You’ve just found out you’re pregnant for the first time and absorbing that reality can be a lot to process. The moment you find out you’re pregnant your life changes overnight, so it’s natural to feel thrown by this momentous shift. Whether you’re really excited to be pregnant because you’ve been trying for months, or it was unplanned so you’re not quite sure how you feel about it yet, you are probably feeling a certain amount of overwhelm about what lies ahead of you. After all, your body has begun to grow a new human inside of it; in a few short months you’ll be giving birth to this person and becoming the one responsible for taking care of them for the foreseeable future. It’s entirely reasonable to be a little (or a lot) freaked out.
And while it’s fantastic that the internet and social media platforms have so much to offer in terms of resources, whether it be birthing blogs, vlogs or videos; prenatal nutrition, breastfeeding, infant care, opinions on how and where to birth, the pros and cons of unmedicated birth, etc., it can all feel like A LOT. A term we’ve coined here at the Birth Education Center is PABO: Pregnancy and Birth Overwhelm. When you run online searches on pregnancy, it’s common to be bombarded by so much information that you’re left feeling paralyzed by resource overload, uncertain which direction to begin your fact-finding expedition. Instagram alone has innumerable feeds surrounding all things pregnancy and childbirth, so it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole if you’re not discerning.
The best rule of thumb to tune out the noise and zero in on what will best serve you and your baby is trusting your gut. Your intuition is an incredibly valuable tool that you shouldn’t disregard when it comes to navigating your way through pregnancy and childbirth. In fact, your intuition should be put front and center now more than ever and relied upon for the innate wisdom it will impart as long as you’re paying attention. When you’re checking out a resource take a moment to slow down and tune into your body to see how it feels. Do you feel relaxed or neutral in your body? Do you feel tense? What is your gut telling you? Don’t discount it, embrace it and allow it to guide you to the resources that are best for you.
For anyone who is newly pregnant and looking for guidance on where to start their journey, acknowledging your inner fears about pregnancy as well as the ones that are foisted on you through culture and community is a great first step. Another rarely discussed topic that can make the biggest difference in your attitude throughout pregnancy is connecting with your baby as soon as you can, simply by realizing that they are a separate soul who is looking to you to give them the calmest and most loving birth that you can. Once again you can rely on your intuition to connect with them. Focusing on their needs above your own will naturally lead you to selecting the right provider and place for their birth, hiring a doula, getting early education, following a healthy diet, planning for postpartum as well as seeking out a good therapist while you’re still pregnant. Setting these topics as milestones as you begin on your path through pregnancy and ultimately to childbirth will allow you to feel heard and in charge of your pregnancy and your child’s birth. Take a deep breath. Relax. You’ve got this