical, evidence-based information about birth from a labor and delivery nurse
Skepdad, one man’s thoughts, opinions, and ideas about bringing up kids to be critical thinking adults in a world filled with superstition, mysticism, and pseudoscience
Science-Based Parenting, promoting quality science and refuting different types of speculative claims such as the supernatural, pseudoscience, alternative medicine, and any other extraordinary claim that contradicts facts established by science and/or reasoning (see especially the page on vaccine resources)
Parenting Beyond Belief, on raising ethical, caring kids without religion

Also, Skepchick is a blog of no-bullshit (mostly) women, some of whom are pregnant from time to time and post entries debunking many myths and nonsense around pregnancy. Specifically and recently,
What Pregnant Women Won't Tell You -warning: if you're wavering on the kid-fence, this post might push you over to the no-way-in-hell!!! side...

Oh and PS... I'm sure people will give you some recommendations and advice for "sure-fire cures" or "natural health care" or what-have-you and some of it may be fine and harmless and may even work, but keep in mind that herbs and supplements are drugs, too, and can interfere and interact with other substances but are not regulated by the FDA in the same way as more conventional medicine so you want to check with your doctor about that stuff -but if you want to get some fact-based information from the internet on something that may have been recommended or suggested, might I recommend my two "sure-fire cures" ;) for bullshit?
Snopes and What's the Harm.
These are good for every day baloney-detection, but if someone tells you acupuncture or chiropractic (or what-have-you) will cure your morning sickness, you can check out the dangers or ineffectiveness of such treatments.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And if it sounds like bullshit, it probably is, too.

Talk to your doctors, people.

Oh yeah, and: vaccinate the shit out of those kids!!

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