Pregnancy was once viewed as a hands-off event. Doctors took care of nearly everything, from prenatal vitamins to prescribing medications to combat symptoms, and women were advised to take it easy and not gain too much weight. This has changed dramatically over the decades, and women have more options and responsibilities than ever before in providing for a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.
Traditional hospital births have given way to birthing clinics, alternative birthing methods, and even home births. It is now understood that vitamin and mineral supplements should be secondary to eating a diet of nutrient-dense foods, and prenatal vitamins may not be necessary at all with a proper diet. The advice to get as much bed rest and relaxation as possible has been changed to avoiding physical inactivity, because a sedentary lifestyle puts mom and baby at far greater risk of complications. The medications once routinely prescribed for pregnancy symptoms can be avoided if possible with the acknowledgment that most symptoms can be managed with diet and exercise.
Rather than being a further cause of stress during pregnancy, the responsibility to care for personal health and get the knowledge needed to make the best decisions should be embraced. There are a couple of steps every new mom can take to gain access to up-to-date information and make the best decisions for herself and her baby.
Learning begins with questions, but it can be difficult at the beginning to know what to ask. Most obstetricians and other healthcare providers will have a list of pregnancy classes offered in the area, and it is a good idea to begin looking through the course offering early. Besides getting information directly from experts, these classes will also provide an introduction to many topics that can be explored in depth through books, websites, or other classes. Lamaze classes may be especially helpful, as they will cover numerous topics, including types of breathing, meditation, exercise, and diet. Another benefit of classes is the opportunity to learn about available options that a mother may not have thought of herself; options like circumcision and umbilical cord blood banking are both examples of choices that can provide medical benefits.
Another great resource provided through pregnancy classes is the other students. Most women taking a pregnancy class are there for the same reason, but they will all have different backgrounds. Learning in tandem with others is helpful for getting a wider view of any topic, and it is an opportunity to make more friends and expand the social network. As delivery day approaches, birthing classes should be chosen for the specific clinic or hospital.
Expanding the Library
Whether mom enjoys reading or not, information is often only available through books and other media. It is a good idea to start jotting down questions and ideas during classes. These should be used when searching for media resources on different topics. There is no need to be limited to books, because many selections can be found in video or audio format.
Pregnancy is a time of growth, and this is just as true for mom as it is for baby. Classes can provide an excellent path to intellectual and emotional growth, but it is important to not overlook other resources.
“Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.”