It was around this time last year that my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child. We were over the moon with excitement and I was overwhelmed by the seemingly endless decisions we had to consider:
When should we share the big news?Should we see a doctor or a midwife?
Will we find out the baby’s gender?
What will we need for the baby?
Seek out wisdom from other mothers whom you respect and trust. As BabyCakes grew inside me so did my list of questions. Luckily there is a wealth of rich resources out there for expecting mothers. At first I found the vast internet intimidating, so initially I went to my mother and older sister, Bert, for guidance. Next, I found some great mommy blogs like First Time Mom. There is something about motherhood that makes one want to pass on hard-learned wisdom and smooth the road for other moms. So my first piece of advice to a newly expecting mother is seek out wisdom from other mothers whom you respect and trust.
One of the first things Mom and Bert suggested I do was to select a couple of reliable books on pregnancy. I choose What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel and Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sandy Jones and Marcie Jones. Both these books covered the questions I was contemplating. Both books explained the weekly ins and outs for both me and the baby throughout my pregnancy.
Weekly tracking your pregnancy can be a great source of encouragement, especially in the first trimester when you feel so pregnant but you aren’t showing yet. Another resource I enjoyed were the weekly emails from BabyCenter.com. Each week I loved hearing “this week your baby is the size of a… poppy seed, apple seed, sweet pea, blueberry, etc.” I remember smiling secretly to myself as I perused the salad bar at work, thinking about the fact that I had a green olive sized baby in my belly!
Every mother should be an active participant in her pregnancy and seek medical professionals who are willing to partner with her as she weighs prenatal options. Next my husband and I needed to start looking for a doctor or midwife. In the U.S. we have many options when it comes to prenatal care. I knew I wanted a more natural approach to pregnancy and birth so I leaned towards using a midwife. It turned out that my OB practice paired pregnant women with a doctor/midwife team, so I had the best of both worlds. I needed healthcare professionals who would journey along side me through my pregnancy with compassion and sound medical guidance.
With this collection of resources I was ready to face the challenges and joys of pregnancy head on! One of the most important lessons I learned was that I needed to utilize these resources while still trusting my own instincts. Every woman, baby, and pregnancy is unique. In the end it comes down to what is right for you and your baby.