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Hey, thanks so much for your recent letter to me. You know, the one congratulating me for being a mom-to-be and telling me how important it is to wait to deliver until 39 or 40 weeks? I really appreciate it, and I must tell you that I am completely on board with you on the idea of waiting until a baby is ready to come out on its own rather than doing an induction. I took that advice both times I was pregnant, and had to wait 41 weeks both times as a result. I’ve even blogged about it. I thought it was a really good post, actually. You should check it out! You’ll notice I cited the same study that you cited in your letter.

And I really, really LOVED the fact that you suggested talking to my doctor if he or she brings up an early childbirth. LOVED the questions you included in the letter to ask him or her before agreeing to be induced or sectioned. I’ve taken the liberty to copy the questions below:

  • Is there a problem with my health or my baby’s health?
  • Can I wait to have my baby until I am closer to 39 weeks?
  • Why do I need to induce my labor or have a C-section?
  • Will inducing labor increase my chances of a C-section?

Fan-freaking-tastic! Doctors should have to own up to the fact that they have a wedding or vacation or just don’t like getting out of bed in the middle of the night. They should have to admit that, for the most part, induction and C-sections are just easier for them. They don’t have to deal with missed time in the office or having to leave home early or late or miss their kids’ soccer games. Induction, to be sure, is a process of convenience. Bravo for you, Empire Blue Cross, for actually letting women in on the secret that they are in charge of their own bodies and their own care. (WE ARE, and if we don’t realize this, we SHOULD!)

Oh, and the detailed drawing that shows the difference between a baby’s brain at 35 weeks versus what it looks like at 39 to 40 weeks? Well, that’s just genius. I also liked that you tell women straight out that it’s important to wait until at least 39 weeks because organs are still growing and the ability to suck and swallow is still developing. All in all, it was really smart of you Empire Blue Cross, my insurance provider, to team up with the March of Dimes except for one small problem: I miscarried on August 29th. I have to be honest: My heart actually hurt a little when I opened your envelope.

People, people! Email marketing is really not that difficult. I write about it several times a month for one of my oldest and favorite clients, Crain’s BtoB. You are both large organizations with plenty of marketing cash. You should have some kind of database updating methodology that takes people like me off your lists. I know you didn’t do it on purpose, but wow, that was sucky. Invest in some marketing automation software or a better list management program.

In the meantime, keep up the good work. I can say that even though I am still very, very sad about my lost baby, I am so proud and happy to see that we’re finally on our way to a place where pregnancy and birth aren’t medical conditions, and women are let in on the fact that they — not their doctors — should be driving the way their babies are born.

Best, –KB

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