These aren't all technically touchy subjects, but some of them are controversial in the birthing and parenting communities. They've just been on my mind. Feel free to chime in!
- Cord blood. To bank it, or to let it pump into the baby after birth: That is the question. Assuming it's a possibility -- sometimes all plans go out the window with regard to the cord, depending on how the birth goes. Banking it costs a few thousand dollars, but listen to what I just learned from reading Expecting Better: "... your child cannot typically use his own cord blood if he gets sick. The value is in it being used by a sibling. If one of your children is sick, a sibling's cord blood could possibly be used." This was major news to me. I don't even know if I'm going to be physically capable of having another child. As for allowing the blood to pulse into the baby, there are various benefits, particularly if the baby is born prematurely. This includes improved iron levels in the baby, although for full-term babies it seems there's an increased risk of jaundice with delayed cord clamping. C-section birthers are purportedly able to do delayed cord clamping as well, but I'm not sure if that's hearsay.
- Everyone Poops. It cracks me up when expectant moms seem more concerned about pooping during delivery than the fact that their vaginas are going to crack wide open and issue forth children. And then there are the moms who say they didn't poop during delivery, followed closely by: At least, I don't think I did. Ya probably did. And that's OK! A nurse went ahead and wiped the offending poo away and you were none the wiser because who can tell what's going on down there when you're in the final stage of labor. It all feels like hell, wouldn't you say?
- Vaccines. I'm gonna get the kid vaccinated, but I'm strongly considering a delayed schedule. The Internet is rife with advice from the medical community practically shouting about what the CDC recommends and how there's no proof that vaccines harm kids, blah blah blah. (And why, exactly, we should trust any government agencies when they just prove over and over that they're not trustworthy when it comes to public health, I'm not sure.) And then there's the other side, shouting about autism (which has been disproved, I believe) and peanut allergies and other childhood illnesses. I sort of just want to go with my gut and vaccinate the kid, but not with as many vaccines and as quickly as many doctors would like. If it feels like too much, maybe it is.
- Pediatricians. I need a pediatrician. Ugh. One who's ok with delayed vaccinations.
- The C Word. Circumcision!! Oh boy oh boy oh boy. I want to go with my gut on this one again and say no one is going near my son's penis with a knife. But I don't know. Practically every man I know is circumcised. Benefits of circumcision appear to include a lower risk of infection of HIV and other STDs that can lead to penile cancer. But I'm not sure I'm sold on it being in my kid's best interest. I'll probably never tell you what I decide, but I'm definitely open to your thoughts!
- Shaving vs. Waxing vs. Au Naturel: I thought I would report back on what everyone thinks is a reasonable course of action pre-birth with regards to vaginal grooming. Three people said shave, one person said wax, and an astounding seven people said to go native. Maybe I should have clarified that I am 25% Mexican, and my vagina is definitely Mexican. Does that help? Anyway, I'm still mulling this one over.