Tips for Your Best Pregnancy
You’ve arrived. You are pregnant! Whether you have waited for what feels like years (or it actually has been years) or this baby wasn’t expected or planned or really, any space between… Here you are. Pregnant! So, what’s next on your pregnancy journey?
As a team of birth doulas who have been on this journey of serving pregnant mothers and people for over a decade, we think the next best step is to create your pregnancy to do list.
Why? Because a mother and/or family that thinks this journey through (and does what really and truly needs to be done) will feel less stressed and more centered and grounded knowing how to walk through this tender space.
Make a pregnancy to-do list
Let’s begin with the most important part of launching into your pregnancy journey: interviewing providers. You get to decide who feels best supporting you and your family through pregnancy and birth. Even if you already have a provider. If you aren’t feeling as though they are the very best one to be with you throughout these 40+ weeks – it’s time to look for a new one.
Did you know that you get to choose the location of your birth? The three options you have in Arizona are hospital, birth center, or homebirth. You’ll want to choose a provider that can attend your birth where you want to birth. So, take a moment to think this through!
Next up, the interview. We’ve listed some of the most important questions to ask them and yourself below:
- Do they accept insurance?
- What is the out of pocket cost?
- Is there a sliding scale?
- Does the provider work in a group or solo practice?
- Do you have the opportunity to meet with everyone?
- Do their values align with your own?
Notice if the provider is taking the time to answer your questions, or rushing you out of the appt. Remember, YOU ARE THE CONSUMER.
Create your support team
The next step in your pregnancy journey is to decide who will be supporting you during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum transition. Our clients commonly consider birth and postpartum doula support, acupuncturists, chiropractors, pelvic floor therapists, mental health professionals, and lactation consultants (IBCLC’s). Each can play a very important role in your wellness and well-being for years and years to come!
Understanding physiological birth will directly affect the amount of fear you bring into the birth space and how you manage the contractions. There are amazing books, online self paced courses, and in person classes. Ask us for resources! One of the benefits of serving families for so many years is that we are well-versed in what’s available in the community and the world (internet).
Move your body
Birth is a very physically demanding process and is so much easier when you are prepared. How do you prepare? Daily walks, prenatal yoga, and exercise classes are all great choices (as long as your provider agrees). These will directly affect the way your labor progresses.
The final box for your pregnancy to-do list? Flexibility. It’s not just a box to check off, though. It’s something you will need for all your years on the long, beautiful road ahead! Creating a birth plan that encompasses all options and outcomes allows you to not just plan for your birth, but to be educated and to make informed decisions throughout the process. Creating a postpartum plan, a back-to-work or stay-at-home plan, a where-my-child-goes-to-school plan, these will all be more spaces to honor flexibility again.
Bonus tip: Listening to guided meditations can help to prepare your mind to go with the flow. You can also create a mantra or affirmation to support your fluidity here. Try something like, “I am safe to step into the flow of this pregnancy and postpartum. I am prepared for whatever happens next.”
When we do the work and surround ourselves with people we trust, we can fully surrender to our birth journey. You can surrender to yours, too!
If you have questions or are looking for birth and postpartum support, reach out. We were never meant to do this pregnancy journey alone.
Hi! I’m Alyssa Leon. I lead Cherry Blossom Doula Services, LLC – an inclusive birth + postpartum doula team in Arizona; and mentor doulas in Arizona and beyond.