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Educating Yourself Through Your Maternal Journey

March 21, 2019

The volume of information about pregnancy can be overwhelming. From items in the news to the plethora of online parenting sites, to advice from friends, relatives and even well-meaning strangers, it can be hard to sift through the studies, stories, opinions and facts to determine what to be concerned about during pregnancy and what not to lose sleep over. If you are pregnant, you’re making decisions for you and your baby. It may be as simple as what you’ll eat for your next meal or more complicated, as in, should you have an amniocentesis?

Making informed decisions can be challenging, but you’re not alone. Your doctor can help you assess the decision as it relates to your specific situation. One study, for example, suggested that women who were pregnant should delay having gallbladder surgery to avoid complications, which include a longer hospital stay. If you’ve been told you need to have your gallbladder removed, and you’re pregnant, should you have the surgery? By talking with your doctor about the study and questions you have about it, your doctor can determine how applicable this study is to you and can outline your options so you can make an informed decision.

Open Communication with Doctor Is Essential

It’s important to talk with your doctor openly and honestly at any point in your life, but particularly during pregnancy, when you are experiencing so many physical, mental and emotional changes. You probably will have many questions, and your doctor should welcome them and see your relationship as a partnership.

When your doctor makes a recommendation, you should feel comfortable asking why and your doctor should feel comfortable explaining. If you have gestational diabetes, your doctor will urge you to eat a healthy diet and should explain that by keeping gestational diabetes under control, you have a higher chance of a successful vaginal delivery and your baby has a better chance of not having blood sugar problems at birth.

If you understand the why, it is easier to follow the recommendations more diligently.

If you understand the why, it is easier to follow the recommendations more diligently.

Informed Consent

Before any screening test is performed, you should be informed of its purpose and risks, if any. You should then be given a chance to accept or decline the test. If you do not feel you have enough information, you should ask for more so that you can make a decision you are comfortable with.

While many people have pregnancy stories, your maternal journey is an individual process. By arming yourself with knowledge and collaborating with your obstetrician, you can help ensure your maternal journey is as smooth and healthy as possible.

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