Those nine exciting months of pregnancy can be a different experience for each and every woman. Some feel tired, others energetic. Some are battling morning sickness, while others are having intense food cravings. Whatever your experience, there are some general things that every woman can do to aim for the best pregnancy experience ever.
1. Identify your support system, whether it is your partner, family, friends, your health care provider, midwife, doula, or other supports in your community. Talk with these people about how they can best support you throughout your pregnancy and afterwards.
2. Take prenatal and parenting classes to ease fears and expectations, but resist the urge to research and read up on every little problem that could possibly arise during your pregnancy. This just creates confusion and worry, which neither you nor your baby need. Check out the FREE Pregnancy & Parenting classes offered through the Gallatin City-County Health Department.
3. Take care of your body. Rest if it needs rest. Keep hydrated. Eat a rainbow of foods. Engage in regular exercise and activities that feel comfortable as you progress through your pregnancy.
4. Treat yourself. Enjoy YOU time while you can! Some great ideas: get a massage, go to the movies, invest in good bras, get a pedicure or buy clothing that not only makes you feel comfortable but beautiful too.
5. Ask for help when you need it. There is no need to make things harder on yourself or struggle when you don’t have to. Getting help early on can make your life much easier and a lot less stressful, whether it be maintaining healthy weight gain, breastfeeding, or parenting just to name a few examples. Check out the Gallatin City-County Health Department’s WIC Program and Healthy Gallatin Home Visiting Program, which are both designed to support women and families through pregnancy and the early stages of parenting.
6. Prepare for baby without overspending. There are baby gadgets that may look handy, but you just simply won’t need. Save your baby registry and your own money for the neccessities. Some of the more useless gadgets include: A bath water thermometer (the inside of your elbow or wrist will do just fine), a changing table that you may use all of ten times because you are in a different part of your home or out and about, cutesy baby towels when the ones you have work every bit as well.
7. Read, Read, Read to your baby during pregnancy and afterwards. This is one of the best things you can do for your baby. Studies show that this is the key to early learning and academic achievement in school.
8. Make time to be intimate with your partner. Even though you and your partner are about to be parents, it is still very important to maintain sight of yourselves as a couple. Intimacy doesn’t always have to be sex if you are feeling uncomfortable or not in the mood, which can occur during pregnancy. Some other ways to show affection include kissing, touching, hugging, cuddling, hand holding, leaving love notes, paying compliments, or going on a date.
9. Trust your instincts. You know your body and your baby best. If something doesn’t seem right, get it checked out.
10. Enjoy this milestone. Take the time to enjoy and marvel at your changing body and this new life that is your baby growing inside of you.
Check out more pregnancy resources here.
Check out more information about the Gallatin County WIC Program that is designed to take some financial pressure off of families, making sure that pregnant women and children, up to five years old, are able to eat well, stay healthy, and understand all of the community resources that can be of use to them
Check out more information about the Healthy Gallatin Home Visiting Program, a support network for families that provides health checks, education, support, and links to many other helpful resources in our community.