When it comes to pregnancy there are always going to be unknowns. Yes, I get it. Millions of women have given birth and over 10, 000 babies are born each day in the US alone. But that doesn’t mean that each birth and pregnancy isn’t different. Each person has their own unique experience. Nevertheless there are 4 things I wish to share with you that I think all pregnant mamas can do to set themselves up for emotional success in pregnancy no matter what their final pregnancy/birth story may be.
Don’t entertain others pregnancy horror stories.
I don’t know what it is, but the minute a pregnant belly is spotted in a group of friends or acquaintances the pregnancy stories start to fly. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy stories and learning from other’s experiences. There is, after all, wisdom is the council of many. But here is one thing you don’t have to do. You absolutely do not have to – nor should you – listen to someone else’s pregnancy or delivery horror story. All that does is produce fear in you. And the last thing you need to feel is fear. Your body was made to do this. And I do not mean that in a “put women down, all they are good for is baby making!” Oh No! Quite the opposite! I mean that your body is capable of doing something incredible during pregnancy and when the time of delivery comes you will have a strength that comes from deep within that yo
u never knew you had.
Your body will kick into gear and do things you never imagined were capable. The last thing you need at that moment is someone’s terrible pregnancy tale rattling around in your head. What you need is focus, determination and confidence. If someone feels the urgent n
eed to share all their woes, you have the right to walk away from that conversation. No guilt needed. Oh and may I also add that if you are with a pregnant lady who is having to endure a barrage of crummy birth stories, be bold and throw her a lifeline. Change the direction of the conversation so that she doesn’t have to.
Your attitude should be this: No Martyrs.
Go into your delivery with the boldness that you have got this. You can do this. And that you will do it in the most natural way possible so that your recovery will be as smooth as possible. But if at any point the pain is too much, no martyrs. You are not a failure for having help, pain meds, epidural etc. If your birth day isn’t going according to your original plan, it’s OK. No martyrs. If either your life or the baby’s is at risk, no martyrs. Doctors, nurses and midwives are there for a reason. They have experience and they are there to look out for your well being at a time where your body is facing a lot of unknowns and under a lot of unfamiliar stress.
Do what is necessary to make through in the safest way possible and don’t let any pushy relative, mommy shame-er whose words are ringing in your head, or that nosy neighbor who had to forward you every article on “how the perfect delivery should be” make you feel any guilt. No martyrs.
Don’t be intimidated to advocate for your rights and desires with your healthcare professional.
And along those lines, don’t be afraid to change Drs./midwife even if you are a few months in to the pregnancy. You need to feel completely at peace with the person that will spend several hours with you over the next few months and then even more at the delivery. You need to know that they will advocate for your desires at the end of the day.
As you stand firm in your decisions for your needs remember that a little kindness in your tone goes a long way. I have watched many a vlog where mamas are telling about their need to advocate with their doctor and if they used the tone with the doctor that they used in their vlog I can see why the doctor was less than kind back. Be kind, be firm and don’t be afraid to advocate for your needs.
Finally this may sound trivial to say, but enjoy this process.
While you’re in the thick of it, pregnancy feels like it may never end. And some ladies do have it much harder than others. (I’m looking at you, morning sickness!) But each of us does have at least one good moment that we can enjoy and focus on.
Maybe it’s feeling the baby flutter for the first time.
Or the fun of shopping for all the cute baby gear.
Maybe it’s the realization that you have been entrusted with a little life.
Whatever your moment is, enjoy it.
Hold onto it.
Because when the time comes to deliver and you feel like you just might not make it, focusing on that little moment will help you make it through one more contraction.
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