You're a Mom. Now What?
Don't Freak—You Got This!
First off, congratulations! Take a minute and sit with your little loved one. Breathe in. Breathe out.
There are some questions that need answers, and we will get to that, but it is so important to be present with your new baby. You know how people say that the baby eats what you eat? Well, they feel what you feel, too. I'm not saying be perfect 100% of the time, but do send loving vibes and take those stress levels down to a minimum.
Are you a first time mom?
First Things First!
- Get those prenatals coming! Even if you have a spectacular diet, it's important to ensure the baby is getting ALL the nutrients it possibly can. On that note, it's important to get your diet in order. However, the first trimester is very difficult for some moms because of morning sickness. I had to live off of crackers and bread (yes, bread). If your morning sickness is extreme and you aren't able to keep food down, then there are pills that help with morning sickness.
- Stop drinking and smoking. Sometimes babies come as a surprise, so you may have inadvertently been drinking or smoking while you were pregnant. Sometimes this can be an issue; other times it's not. You should still check with your OBGYN, and let them know so they can take the appropriate steps to make sure your little one is safe and healthy. Note: If you are in the process of trying to get pregnant, you should stop drinking and smoking immediately!
- Find an OBGYN. I went with a family OBGYN, but do your research on what will work for you and your location. It is important to call and make and appointment with your OBGYN as soon as you know you're pregnant. They will schedule an appointment with you at 8 weeks after your LMP (last menstrual period).
- Find a pregnancy app that works for you. They are so helpful and fun! I used Ovia Pregnancy because it was so easy and helpful, and I could track everything. It was also personalized to me and my body, so tracking weight and milestones were really simple!
What to Expect
Throughout your pregnancy, there will be changes to your body and your mind. Here are some that may happen:
- Sudden weight gain (yes, totally normal)
- Loss of appetite
- Hormonal changes
- Lack of motivation
- Difficulty working out
- Acne breakouts
- Sore breasts
- And more...
Your OBGYN will go over any questions you may have, and you should ask them! Ask all the questions. There is absolutely no reason to be ashamed of not knowing what happens or what to do in certain circumstances. I even made a list of questions to bring so I wouldn't forget anything. Get those questions answered so your mind can rest!
Testing and Shots
There are some tests and shots that you may have to take. I did some blood work during my first trimester. I did a chorionic villus sampling (CVS) to find the sex of the baby early as well as test for down syndrome (and for a bunch of other things).
My OBGYN stressed the flu shot heavily. It's not good for pregnant ladies to get sick because their immune systems are weakened during pregnancy, so getting the flu can end in bad news, but it is totally up to you. Don't believe in shots? Then don't get it. Just keep an eye on doing everything to prevent sickness from happening. If you're at a fork-in-the-road, talk to your OBGYN about your concerns and what the best options are for YOU.
Later on in pregnancy, you will need to do the glucose tolerance test. All you have to do is go to an instacare (or anywhere with a lab) with your doctor order. The lab will then give you a super sugary drink (that you have to drink within 5 minutes), and then take your blood an hour later. That's it! If the test comes back positive, your doctor will go over the things you need to do.
Baby name ideas
Baby shower / furniture
Prenatal stock up
Enjoying the bump!
Maternity leave plan
Gender reveal - telling friends
These milestones are just a basic idea of when things need to happen. The only reason to wait until the second trimester to tell friends / family is because of the risk of miscarriage. Of course, it is totally up to you. I told my parents a few weeks after my pregnancy test because I wanted advice. I didn't tell friends until I hit my second trimester, and then we did the gender reveal shortly after.
Re-birth plan—don't go overboard. Think about necessities and being in the moment. Having a birth song may not be as important as you think! Usually, your OBGYN will give you a birth plan to fill out and bring back to them - so just gather a general idea of what you're thinking. Water birth? Epidural? Need some TV to take your mind off the pain? Want your partner to cut the umbilical cord? Fill out your birth plan and your OBGYN will go over it with you.
Maternity leave: Does your employer offer benefits such as paid maternity leave? Day care? Pumping breaks (if you plan to breastfeed)? These are things to consider! Although, please take your time on maternity leave if you can. It's important to get back to work, but coming back to work part time for a while and easing back into things can be super helpful. It just depends on you and your family's needs!
Bits of Advice
- Depression during pregnancy is serious. Talk to your OBGYN about it.
- Don't want someone touching your belly? Tell them "no."
- Wear your seat belt below your stomach, not over your belly button.
- Drink raspberry leaf tea during your third trimester. It may help with tearing during birth.
- Yoga! Prenatal or regular - yoga is a great way to keep up flexibility and core strength without going overboard.
- Walk. Walk. Walk.
- Take warm baths (not super hot ones). Don't soak in a bath that raises your body temperature above 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 10 minutes. Also, add some coconut oil to your baths. It's a great way to keep your skin moisturized!
- Get some padsicles ready in your third trimester.
- Maternity clothes may or may not be needed. I only got the basics (maternity yoga leggings, jeans, and maybe two dresses). Maxi skirts will be your best friend!
- A maternity belt goes a long way, especially if you are standing/walking a lot.
- You can register on Amazon for your baby shower! It's super easy and personalized.
- Those ultrasound pictures? Keep them away from heat/sun. Sadly, those pictures also fade over time, so take them somewhere to get copied and printed on regular paper.
- Pregnancy pillows are the freaking bomb.
- Get a perineal massage during the last few weeks of the third trimester.
Remember, you got this, momma!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Bri Timpson