Are you pregnant in Nashville and wondering how to choose the right OBGYN or midwife for your pregnancy and birth? Here are some of our top tips.
Choosing a quality midwife or OBGYN for your pregnancy is an important decision and is key to having a positive birth experience. Like many of the decisions in pregnancy, it can also feel overwhelming. You want to find someone who you feel comfortable with, someone you trust, and someone who you know will provide you with the best possible care. In our work with Nashville families, we have found this process to be helpful in choosing your provider:
Reach Out For The Intel:
Tour and Interview:
Don’t be afraid to Switch Providers during Pregnancy:
You asked, we answered! We get tons of questions about baby registries from our families. What should you include, what should you not? What is worth the price, what is not? Diapers, swaddles, baby wipes, nipple cream, etc. 🤯So, we decided what better way to answer your questions than to poll our very own 615 Doula Co. community and get their opinions! On October 4th-10th we did just that and received dozens of answers in our question boxes and polls. Not to mention, the dozens of DMs we got from mamas who were passionate about their favorite products and just could not fit it into a question box! If you weighed in, thank YOU!
So, without further ado, here is the master recap of all things baby products, gear, services, and more! We have made it easy for you, by gathering only the most commented on or recommended items. Oh, and Amazon shoppers, don’t forget to ‘add to cart’ and save while the Amazon Prime Deal Days are going on (10/10 & 10/11). Happy shopping!
The Essentials and Logistics
What are the must-have items to add to your baby registry?
While there were no clear top two winners, the most commented on must-have items were:
2. Hatch because you can control volume and sound from your phone plus it has different night light features
3. A portable, rechargeable sound machine
What is a priority for your registry?
Every mom has a different priority for her baby registry; whether it be adding luxury items, adding services, having a budget friendly registry, or only adding minimal items or the essentials only. It was clear that the 615 Doula Co. moms’ priority were adding minimal items or essentials only with a whopping 52% of moms choosing this option (Hello, fellow Marie Kondo fans!), and the clear second winner was making sure the registry was budget friendly (26%).
Which platform(s) did you use for your registry?
There are so many stores and online sites that offer baby registries, from Walmart and Target, to Amazon and Babylist, it is hard to know which one(s) to register at. For many moms, they choose where to register based on what stores are nearby. It makes returns and exchanges easier. However, for some moms, they would rather only use websites so they can mail back returns or make exchanges that way. The 615 Doula Co. moms are clearly website people! 55% of moms reported they used Babylist for their registry, claiming it was so easy to use because it allowed friends and family shopping their registry to see the best prices for items and which different stores carried that item. It was an easy place to view everything at once. However, 35% of moms used Amazon and loved that option as well.
What item(s) could you do without?
There were two clear winners for items that moms felt like they could live without: a swing, and a Boppy nursing pillow. Many moms stated that their baby was never a fan of the swing so they truly felt like it was a waste of money and space in their house (hello, big bulky swings). We were a little surprised to hear that the Boppy nursing pillow was a top item moms could ‘pass’ on, so we took the debate to DMs and found that breastfeeding moms found them cumbersome to feed with because they would slip out from under baby and create an awkward gap between baby and mom. These moms opted to use no nursing pillow or some loved the “My Breast Friend.”
Interestingly enough, we had a couple moms communicate polarizing views on the famous countertop bottle sterilizers. What we found after having some conversations with them is it seemed like moms who use formula or exclusively pump consider the bottle sterilizer an absolute ‘must-have’ item. While, moms who exclusively breastfeed consider it an item to pass on.
What is/was your favorite swaddle?
There were two clear winners in the swaddle department, and to our surprise both are very reasonably priced! The Halo swaddle came in as the top contender. The runner up was the Swaddleme!
Diapers and Wipes
So what is the deal with diapers and wipes?! Well, let’s get down to the nitty gritty (no pun intended 🤭; sorry, I have a 6 year old and we are still in poop-joke land) and talk about favorite brands and what is most important to moms in a diaper/wipe.
What is your favorite diaper brand?
As a first time mom, you tend to hear a lot about how diaper brands and/or styles are dependent upon gender. However, we polled moms that had both a boy and a girl and 91% of those moms reported gender did not matter for their favorite diaper brand in style or function. Phew, one less thing to worry about! It also can be difficult when choosing a diaper to know what is most important to you, whether that be clean ingredients, price/convenience, functionality (aka no leaks), or cloth. To our 615 Doula Co. moms, functionality was the clear winner of importance with clean ingredients coming in as a close second.
While there is not a clear winner for diapers, what a lot of moms do is add a bag of each of the brands in their registry and try them out to see which they like best. Here are the top 5 diaper brands 615 Doula Co. moms love:
What is your favorite wipe brand?
Similar to diaper brands, there are many reasons you might choose a wipe from how well it grips poop, to the moisture level, to if the wipe has clean ingredients, to how it comes out of the package. The 615 Doula Co. community is passionate about this topic and clearly chooses a wipe based on 1. Clean ingredients and 2. poop grip. Here are the top 4 brands for favorite wipes:
What supplies were worth the hype?
We hear from a lot of moms about so many products that are ‘worth the hype’ and it can be overwhelming to have so many options. Our 615 moms reported these two items that were 100% ‘worth the hype.’
What were your favorite breastfeeding/nursing bras?
There are a lot of nursing/pumping bras on the market. Here are the top two most popular:
We find that a lot of moms like to have a hospital-grade pump to use as their primary pump for 90% of the time, so as to keep up a healthy milk supply, and a more convenient or wearable pump for the times they just have to be on the go. These were the top answers for both hospital-grade and wearable options:
Many moms do not realize that their insurance should cover a pump. Make sure to check with your OBGYN or Midwife and ask them how you can get a pump covered through insurance!
There are many ways to wear baby, whether it be a ring sling, structured carrier, or wrap. After talking with moms, we have found that it truly depends on baby’s preferences and mom’s preferences. However, 615 Doula Co. moms clearly loved the combination of a carrier wrap for the first 4ish months and then a structured carrier once baby was older.
Which was your favorite carrier?
The landslide winner for a carrier wrap was Solly Baby. Moms loved how soft, stretchy, and compact it was for on the go. However, there were three pretty close winners for favorites of more structured carriers
Postpartum Care Items
We know as moms, we tend to put ourselves last. Postpartum care is no exception to this (even though it should be, because mama you need all the support and care! You are healing!!). So in order to keep your healing as a top priority, it can be really helpful to put these items on your registry to make sure you have all you might need ahead of time! These are the items we hear most moms rave about:
Who doesn’t love to talk about, research, and dream about those baby splurge items? We all know that specific item that comes to mind when we think “Oh, I would love to have that!” Here is what our moms had to say about what splurge item was totally worth it:
Some other less common ones we heard were: Guava bassinet, Baby Bay Cosleeper, Happy Baby carrier, Mockingbird stroller.
A new trend we are seeing is adding services to your registry (i.e. doula, pelvic floor therapy, meal services, lactation support, and more!) Many parents feel uncertainty about the etiquette of including services and then the logistics of how to make it happen. Here are a few things to consider when choosing if adding services is right for you:
2. Ask for cash instead of gift cards and use that cash to book a service. The best way that this is successful is to have an organizer who asks for cash on your behalf. For example, this could be your workplace. If your workplace is throwing you a baby shower, have whoever is hosting it ask for cash only towards a specific service.
3. If you are having a smaller baby shower with just a few close friends, request that they all go in together to buy you a service on your wishlist.
Local to Nashville?
We are connected to some great local Middle TN service providers that you can add to your registry: from lactation to pelvic floor therapy and everything in between! Below are a just a few of the wonderful providers in the area:
What is the difference between midwives and OBGYN’s?
Midwives are experts in normal birth processes and often provide holistic, patient-centered care. OBGYNs specialize in surgical procedures and high-risk pregnancies, but the division between high-risk and low-risk can be nuanced. Midwives can work with families facing some risk factors, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. However, OBGYNs are essential for medical procedures like c-sections and repairing severe vaginal tearing.
What is the difference between midwives and doulas?
Doulas are not medically trained but offer invaluable support in mental/emotional, physical, educational, and advocacy capacities. Their style of support can vary greatly, so it's essential to explore what resonates with you. At 615 Doula Co, we are happy to share more about our intentional approach.
Types of midwives:
The Evidence-based Benefits of Midwifery:
Numerous global studies have highlighted the benefits of working with a midwives, including improved maternal mortality rates, decreased need for a cesarean, lower rates of labor induction and augmentation, and decreased incidences of 3rd and 4th degree tearing (those are the severe, but luckily less common types of vaginal tearing).
If you're a fan of data and research, you're probably familiar with the Cochrane review. While their findings are more limited, they are still compelling. In their analysis of hospital-based midwives, they found that women receiving midwife-led continuity models of care were:
Notably, the Cochrane review confirmed that there was no increased risk of adverse outcomes for women or their infants associated with midwife-led care.
Local to Nashville?
Labor is called labor for a reason. It is hard work. Not necessarily work that you have to put in as it happens involuntarily, but your body and the wondrous organ that is the uterus is working really hard during labor to get the baby in the right position and to push it out of your body. Hard work requires energy and that is where food and drink comes in!
Have you ever wondered why many hospitals do not allow eating or drinking during labor? This overwhelming trend in hospital “policy” is for fear of aspiration (throwing up and choking on it) if general anesthesia (getting “knocked-out” and intubated) is needed. This started in the 1940’s when the drugs and tools used while providing anesthesia were very different. Luckily the field of anesthesia has drastically improved, making the probability of aspiration extremely rare. Some hospitals are heeding the newer research and changing their policies for low-risk pregnancies.
Many women feel that they could use a little nourishment, especially during long labors. Some women report no desire to eat during labor, especially as it intensifies. In quick labors there may not be time for it.
Your body. Your taste. Your choice.
If it is early labor, by all means, eat a well-rounded, nutritious meal until satisfied. Heavy meals are sometimes later regretted.
Here are some food ideas that I have found laboring people like:
If you ate during labor, what were your foods of choice?
When is a pregnancy no longer low-risk and fasting is recommended?
Planned c-section. There are also some other potential factors that might increase your chances of aspiration such as: airway issues, eclampsia, pre-eclampsia, obesity, or opioids in your IV, but they haven’t been thoroughly studied. An epidural does not take you out of the low-risk category, but waiting a while after it is placed to make sure it doesn’t cause nausea is advised.
Compare the eating policies at the local hospitals by downloading the Nashville Birthplace Comparison Guide.
Sources // Evidence Based Birth