Small Rant — Women, their pregnancies, births and mothering styles are all unique. The big issue in childbearing these days is control. Fear of losing control, who controls birth (do YOU give birth or are you delivered by others?), having the self confidence and skills to know when to let go of control yet be okay. It’s interesting to hear what happened to someone else, but (here’s the rant part) this can often be frightening because — let’s face it — catastrophe gets our attention. Whatever you’ve heard, you still have to do it yourself. Pregnancy, birth and parenting create a steep learning curve.
Review — Our job at the DTP Blog is to help with the learning curve through evidence-based information. We are moving along a pathway. Here it is, in a small version (see Feb. 5 for full version):
So far, we have dealt with Preconditions (the Green items). If you understand what you can and cannot control along your Pregnancy Pathway it can help prevent you from spinning your wheels or wasting money. Some things are worth doing (self care, good food, exercise) and some are not (self-indulgence, toxins, stress). Preconditions to pregnancy — genetics, environment and behavior — are worth paying attention to if you are of childbearing age and think or know you are moving along this pathway.
References - We have used hundreds so far and will use many, many more, but only some of you will find the science something you want to pursue, so please go to our DTP website (use the Blogroll) for more information on research in this field. Here are some texts that explain much more: “Women and Exercise” in Varney’s Midwifery (editions 3, 4 & 5), Jones & Bartlett Pub.; Women’s Fitness Program Development by Ann Cowlin, Human Kinetics Pub.; and Immunology of Pregnancy by Gil Mor, Springer Pub.
Coming Attractions — next, we talk about conception. Yes, this is an exciting part, though not perhaps why you think (!). It turns out conception is fraught with many twists and turns.
Q: Why does it take a million sperm to fertilize just one egg?
A: Because none of them will stop and ask directions.
[Sorry, couldn’t resist.]
After that we will likely rant and review again, have more humorous incursions, proceed on to the pregnancy and birth experiences, then discuss health outcomes for mom and baby in the short and long term.
Why do we spend our time on this? From a biological perspective, humans can do nothing more important than create healthy offspring. Wars may be fought, the banks fail or cars become a thing of the past; we might even become post-racial; but, having babies doesn’t really change. It remains a primal experience. It’s nestled in a high tech world, but its still primal. Women have always had guides; we take this role seriously.