Our family adventures...Nurse practitioner mom, system engineer dad, fourth grade son, second grade daughter, pre-school daughter, and active toddler. Trying to live happy healthy lives as simply as possible.
T Rex Family
Monday, April 4, 2011
Live and Learn Blog Event - Day One
Practical advice for first time parents.
Pregnancy - Do's and Do Not's
There are tons and tons of books on pregnancy out there. In fact, when I was first pregnant with T Rex I had at least 6 difference reference books that I would scour daily, weekly, monthly. Plus, a few online sources as well. So, I'm not going to go into the details that those books do except to repeat some of the more important issues.
Three ladies experiencing pregnancy together.
I thought I would offer some general do's and do not's that T Rex Dad and I have discovered through two pregnancies, along with a few other tidbits friends have shared with us, and also a couple things I learned in my woman's rotation this semester.
*First, the disclaimer. None of the information presented is intended to replace that of a health care provider acting in an official capacity. And I am NOT acting in an official capacity here. Are we good?*
- Enjoy this special time - period. Even if you're sick and miserable, enjoy it. It's a glorious time and very short lived.
- Record as much as possible. I used to have special pregnancy journals that I would write in at minimum once a week. I plan to give them to the kids when they are grown and expecting children of their own. Hopefully, they can read my handwriting, though.
- Take profile pictures at least once a month and the last month, take them every week. Even if you're unhappy with your appearance, you'll be glad you did. And the grown baby will also be glad of it. I have one photo of my mom when she was pregnant of me and I treasure it.
- Take a prenatal vitamin EVERYDAY. If possible, find one with DHA (lots of good studies supporting this - I've read as many 6 extra IQ points if you do DHA).
- Take a child birth class and research birthing options.
- Take a parenting class - especially if you or your partner have not been around kids much. And if you feel like you have tons of experience with kids, look into something like "Happiest Baby on the Block" - even the book or video is good, too. (Swings, Swaddling, Sucking, and Shushing - magic!).
- Take a breastfeeding class and look into your local chapter of Le Leche League now.
- Do your shopping and preparations early. You never know if you'll have to be on bed rest or if baby will surprise you and come early.
- Take one last trip with expectant dad because after baby comes, it will be a while before you get away alone (T Rex Dad and I haven't been on a vacation alone since T Rex was born, unless you count a night away when Bebe Sister was born. And we are totally fine with that.)
- Research diapering options - cloth is NOT what it used to be.
- Eat healthy and watch what you eat. Just because you are going to be gaining weight does not mean it's a free for all eat-a-thon. Remember, what goes on will likely need to come off.
- Expectant dads - try to follow the same diet plan as the expect mother. This is one way you can show support.
- Dads - give massages as often as possible (particularly foot massages).
- Read to baby now. T Rex Dad used to read to fetal T Rex - it was a nice time for all of us and he really knew his dad's voice as soon as he was born.
- Have family members talk to the baby in utero - he/she WILL recognize their voices if heard frequently.
- Be prepared for people touching your blossoming belly without your permission or making comments about your appearance or offering their birth stories.
- Think about your birth control plan following baby's birth. If you will not be exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months, you will likely need to have a back-up plan and if you are breastfeeding your options are limited. It's important to think about this because it is not ideal specifically related to maternal and fetal outcomes to get pregnant again all that quickly. Consider and discuss this now.
Profile pic about 18 weeks pregnant with Bebe Sister - note quite 2 years ago.
- Expectant Dads - NEVER, NEVER say the mom is "huge" even if she cannot hear you. And if she asks if she looks fat, probably best to just not even answer the question but rather go with, "You are beautiful and glowing" or something along those lines. As T Rex Dad says, there is no right answer. Expectant moms - hint, don't ask if you look fat.
- Avoid green tea (just recently been reading in my school text books about green tea and as healthy as it is in the antioxidant realm, it can be very high in caffeine and also have a higher incidence of miscarriage.)
- Avoid alcohol. There are no safe levels established so best to avoid it all together.
- Stop smoking and avoid second hand smoke. Enough said - no good will come. - Avoid uncooked and unpasteurized products - raw or undercooked fish or meat, raw milk, brie cheese. - Tuna in small amounts due to mercury levels.
- Caffeine - as little as possible. Most literature says no more than 1-2 servings per day. - Avoid as many drugs as possible. Tylenol is safe. And if you have a chronic condition (asthma, diabetes, seizure disorder, etc.) talk to your health care provider before pregnancy or as soon as you know you're pregnant.
There's the condensed list. You should have seen the original. Please, offer your suggestions. Constructive comments will be entered for a chance to win a gift certificate to my cousin's Etsy shop - CChapmans Gifts Etsy Shop. Come back and let me know if you comment on any of the other Live and Learn postings and I'll give you an extra entry. (2 entries possible). Winner will be chosen by random number generator April 15th so please make sure there is a way for me to contact you if you win.
What would you add to either the do or do not lists? Or do you have some elaborations on the existing listed items?