Updated: Sep 14, 2021
If your reading this post, I am guessing you are thinking of trying to conceive or you you've just found out you're expecting. That first positive pregnancy test is the most amazing, yet terrifying feeling. The immediate shock, followed by the heart filling swarm of happiness, then sudden fear, worry really. We're in for a ride. After all, a new addition to the family is definitely a huge step in life.
I'm a mother of two young boys. I have had three pregnancies throughout my life thus far and during each pregnancy I made mental notes on ways to do it better next time.
Below I explain the importance of preparing to conceive.
Whether that be physically, financially or mentally.
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FINANCIAL EXPENSE PREPARDNESS
Many people are fearful of the expenses of having children. Adding an addition to the family is going to be an expense regardless of the way you look at it, but I am not going to sit here and say you can't have a baby on a budget, because you can. It is possible, as I have done it.
But, I want to talk about the healthcare costs for not only the labor and delivery, but the pregnancy care as well. Research the costs of having a baby in a hospital vs. costs in a birth center or home birth options. Become familiar with the costs so you are not shocked when you see them on paper. Research all of the testing, ultrasounds and additional costs you may be responsible for. Look into your insurance company and see what they do offer for maternity. Not many people know, but a lot of insurance companies offer breast pumps to new mothers. It's never a bad idea to do your research.
Another thought, do you wish to stay home with the little one for the first few months? Do you have a maternity benefit through your employer? If not, we should prepare a savings for you to allow yourself that sacred bonding time with your newborn baby, allowing you to heal gracefully and stress free.
Now add the expenses of all the babies needs. This doesn't include birthday party expenses, school clothes or college savings accounts, just the bare to have them and keep them alive the first few years. Clothing, diapers, nursery items, etc.
Wherever you are in your financial journey, it is okay. No one is every fully prepared to bring in another life to this world, and if you're one of those people, please trust that you will make it happen. It somehow works out that way.
MENTAL HEALTH PREPARDNESS
This category is going to be by far the longest. As the one who carries the child I feel like there is so many hormonal emotions running through our bodies at all times and we go through various stages during our pregnancies that it is so necessary to be prepared in what to expect for your mental health. The best thing I can do for you is offer what I found the most important to focus my energy on during my pregnancies.
Mentally preparing for birth - Create a birth plan. Even when everyone tells you not to. I know it can seem kind of crazy to think about a birth plan before even getting pregnant but this is the perfect time to start research. Watch the births other woman have gone through. Feed your curious mind and lay all of your unknown questions to rest. Accept that each delivery is different. Research and see what clicks with you and you'll see techniques that worked for other woman and it'll inspire you to do in your own birth. Keep an open mind during your research. This journey you are about to go on with this pregnancy is absolutely beautiful if you prepare yourself and allow it to be.
Mentally preparing for the body change - It is absolutely crazy watching the body you once knew turn into a completely whole new body. One that stretched to the max to carry and build a baby. To a body that delivered a baby. A stronger body. A little more damaged with battle scars but oh, so strong. It takes a toll on your mind. It really does, you have to remember this all happens so fast, in a matter of ten months. Your body pumping with so many hormones, you're not sure what to feel anymore. Just know that you are beautiful no matter what. Also remember. It's OKAY to ask for help when you need it. Even when you don't want to. Post Partum Depression is real, and I want you to research that as well.
Mentally preparing for having a baby that will need you & only you for the first year of it's life - Yep, this was a hard one for me to get used to when I realized that moms really don't get a break. Even when they do, they have mom guilt for doing it. Breastfeeding moms will definitely understand this as well. Please make sure to make yourself a priority at least once a week. & I mean this. DO NOT lose yourself in the midst of motherhood. You are a mother first, yes. But you are still yourself in all your unique form.
PHYSICAL HEALTH PREPARDNESS
Pregnancy is so hard on your body. It moves our organs all around, we watch our bodies stretch to limits we thought we impossible to reach resulting in stretched ligaments, we experience back pain, feet pain, frequent headaches, sickness, etc.
After birth, we have the pleasure of meeting torn vaginal walls, blood, hemorrhoids, stitches, scars, and a lot of extra skin.
I want you to be aware that these things are all very normal and you are not the only one who has or will go through this. Stay strong and educated. Learn the techniques from the other mamas through research, join those social media groups. Get talking and ask questions. We are here to help each other survive this crazy journey of life.
This is also why it is so important to have a healthy pregnancy to make that recovery process that much easier. Make sure you're taking those vitamins and drinking plenty of water. Staying active and working out throughout your pregnancy will keep your body strong. Always seek advice from your medical professional about your unique work out requirements as some woman are high risk or have health issues causing them to not participate in certain activities.
Your health is the main priority to provide what it needs to for your baby to grow.
As a Mama myself, all of these tips are my honest thoughts from my past experiences.
For any mamas who already have little ones, what was the most important thing you thought in the preparation process?
For the ladies who are looking to become first time mamas, what are you most nervous about going into this journey?
If you liked this post, check out the other ways I share to prepare for baby.