5 important things to know when you’re pregnant
You’re pregnant – congratulations! Whether you’re overjoyed or still in shock, I’m here to support you every step of the way – even after your baby is born.
Your mind is probably racing with questions. With so much info out there you might be wondering where on earth to start. I’ve been working with pregnant and birthing women for around twenty years and I can help you with some useful starters:
Take a load off your mind.
Get yourself a lovely journal and write down everything you think of. Write your lists of what to buy, good ideas you hear, a journal of changes along the way (because with placenta-brain it’s so easy to forget), and write down your worries and concerns. Once they’re written down, you can tell your mind to relax at bedtime. Then find someone who will listen to your concerns and answer your questions as they arise (no matter how silly they seem to you) so that you don’t become overwhelmed and anxious.
Learn how to be calm.
When you stress you produce stress hormones like adrenaline. They make your heart beat faster, tense up your muscles and make your mind race. They pass through the placenta and expose your baby to the stress hormones too. You can both cope with a little bit of stress but not constant stress. When you catch yourself starting to feel anxious or overwhelmed, take a gentle breath, let it out, and calm down. This is not always easy to do, so come to pregnancy yoga and learn simple techniques to keep you and your baby nice and calm.
Choose your care wisely.
Choosing a caregiver (midwife, obstetrician, GP) and a place of birth (public or private hospital, homebirth or birth centre) are important decisions which will affect the way you’re cared for during pregnancy and the type of birth you’ll have. So take time to look at all your options before you decide. Ask friends and family what they experienced and talk to a professional like a midwife or birth educator to get a full picture, and choose what’s right for you and your family.
Look after your body and your mind.
You want to feel as comfortable as you can during pregnancy as your body and your life change, so choose a suitable exercise plan which combines emotional support with fitness as well as preparation for birth. Pregnancy yoga is a great choice and suitable for every woman whether or not she’s a yogi, if she’s fit or doesn’t exercise much, if she’s flexible or not. It’s the ideal combination.
Find your tribe
Every pregnant woman wants to talk to other pregnant woman about how she’s feeling, what’s going on in her pregnancy, and hear what they’re doing to prepare for birth. It’s such a special time in your life and you need friends and people around you to support you now and after your baby arrives. Find a group or class where the focus is on positive birth and make friends for life.
I care as much about your mental and emotional health as your physical comfort during pregnancy and birth. The aim of all my classes is to support every aspect of your experience so that you understand what’s happening along the way and know how to make it the best it can be. You deserve that and your baby deserves it too!
Written by Karen Shlegeris