Saturday, September 24, 2005

Getting through Pregnancy

There are so many things surrounding the arrival of a new baby. New moms have to get used to the idea of pregnancy, and at about the time they come to terms with that, the baby arrives and they have to learn how to take care of the wee little one. Although God gave us nine months to be pregnant, which seems to be more than enough time to prepare, it can seem to go by rather quickly, with lots of on-the-job training. If only there were an instruction manual or someone who could walk us through the steps - someone who went through the same exact experiences we are going through. Alas, there is no such person. Every pregnancy and every baby are different, as is every mom, so the on-the-job training will stay. Still, there are ways to prepare for having a baby - not just physically and materially, but mentally. Following are several ways to get through your pregnancy and prepare for upcoming motherhood.

1. Exercise. If you never exercised before getting pregnant, this is not the time to take up running or weight lifting. However, you can walk, and you should. Try to walk every day. Start out walking only 15 minutes and then try to work up to 30 minutes or more. This will keep your blood flowing, your heart pumping, and will give you all around better body health. Try to exercise even on the days when you don't feel like it.

2. Diet. This does not mean a weight loss diet, but rather, a healthy diet. This is the time to spend the extra money on lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables. Take the prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor, and any others that he gives you permission to take, including iron. Drink plenty of water; in fact, you should drink only water. Consider taking a fiber supplement as well, so you'll stay regular and avoid hemorrhoids.

3. Read. This is the time to check out every book from the library on pregnancy, motherhood, and new babies. You should be getting more rest during your pregnancy, so spend time on the sofa or in a rocker reading about how your life will change, and all the wonderful advice about caring for a new baby.

4. Talk to baby. Your baby inside you can hear and recognize your voice. Talk and sing to him or read out loud to him. Let him know how you're feeling.

5. Talk to an older woman. Although every pregnancy is different, talk to a woman who has been there and who will help you know what to expect and give you encouragement. This is not the time to work things out with your mother if you have a tense relationship. If she's not the one, find someone at work or church or a kind neighbor. Having an older woman with your through your pregnancy is invaluable.

Enjoy getting ready and looking forward to your new baby. And remember, there is a first time for everyone and it will all work out!

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