That magical time, that we get to meet the brand new little people that makes life take on a new reality, full of joy, some tears, and a lot of happiness. There are, however, some decisions we do need to make before they get here.
Finding a doctor before giving birth, that your not only comfortable with, but aligns with your decision to raise vegan, and parenting values will save you a lot less stress down the line. You will be spending a lot of time with this person, asking questions, getting well-baby check-ups, and discussing weight gain. Having someone that is knowledgeable about vegan parents, and not feeling as though you’re under a microscope defending your ethics at every visit will make life a lot easier.
Hospitals, if you choose to birth there, will normally ask who your pediatrician is prior to leaving. When choosing a pediatrician, try to keep in mind, that affiliations with your local hospital and any after hour case should be top priorities.
2. Breastfeeding or Formula
Planning on formula? Make sure you’re stocked up on a few different types before the baby gets here, after giving birth, you’ll have so many snuggles to do, researching formula will be difficult. You can call the formula companies and ask for samples to be sent to you – so that you can see which one the baby likes. gas, fussiness and sometimes constipation can occur with formulas that are not suitable to their delicate stomachs. Don’t get the samples too early, as with all food, they have expiration dates. There are vegan formulas available, unfortunately, costly to ship to North America. If you are in the United Kingdom, ordering should be a breeze.
Want to breastfeed? Aim for success, and contact local Le Leche Leagues in your area, which are an invaluable support system, inquire if your insurance carrier will send you an electric breast pump, and join mom groups, such as Vegan Breastfeeding Support on Facebook. The first few days of breastfeeding are the hardest, so have a lactation consultant on hand, and there are never too many questions that you can ask.
3. Delaying Cutting The Cord
It’s a hot topic, do you wait to cut the umbilical cord, allowing the last of the blood from the placenta from your baby after giving birth, or cut it instantly. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has recently favored delaying it, even for thirty to sixty seconds, for low-risk deliveries only. Just be ready, birth plans such as this may not always go as expected. It is, however, a good idea to have this discussion with your own doctor or midwife prior, so they are aware of your decision, should everything not be rushed.
4. Cord blood banking
The advancements in technology in the last fifty years is nothing short of breathtaking. Especially in birth and extension of life advancements, especially cord blood banking – where your newborn’s cord blood can be stored with life-saving stem cells and kept for future use for them or one of their siblings.
This is one of the decisions you need to make well in advance, as you will need a specialised kit and provide it to your birth team, the hospital has to be notified so that everyone is aware to keep these stem cells, and not discard them. You can also donate these stem cells if you don’t want to keep them for yourself.
Delayed cord clamping would not be an option if you want to keep the stem cells for future illnesses.