Having a baby is an amazing journey To this day, I can remember exactly where I was and what I felt when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. My first thoughts were: Will it be a girl or a boy? An artist? A scientist? After the initial shock passed, more practical questions flooded my brain. Will my child be healthy? Can I really work all nine months? How will I survive the labor marathon?
As a mother of teen girls—and as an obstetrician who has delivered more than a thousand babies—I know firsthand that the physical and emotional changes you’ll experience during pregnancy and delivery may seem overwhelming at the outset. But while you may have concerns, remember that this is also a time of great joy and celebration. That’s why I’ve written and rewritten You & Your Baby: Pregnancy. I want soon-to-be mothers to have the most up-to-date medical information avail- able as well as practical tips on weathering everything from morning sickness to fashion emergencies.
The more you know, the better you’ll feel.
When I was pregnant, I had the luxury of sharing my experiences with my patients who were also expecting. We shared the wonders of the first ultrasound and regaled each other with stories of labor, and I want this Blog to have that same sense of camaraderie and easy sharing of information. I want you to know that there are many things you can do to make this journey easier and safer
I have learned over the years that most women focus on the delivery as the end of the journey but for you it really is just the end of Phase 1. You will have your OB provider to hold your hand through pregnancy and delivery and your pediatrician to help you with your baby. But then many moms feel bewildered six months later when there are no more OB visits but still many questions—I felt this way too. For this reason, I added the “Six Months Postpartum” chapter to this edition to ad- dress those questions and guide you to resources you might need.
Much of what the medical community knows and recommends for new moms is guided by science—either from years of observation or through cutting-edge re- search. I’ve distilled that information into easy-to-understand language that doesn’t require a medical degree to decipher. While some of these topics will never appear on your pregnancy radar screen, others may be vitally important to you. Either way, remember that no single book can answer all your questions. Always talk to your doctor or midwife about the approach that’s best for you and your baby.
Ask questions, questions, and more questions!
As you go to each prenatal visit, never be afraid to ask questions. As an obstetrician I am thrilled when my patients come to their prenatal appointments prepared with a list of questions. Even though prenatal visits are usually only ten to fifteen minutes long, they are ideal opportu- nities to learn about pregnancy, delivery, and caring for a newborn. Prenatal visits should be informative for both mother and provider; if you ask questions and share information, you’ll make the most of your time together. The easy straight- forward do’s and don’ts of pregnancy are covered in You and Your Baby: Pregnancy but there are other topics that need more discussion. Use your few minutes with your provider to address those issues.
Choose your sources of medical information wisely
As a new mom, you’ll also likely seek information from sources other than your doctor. If you do, remember that not all sources of medical information are trustworthy. Much of what you might find on the Internet or hear from a stranger in the grocery store may be wrong or inappropriate for your situation. Rest assured that You and Your Baby: Pregnancy has been carefully researched and reviewed by top medical experts. You’re getting the best of what I’ve learned during medical training and in treating my own patients.
Welcome to the grand experience of becoming a mom. I hope this Blog becomes your treasured companion as you embark on the wondrous journey of having a Baby