Last night I got my first bit of unsolicited advice. I was getting my haircut and chatting with my stylist. She's sweet and I'm sure she means well, but she's 23, single and lives with her parents. She's not exactly who I would call if I needed parenting advice.
Helpful Tip #1
While you're still at the hospital, tell the nurses to start the baby on a 4-hour feeding schedule not a 2-hour schedule. It's just so much easier to get stuff done when you're not constantly feeding the baby.
Oh, really. So newborns don't need to be fed every 2 hours? Nurses just do that because it's fun! I'm pretty sure I'll feed my baby as often as she needs to be fed and listen to the advice of my midwife and/or lactation coach.
Helpful Tip #2
Don't get the baby used to drinking a warm bottle. Always give it a room temperature bottle. It's such a hassle to have to warm the bottle when you're half-asleep. If the baby never drinks warm formula it won't know the difference.
Again, I'm sure there's a good reason for giving a baby a warm bottle. People don't just create extra work for themselves for kicks. Plus, I plan on nursing my baby, you know, the old-fashioned way. I will only feed my baby formula if I can't produce enough milk on my own. I understand there are many reasons women end up using formula, and that is a personal choice. But when did it become assumed that women don't want to nurse? It seems like nursing is the default method and if that's not right for a woman and her baby then they move on to formula.
Prying Question #1
You're having it at a hospital right? [Yes.] Oh, good.
I am planning on delivering at a hospital, but not because that's the only acceptable choice. I looked into a home birth and a birthing center, but I ruled them out for my own reasons.
Home Birth - At first I was intrigued by the warm, almost romantic notion of a home birth. Delivering my baby with only my husband and a midwife, in the comfort of my own home. Putting my baby to sleep in her own bed and recovering in my bed with my husband by my side. Then I snapped out of it and remembered myself. As beautiful a miracle as it may be, childbirth is a messy, messy endeavor. I don't want to spoil the afterglow of delivery with the realization that I have just ruined my couch, carpet and mattress. I would much rather someone else clean up after me.
Birthing Center - I would love to deliver at a birthing center, but that's not an option for me. There are no free-standing birthing centers in my area. The next best thing is a Certified Nurse Midwife, but in my whole county (and in my insurance network) there is only one medical practice that employs midwives. Furthermroe, that one practice (that I ended up using) only delivers at a hospital. Because of the philosophy behind midwifery, a 'birth center experience' is possible but it will still be within the walls of a hospital.
But that is my personal choice. I would never judge someone for doing something else, nor would I assume there's only one 'normal' way of doing things.
I suppose what bothered me the most about this "advice" is that at the root the advice is not about making things better/healthier/happier for my baby. It is about making the baby less of an inconvenience to me. A baby is not an accessory. It is a tiny person and if you go into this thinking it's going to be easy, maybe you shouldn't be going into it. I'm all for taking shortcuts if it doesn't hurt anyone, but when it comes to putting food and nutrients into my baby, that's not something I'm willing to compromise on just yet.