Being informed ahead of a task may better prepare you of expectations. But really, sometimes, there’s no amount of information that takes away the beauty or challenges or pain that comes with an actual task like being pregnant. I like to use myself as an example in most scenarios. When I got married, I just really wanted to be pregnant and have a baby. I’ve loved the thought of it since as far back as primary school but nothing prepared me totally for what to know about pregnancy or what to expect during pregnancy. Yes, I read books like What to expect when you’re expecting and followed relevant sites like BabyCenter but I was still confused at certain times of what to do and how to handle myself during that period.
So for newlyweds or those expecting to be pregnant, here are some of the stuff you need to know about being pregnant to better inform and prepare you of the wonderful journey ahead.
- Be in sync with your body:
As a woman, whether preparing for pregnancy or not, you need to be in sync with your body to the extent of knowing, without a visit to the Doctor, when something is changed with your system. If you’re looking to be pregnant, you should know simple routines of your body like your menstrual cycle, when you ovulate, the feeling you have when you’re ovulating and other stuff like that. This is important so that when you are ready and something feels different, you can know almost immediately and see your Doctor just to confirm everything is still on course. Perhaps, it might just have happened that the change implies you’ve taken in. Otherwise, not knowing your body routine may easily expose you to dangers by carrying on with certain chores and activities.
- Physical activities are a must:
Your everyday exercise routine ensures the smooth functioning of your body, that’s if you’ve been the actively exercising type. Childbirth, without trying to scare you, is a laborious process that demands a lot of energy. Only a healthy body can withstand the various stages of labor. Most Christian women like to claim fast births like the Hebrew women but has it occurred to you that the Hebrew women while in Egypt, worked and slaved away in hard labor? Of course, their bodies were strong and healthy enough for a fast and seemingly easy childbirth because they were physically active even during pregnancy. In the same way, exercises also help in alleviating the usual discomforts one experiences in pregnancy. They strengthen your muscles to endure pregnancy pains. Results show, the right workout routine of a pregnant mom significantly supports the development of your baby’s entire system. Read here for physical activities to avoid during pregnancy though.
- Travel during pregnancy:
Traveling is fine in the initial stages so if you’re considering having your baby abroad, you might want to consider concluding your travel plans before your third trimester. It could be risky as your due date approaches, especially, if you’re the sickly type all through pregnancy. Several airlines do not allow women travelers who are more than 36 weeks pregnant. If your travel is unavoidable, consult your doctor and take necessary precautions. There could be times when a doctor’s certificate is a prerequisite for travel.
- What is labor?
When your due date comes closer, you may go into labor pain, most women do. It is necessary to consult the doctor and understand what ‘going to labor’ means. It is another must thing to know when pregnant and identifying it will make it easy for you to handle your labor with no difficulty. One quick sign of labor is frequent contractions which increase in duration as well as intensity. Many times, walking is recommended during early labor because it makes women feel more comfortable. Your prenatal classes will teach you more about what to expect and how to handle this when the time comes.
- Fearing childbirth could delay the labor:
I remember the first time I watched a documentary on childbirth, it was one of the scariest things I ever saw. Even the bravest woman will be scared of childbirth but that is why we have encouraging books to help prepare our minds for that special moment. Women who fear childbirth will spend longer than women who do not abhor fear in their mind about giving birth. Fear and anxiety would increase the blood concentrations of the hormones, which will weaken the ability of the uterus to contract. Poor communication between you and your doctor may also prolong the labor. It is advisable to go for prenatal breathing classes and a doula to guide you through the labor.
- Yes, childbirth can be excruciatingly painful:
A friend asked me after my first baby about the experience. It was nothing the books or Doctor prepared me for. It was damn painful. Heck, I thought I was dying. But in between all of that pain, I kept remembering that I was just a few minutes or hours close to holding my baby. So I would breathe in and out and hope that I make it till the end. She asked again, if I would do it again and I said to her, although some say women often forget the pain and do it over and over again, I don’t know if I will ever forget but I will definitely do it again, for the wondrous experience and opportunity to give life and nurture it as your own.
- It’s not over until you have your baby in your arms:
A full healthy baby takes an average of 38 weeks in the womb and the labor process, however long it may take, all these is just for one goal – to hold your baby in your arms. To see him or her wrap their tiny little fingers around your one finger, to see that unbelievable innocent smile for the very first time. No matter how the journey has been, this moment is when it all comes together as rewarding. And no matter how much of the rules you follow, it’s not entirely up to you because you are not the giver or maker of that little life. You need God for strength and most importantly grace.