Health & Wellness for Birth Mothers During Pregnancy
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Pregnancy can be beautiful and stressful. There are so many things to keep up with and consider while you are pregnant, dozens of choices to be made. If your pregnancy is unplanned, these choices can be that much more difficult to make. One of the first things you are forced to consider is your own physical and mental health. What should you eat? How much exercise should you be getting? Will certain foods or activities harm the baby?
Prenatal maternal health is important for birth mothers. Proper medical care, good nutrition and exercise all contribute to a birthmother’s well being as well as their childs. In many ways taking care of yourself both physically and mentally during your pregnancy prioritizes your child’s well being above your own.
This may seem like a no brainer, but it can be hard to maintain and follow for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Get Early Prenatal Care
As soon as you learn of your pregnancy whether planned or unplanned, schedule a prenatal appointment with your doctor. It can take time to find the right midwife or OBGYN, in the meantime you have the safety net of your primary doctor. Early care also provides the opportunity to pre-screen for certain complications that can alter your course of care.
- Eat a Healthy & Balanced Diet
There is a common misconception that when pregnant women get to eat for 2. In actuality, most women only need to consume 300 calories more per day. Try to get plenty of protein, take multivitamins and manage your cravings the best that you can. There are specific foods that should be eaten in moderation and some that should be avoided altogether. An example of this is caffeine, caffeine is ok in moderation. Your doctor should be able to provide you with a list to help you navigate your food choices.
- Eliminate Alcohol & Drugs
To ensure the safest pregnancy and baby possible, eliminate all drugs and alcohol. Anything you ingest while pregnant will go straight to your baby through the bloodstream.
- Quit Smoking
If you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. There is no better reason to stop smoking than protecting the health of a child. Smoking is known to increase risks including miscarriage, premature delivery, placental abruption, growth problems and more.
While a birthmother’s physical health is vital to her and her child, her emotional well being also plays a large role. Pregnancy naturally comes with several mood swings sending you on an emotional rollercoaster. Having the right support system can make a huge difference in your mental well being.
- Worry & Fear
It is completely normal to be worried about you and your child’s health during pregnancy as well as fearful of labor and postpartum.
Stress is a big factor during pregnancy. It seems as though there are endless decisions that need to be made and the weight of it all is on your shoulders.
You can only prepare yourself so much, there will be unexpected and uncontrollable things during your pregnancy. Embracing and accepting the probability of the unknown can help put your mind at ease.
If you feel like negative emotions or depression are affecting your daily life, it is time to seek medical help. If you are working with an adoption agency they may have counseling and support available as well.
Consider these tips while planning for your pregnancy and know that there are outlets like A Birthmother’s Choice that are here for support along the way. If you are choosing adoption for your child, your adoption counselor will be there every step of the way to support you and ensure your physical and mental health are cared for.