Ask questions. About everything. Literally everything. “what are you doing? why are you doing that? What other options do I have? Are there any risks with doing that? What else can you do instead?” Ask questions about where you birth, when and with whom. Ask what the evidence is and if there is any contradicting it. Learn about levels of evidence and recommendations in pregnancy. Know your hospital's policies on induction, monitoring, appointments, home visits, breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, support people, bed sharing, everything. Read every one. And learn the difference between policy and evidence.
From what I understand (and I can’t make this clear enough - I am absolutely not an expert in Japanese culture or language) this process is aligned with the concept of Wabi Sabi- or perfect imperfections. Essentially treating breakage and repair as an important element of the object's history and journey instead of something that should be disguised or worse- cause it to be discarded.
But seriously - tender breasts are often one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Sensitive and tender breasts (like so sensitive you can feel every thread and fibre in your shirt) can start as early as around 4 - 6 weeks.
Probably one of the biggest decisions we make very early in our pregnancy is deciding where we will have our baby and who will look after us. To further complicate the matter, this decision may have the greatest impact on how our baby comes into the world and how we are prepared for and supported in our mothering (or fathering).
In other areas of health, we might have the opportunity or feel secure in asking for second opinions, researching other options or just saying no. When we are having a baby however, quite often our default position is to give our decision making and reasoning over to the "experts". After all we don't want to make the wrong choice... and what do we know?
So my three youngest children (5, 5, and 18 months) were home today. Each with unique and uncomfortable illnesses. In no particular order, I had the privilege of managing gastro, chicken pox and a UTI. Actually, the order was from most likely to make me cry to the least and vomiting always wins that fun-time trifecta.
I have definitely spent my share of hours being the miserable know-it-all sadly “helping” another mum by explaining that unfortunately the exhaustion she is experiencing is normal, and yes she is isolated and overwhelmed, however, her baby is healthy, growing well and acting exactly as a baby of that age should