Pregnancy is an experience – an empowering, life-altering and at times overwhelming experience. There is nothing in your life that you can go through that quite adds up to what you go through during your time(s) being pregnant, and every pregnancy is different! While at times you just need to lay faith in yourself and your body, there are times that you need extra assurances that you actually will be fine, and your body is doing what it’s naturally designed to do as a woman (whether not every woman goes through it is an entirely different matter). When I came across these times, I turned to a wealth of knowledge I could get from a variety of different sources.
While I determined very early in my pregnancy that I was doing going to read any parenting books, that I was just going to trust Jared and mine instincts as parents, I have asked help of and consulted many pregnancy related sources. Here are a few of my favourites at this stage of my pregnancy:
- Other mothers:
Women who have already given birth! I mostly would ask my mum and my sister, but I have found myself talking to many mothers about the pregnancy things I have gone through, because they know better than anyone who has never been pregnant or given birth how potentially isolating and life altering this pregnancy is for you. I also find that I am asking my mum and my sister things before I turn anywhere else, because I know that at 28, it feels kind of late for me to be starting my motherhood journey, but they have gone through it and survived – so I can too!
2. My doctor/her nurse
We chose my OBGYN for a reason, we trust her 100%. It is so important to choose a care provider that you feel comfortable with and trust, because this is a major transition in your life and depending on how your pregnancy goes, you may rely heavily on their expertise. Now it honestly doesn’t matter what everyone else’s opinion are on your care provider – you find exactly who fulfills your needs and make you feel the best you possibly can during your pregnancy, and you stick with that person even if it takes a few different care providers to find that person. None of my questions have been met with any sort of disdain or feeling that I had asked something so simple, and her nurse returns my phone calls so quickly if I don’t catch her when I originally call! My OBGYN has also been so great with our initial concerns on how my heart condition may effect this pregnancy, and while I’ve had quite a lot of appointments as a result, I feel so relaxed and so ready for this baby to come!
This is the first app I downloaded when I found out I was pregnant, and when I was still in the process of figuring out what that meant and linking the way my body had been feeling (I thought I was getting the flu, and it was just taking it’s time to come about!) leading up to that positive test. This app has articles that are timed for your specific release based on your due date and your progress, and there were times I felt as if it was reading my mind! There were articles that reflected exactly what I was going through that week, and while every pregnancy is unique, it made me feel as if I wasn’t weird or that something was going wrong. It also gives you weekly stats based on the size of your baby (referring them to the size of fruit that fits!) and a weekly video showing you what’s going on in your baby’s development! I absolutely love it!
4. The Bump App
Similar to the What to Expect App, The Bump App gives you timed released articles based on your due date and progress, but a lot of them are written by users of the app, instead of “experts”. By combining real human experience with medical advise, I personally feel really comforted by the articles, because pregnancy is something you never truly can prepare for. They also have a neat planner option, where it gives you a rough timeline of tests or appointments you may want to opt for during your pregnancy (in most cases, you don’t need every single test), I haven’t used this feature as my doctor’s nurse Brandy is amazing and has that entire timetable figured out for me. Another cool feature (along with stats based on the size of your baby compared to food) is the 3D Animation that you have at your finger tips each week. It shows you in a movable feature the changes your baby is making week-to-week, even if you can’t tell yourself.
I have decided that I want to breastfeed my baby – and this decision terrifies me. While breastfeeding is perfectly natural and a great choice for you baby (even though, fed is best when it really comes down to it), I am scared to fail. At times I feel like I have fumbled through my pregnancy, and I keep having visions of my baby being starving because I cannot figure this breastfeeding thing out. That is where this book comes in. La Leche League International is a group of women with a passion for breastfeeding and the beauty that comes along with pregnancy, childbirth and mothering. These are women who created a support system for mothers because the current system was lacking. Breastfeeding had fallen out of popularity and many women were giving up when they thought they were failing. This book gives advise, encouragement and stories of success (from initial perceived failures) and gives you hope that if you try, you and your baby will be successful at breastfeeding, because you both have the natural instinct to do it. Putting faith in yourself and your baby is the best thing you can do!
Sometimes, I just need a soothing voice explaining to me what an episiotomy is, and Vanessa Merten is the voice that soothes me the most! She takes pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum care and presents it in a format that makes me feel at ease about this adventure we’ve gotten ourselves into. In a pretty non-biased format, she explains different testing, prenatal care options, birth options, interventions, resources and more weighing the pros and cons of each, and giving you a great deal of information without directly telling you what choices to make. She encourages listeners each week to explore the risks of certain tests and interventions, and reminding you that most things in your pregnancy are optional (and if your care provider insists you need them, that you have the right to be explained why and all of the risks). I haven’t caught completely up on the newest episodes, as I started at the beginning and am working through (she is posting weekly, even after starting the podcast over two years ago!) the 90 or so episodes she has put out.
As I make my way closer to my due date, I am loving all of these resources to give me the peace of mind and the confidence that I can give birth the way I want to and I will do amazing at it!
Mamas! What are/were your favourite pregnancy resources? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,