Pregnancy and birth preparation can seem overwhelming for a mom-to-be. The first days after learning you are pregnant seem to be filled with a whirlwind of emotion. It almost seems impossible that someone could experience such a wide array of feelings all at once. Almost immediately names begin swirling in your head, ideas for the nursery begin forming and questions about money, health care, and other important issues loom in the background. It is indeed a joyous (and stressful) time. It is also a time to begin planning for the big day.
Major questions need to be answered and birth plans need to be made. There is much to be done and you have about nine months, but you should not procrastinate! The time is now to get ready for your precious baby’s arrival into your life.
Pregnancy and Birth – Preparation and Education
Preparation and education during your pregnancy and birth are essential and there are a vast amount of resources that can help. Your doctor is a great place to start and he/she can suggest different avenues to explore. There are also countless books and internet sites that cover endless topics about pregnancy and birth. The more you prepare, the smoother the transition will be.
As a parent-to-be, you want to inform yourself on important topics and parenting philosophies in order to provide your baby with the best care and environment possible. Topics to explore include childbirth options, labor expectations, newborn care, parent/baby bonding, and so on.
Pregnancy and Birth – Childbirth Classes
Childbirth classes are one of the best ways to prepare for pregnancy and birth. These classes are beneficial on many different levels and are sometimes offered free of charge by local hospitals, birthing centers, and other health care providers. There are even some offered on the internet. Several organizations offer these so make sure to research those available in order to find the best match for you and your beliefs and expectations. Also make sure that instructors are certified and experienced. Other things to consider when making a choice are location, size, time, duration, and costs.
By attending these classes during pregnancy, you can gain valuable knowledge on pressing issues and connect with other expecting parents. Complications, medications, breathing techniques, pain management, labor expectations, and contractions are addressed in detail. Many future parents also find a support group in the form of other classmates and create lasting friendships with other parents.
Pregnancy and Birth – Birth Plan
Once you have done your research about pregnancy and birth, you might want to consider making an actual “birth plan”. This is simply an outline of your preferences regarding labor, delivery, and postpartum procedures. You can cover anesthesia, monitoring, episiotomy, breast/bottle feeding, and medications among other things.
Birth plans are a great way to organize your wishes and because it answers vital questions, it is helpful to your health care providers and family members. This can be as concise or as detailed as needed and you should discuss this with your health care team prior to your delivery date. Free templates are available on the web to help you make a personal birth plan. Do not wait until the last minute to prepare this.
By planning ahead you will hopefully be able to relax as much as possible during the whole birthing process. The preparation and education gained throughout the nine months of pregnancy should provide you with the confidence and ability to have a safe and healthy experience. We wish you all the best during your pregnancy and birth.