I am a big believer in knowing the ins and outs of most things, this means I research and read ALOT. It helps me be mentally prepared so that I am properly prepared for the situations that arise rather than just winging it.
From the many conversations I have with new mums, I find it quite surprising that not many think of looking up information on the World Wide Web pre, during or most importantly post pregnancy.
Here’s why researching information at any stage of life but especially when one is about to become a parent is useful:
1. It prepares you mentally for parenthood – think of the many, many thousands of websites, magazines, articles and experts that are devoted to this subject. They are all there for you to read so that you can make the right decision for your child. Since you have never been a parent before and your only source of reference is how mum did it, to read information is to be armed. Imagine if all the armies in the world (pretty far out example but relevant) attacked their enemies based on no intelligence, how far would they succeed on their mission?
2. It reduces the uncertainty related to pregnancy and parenting – the more you know about what is happening inside your body and how your actions are affecting your baby inside the womb is gold information. This will give you and your baby the best chance at having the best pregnancy possible. Know the what and why behind why you are being told to do something, then research it and understand it so you can make the right decision for both of you.
3. Appointments with the Doctor are more helpful leading to in-depth information. Had I not known what questions to ask, my Doctor may not have given me the information that was very helpful later on. This way I was able to participate in a good discussion rather than a one way information flow.
4. On a lighter note, it makes for great dinner party conversation and discussions as you mapped out what could be happening each week in the womb – My partner and I read up on tons of interesting facts and information while I was pregnant and the tidbits made for great conversation with friends and between ourselves and helped us feel connected to bub as he developed.
5. Both partners need to read as much as possible so that if one partner misses something, the other can pick it up and share it. Parenting is a joint effort and both parents need to be knowledgeable instead of relying on the other to pick up the information slack.
Some good sources of information include:
1. Baby specific websites such as babycentre.com.au which is reliable and written by experts
2. Your regular family Doctor or Midwife
3. The Early Childhood Centre Nurse
4. Books and magazines on parenting
5. Google it! – But ensure you are looking at a reliable written website / information as opposed to the wacky stuff that’s out there on the Net.
6. Antenatal or pre natal classes offered by hospitals prior to the birth. Yes, the birthing video is scary but this way it leaves no illusions as to what the process can be like. It is no doubt very scary for the men to watch this, but remember it WON’T ever happen to you! A friend cracked all of us up when asked the question; How far must a pregnant woman be dilated before she can start pushing? His answer: 36cm! (to be fair, he hadn’t yet taken any antenatal classes!)
Read the information, double check with a health professional and use the understanding gained to make the right decision for your child’s well being.
How much did you or partner read when you were expecting? Did you read widely, a little or not at all?