There’s a lot going on in the nine months before your baby arrives. Take a few moments to think about these important issues.
There’s a lot going on in the nine months before your baby arrives. Take a few moments to think about these important issues from Reflections for Expectant Mothers: 40 Weeks of Daily Meditations by Ellen Sue Stern (Meadowbrook Press).
Caring for a baby is infinitely more challenging than caring for a pet. But babies and puppies do have some things in common, especially in the first few months of life. Caring for a puppy requires responsibility, accountability, and the ability to cope with sleep deprivation - all useful practice for parenthood. If you think a little practice might do you good, consider borrowing a puppy and spending a few days caring for it. Don’t purchase or adopt one unless you have considered it carefully and are committed to keeping it and providing proper care. Or for an even more realistic practice session, offer to baby-sit for a friend or relative with an infant.
This expression used to mean, “Think for yourself. Don’t assume that authority figures know more than you do.” Still good advice, especially when it comes to dealing with health care providers. Remember that doctors, midwives, nurses, and other caregivers are not gods. They don’t have all the answers; they don’t necessarily know what’s best for you. It’s up to you to pay attention to your body, to educate yourself about issues pertaining to your health, to make your preferences clear, and to take responsibility for getting your needs met. Asking questions is the most effective way to accomplish these goals. Don’t be afraid to ask, “Why?” You deserve to understand and direct your pregnancy.
If a close friend is having infertility problems, you may feel awkward around him or her. You want to share your joy and include your friend in your experience while remaining sensitive to his or her frustration and pain. Don’t let the challenging circumstances make you avoid your friend; the last thing he or she needs right now is more isolation. The best thing you can do is simply be there for your friend and be supportive. But take care not to make comments like I know how you feel (you don’t) or someday you’ll have a baby, too (maybe not). Your friend may not be able to support you much right now, so don’t expect him or her to do so. Instead, seek support from others who can celebrate your pregnancy without anguish.
Now’s the time to get organized for the first few weeks with your baby (if you’re not already). Here’s a checklist to get you started:
- Who will be your child’s health care provider?
- What are your wishes regarding visitors?
- Have you made a list of helpful resources and their phone numbers?
- Will you breast- or formula-feed your baby?
- Have you asked for help with practical issues like transportation, housework, cooking, and shopping?
- Who will help you at home?
- Whom can you call if you’re feeling overwhelmed or depressed?
- What equipment, supplies, and other preparations for your baby are needed?
- Have you finalized your maternity leave, employment, and/or child care plans?
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4/30/2004 11:10:25 AM