Finding out you’re pregnant is exciting, but at the same time, you might feel a bit overwhelmed, especially if this is your first baby. Being prepared can make a huge difference in your confidence and your experience.
Here are a few tips that should help during your journey to motherhood:
Choosing an obstetrician is step one. Look for one who supports the type of birth plan you want. Some women prefer natural births, perhaps with a midwife or doula, while others are more interested in a traditional birth. Research your options – there are many different birthing plans to consider – and make sure your obstetrician supports your plan. Remember, though, that even the best laid plans may need to change. The most important thing is a safe and healthy delivery.
Ramping up your nutrition will give you more energy and benefit your baby. Unfortunately, “eating for two” is a myth. Most women need 500 extra healthy calories a day. Try to eat mostly fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, including milk and cheese for calcium. Cut out caffeine and alcohol and take a prenatal vitamin that has folic acid, calcium, iron and Vitamin D.
Where to deliver your new little bundle is an important decision. Each hospital’s labor and delivery center has its own feel and environment, so look for one that meets your needs for care and comfort. Keep in mind that your obstetrician will need to have privileges at the hospital you prefer, so take that into consideration when choosing an OB.
Baptist Medical Center Beaches recently renovated its birthing center with spa-like suites for moms to bond with their newborns. Each private suite has comfy sleeper sofas and recliners, large private bathrooms and select spa treatments, like massages.
The new center was redesigned with input from local moms who previously delivered at Baptist Beaches. You can register for a free tour at baptistbeaches.com to learn more about the new center. Baptist Beaches also offers classes on childbirth preparation, breastfeeding and baby care basics.
Pack your bag for the hospital early. You don’t want to scramble around trying to remember everything when you’re already in labor! I recommend doing this early in your third trimester. Bring items that will make you comfortable – such as lip balm, socks, eyeglasses, your favorite bathrobe, hairbrush, nursing bra and a going home outfit for the baby and for you, too. (Leave your skinny jeans at home and go with maternity clothes for comfort!)
Jenny Malig, BSN, RN, RNC-OB, is manager of the Labor, Delivery, Postpartum & Recovery unit at Baptist Medical Center Beaches.