Outside Forces That Affect Pregnancy
As a type A personality I like to control my environment as much as possible. I like to be in the drivers seat, literally. So I completely understand some of my clients need to control as many aspects of their pregnancy as possible. I was the same way during my pregnancies. Anything I could possibly do to ensure a positive outcome I did.
I researched nutrition. I ate a healthy, protein and fiber rich diet. I drank 200 oz of water a day. I avoided raw fish, lunch meat, nitrates. I walked for exercise, a lot. I took HypnoBirthing classes. We did a hospital tour. I consulted a Lactation Consultant during pregnancy. I hired a Doula.
What I couldn't control was the things I didn't know. I didn't know I was O- and my husband was B+. I didn't know I would have an allergic reaction to the rhogam shot. I didn't know my water would break at 38 weeks. I didn't know that after 34 hours of natural labor I would beg for a c-section. I didn't know I would be denied the c-section (rightfully so). I didn't know I would have an allergic reaction to the Pitocin and that the last three hours of my labor would be pure misery.
Yes, I should have known mine and my husbands blood type. But I trusted my care providers to catch that. Lesson learned. YOU have to be the one in CONTROL of your own healthcare. Nurses, midwives, and OBs have a lot on their plates, many patients' considerations to juggle and monitor. Things WILL slip through the cracks. You need to be an informed consumer during pregnancy.
After many years as a Doula and Childbirth Educator and after experiencing a hospital birth that did not go to plan and a home birth that was picture perfect, I have learned that labor and birth is not something that can be controlled or managed.
Yes, we can exert some control over our pregnancies. We can do "all the right things." We can prepare and practice and assemble our perfect birth team. We can practice relaxation and self hypnosis. But the key to having a positive experience is letting go and leaning into the journey, relaxing into it and just let it happen.
There are also outside factors that are beyond our control that can affect you and your baby. That is the most difficult aspect of pregnancy for type As. Recently Science Daily released an article about climate change affecting pregnancy. It is a very interesting study that finds:
"The results show that an increase of hot days above 100 F during any trimester corresponds to a decrease in birth weight. In fact, just one extra day with a temperature above 100 F in the second trimester corresponded to a 0.9 g weight decrease; this result held with a larger effect when the temperature threshold was increased to 105 F.
Conversely, higher amounts of precipitation during any trimester resulted in larger birth weights. On average, a 10 mm increase in precipitation during a particular trimester corresponds to an approximate increase in birth weight of around 0.3-0.5 g."
WOW! So while we can do everything within our power to have the perfect pregnancy and birth something as simple as the amount of precipitation or an extremely hot day may affect our children. Just shows how much of an illusion control actually is.