Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Doctor #2 Fits the Bill

Yea! It looks like we have found our obstetrician. She didn't immediately start discussing potential dates that we could schedule our c-section and never once did she direct me to not eat or not gain any weight, so I knew we were off to a better start than we were with doctor #1.

She seems really great and Eric and I were both quite comfortable with her. She spent every bit of 45 minutes with us asking lots of questions and getting to know us. And we took the opportunity to share some of our visions of the pregnancy/birth with her. She didn't seem too freaked out when I told her I wanted to go drug free and without medical intervention if at all possible. She was quick to tell us that Eric would be able to stay with me (which is not always the case here according to the birth stories of some of my friends) and wrote prescriptions for a prenatal vitamin (I have been taking one from the US, but she wants me to use one she knows) and a lotion to help protect against stretch marks. But in good Brasil fashion, she sternly warned me that if I eat too much and gain a bunch of weight that no lotion will ward off stretch marks and that if mother or baby shows signs of stress during the birth a c-section could always be necessary.

The concern with weight gain during pregnancy seems a heck of a lot higher here than it is in the US. While all of my US pregnancy books stress healthy weight gain, adequate nutrition and debunking the "eating for two" myth, there is an entire section in my Brasilian pregnancy book on how to cut calories out of your meals and tips on how to avoid eating so much at parties and in social situations. I'm used to suggestions like eat white meat instead of red meat/never eat the skin of poultry/eat something light before going to a party so you don't overeat there/substitute egg whites for whole eggs/do something physical after eating because being sedentary leads to an accumulation of fat being tips for someone trying to lose weight. I mean, hey, I'm all for healthy eating and lifestyle habits among all people, pregnant or not. But in a society where women are constantly bombarded with skinny twig figures as the model for health and beauty, maybe pregnancy, when you're sort of supposed to get a big belly and extra fat reserves, isn't the time to lecture women on making low calorie choices in the name of not gaining weight. (And by "society" I am certainly referring to more than Brasil here . . . American woman have as many body image issues as anyone!) And I'm not just trying to justify the scoop of ice cream I just ate either. Well, not completely.

But anyway, despite the fact that my doctor informed me that 9 kg (19.8 lbs) is the maximum amount of weight she would want to see me gain, and the fact that one of my best friends in the US who is nearly identical to me in height/weight was told by her doctor that 25 - 35 pounds would be a healthy weight gain for someone her size, I am really happy to have her as my doctor. I think she is going to be supportive of my choices and wishes for the most part and not force me into a totally medical birth experience unless the situation warrants it.

Meanwhile, thanks to doctor #1, I still have to deal with Eric poking me in the ribs and/or belly and badgering me with "Não come!" (Don't eat!) every time I pick up my next snack. And I do dislike it so when he gets all badgerish-like.


Anonymous said...

Yay for finding a good doctor! Im sure it will make your journey a lot more comfortable having a doctor you feel good about!!

Mamasphere said...

I'm so glad you found a doctor that you're comfortable with! If you're planning a med free birth, a great book to read is Birthing From Within by Pam England.

Mamasphere said...

Oh! And A Wise Birth by Penny Armstrong. This is the book that really put my fears at ease when I ended up with an induction in a hospital after planning a med free birth at a birth center.

Corinne said...

congrats on the doctor!! Yes, I got a bit of the weight thing too, although my doctor was really good about not lecturing when I gained more that the 2 kilos a month limit!! It is so important to have an OB that you are comfortable with, especial with all the birthing differences in Brazil!!