Pregnancy and childbirth are big milestones in one’s life. There is so much to know, to do, and to plan for and can be overwhelming at times. Follow these pregnancy tips below to have a healthy pregnancy!
- You should begin to take prenatal vitamins, eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and exercise as soon as possible in pregnancy (or before, if you are trying to conceive). These things all help to ensure a healthy pregnancy, for both you and baby.
- Find a good healthcare provider. You are relying on your provider to monitor the health of you and your baby as well as give medical advice – be sure that it is someone you trust! You may choose to see an OB/GYN, midwife, family physician, or go to a pregnancy clinic. Consider the type of birth you would like, as well as office location, hours, insurance accepted, and place of delivery.
- Get enough sleep. Pregnancy is challenging work on your body, mind, and spirit. Many women will feel extremely tired in early pregnancy, as hormonal changes, lower blood pressure, and higher blood volume begin to transform your body. Getting a solid night’s sleep is important in helping your body do the demanding work of growing your baby.
- Self-care is important too. Stress is not good for your body, especially during pregnancy. Take time to do things for yourself and unwind. Take a bath, get a manicure/pedicure, go to a salon or spa, take a long walk, or join a prenatal yoga class.
- Read a pregnancy or childbirth book. There are tons of books in the market catering to pregnancy and/or childbirth. If you have a particular birthing method in mind, you may find specific books for that method such as natural birthing, cesarean birthing, and more. You can also find generic books that cover a broad range of birthing types. I suggest the more generic books to get a broad understanding of all that can possibly happen during pregnancy or birth, but the specific ones can also be reassuring and helpful for those situations as well.
- Get a dental checkup. Due to the increased blood volume in your body, many women experience gum bleeding or softening during pregnancy. It’s important (and perfectly safe) to stay up-to-date with your dental checkups to ensure healthy teeth and gums during pregnancy. Not doing so can lead to gum infections or disease.
- Hire a doula. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that having continuous support during labor can reduce your chance of a cesarean section. A doula is a trained birth professional who provides physical, emotional, and mental support during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Your partner, mother, sister, friend, aunt, etc. can all be wonderful support people for you, but hiring a doula in addition to your personal support people can provide optimal support. “Your people” know you, they know your likes and dislike and your general disposition, but a doula knows birth. Your doula isn’t constricted by family traditions or preconceived notions about you; they support you, no matter what. Also, they will happily provide support to you alongside your partner or whomever. You don’t have to trade one for the either, you can have the best of both worlds!
- Take a childbirth class. When you want to learn how to do something, you take a class right? Childbirth is no different! Today, we may have all the information at our fingertips online as well as access to a seemingly endless number of books to read and learn from. However, a certified childbirth educator has been trained and certified to compile all that information in a way that is fun and interactive so that you will retain the information you need to know. Beyond reading books and articles, a class will open the dialogue for you to ask specific questions and/or hear the questions of others. You will gain the opportunity to listen, ask, share, and practice all the information you need to know. Further, books and articles can become outdated as new evidence is founded and new recommendations made. A certified childbirth educator should strive to stay up-to-date with this evidence and recommendations to provide you with the most up-to-date and evidence-based information at the time. Participating in a local class can also provide you with local resources for hospitals, birthing centers, care providers, lactation consultants, pediatricians, and where to go to find help following birth.
Learn more about my online or in-person Childbirth Classes!
In an effort to provide education and support to those who may not otherwise have the option, 10% of all revenue on education and support services goes directly to a scholarship fund.
If you are expecting, in need of education or support, and unable to afford these services, please contact me to see if a scholarship is available for you.