Who you choose to spend time with during pregnancy makes a difference.
Pregnancy sprinkles change on just about every area of your life. These changes can create feelings of instability, anxiety, and other not so fun emotional gremlins.
This time of change gets a lot easier when you to surround yourself with individuals who will support you mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Seeking out the following individuals, and inviting them on your journey to motherhood, will not just make your own experience easier, but will create a happier and healthier space for your baby, in and out of the womb.
1. A Medical Care Provider Who Gets You and Supports You
Medical care providers are often viewed as medical wizards possessing omnipotence- we give them a lot of power.
Ensure the person you’re choosing to hand a piece of your power over to is someone who deserves it.
Find a care provider that makes you feel safe, that makes you excited about being pregnant, that fills you with hope, and is stoked when you hand over your list of birth preferences.
Find a care provider who radiates support for your unique needs and desires during pregnancy and birth; that type of care is your birthright.
2. A Mom-Friend Who Only Gives You Advice If You Ask For It
It’s fun to have someone to commiserate with when your pregnant back is harassing you, and your feet have assumed the texture of Playdoh. It’s less fun when all you want to do is have a cathartic session of complaining with someone who gets it, but instead, you’re met with advice.
Find a friend that’s so down to bitch about crummy pregnancy symptoms, cry about how amazing (and insane) it is to be growing a person inside you, and process all the other pregnancy goodies and non-goodies without telling you how to fix it, or “enjoy it now because it won’t last.” Find a friend who is safe to Just Be You with.
3. A Pregnancy Massage Therapist Who Gets You In All The Right Places
I didn’t receive a massage until the middle of my third trimester, because I didn’t know what I was missing. My incessant heartburn, achy back, and paper-thin temper were all soothed by the end of that first massage, and stayed that way for about a week.
I hopped on that wagon for the rest of my pregnancy, and my massage therapist (who was a mama of two) became one of my friends (see #2) that I could complain, cry, and laugh with, without any judgment or unwanted advice (but, sometimes I would beg her for advice because she knew her stuff, about all the things.)
4. The Vulnerable Side of Your Partner
Did you know your partner (if your partner is a male) will experience a drop in testosterone during your pregnancy? This drop in the “masculine hormone” facilitates their ability to be softer and more nurturing.
While these changes may be initially jarring for your partner, it also opens a gateway into their vulnerability.
Coaxing out the vulnerable, more emotionally open, side of your partner could help them reconcile with their hormonal changes by seeing how you positively respond to the resulting vulnerability and openness, and how the shifts can deepen the bond in your relationship.
Being able to share your concerns, fears, and hopes about the massive change careening into your lives will make you and your partner feel less alone and more secure in your partnership.
5. A Doula Who Has No Agenda But Helping You Have Your Optimal Birth
While your medical care provider will help to ensure your body and baby remain physically safe throughout pregnancy and birth, a doula can help you feel emotionally safe, which in turn creates more physical well-being.
If you choose to hire a doula, ensure you feel comfortable around them and safe to freely express yourself.
When you tell your doula your desires for your birth, you want them to be all in, instead of trying to impose their views of the “right way” to birth on you.
It’s all about you mama.
6. Your Kindest Self
The goal of finding this person, who conveniently lives inside you, is not about putting on a happy face for others, but locating that tender space within where you cut yourself some slack for not feeling totally jazzed about birth, or freaking out at the sight of your ballooning body, or thinking that there’s no way you’ll be a “fit mother.”
Your kindest self won’t knock you for having these thoughts and fears, but will whisper a calming “shhh” into your heart and give you a long hug. And if she really loves you, she’ll put you down for a nap.
You’re spectacular; remember that as you seek out these fabulous people existing outside your home, inside your partner, or within yourself. You deserve to have a tribe of loving, supportive, and judgment-free folks lifting you up and making you feel like the human-growing-goddess you are.
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