When it comes to pregnancy, every woman is different.
Some women have a wonderful experience and others have a more challenging time.
Regardless, you want your pregnancy to be the best that it can be!
Are you ready for the best pregnancy advice?
This Mama is about to give you her top 10 tips that will, hopefully, make everything go more smoothly for you!
1. Find a Great Doctor and Don’t Settle for Less!
Just because your best friend saw a particular ob-gyn and swears by him does not mean that you have to have him as your doctor, too!
Everyone has a different experience when it comes to patient-doctor relationships.
Your best friend may love Dr. B because he is a little more tell-it-like-it-is and she likes people like that because they motivate her.
But that type of personality may actually turn you off.
Maybe you need someone that is more empathetic and supportive.
Do not feel guilty for seeking out a different doctor that makes you feel comfortable.
When you find a good doctor, you may know it because you won’t mind so much with going in for appointments.
And, goodness knows, there are A LOT of appointments!
You do not want to dread going in for them!
When you find a doctor that you’re comfortable with, you may even look forward to going in for appointments!
That is how you know that you have found the right doctor for you!
My Hunt for the Right Doctor!
I must say that I went through several practices and several different doctors during my first pregnancy.
I did not settle for offices that rotated doctors because, to me, it was more important to just be able to see the same one or two doctors in a practice.
This way, I would feel more like someone in the office actually cared about me and I was not just another numbered patient.
I did not settle for doctors that made me feel as though my other underlying conditions were a nuisance.
Instead, I found a doctor that really cared to cover all areas related to my health and to my pregnancy.
He made certain that he stayed in touch with my other health care providers and really worked with them to make certain we were all on the same page.
Listen to your gut instinct.
This is an important and special time for you and your baby.
Do not let anyone ruin this for you!
I cannot tell you how many office visits I left crying because of the stupid things that some of these doctors would say to me or insist that I do that I was not comfortable with.
If you try out a new doctor and it doesn’t feel like the right fit or you have your doubts,
Simply move on and try a different one!
You have that right!
2. YOU Choose When to Have Your Baby Shower – No One Else!
My sister and my cousin both missed their baby shower!
Because the ones who threw them the shower insisted that they had to have it closer to the time of the due date!
Both of them actually ended up in the hospital (separate occasions, of course) because the babies decided to come the day of the planned shower!
I kid you not!
This happened to both of them!
I remember another cousin of mine, sitting in a chair, in tears, at her baby shower (which was planned a month before her due date) because she was so swollen and in so much pain that she could not enjoy one bit of it!
When I had my baby shower, I insisted that it be earlier in the pregnancy and not right around the due date!
Even though the two people who were throwing it for me wanted to have it closer to the due date, I insisted not!
It was my only request!
I wanted to be able to enjoy the shower and not sit in final-days-of-pregnancy aches and pains trying to open gifts and force a ton of smiles just because it had to be planned so close to the due date!
So, we had it 3 months prior to baby coming and it was great because I actually got to enjoy the company that came and the activities of the day!
Don’t be afraid to speak up about this!
Yes, it is nice that your mother-in-law wants to throw you a shower, but remember, this shower is about you and your baby…not your mother-in-law!
3. Kindly Take Advantage of Other’s Kindness
This is a very delicate and special time for you.
You are carrying a precious baby inside of you!
Your body is working hard to make a sweet little one.
If there is ever a time in your life to take advantage of other’s help, now is the time!
You must make time for you and try to sit and relax more!
People are often naturally guided to help pregnant mothers when they see them.
I remember being at my place of work and the staff there were so wonderful and kind to me that it just made me feel so good to go in and be catered to in certain ways.
The staff would make certain that I was the first one to have a chair to sit in during a staff meeting, where chairs were often scarce.
They would bring me another chair to prop my feet!
They would immediately step in when one of the children on my case load had a serious behavior issue.
Honestly, they spoiled me!
And, I actually let them!
Let others do this for you, too!
Take advantage and don’t feel guilty about it.
You and your baby deserve it!
Once you are no longer pregnant, you are no longer treated with the same kindness and adoration….trust me on that!
4. Sleep When You Can
Of course, you need extra sleep while your body is working hard to make a baby,
But, you also need sleep for when baby comes!
Despite help from your partner, your sleep will be disrupted during the night once baby comes along!
If you’re a single mother like me, this is even more important because there is no partner to step in! So, it is all you, dear!
It is important to get as much sleep as you can now.
Whether you get into the routine of taking a nap during the day now or at least lay out on the couch and watch a good movie to relax…take advantage of this now!
What is nice about napping a little extra now is that no one is going to question you on it!
They know that you are pregnant and it is normal to feel tired, so take advantage and rest as much as you can!
Baby will keep you mighty busy later on!
5. Stop Worrying
I cannot tell you, how many nights, I tossed and turned, worrying about whether or not I had enough baby clothes or what to name the baby!
I worried about whether or not I would make it to the hospital in time when baby was ready to come or what the day of delivery would look like.
Actually, I practically made myself sick with worry over everything!
It is natural to have worries about such a big change in your life!
But, if I could go back and have that pregnancy time all over again, I would have worried a whole lot less!
Because, truth of the matter is, it all works out in ways that you probably won’t expect.
If I could go back…
I would sleep more.
I would pay more attention to every movement that my baby was within me.
And I would try to do more activities that I would consider relaxing.
It is hard to not worry, but please….
Just focus on taking good care of yourself so that you can tackle any challenges that come later on.
And so that nothing takes away from the enjoyment that you should be experiencing right now.
6. Don’t Let People Get to You
Right away, people will be quick to give you advice!
They may even start to judge you on how you are managing your pregnancy and preparing for baby!
(You think the judgement is bad now, wait until they actually watch you parent!)
But what is important, is what you think!
How you feel!
As a mother, you have a natural intuition that helps to guide you in what needs to be done.
You will know.
And what may work for someone else or even the majority, may not work for you.
And that is okay!
You don’t always have to follow what others do.
Listen to yourself.
And do not let anyone make you feel less because of that!
It is good practice to start to listen to that motherly intuition now because, once baby comes, it will really kick in!
7. Decide Later
“Are you planning to breastfeed or bottle feed?”
“What are you going to name the baby?”
You may find that most of these big decisions will lead to an answer within time.
You may feel pressure from others, though, to choose right away.
Save yourself a lot of time, pressure and worry.
When you are holding baby in your arms and you start to build that bond, you will know.
You may know deep-down what your child will be called once you see him/her for the first time.
You may learn that either breastfeeding or bottle feeding or both will work best once you get to know your baby over the first few days.
Maybe you wait to decide until you try some things out for size with baby present.
Just because Aunt Linda and everyone on that side of the family breastfed, does not mean that you will suddenly become the black sheep of the family if you decide to bottle feed.
What is important here is that many decisions can wait until you hold your baby and get to know your baby.
And there is nothing wrong with that.
You know, sometimes we are so busy trying to please others and trying to feel accepted by others that we lose our sight to simply see what is best for ourselves and our child.
It is okay to wait.
To decide later.
And to do what is best for you and your little one.
8. Advocate for Yourself and Your Baby While in the Hospital
I cannot stress this one more!
Sometimes, when we’re in the hospital, we can have less than satisfying experiences.
It is not uncommon for doctors and nurses to brush your concerns aside or declare that you are perfectly fine when you are not.
If you do not understand something, do not be afraid to ask for clarification.
Sometimes, the medical staff will talk so quickly that there is little time to process.
I straight-out tell them that they are speaking way too fast and that they need to repeat what they just said because I could not follow them.
I also make certain to ask every question that I can think of, prior to giving my permission with any procedure.
If you or your baby are being pushed into having a procedure done that you are not comfortable with, ask for time to think about it (if possible) and make certain you get all of your questions answered.
And then, make your feelings clear on the matter.
I remember when my medical team wanted to give my baby the hepatitis vaccine the minute he was born!
I was not comfortable with him coming straight out of the womb and being immediately vaccinated that way, so I made certain, with every professional that came in, that my baby would not be given that vaccine during delivery.
Despite them repeatedly telling me why they wanted to do it, I knew, deep-down, that I, myself, was not comfortable with it, so I remained firm and strong in my decision and kindly declined.
I am not saying that you should decline this specific vaccine.
What I am saying here is that, you need to push and advocate for what you feel is best, all the while, listening to your medical team and asking for time to seriously consider the matter.
If you are being treated poorly, say something!
Do not be afraid to speak up!
I remember being treated poorly by the nurse at the hospital.
She was rude, pushy and had no empathy towards me and my baby.
I requested to have her taken off of our care and complained to the next person higher up.
It made a world of difference when they finally took her off of our case and brought someone else on instead.
9. Find a Great Pediatrician and Don’t Settle for Less!
Did you know that you have to establish a pediatrician before your baby is born?
I did not know this when I was pregnant!
In fact, my ob-gyns (remember, I went through several before finding the right one) never said one word to me about having to find a pediatrician!
I would think that they should have told me!
But none of them did!
That was information that I really could have used in the days leading up to delivery, at the very least!
Thank goodness I already had one pegged in my mind!
My Pediatrician of Choice
My friend took her children to a really great pediatrician, and I always knew that I would take my children to her, too, someday.
I liked her because she was not pushy about the vaccines, and she was more laxed with the vaccine schedule.
The other pediatricians in the area were adamant and forceful about vaccinations – so much so that they would refuse your child as a patient, if you did not abide by their vaccine schedule!
To me, that was low and harsh and highly inappropriate for a doctor’s office to be that controlling!
Threatening to refrain from providing care if parents don’t agree to their vaccine stance seemed unethical to me.
This was one of the most important qualities to me in a pediatrician – one who was open and laxed about this.
What are some of the qualities that you would like to see in a pediatrician for your baby?
When you call around, ask questions about things that will matter to you.
For me, it was their availability, if my child ended up with a sudden fever in the middle of the night.
I also wanted to know more about their policy on vaccines.
For you, it may be different.
Start thinking about what you would like to see in a pediatrician for your baby.
Maybe you can withstand a horrible bed-side manner, but that doctor better be damn good with his practice!
Start making a list.
Make some calls.
Meet some docs!
Some offices will let you come in and tour the office and meet with the staff beforehand!
You will need to take your baby to the pediatrician within a couple of days of being discharged from the hospital, so you will want to have one ready to go!
10. Spend Time with Your Baby!
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Those little flutters and kicks won’t last long!
Those once-in-a-lifetime experiences of feeling baby move around inside of you will be gone in a matter of weeks!
Soak it up…
Take it in…
Make time out of your day to just lay down and feel your baby within you!
Those moments are so incredibly precious!
Take the time to just lay there and talk to your baby.
This is one time when you can tell your little one anything and they will listen!
Enjoy feeling that little foot or hand press against your belly!
It’s as though they are truly connecting with you in the moment!
Make the Time
No matter how you would like your time spent with your little one, spend it!
Make time for it!
It is really neat when you start to get to know your baby before he or she is even born!
And, if you’d like, you can keep all of your memories of this journey in a beautiful journal, which you can find here.
This way, you will always have these moments and memories in the palm of your hand.
Hold on to this beautiful experience of being pregnant as much as possible!
It is truly a rare and amazing endeavor!
May God Bless You and Your Little One!
Mama Morgan is a single parent by day and a writer by night! She is raising two, young children with special needs during a global pandemic. She aims to give other parents confidence, hope, and a practical, down-to-earth reading adventure through her own experiences. While Morgan is heavily focused on caring for her little ones, she is also dedicated to helping others and making the world a better place. Mama’s Grilled Cheese is just her delicacy!