Wow you’re pregnant?! 🤰🏻 Congratulations and best wishes! You’re in for the best rollercoaster ride of your life!
This is a joyous moment, but it could also be overwhelming — hormones would have a lot to do with that!
Here are 5 tips that could help you get the most out of the next 9 months of your life and handle pregnancy (even if it’s your first) like a rockstar!
1) Join a mom group.
You will find so much support and encouragement from a group of moms who are going through or may have gone through what you’re currently experiencing. Sometimes all you need to hear is “that happened to me too” to feel reassured that you’re doing fine.
You will find great groups on Facebook or even apps. For me personally, I’ve been using an app called What To Expect (which is an extension of the awesome pregnancy book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” by Heidi Murkoff) and joined a group that was dedicated to moms who were all due to give birth on the same month as me. It was such a great resource not just for information sharing purposes but also for venting, asking questions or just generally checking in with other moms. Word of caution though: while these things are extremely helpful and are full of moms empowering each other, don’t forget that it’s a group of hormonal women so sometimes people can’t help but clash on certain discussions.
Regardless, it’s extremely important to connect with other moms or make mom friends. You don’t know how much you’d be able to relate with and understand each other!
2) Share the news with your family and friends.
It’s totally up to you whether you’d like to break the news right away or wait for a little bit before you share this awesome news. You definitely don’t want to wait too long though especially when it comes to sharing your news with your family and closest friends. You need to feel loved and supported during your entire pregnancy and these would be the people most capable of giving that to you.
3) Figure out work arrangements.
The sooner you have this figured out, the less stress you will have later on in your pregnancy. You definitely don’t want to wait until the end of your pregnancy to figure out work arrangements — details such as how long you will be on leave for, who will be replacing you, what are the pay and benefits, etc. Get on the maternity leave paper work as soon as possible.
Following that, familiarize yourself with the documents that you need to submit to the government after giving birth. This may include employment insurance and other benefits — particularly for Canadian moms.
As well, look into the paper work required by your employer once you have given birth. Then log the steps in your journal or your phone or your laptop or anywhere else that helps you be organized. This will help you stay on track even after giving birth! It will be tough to do all the paper work especially having to squeeze it in while taking care of your newborn baby. But it can be done, and it can easily be done if you already planned it months in advance!
While we’re talking about paperwork, I will also lump in familiarizing yourself with your private insurance coverage, as well as the requirements and the steps to submit a claim. This includes coverage for hospitalization, medications, breast pumps, changing coverage and adding a dependant, etc.
4) Find a healthcare provider.
Look into the pros and cons of using a midwife versus an OB-GYN and see which one you would be more comfortable with. Ask around about women’s personal experiences and the reason(s) they chose to go with one over the other. Ultimately when making your decision on this, it’s best to ask yourself: what kind of services am I forgoing if I didn’t choose this healthcare provider and am I ok with not having those services in the toughest procedure I may likely have to go through in my life?
Think about and do your research on medicated versus unmedicated birth and see which one you’ll be more comfortable with. This is when your mom friends or mom group could really help so you could learn from their experiences.
In addition, look into doula services if that might be something you would be interested in. Doulas are incredibly caring and supportive. They have lots of techniques that can help you focus on yourself despite all the pain and the noise around you during your labour and delivery.
5) Start/keep a journal and take lots of photos.
This is the fun part! Please journalize everything. Write down your thoughts and feelings, your moods and cravings.
Take a lot of photos — it’s an added bonus because your hormones will give you a pregnancy glow and lustrous hair during this time — because you will want to look back! As unbelievable and crazy as this may sound, there’s a chance that you will miss being pregnant!
Sure you will likely feel miserable with all the back pain, insomnia, nausea, heartburn, etc. But once it’s over and you’re sore, exhausted, and sleep-deprived as you feed your newborn at 3 in the morning; your pregnancy journal and photos will help you go back to the times when you felt so excited about meeting your baby and looking forward to the very moment that you’re in right now! It’s a way to get your brain away from baby blues and get it thinking happy thoughts in spite of the challenges you are currently facing.
Bonus: Take a parenting course especially if you and your partner are first-time parents-to-be. I find The Baby Manual is such a good course for first time parents because it’s comprehensive. It covers lots of important topics on your new life-to-be and on taking care of your baby in the most critical first 6 months of life!
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Those are my best tips. Enjoy your pregnancy gorgeous mama! 💖
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