Congrats! You finally did it! You’re pregnant, and you ALMOST at the end. THANK the LORD! Parenthood is full of decisions. You know this going into it, but what I was not so prepared for were the decisions I had to make the moment I decided to become a momma. And the thing is, the choices don’t stop hitting you once you become pregnant. Who’s your OB? Do you prefer to see a midwife? Are you going all natural? Or do you have to remain on medication for medical issues? Tiny ones, monumental ones- if there are anything. Its decisions. As I began writing this list, I was surprised at the number of things I was able to come up with that you need to decide all within the first 24 hours of your baby’s life.
Name is on here as sort of a joke since we all know this is a given. However, it is something I’d suggest you start thinking about ASAP. I was always the girl who had all of her baby names chosen until it was actually time to use them. Then when it came to finally picking something, NOTHING seemed to fit. There was also the issue that my husband and I could not agree on names to save our lives. Luckily, we were able to pull it together at the end and get compliments on our babies’ names all of the time. It may seem like your partner and you will not be able to choose a name, but I promise the best one will reveal itself you one way or another.
2. Cord clamping
What is it? It is exactly what it sounds like- prolonging of the time between the delivery of your baby, and the clamping of the umbilical cord. Why do it? Well, that’s up to you. I personally do not know anyone who remembered to do it in the excitement of birth. However, if it is something you feel passionately about, remember to write it in a birth plan! While some believe that it has helped premature infants regulate infancy anemia, while other providers do not believe it has many benefits to full term infants. Want to learn more about the benefits and risks of cord clamping? Here is a wonderful resource!
This one is for the boy mamas, but girl mamas, you don’t have to skip! Circumcision is a hot topic over the past 10 years or so along with every other parenting issue. Circumcision rates have fallen as more people have become more aware of what the process is, rather than “just something you do” to baby boys. Are there risks? You bet. It IS a minor surgery, so there is of course risk of infection, scarring and pain. Are there even any benefits? Well, yes- according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), there are. The CDC found that heterosexual men without foreskins have less of a chance of acquiring HIV as adults. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that circumcised men have 30 to 40 percent less chance of contracting the HPV virus. For some families, it is important that baby looks like daddy. Whatever your case may be one or another, it is great to hear out both sides. It is always best to discuss your health plans with your doctor and/or pediatrician rather than consult Doctor Google or get your information from the Facebook comments section on Aunt Sherry’s latest post. Each family needs to do what is best for them, and everyone needs to not worry so much who has foreskin and who does not (unless we are talking about your own baby boy here). However, it is a good idea to been educated on the procedure, the possible effects of it and what you feel works best for your baby boy. There have also been claims that circumcised penis’ are less sensitive than those that are not cut, however others have found this not to be true. Whatever you decide, know that it is between you, your baby, your partner and your doctor. No one else’s nose belongs down there. No one. Still need more info? You got it!
Breastfeeding vs. The bottle. The biggest throw down of all time. But why? It is NOBODY’S business, but your own how you feed your baby. Whether your baby is exclusively breastfed, exclusively bottle fed or exclusively double dips from both- all anyone should care about is that the baby is – indeed fed. If you don’t want to breastfeed, you owe no one any explanations. If you only want to breastfeed, more power to you. You do you. Get that baby fed, and forget anyone who wants to let you know how they feel about it. #teamfedisbest
5. Pacifier: Friend or Foe?
This one might look strange to be on here. Babies and pacifiers go great together, correct? Yes, yes they usually do. However, some believe pacifiers should be limited when a baby is breastfeeding. Sometimes hospitals will not give babies that are learning to breastfeed a pacifier due to the possible nipple confusion. If I had to pick for or against? Well, there has been research to show that letting a baby use a pacifier while falling asleep can lower the risk of SIDS.
6. Baby’s First Vaccine
You may or may not be team vaccines, but you are not going to have long to decide which team you are on if the jury is still out. Not long after your baby is born, a vaccine will be administered to protect baby against hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease, but it can also be transmitted through sharing needles, blood transfusions and…giving birth. Several people are unaware if they have Hep B, so the concern is that it becomes fatal to baby if contracted during the birth. What is the issue? Sounds all great and protecting? Well, of course it is. However, some women worry that their baby doesn’t need to get a vaccine so early in life – especially if mom does not have Hep B. Your baby will be receiving SEVERAL vaccines in the next few months, all of which are done to protect your baby’s precious immune system from nasty and harmful diseases. Make sure to discuss your plans to or not to vaccinate with your pediatrician.
7. Cord Blood Banking
Is it worth the cost? That is completely up to you. It can be very expensive, but it can also be a lifeline later in a child’s life. If you are interested in Cord Blood Banking, it will need to be prearranged to birth. If you are interested, this is where you can find more info on how to obtain a plan.
8. In or out?
The first time I gave birth, everyone and their mother was there. It was fine, but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to experience the next time I did it. So, when my daughter was born, I only allowed my husband in the room during pushing. Everybody and their mother came back to see us 3 minutes later, and it was more overwhelming than the first time I gave birth. This time? I am having a c-section. I am unsure where we will be in scheme of COVID-19. Baby boy isn’t due until August, but I still have reservations about visitors once I recover from surgery. This something all Mamas will need to think about from now on. Unfortunately.
It is a bit embarrassing to admit, but I did not know you needed to establish this when I was pregnant with my first. However, we ended up finding the BEST pediatrician in our area. I would totally continue to use her for Baby Boy, BUT we have moved since having our first two. We are strongly considering a new ped, but I am unsure we will be able to top her! Do your research, talk to “been there, done that” parents, read reviews, check out credentials. It isn’t a difficult item to check off the list, but it’s one you need to do before the nurses are asking you who your precious newborn’s physician is minutes after giving birth.
To Sum Up
This is just the tip of the iceberg. As you do your research, you will most likely stumble upon debates of skin to skin, and the newborn screening. You’ll probably find mama battles infuriating and mind-numbing. However, parenting is full of decisions, both major and minor. Everyone and their cousin Tim will have an opinion on what is “right” and what is “wrong”. Because when it comes down to it, you are MOM (or DAD). This is YOUR baby, and only YOU know what is best for him/her. And you will. Pinky swear.