The Reality

Nothing can prepare you for being a parent, that’s the reality. However, and thankfully, there are ways you can lessen the impact parenthood will have on you. As a mother specifically, you want to take specific steps to help you be the best you can be. Here we’ll explore a few things you might want to think about prior, during, and post pregnancy.

Before Pregnancy

If you can prepare before you get pregnant, you should. Be sure you and your spouse have jobs that can sustain about another $1,300 a month to raise the baby. Consult with an OB/GYN to determine how your body will handle the pregnancy. Buy some baby books, find pregnancy support groups, and ask both friends and family for advice.

Prepare the baby’s room. Make a checklist of what you have, what you don’t have, what you need, and what you can live without. Start living beneath your means and pinching every penny. All these things are worth doing before you even get pregnant.

During Pregnancy

As the pregnancy progresses, you want to eat the right food, have regular checkups with your OB/GYN, use varying lotions like shea butter for stretch marks, and do certain exercises to help you give birth with greater ease. Get the balance right and it’s easier to snap back into shape after the baby is delivered.

After Pregnancy

This segment can’t be expressed in a book, let alone a blog post. Key things you’ll need to think about are child nutrition, how you’re going to sleep, how to manage work and life with a new child, what to do when something forces you to leave the infant in daycare, and the list goes on. One of the most unexpectedly challenging issues will be actually nursing the child.

Breastfeeding seems like something you’ll have no trouble with as a new mom, but the reality is, you may well find actual nursing has a bit of a learning curve, and there can be injuries. If you find you’re asking yourself, “just what is mastitis?”, the link has answers. In a nutshell, it’s inflammation of breast tissue, and the root cause of that inflammation can be many things.

Get a pediatrician, maintain your relationship with your OB/GYN, find lactation specialists like those in the link, and prepare to lose sleep for a few months at least; if not a few years. You’ll transition during this period as well. For example, from the child’s birth to three years of age is a distinct period. Such periods tend to come in three year spurts.

Be Prepared to Be Surprised

Certainly, you don’t know what you don’t know, and until you’re a parent, there are many things it’s impossible to understand. That said, at the beginning, you can take steps to make this transition easier. Prepare prior, during, and after pregnancy. Finally, expect that, regardless of any advance prep, you will encounter surprises.