Friday, April 9, 2010

Pregnancy Meet-Up and more reassurance

Continuing on the theme of reassurance, I gathered with a Meet-Up group in the heart of Buckhead at Body Solutions last night to offer my expertise, as a perinatal nurse and childbirth educator, for a fine meeting of like minds to discuss everything that's on the minds of pregnant women building young families.

There were themes to the Meet-Up last night. Everyone checked in with their aches and pains and somatic issues and I was very glad ( as were the women ) that I was there with advice. Spanks for pregnant women is safe and a good choice for back pain and leg aches. Must see your provider for concerns about autoimmune disease like Grave's. Heartburn is not about the amount of hair on your fetus's head but rather anti-acids are in order. Tylenol is safe for pregnant women and so is Tylenol PM for sleep. Those "study-pillows" that everyone takes as headboard- use at college is a great way to alleviate heartburn and even pain from wrists and arms in bed. And good ol' water is the best way to reduce swelling as the weather here in Georgia gets hot, hot and HOTTER. Elevating extremities works too.

Most especially, the evening provided a safe and comfortable place to talk about anything and everything that concerns a pregnant mom-to-be. Peer support, knowing that your feelings ( whether physical or emotional ) are not unique and even having easy solutions to some of those feelings, is the best medicine for reassurance. You are not alone.

The common theme of loving your doctor but not always getting the time, reassurance and answers you'd like, because doctors are busy people, necessitates the additional meetings these women crave to just TALK about their pregnancy and all that it entails for now and the future. There was quite a long discussion about just baby essentials: what you really need. And talk about pediatricians and daycare and what a doula really is and why to use a midwife.

Interestingly, there was mention of no more reading so much on the internet. The information is copious but overwhelming and conflicting. I was very happy to be available to sort some of that out. Pregnant women ( people ) need reassurance when they are facing the unknown. It is the height of patient advocacy and responsibility to get the information needed and assimilate it meaningfully. And it can seem a daunting task when there is so much to sort through.

I love the idea of Meet-Up. It puts like minds together and means we don't have to do this alone, one- step at- a- time, re-inventing the proverbial wheel. What works for one, may not work for another, but sure is worth a try. And just hearing and knowing that other's are wondering too, well it makes it okay. And that's what support is all about: reassurance.

Very good advice about what to do when those well-meaning people at the mall come over to touch your baby bump: Just let them know that if they touch you, you are going to touch them back. Funny how everyone thinks they can just walk up to a pregnant woman and touch her. It's very distressing to have your personal space invaded. So, give those folks a warning before they pat your belly and be prepared to patting them back. Pregnancy even teaches us how to start to advocate for ourselves and our families before the baby comes. You have choices and with the wisdom and reassurance you receive, you'll be able to make informed choices, all by yourself, with the help of you friends and Meet-Up. I am looking forward to more Meet-Up meetings. I learn things about what people need so I can help them get what they want. REASSURANCE.