Along with morning sickness, swollen feet and cravings for strange food combinations, pregnancy can also bring insecurities and worries about the life that is growing inside of you.
For first-time mom, and Belton resident, Mrs. Jennifer Jones, the fear of the unknown has made her first few weeks of pregnancy nerve-wracking.
“I have had no idea how I am going to feel or what I am supposed to feel,” Mrs. Jones said. “And at this point in my pregnancy, my fears are shifting more toward the childbirth aspect.”
Obstetrician, Sarah Hibbs, MD, Scott & White – College Station, said these fears are very common among pregnant women, and she offers some advice on how to alleviate these worries.
“Taking a childbirth class is very helpful,” Dr. Hibbs said. “I usually recommend that for my first time moms.”
Talking to family and friends who have gone through pregnancy before can also be helpful, she said. And picking the people who will be with your during labor and delivery can also help calm pre-birthing nerves.
“Having that team can give you some confidence going into the labor process,” she said.
Many of Dr. Hibbs’ pregnant patients have also worried that they may be harming their baby by the foods they eat or certain environmental factors.
“Having children, in my opinion, is one of the most exciting and fun things in life. Don’t let the worries overshadow the joy.”
“Really, there’s very little that they could expose themselves to that would really be harmful to the baby,” she said. “[Pregnant women] should really be asking themselves—am I eating nutritiously? Am I getting adequate rest? And am I drinking plenty of water?”
Even though most foods are okay to consume during pregnancy, here are a few that pregnant women should avoid, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
- Raw meat
- Deli meat
- Fish with mercury
- Smoked seafood
- Raw shellfish
- Raw eggs
- Soft cheeses (like Feta or Gorgonzola)
- Unpasteurized milk
Dr. Hibbs said pregnant women should not only make sure they are eating nutritiously and getting plenty of rest, but they should also be thinking about how the new baby will change daily life.
Preparing For A New Family Member
The gynecologist suggests making a plan for life after child birth. Here a few questions to help you start planning.
- Who’s going to take care of the baby?
- What is this going to mean for our family?
- How are we going to transition our other children?
- What is this transition going to mean for us as a couple?
- Who’s going to be the primary-care taker for the baby?
- As we become a new family, or add to our existing family, what are our priorities with our careers, family and finances?
“It’s hard to imagine how much life is going to change,” Mrs. Jones said. “I’ve done a lot of reading to help me feel like I know what to expect, and we have had many discussions about things like finances and daycares. But I know there’s still a lot of preparation left to be done.”
Communicating with your spouse about the transition from before baby to after baby, will help you stay connected during the pregnancy, Dr. Hibbs said.
“Being patient is also key,” she said. “The moms have to be patient with the dads when they don’t understand their feelings, and the dads have to be patient with the moms when they aren’t acting like themselves.”
Dr. Hibbs said it’s important for couples to know that the conflict and stress they feel during pregnancy is usually just temporary.
“Remember to enjoy the pregnancy and embrace the changes that the new child brings,” she said. “Having children, in my opinion, is one of the most exciting and fun things in life. Don’t let the worries overshadow the joy.”
For more tips on pregnancy and child birth, visit the American Pregnancy Association or make an appointment with a Scott & White Obstetrician.
Moms: what advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were pregnant?