Whose Pregnancy Advice do You Prefer? Your Best Friend's, or Your Obstetrician's?

by PregnancyNow

When you're pregnant, you'll get advice from a number of sources. The question is, who do you think gives the best advice? Your doctor, or you best friend, who has been there?

So you're pregnant! Congratulations on your upcoming addition. This is an exciting time and I'm sure you're already experiencing a wide variety of emotions, ranging from excited, to nervous, to disbelieving. With each of my four pregnancies, it took a while to sink in that I was pregnant, in spite of the fully range of pregnancy symptoms that I experienced.

Those emotions are much of the reason that I've chosen to begin writing about pregnancy and sharing with other women about the experience. I write with authority because I've been there, I've asked those questions, and I answer the questions that I, myself, have asked in the past.

Some people think I should stop answering questions about pregnancy, that it's better left to the doctors who know the medicine and the science behind pregnancy. I've come under scrutiny recently, so I thought that I'd ask the basic question: Whose pregnancy advice do you prefer? That of a friend, or that of your doctor? Or maybe a combination of both?

Soon everyone will have something to say about your pregnancy!
Soon everyone will have something to ...

Why Everyone is Full of Advice for Pregnant Women

It's Hard Not to Be Excited for the Upcoming Addition!

One thing you're going to notice as your pregnancy progresses is that everybody has some kind of advice for you. You're sure to hear a wide variety of old wive's tales about how the configuration of the veins in the eye will tell you the gender of the baby, and how if you have a lot of indigestion while you're pregnant, that means your baby will have a lot of hair. Trust me when I tell you that at some point, it's going to get pretty crazy. I bet you can't wait until you're showing and everybody wants to touch your belly! as though your body suddenly belongs to them. You won't be able to avoid the advice you'll get for too long.

Everyone is going to want to offer you advice about your pregnancy, whether you ask for their advice or not. At the end of the day, you won't be able to avoid people telling you what you should do for your health and that of your baby. If you're looking for information, you're taking control.

Why I Prefer a Friend's Advice over a Doctor's Advice

My Personal Opinion

When I was pregnant, my first stop was to see my doctor. My second stop was the internet, where I found pregnancy forums and sought the companionship and advice of other women who, like me, were pregnant. Later, when I was trying to conceive a fifth (and failed to do so before finally giving up), I remained on those pregnancy forums for support with trying to conceive. For me, there's nothing at all like the companionship and support that you get from other women who, like you, are experiencing the ups and downs of pregnancy.

I've talked to doctors. Like many women, I feel like I'm a nuisance when I call them for the third time in a week before I swear I haven't felt the baby kick in two hours, or to ask if it's normal that I feel like I'm about to get my period. My friends -- the people I met on forums and friends who had been pregnant before me -- had already asked their doctor these questions, and they had the answers, so that I didn't have to "bug" my doctor about things that have simple answers my friend can give me.

A Doctor's Advice, or Your Best Friend's?

Which do you prefer?
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Why Would Women Prefer a Doctor's Advice?

The Other Side of the Argument

While I disagree with their point of view, I do understand that some women feel threatened by experienced mothers taking an authoritative stand in their writings. My article on how to tell if you're pregnant has caused considerable controversy because I am not a medical doctor, nurse, or nurse midwife, and therefore some people feel that I should not be writing authoritatively on the subject of pregnancy. This controversy started when I stated that it is impossible to have a menstrual cycle when you're pregnant and several women countered with anecdotal evidence that some of their friends (but never the woman herself) had menstruated while she was pregnant.

Because the information I provided disagreed with anecdotal evidence, some people felt that I was providing false information, and that because I am not a medical professional, I'm not qualified to make these statements. 

Some women are more confident in the advice that's given to them by their doctor. After all, anecdotal evidence suggests that it's possible to have a period while you're pregnant (because women refer to any bleeding in that area as a "period," propagating confusion). Therefore, some women may be more comfortable with advice that comes directly from their doctor.

Always Contact Your Doctor with Pregnancy Concerns

Because you are pregnant, the threshold at which you contact your doctor is relatively low. You should call any time that you feel that something isn't right about your pregnancy.

Read all you want to, and ask for advice from your friends, but remember that people like me are her to help you, but that we're not doctors and that you should make sure to call yours any time that you have a problem.

Updated: 08/29/2014, PregnancyNow
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