First of all, congratulations. If this is a surprise, then take a few moments or days…or weeks to think about and come to terms with the new.
But with many of us that surprising blue (usually) line on the stick brings instant and profound concerns. What do I eat? Can I drink? Will my baby be alright? How do I give birth and where? What about the cost? Classes? And hundreds of more questions. While this article can in no way answer all of those questions, it points to a few resources you might like to consider when finding the answers that are right for you.
1) Internet. That’s right…you are already on the right track. In the past 20 years, the World Wide Web has become the premier source of information on just about any and every subject…especially pregnancy, birth and parenting. You will find a plethora of advice and scientific evidence.
2) Magazines. There are dozens of periodicals specialising in pregnancy and parenting…some with some unique views, others more conventional.
3) Books. Join the local library…because there are way too many books on the subject. Unless you are a millionaire, few people can afford to purchase them all. By utilising your library, you can read a wider range of views on the subject, and then purchase only those you consider worth it.
4) Classes. I run Early Pregnancy Classes that offer parents not only information on these subjects but the opportunity to form friendships and network with other new parents. Check with your local hospital, NCT or independent childbirth educator to find out about classes in your area.
These four sources will offer you more information than you can possibly absorb. One other source of valuable support you may like to consider…even at this early stage…is a trained doula who can offer advice and practical support during your pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Whether it is a friendly voice on the other end of the phone when you have a question that you are too embarrassed or scared to ask your doctor or midwife, or an extra pair of hands to squeeze during contractions or home-made meals to nourish your body and your baby’s through breastfeeding; a doula can be not only a luxury, but a necessity to the new family as it bonds. The months ahead are a joyous and sometimes frightening adventure that will last a lifetime.