If you are not yet pregnant, we offer helpful tips and resources related to: emotional wellness, financial planning, improving your physical health prior to pregnancy, and enhancing your fertility in our article on Preparing for Pregnancy.
So Many Choices
During pregnancy, it’s easy to get caught up in making decisions about details like what color to paint the nursery, but don’t forget the key decisions that impact the safety and satisfaction of your birth experience! Take this quick quiz for insight into what your preferences are for caregiver and birthplace. Use these resources to help you find options for maternity care providers and birthplaces. When choosing amongst your options, here are questions to ask about: Health Insurance, Birthplaces, Caregivers, Childbirth Classes, Birth Doulas, Postpartum Doulas, and choosing a doctor for your baby. Be sure to also check out the resources in Planning for Birth and Postpartum below.
Common Changes and Concerns
In the book, we cover all the common changes of pregnancy and the concerns they may bring up. We also address specific concerns for those expecting multiples, teen parents, older parents, LGBTQ parents, parents with disabilities, and pregnancy after trauma or after previous pregnancy loss. In our pregnancy links and resources PDF, we offer connections to more resources on these topics, and more resources for all of our other chapters on pregnancy topics.
Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Prenatal care is important during pregnancy. Here is a prenatal care worksheet for taking notes as you prepare for and go to your appointments. We cover the basics in the book, but here are more details on routine prenatal exams and tests, over-the-counter meds and drugs in pregnancy. There’s also a chart for tracking your baby’s sleep and activity cycles in the third trimester – some researchers suggest this can predict their cycles after birth.
Feeling Good and Staying Fit
Setting goals for exercise may make it easier for you to commit to regular activity.
Using a food diary to track your eating, and reflect on your food choices, can help you think about small changes you can make to improve your diet. It also helps to learn more about nutrients, understand their role in fetal development, and learn what foods are the best sources of essential nutrients.
When Pregnancy Becomes Complicated
In addition to the routine screening tests described above, sometimes diagnostic tests are needed during pregnancy, to diagnose or rule out something which might require additional medical care. These PDF’s cover more details on infections in pregnancy, and medications used for gestational hypertension.
Planning for Birth and Postpartum
We can never truly plan our births – birth is inherently unpredictable. But it is still helpful to go through the process during pregnancy of preparing a birth plan – it helps us to focus on what we need to learn about and helps us to clarify our goals and preferences. Here is a worksheet for preparing your birth plan and several sample birth plans, plus a list for things you may want to pack to take to the hospital or birth center. Postpartum is also pretty unpredictable! But here are some tools to help you plan ahead: a Postpartum Resource List, Plan for Parental Leave; Plan for Return to Work.