Having a baby is one of the most exciting things that can happen to a woman. It is an incredible journey and for many a real right of passage. The comedian Jerry Seinfeld once termed it, ‘making your own people’, which is essentially exactly what it is. As exciting as making your own people can be, it can also be a difficult and confusing time. Being pregnant and carry a child is a unique experience and, while it is one that happens naturally, it is not always easy to know what to do. What are the rights and wrongs? What can endanger the life of the foetus and what doesn’t need to change at all. Yes, being pregnant can be daunting. Given this, here are a few thoughts and ideas to help you through the nine months prior to delivery.

Do what is right for you

No two people’s experience of pregnancy is the same. In fact, in many instances people experience the process from polar-opposite perspectives. So, what worked for your friend or your mother may well not work for you.  The only uniform thing that is likely to be experienced by all pregnant women is conflicting advice. The key to navigating this is to find partners that you trust, doctors or midwives who will be able to give advice but not necessarily expect you to use it. Go online and search for something like ‘pregnancy care Melbourne’ to find the appropriate experts in your area. Speak to friends and contact who have had children and get recommendations from them, meet some of the experts and then commit to one (or more) who you like and can trust. Take it from there.

Mindset is important

Remember that being pregnant is not the same as being ill. In fact, being able to get pregnant means that you are in robust good health. So often people change their entire lifestyle when they are with child. Obviously, it is important to be aware that you are pregnant and moderate certain things accordingly, but similarly you need to keep living. So sure, cut out alcohol and kick-boxing, but you can work or cycle and do the day-to-day things that you always have. No need to worry.

Enjoy it as much as you can

It is important to recognize that being pregnant is temporary. Once you do that it becomes easier to own the process and to enjoy it as much as possible. Yes, you might battle nausea or feel bloated, or need to go to the toilet more frequently. But you are carrying your unborn child and you are going to give birth to them. That is something incredible and the sacrifice and discomfort is worth it.

Plan properly

It goes without saying that pregnancy inevitably comes to an end with the birth of the baby. Use the nine months prior to the birth to plan the actual birthing. Come up with your birth plan and communicate it to your doctors and the whole support team. The actual day happens in a blur and if you haven’t planned what you want to do and when, you might find yourself making decisions that you regret when it goes down and you are in the throes of labour and not thinking at your clearest.

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