When are you due?
This one bewilders me completely. Babies don't have a little calendar tucked in their pocket, due dates are useless, babies generally have their own agenda and come when they are ready. While due dates give us an idea of how far along we are, a date to make sure we have everything ready (more about that soon) they are only an estimation. Only about 3 per cent of babies are born on their due date, so keep in mind your due date but try not to be "hung up" on it, focus on the due month instead.
Gosh, you're too young/old to be having a baby!
Whoa, while not an actual question, this gets muttered too frequently and, it's none of their business. The teen birth rate has dropped over the years and makes up about 4 per cent of births while the median age range has risen to about 30 years old. When you choose to have a baby is your decision and no one else's.
Do you know what you're having?
Yes, a kitten! No, seriously, it's a wee dinosaur. Why do people find it acceptable to ask questions like this? Many years ago we didn't have scans and we had to wait until our baby's arrival to announce their gender. Scans for determining the sex of our baby were perfected in the late 1950s but didn't really take off until the 1970s with many families choosing to know beforehand. Nowadays, around half of pregnant mums choose to find out what they are having, more and more are choosing to have a "surprise".
Have you thought of any names yet?
The age old question — names. This is such a hard topic, no doubt the person asking will have an opinion that they are quite happy to share with you. We all have names that we can associate with someone lovely and someone quite horrible. School, work, friends and life will help shape our decisions. Other things to consider when naming your baby are can it be shortened, do you want it shortened, what do the initials look like, will the name fit when they are an adult and so on, all important things to consider.
Will you use drugs during the birth?
Some of you may have the answer to this question already, and feel very strongly about it and others will take the "wait and see" approach and make a decision on the day. Either way, it's important that you gather evidence-based information that you need to make an informed decision, so you understand the pros and cons for you, and your baby for medical pain relief.
Should you be doing that in 'your' condition?
As long as you are not putting yourself or your baby in serious danger, you should be okay. While there are things you shouldn't be doing when pregnant, the biggest list involves food, because they may lead to listeria or be contaminated with toxoplasmosis or salmonella. You can find all sorts of contradictory information online, in books, and in magazines. Be reasonable, trust your instincts, and remember that erring on the side of caution is never a bad idea. If in doubt, speak to your LMC or health professional.
Can I give you some advice?
Run, run as fast as you can. Well-meaning advice, is advice and unless it's factual, actually backed up with evidence, it may pay to err on the side of caution for this question too. You are your own person, with thoughts, feelings, experiences and beliefs which may be completely different from the advice giver. Listen if you want, take on board the advice, but remember, you are unique, every single labour and birth is different, what worked or didn't work for them may be completely different for you. Thank them kindly, and walk away.
■ For information about antenatal classes near you, check out From Bellies to Babies www.hbantenatal-classes.co.nz or phone 022 637 0624. I'd love you to join me, sign up today.
Medical disclaimer: This page is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians.