My wife just got a checkup at the midwife, and that set the stage for this particular article, as it represented basically the most stress-free and happy pregnancy that you could ask for. As a pre-article anecdote, the midwife went to do her usual checkup of the baby’s heart rate with the Doppler, and while holding the Doppler against Kat’s belly to count the heart rate, our baby boy literally kicked the Doppler out of her hands. I was at work, but Kat afterwards described the poor midwife yelping in surprise, and the jelly they spread on your belly to get better contact literally splattering away at the one spot where my son-to-be placed a well-aimed penalty kick. No question that that’s a strong baby in there! And momma’s vitals and checkup went perfectly, another step on what’s been a totally stress-free and uneventful pregnancy.
As such, I culled from several close friends a list of what they found to be their top items in having a stress-free pregnancy which is as comfortable as possible, and which got them the best results. Some of the below are Scientology, some are just common sense. If I missed any that you found workable though, feel free to chime in under the comments section!
Read a few good books on the subject (such as “What to Expect When You’re Expecting“). Take childbirth classes (even you ladies that don’t plan to do natural childbirth!) Getting educated through books and classes and natural childbirth videos, gives you calm. Gives you some certainty. Gives you enough data that you can understand what’s going on with your body both during pregnancy and during labor and delivery. It gives you enough data to be able to think with and make decisions about your own pregnancy, labor and delivery (beforehand and in case of something unexpected!). It gives the great confidence which comes with knowing what to expect, at least as best you can without having yet experienced it. I cannot stress this point enough. If you don’t know what’s happening, don’t know what to expect, don’t understand the things going on, are not aware of some of the things that might be asked of you or pushed on you, you feel and are EFFECT. Wouldn’t you rather have a good understanding and be IN CONTROL?
DADDY – This applies to you too – GET EDUCATED. A huge part of the job of the husband is making sure that when some crazy new sensation happens to mommy, that you either know what it is, or find out quickly, so that you can assure her that it’s totally normal. Another part of this is to make sure that the books that your wife has selected to read are the good, informative sort, and not the sort that make her think that every last thing that’s happening to her is a sign that she’s possibly going to have a deformed, sickly, brain-damaged child. Those books are out there, and they are about the most upsetting thing one can read. Avoid them. Again, the “What to Expect” books are fantastic.
Proper Nutrition. Proper nutrition, including frequent small healthy meals/snacks, and plenty of protein. There are an immense number of books and websites out there that list good things for a pregnant momma to be eating – so finding out what to eat is not the problem. Keeping your discipline in, and – DADDY – making sure that mommy does indeed get everything she needs daily – is a major task throughout the pregnancy that reduces stress and makes everything go better.
Doing a Scientology Pregnancy Assist Program:
Doing a pregnancy assist auditing program (preferably mid-pregnancy, before you get too big or uncomfortable or have trouble sleeping because rolling over becomes an event in itself). The Scientology Pregnancy Assist program is explained here. Ask anyone who’s had one and you’ll see how vital it’s been in having a stress-free, calm pregnancy. My wife included!
Daily Walks & Exercise: Taking regular walks was a massively successful action when we were expecting our first girl, and is a big plus that I’ve gotten from nearly all of my friends. Getting in light but regular exercise is widely recommended by nearly any medical-type text, with swimming being a highly-rated one, as it gives one a nice break from the weight of your giant belly.
Dates with your Spouse:
Make it a point to have regular “dates” with your spouse–at LEAST once a month. Time for just the two of you to go out and spend time with each other.
Don’t Believe the Merchants of Pregnancy Fear:
Take everything you hear (or read, especially on the internet) with a grain of salt. Keep your head about you, stay calm, and use common sense. When you’re pregnant, you’re likely to hear the worst stories (as well as the most wonderful), the wildest things, and EVERYBODY’s opinion. You are yourself. Everyone has their own unique experience in pregnancy and in birth. Do not accept or worry over everything that’s thrown at you. Again, you can achieve stability and common sense with good education, as above. Also, if there’s a particular person in your environment that just has to tell you every terrible story ever heard, dramatic versions of their own horrific experience, every painful detail, or other things that cause you to constantly worry, stay away from that person! (At least as much as possible.)
Get PLENTY of rest: This is as much the husband’s job as it is the mommy’s. Make it possible for mommy to sleep as MUCH AS SHE WANTS TO, and constantly work to arrange life so that she can sleep. Do the dishes for her, do the laundry, watch the kids when they wake up at 6am – do anything to make sure that she gets the extended sleep that she needs as a pregnant mommy. So much stress gets relieved simply by being well-rested.
Make a Birth Plan:
A good site is www.birthplan.com for the basics on what a birth plan is, why you would want one, and a sample birth plan. Give copies in writing to your doctor or midwife (and make sure they read it and have it on file), also make extra copies and have them handy for any nurses, assistants, or last-minute substitute doctors. Having a birth plan removes a lot of the stress of the unknowns of the big day, and lets you really see that you’ve got everything straightened out for when things start to rock & roll on junior’s birthday.
I mention this last to make sure it has sufficient emphasis. It’s the job of the husband to be in as near-perfect communication with mommy throughout the pregnancy, and to make sure you’re understanding her needs and responding. With communication, one can get through just about anything smoothly and without stress.