March 25, 2015 by steelcitymama
First of all, if you are newly pregnant and reading this, congratulations!!! Being pregnant is such an amazing experience. There are a million emotions and thoughts that rushed through me during my pregnancy. I’ll share more on my own personal experience later, but for now I’d like to give you some of my personal tips for early pregnancy.
There are countless books and lists floating around online about getting pregnant, and being pregnant, and post-pregnancy and I’ve read enough of them to write a book myself. After experiencing pregnancy myself, there are a few things that I feel are not mentioned enough and would like to share them with you. Though this list is brief, I hope you find it helpful on your exciting journey!
1. Breathe & Trust Yourself: Do this now- and again, and again, and especially again in 5 minutes when you’re on to reading another post or hearing one more important thing from someone else. This is a time in your life when you will receive more unsolicited advice than you could possibly imagine. Really, it’s insane. Even if you already have ideas of how everything will go and have read all the books in the world, everyone seems to have their own opinions that they
might insist you listen to or follow will lovingly share with you. As most mothers will tell you, once your on the “other side” of things, you will just know what to do. I heard that a few times when I was pregnant (though not nearly enough) and never truly believed that until after my son was born. You really will know what is right, so just have faith and confidence that you will, and always remember to breathe.
2. Find an OB/GYN You Are Happy With: Obvious, right? And I’m sure most women that are pregnant do already have one, but you should also realize that you’re not bound to the doctor you’ve always gone to for your regular gynecological visits. You will feel completely different with the importance of your prenatal appointments, as you should, so be sure you are happy with your doctor and ask as many questions as you can to be sure that you are receiving the kind of care you expect for your pregnancy. It is worth a few extra co-pays to find a doctor you feel comfortable with and it will reduce your stress level tremendously throughout your pregnancy. Also, I’ve found a lot of people focus too heavily (in my opinion) on the hospital than the doctor. You will be seeing your doctor A LOT over the duration of your pregnancy and will be in the hospital for such a brief time comparatively speaking. If a hospital in your area offers a drastically different level of service, care, or technology that you prefer for your birth plan, that is a different story and I can completely see where the decision on the hospital might come first.
3. Document Your Experience: Pregnancy is an experience like no other. Not only does it differ for each woman, it can even differ from one pregnancy to the next for the same woman. Documenting your personal experience can help you to appreciate the amazing process your body is undergoing and it can also help you deal with some of the not-so-desirable symptoms. Take pictures often, write in a journal, and do all the things you always said were cheesy but secretly knew you wanted to do when you got pregnant. Documenting things and sharing them with your partner can actually help the other person connect with your baby and what is going on in your body.
Early in your pregnancy, it’s also a good idea to discuss if you want to have a professional to document any part of your journey. Many people hire photographers for maternity, birth, and newborn sessions. My husband and I did our own maternity and birth photos but opted for a professional for newborn photos. It was a decision I’m so happy that we made. Those photos are so precious to both of us and I know they’ll always be treasured in our family.
4. Decide on Childcare: I’m sure you might be thinking, whoa, I JUST got pregnant so she surely isn’t talking to me. Yes, I am. We waited until 20 weeks to start visiting childcare facilities and it was extremely too late. I had already decided on my plan for coming back to work and discussed it with my boss and had to change my plans later in my pregnancy. The very first place I visited had a waiting list until March (I was due at the beginning of October) and set the tone for an exhaustive and disappointing search. If you start with your decision on childcare as early as you can, it will be much easier to handle the other decisions you may have to make. For me, realizing our options helped me and my husband make the decision for me to stay at home with my little man. I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to do so, but I know our situation is different from everyone else’s. Researching and discussing childcare early will give you the most options and flexibility to decide what is best for you and your family.
If you’re planning on having a family member keep your child, be sure to be considerate of them. Even if they’ve committed and seem overjoyed and ready for the challenge, please remember it is just that, CHALLENGING. Taking care of a baby is hard work even for a young, fit person, much less someone that is older and may have medical issues. They may quickly regret taking on such a task and then you will be in a tough situation.
Once you’ve reached a decision, it’s a good idea to share your decision with your employer (if applicable). A lot of posts I have read suggest waiting as long as you can to tell your employer, and you may feel that is your best option, but for me it was much more of a relief for my bosses to know very early in my pregnancy. It was one less thing I had to stress over which helped me enjoy my pregnancy more. I also feel they respected me for being open and honest with them and they could see that I realized their positions as business owners and the time they needed to adjust to such changes.
5. Take a Good Look at Your Finances: Ideally, if you are married or in a committed relationship, you’ve pooled your finances and you have a budget in place. If you haven’t done this yet, it’s a great opportunity to get organized in this department. Once your baby is born, there are so many other things that you’ll be more concerned with than this, so having the discussion while you are pregnant can cut down on postpartum stress. Adjustments will likely need to be made to your budget after your little one arrives, but you’ll have most of the work done at that point and it won’t seem so overwhelming to make the adjustments. I’ll share another post on creating a budget in the future.
I hope these tips help you during your pregnancy! Please check back for updates and related posts.