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Young Adults and Addiction: The Benefits of Inpatient Care

For many young people, drug use and experimentation is a rite of passage of sorts. However, experimenting with drugs and alcohol is far from harmless, and can often result in lifelong...

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Our Being Pregnant Experts

Robin Elise Weiss

Robin Elise Weiss

Author of several pregnancy books and mother of seven

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Kip Kozlowski

Kip Kozlowski

Certified nurse-midwife and founder of the Greenhouse Birth...

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Ann Douglas

Ann Douglas

Author of 28 books on pregnancy and motherhood

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Top 5 Things to Do

You’re pregnant—congratulations! Get ready for anyone and everyone you know to start telling you exactly what you should or shouldn’t do to have the best pregnancy and healthiest baby. (Oops, guess that includes us.) These 5 tips are sure to make the first 30 days of enjoying your pregnancy more—well, enjoyable!

1. Baby yourself.

Certain discomforts are a normal part of pregnancy, but you can minimize their effects by eating well, getting enough sleep and keeping your body moving. Make sure you include a good prenatal vitamin that includes adequate amounts of iron, calcium, folic acid and vitamin B12. It’s also a good idea to start mastering some relaxation techniques, to help you stay calm and keep stress low throughout your pregnancy.

2. Stay away from Negative Nellies.

Pregnancy, birth and motherhood aren’t always fun, but hearing it all the time can be downright depressing. Build yourself a supportive community of mothers and other pregnant women who have positive things to say about the childbearing process. Then never let them out of your life—you’re going to need each other for continued support along the challenging road of motherhood!

3. Find a care provider you trust.

You’re the only one who knows what will make it the best experience possible. Make sure you find a care provider that sees eye-to-eye with you on all the finer points of pregnancy and birth, such as the tests and procedures you may need to go through. If you don’t feel comfortable with your care provider, find another one; or if your options are limited, think about hiring a doula to advocate for you during labor and birth. Remember, you are a partner in your pregnancy and birth experience, not just a passive bystander.

4. Educate yourself.

Your pregnancy and delivery will be much more enjoyable if you know what to expect. Take a childbirth class and spend some time reading books that match your philosophy—for example, some books focus on hospital-based care while others encourage less medical intervention. You’ll be able to make better decisions about issues that come up if you know what your care provider is talking about!

5. Try not to worry.

Think about all the people who have children every day, and you’ll probably agree that the majority of pregnancies and births are relatively normal. And yet, there’s no shortage of accounts in books or from people you know about things that can go wrong. Take this information for what it is; don’t dwell on it to the point of becoming overly anxious. If worry starts to creep in, try using positive visualization, reading a reassuring book or writing your thoughts down in a journal—anything to keep your thoughts positive. Your pregnancy will be much more enjoyable if you keep worry to a minimum.

Posted: 10/3/07