Congratulations on growing a baby. Yay! Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned or a complete surprise there is probably a mix of excitement and anticipation. So you may find yourself wondering... now what? What can you do to make this time a little easier?
The first thing I’ll say is… get support!
When you feel ready, tell your friends and family so you can have emotional support for this incredible journey. Hopefully they can also help provide logistical support so you can get some rest. Growing a baby is tiring so get some help with household tasks, your other work and (if this isn’t your first baby) ask for help minding your children so you can get some much needed rest.
It’s also good to look at professional help. Decide if you would like a midwife or doctor or obstetrician to provide your clinical care. You’ll be having lots of appointments over the nine months so find someone you like. You may also like to hire a doula to provide extra support and continuity of care through pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
Eat as well as you can
I know this may seem difficult especially in the first trimester when you may be experiencing morning sickness. Try eating small snacks so your blood sugar doesn’t dip as this can often be a trigger. Ginger can be helpful to reduce nausea. Try making a tea with freshly grated ginger. Some studies suggest B6 can also be helpful for reducing the symptoms of morning sickness.
It’s a good idea to increase your intake of folate and vitamin D as well. They are really beneficial for healthy fetal development. Be aware, there is a difference between folic acid and folate so check with a health care practitioner before supplementing.
Leafy vegetables are naturally high in folate and are fantastic to be including in your diet. You also may need to supplement with iron if you know that you’re low. You can read tips for naturally boosting iron here.
Do things to help elevate your mood
You may find yourself crying more easily when you’re pregnant. Increased levels of estrogen and progesterone can make you feel more emotional than usual. While it’s common to have emotional ups and downs there are some things you can do to help you feel more balanced.
Create a 'happy list' to remind you of the things that bring you joy. For example; picking some fresh flowers, diffusing essential oils or having a bath. Keep this list somewhere visible so you have a daily reminder of mood boosting ideas.
Other tips to help you feel more balanced; try to keep exercising (a gentle walk is great), try to eat well, try to get enough sleep (go to bed earlier if you can) and ask for support. Do you have a friend you can call when things feel a bit overwhelming?
When are you due?
It’s probably easiest to use an online due date calculator to work out your due date. But remember, normal gestation is anywhere from 37-42 weeks. You may want to say a 'due month' when telling people your due date so there’s no pressure if you go beyond 40 weeks.
Think about doing some antenatal education to help you prepare for birth
I’ve created the Map to Birth and Beyond online course for people who want to feel more calm and confident about birth and create a path to a more peaceful postpartum.
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Download this free natural birth checklist that covers practical tips and natural suggestions for the three stages of labor. Start feeling more confident about your birth plan.