“The research says…”
“You’re three times more likely to…”
“There’s a risk of…”
Sound familiar? If you’ve ever been pregnant, then the answer is probably a big, fat ‘Yes’.
As soon as you are pregnant- society forces your mind into analytical mode. It makes you worry, worry, worry. Advice is around every corner and, yet, that advice is constantly changing.
“Don’t eat runny eggs… Oh, actually you can eat runny eggs now.”
“You only need to take folic acid whilst you’re pregnant… Oh, actually now you need vitamin D, too.”
“You only need two scans whilst you’re pregnant… Oh, actually now we think three is better but the hospital down the road still only offer two.”
It’s confusing, it’s exhausting and it’s massively anxiety-provoking. And recently we’ve seen some MAJOR changes in common recommendations. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence released new advice for mums that have had a previous c-section. The advice for years was to have a drip (intravenous cannula) and to have continuous monitoring. Now the advice is not to have a drip or continuous monitoring, unless there are other reasons. A new study was also released looking at obstetric cholestasis (aka OC or ICP), the previous advice was to induce all mums diagnosed with OC at 37-38 weeks. Now this study suggests that, as long as your blood tests remain within certain parameters, induction isn’t indicated.
Does this mean I’m angry at these scientific researchers for working hard and using science to help shape maternity care? Does this mean I think we should just stay as we are and stop changing all this advice? No, of course not. This is progress and, as the human race, we are always learning and growing. These changes are great.
But what does all of this mean for you? If you are pregnant right now and you’re thinking- where on Earth do I turn? How do I know what to do if the advice is always changing? Well- the answer is actually quite simple. You probably already know the answers that you need, they’ve probably been there inside of you all along.
If there’s one thing that I learnt during my 6 years of midwifery- it’s that maternal instinct is bloody strong. Mums would often tell me things about their babies and their bodies, that no medical test on the planet could diagnose or predict. And they would always be right.
So, this is my ‘advice’ to you (I put the word advice in inverted commas because I’m not one for telling you what to do but here goes): Next time you’re sat having to make a decision about whether to have that scan, that induction or that *insert intervention here*, ask all the questions you need to ask, listen to all of the information, read all of the studies- do whatever you need to do to satisfy that logical, scientific part of your brain. Then, go quiet, breathe and ask yourself- ‘What do I think is right?’. Really listen to the answer, let go of the what ifs, buts and maybes and just listen. The answer is probably right there.
Just to be clear… Intuition Vs Science- what’s better when it comes to birth? In my book, it’s intuition. Every. Single. Time.
If this all resonates with you but you feel like you need a little confidence boost to get that intuitive voice back on track- get in touch with me and I can show you how to listen to once more. I work as a doula and a private hypnobirthing teacher around Essex and East London and I’d love to support you on your way to a positive start to parenthood. You can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find me on IG: @Chloe_do.it.like.a.mother or Facebook: Do It Like A Mother: Antenatal Education and Birth Doula Support.