Most of your delivery day plans focus on making sure your baby arrives safely, but you’ll also need to make some decisions that have implications for long-term wellbeing. If you haven’t considered any of the following, it’s time to do some research.
To circumcise or not to circumcise?
Unless your decision has been made for you by your religion (or unless you’re of the school of thought that believes sons should look like their fathers), this is a tough choice for moms as well as dads. There are, however, some arguments in favour of circumcision. For instance, it’s been shown to reduce the chance of sexually transmitted infections; maybe not something you want to think about right now, but still worth discussing with your doctor.
Will you be banking stem cells?
Again, you don’t want to consider the possibility of your child contracting a life-threatening illness, but it’s a decision you need to make before week 35 of your pregnancy. The company you sign up with will issue you with a kit that must be taken to hospital to collect the necessary tissue. It’s a pricey process, but one that’s worth investing since stem cells can be used in the treatment of medical conditions where few treatment options currently exist.
Is breastfeeding for you?
Yes, you know that breastfeeding is best, especially in terms of providing the most complete nutrition for baby and boosting his immunity. But sometimes, the things that are supposed to come naturally feel as though they don’t come naturally at all. You can increase your chances of having a successful first feed by arming yourself with information. Start by making contact with a lactation consultant who will be on hand to help as soon as you’ve had your baby.
Do you have a specific paediatrician in mind?
You’ll find that your hospital assigns a paed to attend your birth, but you’ll get to choose the doctor who conducts your baby’s routine checks and sees to them when they’re ill. Not sure how to select a paed? Your friends are probably your best resource; ask who they recommend, and why. Once you’ve found someone you like, schedule an appointment just before the baby’s birth. Be sure to ask about costs and whether the paed is open to telephone calls after hours as you will have many questions as a new mom.
Would you like to delay cord clamping?
Traditionally, the umbilical cord has been clamped as soon as the baby is born as a measure against postpartum haemorrhage; however, new guidelines suggest postponing clamping for 30-60 seconds to allow the baby to benefit from the flow of cord blow.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.