5 Things to Do When the Pregnancy Test Comes Back Positive

5 Things to Do When the Pregnancy Test Comes Back Positive

Preparing for the arrival of a newborn can be the most exhilarating, upside down, panic provoking ideation ever known to {wo}man.  How can you ever really prepare for this journey that will last most of your life?  I had the pleasure of sitting down with a few maternal/infant experts for our first annual From Your Belly to Breast Telesummit and they shared with me insight into how you can begin to prepare for a baby’s arrival. 

Build the Dream Team

Dr. Araba “DocStar” Sam founder and director of Elite Obstetrics & Gynecology, wants expecting moms to be selective as they search for a healthcare provider.  This is someone that will be with you for at least 40 weeks, and your life will be in their hands; this shouldn’t be a decision you make lightly.  A great starting point in finding a healthcare provider is by asking family and friends about their experiences. 

Also, depending on where you live, you may have access to not only physicians, but midwives as well.  Midwives are the traditional care providers for mothers and infants. Midwives are trained professionals with expertise and skills in supporting women to maintain healthy pregnancies and have optimal births and recoveries during the postpartum period (mana.org).  Being a nurse and doula, I am a strong advocate for midwives and nurse midwives. The attention to detail and level of compassion midwives dote on their patients, cannot usually be rivaled by physicians unless they have a concierge practice such as Dr. Sam’s.  

Both healthcare providers take care of women during pregnancy but there is a fundamental difference in philosophy says Katrevia Campbell, CNM. Midwives are trained to operate holistically. Whereas traditionally, doctors focus on the defect, or dysfunction, within the patient, using a problem-solving approach(kevinmd.com). This is huge and it also reflects the state of pregnancy and childbirth today.  Doctors that bring this philosophy into childbirth will want to intervene medically (induction, scrape membranes, artificially rupture membranes, cesarean, etc). If you want a more natural approach to childbirth, or at least want to learn about you options, a birth doula may be an invaluable team player.

A birth doula is a person trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth (dona.org) and has trained with an organization such as ProDoula. Doulas are usually great resources in that they are usually trained in breastfeeding support, physical therapy, and nutrition.  Or they have a massive Rolodex and know which direction to point you should you need additional services.  I routinely refer clients to Concierge Doulas of South Florida  as they have a more expanded practice and are highly professional.  Want to know more about doulas? A great book to read is A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin. 

Once you’ve assembled your dream team of key players, it’s time to turn your attention back to you and baby.  If you were already active before becoming pregnant, you don’t need to slow down just yet.  It’s not recommended that you begin trying new activities unless they’re low impact. Your healthcare provider will give you guidelines for when an activity may become risky or harmful.  During pregnancy, not only do you gain weight, but your center of gravity changes thus making some activates more difficult or in need of adjusting to suit pregnancy.  If you haven’t been active up to this point, there’s time. You can incorporate activities such as walking, yoga, and swimming into your weekly routine.  Not only is physical activity good for your heart and body during the pregnancy, but it will aide in childbirth.  

Along with maintaining an active lifestyle, nutrition should be of the utmost importance.  Gone are the days when it is okay to say “I’m eating for two”.  For woman that are of average weight, the recommendation is to gain between 25-35 pounds.  This changes if you’re under or overweight.  On average, you should add an additional 300 calories of nutritionally dense food to your diet. Fit Pregnancy has a great article on the do’s and the don’ts that can be found here.

shani curry st vil, personal finance expert, Miami FL, Nicole Vascianna, From Your Belly to Breast Telesummit, What do I need to do to prepare for a baby (1).png

Stack the Deck
During my call with Personal Financial expert Shani Curry StVil, she shared that being the super planner she was, she felt utterly lost when she found out she was pregnant three months into her engagement.  Being pregnant was by no means a part of her 5 year plan.  There are few decision in comparison to childbirth that can and will effect your "purse".  Shani wants expecting moms to consider how a newborn will affect their finances beyond what color we're painting the nursery.   "Am I going to stay at home? Or am I going to spend this $1,00 a month on a Montessori education so that my child can learn Japanese by the time he's three. Because that then becomes a whole economic equation we would need 10 calculators to figure out!"  Many new mothers simply do not know what they're up against and are unaware because we're simply not having the conversation. Although, there are so many aspects of childbirth and caring for a newborn you may not be able to explicitly plan for, now is the time to start planning for 12 months after childbirth. 

  Legally Speaking

This, I find, is the area that most expecting and new moms are the least prepared!  No one wants to think about the possibility of not being around or capable of raising there children, but legal issues such as guardianship should not be overlooked. Our friend and owner of The Law Office of Elise Rodriguez, P.A. Elise Rodriguez, ESQ., explained how in a real life situation establishing short and permanent guardians can come to the rescue.

For example, even if someone has nominated long term guardians for their children. Let's say....you've nominated your sister who's in New York to be the permanent guardian of your child. You have no close family, parents, or grandparents that are around that can take possession of the child. You go out to dinner with your husband and something happens... you guys get into an accident.  Neither of you are able to speak for yourselves. The first thing the police are going to say is where does this person live, they're gonna take out your wallet. They're gonna go to your home. And if they find your child with a baby sitter, they're gonna have to take that child into protective custody if they can't get in touch with an immediate family member. That's terrifying for the child..... so you nominate short term guardians that can be with the child  until the permanent guardians arrive"

It is for this reason, and many others, it's important to create documents such as wills, advance directives, and choosing those that will raise our children in alignment with our values, in the event, we can not. 

Plan Postpartum Support

After reading New Mother: Using a Doula, Midwife, Postpartum Doula, Maid, Cook, or Nanny to Support Healing, Bonding, and Growth, my views on how we take care of ourselves birth changed forever! In the US, women are not granted any paid leave from work which interferes with bonding, breastfeeding, and creates mental health risk. We need to take care of ourselves better.   This is the time to drop the superwoman brigade and allows those we love to take care of us.  If we don't have friends and family that can do so, financially plan to hire help. Most people are surprised at how inexpensive quality care can be.   After having a baby, simply being able to take a shower or run to the grocery feels like a vacation! So right now, in this moment, I want you to take this pledge.  "I will nourish my body and spirit through good food, uplifting messages, and by surrounding myself with people that support me".

Did you know?

You can get the content from this and all our other speakers here! Over 6+ hours of audio from maternal/infant/child development experts to help you every step of the way! Pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and all the way through your child's first year!

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