You’re pregnant, congratulations! There is so much to do to prepare for a new baby and even more to learn. We recommend taking a quality childbirth education class, but in the meantime, here are 3 things every pregnant mom must know.
Eating adequate protein is essential to a healthy pregnancy. Not only does it help grow and heal muscles (we are going a human after all), but it provides moms-to-be with energy, all while stabilizing blood sugars and helping reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.
Blood volume increases 50-60% during pregnancy, and daily protein intake supports that extra volume. Without it, mom’s blood vessels constrict, increasing blood pressure and potentially leading to pre-eclampsia. It is recommended that pregnant moms consume 80g of protein daily. Eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, yogurt… eat all the protein!
An epidural is more than just a needle.
I support women in their birth choices, regardless of what they are. I also believe in true informed consent. Many times, women decide to get an epidural and they don’t realize or aren’t told all that comes with the epidural. Epidurals, like dehydration, can lower blood pressure. Therefore, before the epidural can be given, mom must receive 2 bags of IV fluids to ensure she’s hydrated. Once the epidural is given, mom will be hooked up to an electronic fetal monitor. A pulse oximeter will be placed on her finger, and a blood pressure cuff on her arm. Because mom won’t be able to get up to use the bathroom, a catheter will need to be placed. Epidurals are known to slow contractions, so pitocin will likely be given to make contractions stronger. As you can see, there’s a lot more to an epidural than just a needle.
Choosing a care provider and birth location are the biggest decisions you will make during your pregnancy.
You can prepare for your birth for 9 months. You can eat well, take a childbirth class, and hire a doula, but if you don’t choose your care provider carefully, it can derail the birth you are hoping for. It is imperative that you and your care provider are on the same page and have the same values regarding birth. For example, if you are desiring a natural birth, choosing a provider with a high induction or cesarean rate will only make achieving your birth goals an uphill battle. It’s important to ask your care provider tough questions, but it’s equally important to get satisfactory answers. If you feel rushed, blown off, or mocked, it might be time to shop around.
If you’re pregnant in Baltimore and looking for a modern, comprehensive childbirth education class, take at look at our Birth Boot Camp curriculum. We cover these topics and many more in our 10-week class and will leave you and your partner feeling confident and ready. Contact us to discuss how we can help you and your partner prepare for an amazing birth!