Just had your 12weeks scan, and having seen your midwife for the first time and came home with the big notebook/files of information and forms ready to be filled through your pregnancy journey. Hopefully- you begin to feel a bit better ( It didn’t happen to me until the end of 4th month ). Finally you are ready to go deeper into your new journey, thinking about how to be prepared, where to begin and what are those main things you need to consider during the next 6 months? even sooner to then relax for the last four weeks!
That feeling when you know
YOU CAN FINALLY SHARE YOUR BIG NEWS TO THE WORLD!
Well, to be honest the to-do list could be a big one.. While you can’t wait to begin baby outfits shopping or brainstorming baby names.. There are a few things that need more of your time and a bit more in depth research; reading and listening to the other’s stories and seeking advice from the experts. Those which would impact YOU firstly as a mum-to-be, and improve your health as well as your vision towards a very unique journey you have just begun.
I was at this exact moment, almost one year ago! We found out about my pregnant at 7 weeks! And no midwife appointment until 10 weeks, meant both of us were in a kind of doubt if it is really happening! So after the 3 months scan, and reassurance from the midwife, we were finally ready to share our news to the world and to begin believing in the little miracle inside my tummy! One day I sat behind my laptop, thinking so what now? What should I do?
Well, to be honest, already knowing the type of birth I was hoping to experience, my research looked a bit easier but then I had no idea how to manage the pain, what options would I have if I changed my mind and what help do I have, who is there to help me and how? Similar questions for my other half, how is he going to help me? A question that in the traditional way, there is no answer for it, but in the world we live now, one of the biggest support you can receive is from your other half or a birth partner of your choice! So let’s dive into the main 5 concerns that I found helpful to know more about, those that empowered me through my pregnancy journey and helped us to experience a memorable journey and birth experience!
What are the other main important topics to be considered along baby clothes shopping and name picking?
Your Body Your Birth
1. Type of birth
As much as it might sound scary to most of the women, this is an important subject to be discussed during the pregnancy. It is each woman’s choice to decide about their experience, it is YOUR BODY so it is your choice of birth experience. But in this journey we first need to read and to know OUR choices, to know the benefits of one way to the other, to know the pros and cons of different ways of pain management, to find out who and when can be helpful and to finally decide what is OUR choice considering all the knowledge we have gained. So best is not to rush, take your time and use the resources from your amazing midwife, knowledgable doulas out there, books and of course internet. But remember there is nothing wrong in any of the choices, and not two woman are to be compared so YOU are the one choosing YOUR way of delivering your baby.
DO YOUR RESEARCH AND KNOW ALL THE OPTIONS OUT THERE FIRST.
To me, I knew for the past 15 years, what I want! From the moment of my very first experience of witnessing a birth- only hearing a friend from behind the hospital door – a vaginal birth, I wanted to experience THAT! And I had decided way before I know anything about delivery, body and etc… I recall that moment very clearly, have no idea why! Other people there were saying it is scary and they never wanted to go through this amount of pain! But I found it fascinating! I was already amazed and curious of how capable the woman’s body is! So while my lovely midwife was trying to avoid bringing up this topic at those early appointments, thinking it might scare me! – I knew that is the plan and was only hoping for body to allow me and hoping for myself to be able to manage the pain ( which I clearly know more about it then!
But what I did not know at the time was
To get the experience I want, there are more help out there, to guide me and my partner, to show us the movements, the thoughts and the way of coping the pain during the labour!
2. Whether or not to have a DOULA?
Well, until a few years ago I had no idea such a person/word/career exists! and certainly until being in labour I had no idea how important their role could be to support me and my partner!
As always, your decision comes to research and maybe to begin with an in-person pre natal session with a doula of your choice to see how would you feel about it! As much as pregnancy being a journey, I believe the labour is another journey itself too! There are people out there whom are helping you through it; from holding your hand, massaging your back and guiding you once the path gets harder to monitoring yours and baby’s vitals and provide you with medical support. Doula is one of those people! To my knowledge the doula is a person who is there only and only for you! You have already talked together, you know each other, and she knows you and your priorities in this journey, plus she has an excessive amount of knowledge to help you, and your body before, during and to heal after birth.
No one can tell you what is the right or wrong decision. While one may find the help of the hospital midwives enough, someone else might find the extra emotional and full-on support from a doula more beneficial. You are in a journey and have months to get prepared, reading birth stories could be helpful too.
I can only talk about my experience. What I learned is that you can hugely benefit from the help of an expert – a doula – who has no other responsibly at that time, but to think about you and how you are managing at the time of your labour and to make you more comfortable – as much as one can be during the labour – , to support you and your partner mentally and to assure you that everything is the way it should be.. plus once it comes to taking big decisions ( whether or not to have an epidural, to have any pain killer, to chose C-section for any reason .. ) hearing their reassurance either towards or against that topic is the best help ever!
The doula is there for you all that time, vs the midwives have other responsibilities.
My amazing doula went over and beyond through my experience! We had a pre-natal and pregnancy massage course with her, then through birth she was with us on Facetime ( remember it was pandemic! so very limited people were allowed at that time! ) and then she came to visit us as soon as we were home, with tons of healing suggestions, and the massive moral support we both certainly needed!
Here is a link to her website if you’d like to consider a supportive and caring doula throughout your pregnancy:
3. Exercise and diet
We all know the importance of these two so I am not going to bore you about it but could not avoid mentioning them in my list! And there are tones of information out there.
Being pregnant during the pandemic meant there was only online classes exists! So what I benefitted a lot was Pregnancy and Postpartum TV , it worked well around my scattered work schedule so I could exercise anytime during the day! But I might prefer to try an in person one next time! As nothing can be compared to seeing people at the same stage as you are and to talk to them face to face!
Also here are the useful links I found wonderfully helpful during my pregnancy:
and here are two my favourite local pregnancy yoga teachers if you are live around Richmond or Teddington:
Make sure to check their Instagram pages for many tips and ideas throughout your pregnancy and postpartum. Ex
4. Documenting your journey
Pregnancy and birth of a child is an ever-changing experience! Everything is changing very fast! And it is hard to remember how things were a month ago, let alone a year or more ago.
From your body’s fascinating change, to then your stunning everyday changes you are witnessing in your little baba! Then looking back after a year, it is unbelievable seeing you have gone through this journey and now have the actual baby is there staring at you!
Documenting those moments in your way, is one of the most important tasks you need to begin thinking about and probably best is to begin at around this time; When your belly is still not showing! The changes might be slow at those first 4-5 months, but still it so worth being recorded!
And then once you are around 28-32 weeks is the time to professionally document the wonderful body of yours, that has incredibly changed with a growing a human being inside! Pregnancy photos might be for you or you might not be keen on it and are happy with those taken on your phone. Either way I would say have a think, have a search and find out if you’d like to have your pregnancy documented professionally? And if yes what type of photos you are more prone to, whether it is a glamorous studio photography with full make up and outfits, or a simple lifestyle session at your home or an outdoor location of your choice to document YOUR OWN moments, those you’d like to look back at and remember the growing love in your family.
5. Find a support group, specially for those early days after child birth
While we all begin concentrating on the expecting mama and once the baby arrives on the baby, the new mama is the one who might be missed everyone’s attention at that so called:4th trimester! ( whether it’s herself to find no time to think about her needs, her partner or family and friends while baby takes over at any minute after birth ).
4th trimester is real and you -new mummy- still need all the help and support you can receive so plan for it in advance.
To my experience, asa much a the partner’s help and presence is so crucial, you might find a group of mums more helpful since they have gone through the same journey and could understand and advice you in more relatable way! Talk to them and have them on board that you are going through a new experience so might need to ask questions or just rant about your sleepless night and unsettled baby and etc… You will see how effective their presence would be once you feel alone and clueless at those early weeks, months or even years of parenthood.
You might have close friends whom are always there for you, or if your friends have gone through this years ago, there are many mum groups you can find locally. If you can’t find any, send me a message, and I will connect you to the groups I know in our local community.
Almost 6 months into this journey, and we are always in contact to share, good/baad days, clueless moments, new baby achievements/illnesses, cheering each other or simply sharing ideas.
A friend of mine set this group particularly for me ( or I would like to take the credit! ), told me you might have many questions after child birth so just text us! I had no clue honestly, the first thought was: “mmmm, really?! another WhatApp group!”
The very first morning at home, I remember after the most difficult night we had, I found myself texting them while in the loo, when hubby and 4 days-old were finally sleep. I was feeling so helpless on what is going on! plus I needed to talk about all those dreadful crying moments of the night before…
Well, their quick and constant replies were like warm hugs from those you know have gone through similar moments.. priceless!
Did you find any of these tips helpful? Let me know how far are you in your pregnancy journey? and if I can help you during this very unique time of your life.
Thinking about documenting your motherhood journey?
Not sure about when and how to begin planning?