Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Now what?

What an amazing feeling. Maybe you planned this out and have been trying for a couple months and everything happened so quick that you are still dizzy from all the excitement. Maybe you’ve been trying to conceive for a long time now, tried rounds of IVF or have even considered finding a surrogate and, by a welcomed surprise, are now finally pregnant. However you got there, I am so glad you have found yourself here, on my blog.

You may be feeling excited, confused on what to do next, overwhelmed with happy emotions and possibly anxious about all that is going to happen to your body and your world within the next few months. Rest assured, you have come to the right place to get started.

First and foremost,

Let’s get you a care provider.

When choosing a care provider, be thoughtful about the type of care you want to receive. Some are more hands-on than others. Some prefer a quick check-in appointment. Let’s walk through what all of this means. Here are the types of providers and what kind of care they give.

Doctors: Obstetrician (OB)

A physician is in control and responsible for what goes on during your pregnancy; they are the decision-makers. Pregnancy is seen as a pathological state that needs to be controlled and treated. While these views are slowly changing, this is the Medical Model of Care. The focus is about compliance and managing problems, a heavy reliance on technology, using routine interventions like water breaking or checking cervixes. The doctor will then deliver the baby to the parents. It is very centered on what the doctor does for you.

Another type of care provider is a Nurse-Midwife (NM). Primarily, the NM will work in a hospital setting alongside other doctors. The NM is there to be a go-between for the obstetrician. With uncomplicated pregnancies, an NM could possibly be the only care provider you will see as there is no need for an OB. Because the NM is still working under the hospital guidelines, the medical model of care is still used with a slight focus on holistic practices.

These care providers want you and your baby to be “happy and healthy”. I mean, we all want that, don’t we? Yes! But, there is more to that equation, isn’t there? Surely happy+healthy doesn’t equal a favorable outcome 100% of the time? No, it doesn’t. What it does do is keep mothers and babies alive in dangerous situations. THAT is what we all really care about and want from our care providers. We want to feel comfortable that they will be able to react quickly, safely, and with the right tools at hand to do whatever is necessary to bring the baby earthside to a healthy mom.

Is there another provider that can do “happy and healthy” moms and babies?

Yes! Yes, there is. A Midwife is a certified professional with years of technical experience caring for mothers and babies. A midwife will focus on the Midwifery Model of Care with a large emphasis on the connection a mother has with her baby and prevention of complications. Birth is viewed as a normal physiological process. A mother is in control of the birthing process and she gives birth together with her baby. This model of care sparingly uses technology and primarily only as a tool for diagnostic purposes, has lower rates of intervention, and lower complication risks. A mother must be thoroughly screened to be accepted as a midwifery client to prevent undesirable outcomes. In the event a mother should need obstetrical care, the midwife can call for transport to the closest hospital. A midwife can do you prenatal care in your home or in their office/clinic, but the birth is either in your home or in an accredited Birth Center.

Now that you have a good idea of what kind of care is available to you, what is the next step?

Questions to ask yourself when choosing a provider.

Where would I like to give birth? A hospital has Certified Nurse-Midwives and Obstetricians.

Does my provider believe in physiologic pregnancy and birth? Our bodies were made for this.

Do I have any underlying medical conditions? Some conditions will put the mother and baby at high risk of complications and they will not be able to utilize a midwife. Perhaps, if the condition is controlled, a Nurse-Midwife would be a great option.

Some red flags with all care providers.

If they are not held responsible by an accredited body, that is a red flag.

If they seem to not respect your choices during your visits. You can change your provider anytime during your pregnancy. Most midwives have a cutoff of around 37-38 weeks while others (with proper documentation of prenatal care) will accept clients anytime.

If they start talking about interventions without explanation, red flag. Always ask questions. Why are we talking about XYZ? Is there something I can do to prevent needing this? And my favorite, what if I do nothing? Sometimes doing nothing is the best way to treat small issues that come up in pregnancy.

If they will not be there for the birth, big red flag. Of course, sometimes things happen and they will not be able to be there. But if they are the only person you have seen or spoken to for the entire pregnancy, they should really be there. Having a care provider AND backup that you feel comfortable with is important when giving birth. See this blog about the Fear, Tension, Pain Cycle for more about how our minds are the most powerful thing while giving birth.

Okay, you’ve got an idea of where to start. Now what?

Go out there and talk to providers. You DO NOT have to stick with the first doctor you see. You can switch at any time during your pregnancy to another doctor, a nurse-midwife, or even leave the clinic and find a birth center near you. You have options when it comes to your prenatal and birth care. Reach out to me if you need some more direction, I’m happy to help.

Other stuff to think about….

Birth Photography and Doula

Birth Education

A really, really comfy bra for right after the baby is born. 😉

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Now what?

Maternity Monday


 My photo album is simply stunning.

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Your portraits are unique pieces of your life right now, but someday you'll want to look back and remember everything as a whole. There is no better way than to have your memories preserved in artwork! Your children and grandchildren will look at these one day as a tangible, visual representation of how much they're loved! 

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