Congratulations! You are pregnant! This is the start of a really exciting time of you life. But where do you begin? What do you need to do NOW that you got that positive?
These are 5 tips on what to do now - to have a great pregnancy and eventually, a beautiful birth.
1. PICK YOUR CARE PROVIDER WISELY
Who you choose as your medical care provider is the biggest and most important choice you will make for your pregnancy and your birth. Think about the birth that you want and who will be the best person to support you in that. Are you hoping to give birth with as little interventions as possible, or are you fully comfortable with a very medically managed birth? Do you want to birth at home or in the hospital? Will you be taking every single test that is recommended or will you take it at a test by test basis depending on your unique situation? These are just some of the questions you need to think about in order to figure out who the best fit would be for you.
In BC the choices for care providers are Registered Midwives, Family Doctors, Obstetrician or a Traditional Birth Attendant (not a registered clinician and not covered under MSP).
Statistically, for normal healthy pregnancies, Midwives have the lowest level of interventions such as assisted delivery or caesarean births. If it is likely you will have a high risk pregnancy, then an OB is the best option.
If you are interested in Midwifery Care, you have to call ASAP! The saying is that you have to call as soon as you test positive - and unfortunately, that is not an exaggeration. We do not have enough midwives for the amount of people who want them - so get calling - NOW. If by the time you call you find out that everyone is full, then put your names in all the waitlists. Often times people are risked out of midwifery care and a space opens up. Don't give up!
2. KEEP MOVING and EAT WELL
We get it. You probably feel way too tired, and maybe far too nauseous to even think of exercising and eating anything! The thing is - keeping active and eating right will help your over all feeling in the long run. Plus, it will greatly affect your birth too.
Just because you are pregnant doesn't mean you are now "EATING FOR TWO" - as popular as that saying may be. Yes you will need to eat a bit more, but what you need to concentrate on is making sure that what you are eating is full of healthy whole foods and you are getting a great balance of the essentials. Not sure when to start? Chat with Christina Zvicer over at Be Loved Nutrition.
For the fitness side of things, it is important to not take things too far. If before pregnancy you were a regular at the gym or used to run marathons, then definitely you can keep it up that momentum (with some modifications). If you weren't very active before pregnancy, it is important to start, but keep it pretty steady. Some great options are going for walks, prenatal yoga (we love Kukoon Yoga in Port Moody and Osprey Yoga on the River in Pitt Meadows), and swimming. Aquafit for example is a really fun and challenging work out that is not too tough on the body.
3. SEE A CHIROPRACTOR
If you have never seen a chiropractor before, you may be a little skeptical of this recommendation - or at least wondering why it is in the top 5 things to do right away. You have probably heard your pregnant friends complain of extreme back pain, pelvic pain, heart burn - and assume that is just a part of pregnancy. While it may be common, but it doesn't have to be your normal. Chiropractic care can help with that. Also, you may have heard a lot of women say their baby was in a "bad position". Consistent chiropractic care can greatly affect the positioning of your baby and help you get baby into the optimal spot. Starting early makes sure you keep your body in check through the whole pregnancy.
Here are some Chiropractors we just love for pregnancy:
Dr. Marie at Optimum Family in Port Moody
Dr. Nareeta from Strawberries and Sunshine in Port Coquitlam
Dr. Charlene from Maple Meadows Chiropractic in Maple Ridge
Dr. Emily at Whilloughby Family Chiropractic in Langely
4. Book your prenatal class
In pregnancy, information is KEY and who you are getting that information from is more important. Make sure to learn more about the people who are teaching the course. Many courses are taught by Labour and Delivery Nurses. While that may seem like a good idea because obviously they are well experienced, it is important to think about what kind of experience they actually have and if it is in line with the kind of birth you want. They are very experienced in hospital births and know all the policies in place. They typical birth will likely be one that is highly managed. If your goal is to have a low intervention birth, especially one at home, be sure to go with a prenatal class that is taught by people who are experienced in this type of birth.
5. START YOUR DOULA SEARCH
While a lot of families choose to wait to hire their doula until the second or third trimester, booking your doula early is a great idea. Typically, clients hire me in the first trimester or very early second trimester.
As an active doula and member of the birth community in Ridge Meadows, the Tri-cities and the rest of the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley, I know the best of the best when it comes to other services in your area. Where to go for the best prenatal classes? Who are great RMTs, Naturopaths, Chiropractors and Dieticians who specialize in pregnancy? Trying to decide which tests you want to take and the risks and benefits of each one? Or simply just need help with what to put in your gift registry? Want to borrow books from my lending library? I have got you covered and have the answers for all those questions and more. Take advantage of my knowledge and my connections right from the start. Plus, my package offer monthly zoom check in so the earlier I am added to your birth team, the more time we get together.
I provide free consultations where we can chat birth, your hopes for your experience and ways that I can help you make your birth story a happy one to share.
Samantha Garcia Gagnon is a birth worker in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. She has a special focus on supporting physiologic home births and shares her years of experience and knowledge in this blog.
Proudly supporting home birthing families in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam. Port Moody, Langley,
Surrey and New Westminster.
Filled with gratitude to be living and working in the unceded and ancestral home of the Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, Kwantlen, and
Semiahmoo First Nations.