Taking Care of Yourself
After conception, it is not uncommon to experiencing morning sickness, back pain and overwhelming fatigue. Chiropractic adjustments, Acupuncture and Naturopathic Medicine can all naturally alleviate these symptoms and many others associated with pregnancy. As your baby grows, your center of gravity shifts, which may cause joint pain and backaches. A chiropractor can decrease the pressure on your nerves and joints. Prenatal Massage can relieve the associated muscle tension as well as lower stress levels.
Preparing your pelvic floor for labor can significantly cut down on both the time you spend pushing and the time you spend recovering. Prenatal Yoga and specialized women's Physical Therapy are excellent methods to prepare your body that the birthing process demands. Acupuncture to prepare for birth has been shown to help women have a more efficient labor. A fitness expert can come and talk to you and your pregnant friends about the "myths of prenatal fitness" and teach you some basic exercises that will strengthen your "mommy muscles" before baby arrives.
Being Mentally Prepared
Caring for your mind is as important as caring for your body.
Pregnancy, an impending birth and adjusting to your body's changes may feel overwhelming. Continuing Psychotherapy can help lessen your stress, alleviate your fears and improve your sense of self. This is an opportune time to use therapy to release old fears and beliefs and access your wise, strongest self.
Practicing yoga through your pregnancy is vital to your mental and physical health. Yoga prepares your body for birth and can ease and expedite delivery as stress is decreased.
Birth Process and Place
As your pregnancy progresses, you will consider different options for your labor and birth of your newborn. Attending a childbirth education class and a prenatal breastfeeding class are not only informative, but also a wonderful way to meet other people that are on a similar path. A childbirth class taught by a certified childbirth educator, covers nutrition, exercise, partner's role, complications vs. variations and how to choose your care provider (midwifery or OBGYN care) and birth place. You will also learn hands-on tools to manage and cope with the intensity of labor and be prepared for the postpartum period. Classes can also be taught in a private setting tailored to fit couple’s needs.
A Birth Doula is a wonderful resource to have by your side. A birth doula works with you throughout your pregnancy, labor and birth providing emotional support, educational input and hands-on comfort measures during your birth process, followed by postpartum home visits to support an easy transition into parenthood.
Preparing for the Future
Will you breastfeed and/or bottle-feed? Will you vaccinate? Will you circumcise your son? There are so many issues to consider and think about.
Speaking to an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) prior to your birth is an excellent idea for an optimal start to your newborn's life. A prenatal breastfeeding class, taught by an IBCLC, will help parents gain the knowledge, strategies, and skills necessary to have a rewarding breastfeeding relationship. This class covers establishing and maintaining milk supply, latch-on and positions, the first two weeks and common misconceptions and myths about breastfeeding.
Speaking to a Pediatrician in order to understand the options for your child’s health is also important. You should meet your pediatrician prior to delivery and understand how and when they will be available when your baby is born.
Safety of your newborn is your utmost concern once your child is home. Every caretaker should be trained in Infant/Child CPR and Rescue and should know how to care for a child in an emergency situation.
Having a new life growing inside you is an amazing experience. As your baby grows inside you, there are many changes along the way. Improve your overall health and knowledge to have the best birth process possible, and discover the holistic side of health care.