Do Expecting Parents Expect Too Much?
Expecting parents rush to read as many books as they can in order to prepare for the perfect birth; they ask advice of many other parents; and they yearn to do what's "best" for their child - all because they believe that if they do the "right" thing now, it will affect how their child turns out when they grow up.
It's certainly a natural thing to want the best for your child. What parent doesn't? Unfortunately, many new parents don't realize that each birth will be different; each child will be different, and there will be times when they should do what's "best" for themselves, without worrying how it'll affect their child later on in life.
Expecting & new parents will have to face the following decisions: Hospital Birth vs. Birthing at Home; Natural Birth vs. Drugs; Breastfeeding vs. Bottle Feeding.
Will your child care where you deliver him/her? Not in the least. Nor will they remember the time you spent checking out all the hospitals, midwives, and doulas, in order to find the "perfect" place to give birth. They will remember all the love you give them as they grow up. It doesn't matter much to them whether your birth was satisfying, which is why this decision should yours alone. If you're trying to make this decision based on whether your child may be affected, you need to remember that there are other factors involved that may not allow you to think this way. If you're a high-risk pregnancy, you need to think about yourself. There are also other problems that may arise - you may dream of an at-home birth, but cannot get past the fact that something may go wrong. In this case, you should go with your instinct and do what you think is best for you.
No doubt it's hard to decide what the best thing is for your own child - we know how easy it is to look at someone else's child and say, "I wouldn't dare give my child that". It's so much easier to make decisions for others. In order to make a decision for yourself, you sometimes have to do whatever is the best decision for that moment. You may be in heavy labor and dreamed of going natural, so your child could endure a drug-free birth. But if you're in such agony and you begin to doubt whether you'd be a good mother if you used drugs to ease your pain - it becomes a decision that needs to be made in the best interest of the mother. When it comes down to it, your child will not remember what you went through to give him/her the "best" start in life - that is, the "best" start according to your opinion.
Another major decision many new moms go through, is whether to breastfeed or bottle feed their child. There are so many "facts" out today, that many new moms get frustrated very quickly. Many moms want to do what's "best" for their child, and they believe that breastfeeding is the "best" thing. For children, it may the best thing. For for many new moms, it may not. There are many reasons new moms cannot or do not want to breastfeed their children. Whatever they decide, they need to make this decision for themselves and be able to live with it. No one else should tell them what to do, since no one else needs to live with this decision.
Some beautiful thoughts from a second-time expecting Mom:
"I know that I look at my friends who have had their first baby recently
complaining about how difficult it is and I think "Yeah Right!". An infant
is easy compared to what it becomes. Parenting a 4 yr old is more mentally
challenging. But I know those with 10 yr olds would look at me and laugh. And
those with teenagers look at all of us and really double over laughing.
The whole natural/medicated/c-section birth reminds me of the breast vs.
bottle. Yes, I know breastfeeding is the best for my baby, heavens I did it
for 3 years with my daughter. It was the most wonderful thing and I will
certainly do it again. But when she turns 30 she most likely won't
remember a thing about nursing. Sure I gave her the best when it was necessary, but
in the end it's over and done with. On to other things in life like
teaching about peer pressure, drugs, sex, etc. Nursing then seems so
insignificant in the big picture. I think that when it comes down to the
end of your life and you look at how your kids turned out you won't be
saying that whether you gave birth naturally/medicated or with a c-section
was the reason they turned out so well. It will have been the culmination
of many years of hard work."
We think this is a perfect way to sum it up for new and expecting parents. We wish you the best of luck with all the decisions you'll have to make :).
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