When you find out your pregnant, it's a very joyful occasion, however, if you are a new mom, you may not know what to do next. Some bridges need to be crossed immediately, while other don't need to be crossed until later. I am pregnant and finally get to walk this path that I've helped others walk, and I look forward to experiencing pregnancy first hand. Here are a few things I've had to consider already.
(1) Doctor of Midwife
You should contact your care provider immediately. Usually there is no rush to book your first appointment, but it is important to let them know you are pregnant and want to enter under their care. This is particularly necessary if you want a midwife to be your care provider. I called 5 local midwifery clinics at 6 weeks pregnant and was already wait-listed at all of them. Demand for midwifes is high because the quality of care is good. So I learned my lesson first hand... act fast. Luckily, I was later accepted once they reviewed their schedules!
(2) Vitamins and Nutrition
Your body is working hard to form another life. This requires extra nutrition, and often certain nutrients that we may be deficient in, such as folic acid (folic acid helps prevent birth defects). It would be wise to be on pre-natal vitamins and minerals before you try to get pregnant to allow your body to build up it's stores. It's also good to keep in mind the old classic principle "you get what you pay for" so I would suggest going to a health food store and purchasing high quality vitamins, minerals and Omega 3 fish oils to help you form a strong and smart baby. ---Please, please, please don't skimp on fish oils- these fatty acids form a large majority of your baby's brain and will help your pregnancy brain too! (To know what to look for when buying an Omega 3 Fish Oil, read this post)
(3) Support System
It's important to have a support system during pregnancy. You may not want to tell everyone you know since you are still at a higher risk of miscarriage in your first trimester, but tell someone: your partner, a friend, or even your doctor. You will probably have lots of questions and it's important to have someone who can help you find the answers and support you on the sick days.
Learn about what's happening to your body. Things are changing very fast (as I am learning!) The best book I've found, Well Adjusted Babies, covers everything from pregnancy to labour to newborn's health and although it is hard to come by, it is worth it's weight in gold and its wait time in the mail. Another book that is still good and easier to find is the Mother of All Pregnancy Books. If you want some additional encouraging reads for natural childbirth, try Ina May's Guide to Childbirth or Guide to Breastfeeding.
(5) Celebrate & Enjoy
You may not want to open a bottle of wine, but treat yourself to a bottle of sparkling cider and a healthy tasty meal. Enjoy whatever path you take. Have fun on your journey: finding names, researching car seats, attending baby swaps for used items and preparing for labour. Don't forget to consider having a doula help support you in your labour. And enjoy looking through some of my birth photo albums for inspiration of your big upcoming event & life change:)
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