Thursday, June 17, 2010

Too Much Information?

So if ignorance is bliss then good-bye bliss. If the sweet prenatal class does nothing else, it is certainly opening my eyes to the reality that is coming my way. It is bringing up all kinds of questions, concerns, and just thoughts that I personally had not considered.

Our class is a mix of couples from different backgrounds, different ages and many different ideas about childbirth. My favourite couple are planning a home birth. She is not as far along as the rest of us (she's about 6 months). But what is truly amazing about her are her questions. As a trained teacher I must state that it is true there are no stupid questions. If you don't know the answer then there is only one way to find out and that's to ask. We are all here in this class to learn and prepare ourselves for childbirth so ask away. That being said some of her questions seem to come out of left field. For example she wanted to know if getting an enema was standard procedure. She even brought up coffee enemas. I personally had not thought about enemas at all. Some women will have a small bowel movement when giving birth but as far as I can tell that will be the least of my concerns as my babies head is crowning, therefore an enema to prevent this is not on the radar.

Because this particular women is sort of flirting with the idea of a home birth she is very concerned about the mess involved; as I would be too. She is not only concerned with the mess of actual birth but wants detailed information about the water breaking and what kind of mess that can make. Apparently very little, if your water even breaks at home. Contrary to popular media most women's water doesn't break until they are already in active labour and even then it sometimes needs to be broken by the doctor or midwife (it is not usually a first sign of labour).

She also has all kinds of half information about things such as birthing stools which are basically chairs that have a whole cut out of the middle like a toilet; sounds fun. She got into a somewhat lengthy conversation with the instructor about parents who do not use diapers. That's right, there are people in the Western world not using diapers but rather they listen and look for signs that their baby has to go and then they rush them off to the restroom. What? Who on earth has the time or inclination for that? Well at least people in my class are keeping it interesting.

I will agree that knowledge is power. That having information can help you make informed decisions and hopefully take away the mystery and possible anxiety of childbirth. However, sometimes too much random information can distract. It can take away from the fact that this is a natural process, that our bodies do know what to do and that we can't control and plan every detail of this experience. Sometimes you just need to relax and focus on what you need to know, rather then explore ever random, obscure idea that crosses your path. But I do look forward to next class and hearing what plagues the mind of my fellow mommy-to-be.


  1. home birth is messy! my cousin gave birth unexpectedly on her kitchen floor, and somehow the baby was still in the amniotic sac. her husband had to break it. ick! don't tell your classmate!

  2. no diapers!

    that is just ridiculous.

  3. Wow, just wow is all i can say to the no diapers. I certainly won't be inviting friends over to my place if their babies don't wear diapers! ha! That is just beyond crazy! ps I can't believe how quickly time flies, that baby is going to be here in no time at all!

  4. I once saw a family at Nathan Phillips square take a baby's diaper off, hold it in a squatting position and let it shit on the grass... then PUT THE DIAPER BACK ON!!!! Needless to say, disgusting!!!

    I like your attitude Jane :) Information is just that, information! Take what you need and keep the wonderful perspective that YOU and your body, and baby will know what to do.

  5. niki, that post is just shocking. i thought dog owners were bad - at least we use mutt mitts to pick the shit up! ick.