Planning for Pregnancy


planning, planning, planning.

Have you ever planned a wedding? There are so many details, plans, preparations, and dreams that go into the process.

We like to think that experiencing pregnancy and childbirth, though sometimes a surprise, can be planned for much the same. When we take the time to prepare our bodies and mind for the journey ahead, rather than letting pregnancy and birth happen to us, it can lead to a more empowering and joyful experience.

Pregnancy is filled with things we can’t control. The more grounded and prepared you feel, the better you’ll be able to tackle the unknowns thrown your way.

If you happen to find us before becoming pregnant, whether it's your first or fifth pregnancy, we want to encourage you to consider researching and reflecting on these 5 things. Add them to your pregnancy planning checklist!

  1. healthy eating

How can you better your eating habits?

What can you eliminate or add to your diet to encourage a stronger body that is prepared to grow a baby?

Think about the things you want your baby to eat when they become a toddler. You’ll want them to have well-rounded nutrition, right? Starting habits, if possible, before becoming pregnant will lead to an easier transition overall.

Think about it. Say you take six months with your partner to really get to the core of your diet. Yes, I said it your partner too! You guys are a team and will continue to be one once your baby is here.

You both take the time to learn the basics of nutrition. You learn how to read nutrition labels, compare ingredients, and find products that use fewer chemicals and more real food ingredients (that you can pronounce). You start eliminating the processed snacks and start adding in whole fruits and vegetables. When you start early you can even take the time to fit these new fresh foods within your budget.

By the time pregnancy comes you will feel energized and stronger. Your body will be more prepared to take on this new adventure and the habits you have created will be easier to continue. Sure, you’ll crave cupcakes—all the cupcakes! But you’ll know the tools to get back on track and continue fueling yourself and that sweet babe through adulthood.

When it comes to nutrition during pregnancy it is so important to feed yourself well. Your baby will be getting first dibs on all of the nutrients it needs and you will be getting the leftovers so make sure the leftovers are going to nourish your body.

2. exercise

We ALL need to move our bodies; we are not meant to be stagnant. What can you add to your routine to strengthen your heart, lungs, and body? We want to encourage you to make habits as soon as possible. It's encouraged to continue your normal exercise routines through pregnancy with modifications. However, not as encouraged to start anything strenuous once you are pregnant. So create these habits beforehand!

Exercise is not one size fits all and there are SO many options. First, think about you and your personality. Some people are internally driven and some need external motivation to get going- some people can be a rockstar at home with workout videos, while others need to be at the gym or in a group fitness class. Also, consider organized sport options or plain old walking, hiking, or running. The sky is the limit! Find something you enjoy because it will be much easier to stick with.

The best thing about exercise is that it naturally energizes you. Growing and then raising babies is probably one of the most exhausting things you will ever do. Just like with nutrition, creating exercise habits before pregnancy will help you keep on track through pregnancy and well into parenthood. We also encourage some strength training because carrying said babies takes some muscles!

3. hydration

Water your body! You should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water. Come on, we know you have heard this before! Go ahead, add it to your list of daily habits.

Creating this habit before pregnancy will help you feel a little less like a water log once you are pregnant. And you'll already know what it's like to need to pee every 5 minutes!

Benefits of staying hydrated, though vast outside of pregnancy, are extremely important during pregnancy. Drinking adequate water can help with aches and pains, morning sickness, adequate amniotic fluid, preventing urinary tract infections, swelling and water retention, stretch marks- the list goes on!

So run out and grab a fancy water bottle and get started today!

4. education

Take time to learn what your body is about to go through. Learn the ins and outs of pregnancy. Learn the timelines and tests that are going to take place. You don't have to know everything but we encourage you to find out some of the basics now so you’re not so overwhelmed in the future.

There are so many resources out there to get you started, us being one of them. Here are a few questions to run through your Google search bar to get you started-

1. What is Implantation bleeding?

2. What prenatal vitamins should I be taking

3. What foods should I limit or eliminate once pregnant

Have questions? We have answers! Contact us today!

5. providers and facilities

You may have been going to the same OBGYN for years. But do you know how their practice works when it comes to childbirth? Do you know which hospital they’re affilated with? Do you even want to deliver in a hospital? Ask yourself these questions before you make your first prenatal appointment.

Consider adding yourself to a local Facebook pregnancy or parenting group or contacting a local doula for provider suggestions. If you're in Central Indiana we've got you covered on both accounts- Indiana Birth & Parenting.

Things to consider when researching providers-

1. What is their c-section rate?

2. How and when do they encourage an induction?

3. Will your doctor be on call for your birth or do they share a call schedule?

4. If they share a call schedule will you meet the other providers that may be at your birth?

5. Will you see a Doctor at every visit or will you be meeting with a nurse practitioner?

6. Will they be encouraging of your birth plans and wishes? Do they have good bedside manners?

7. What are the hospitals standard labor and birth protocols?

Some of these questions may feel important to you, while others do not. We encourage you to trust your instincts and research the questions that YOU feel will lead to a healthy and smooth birthing experience.

So there you have it- 5 steps to start Planning for Pregnancy. Congratulations on to taking the first steps towards the intimidating starting line. When you’re ready to run your race, give us a call to set up your initial consultation- we’ll be there cheering you on all the way to the finish!