Mental preparations for couples
by Rachel Fuentes, Contributor
Being pregnant is both an exciting and stressful experience. While the mother is going through a lot of changes physically and emotionally, the lives of everyone else in the immediate family will also be affected in a major way. Physical preparedness is crucial. But health experts will also tell you that having good mental health while pregnant has strong significance.
Couples who want to have a baby, especially first time parents, must take into consideration so many different factors before they start the next new chapter of their lives together.
Before Getting Pregnant
A decision to get pregnant must be something both partners want to happen. If one is not yet ready, chances are, there will be less support coming from that person and it will make the next nine months more difficult. Talk it over with your spouse and assess where the resistance is coming from. Are there health issues your wife needs to check with the doctor first before getting pregnant? Is your husband financially worried about providing for a baby? A couple has to arrive at this decision mutually.
Willingness to sacrifice
Maturity has a lot to do with mental preparedness of becoming parents since the couple will have to take in more demanding responsibilities. Some sacrifices will have to be made and there will be instances when you have to put the needs of the baby before your own. So, you do have to be mentally prepared for when this happens. How willing are you and your partner to make these sacrifices?
Get the right doctor
The couple should pick an OB-GYN they are comfortable with as they will be relying so much on this doctor for the whole term. Getting recommendations from friends should be helpful, but the final choice is really left on the one who is pregnant. The mother has to like and get along with her doctor and this is very crucial. Otherwise, the monthly check-ups and doctor visits will be unbearable and may cause her undue stress and anguish, when this isn't what she needs.
Read pregnancy books and magazines
Reading various literatures about pregnancy and childbirth can help you prepare and condition your mind. There are plenty of resources for these whether print or online. You can also join forum and group discussions, get tips and share your experiences with other pregnant women. This should help alleviate any fears you may have, especially if this is your first pregnancy.
Maintain good diet and exercise.
The National Nutrition Council of the Philippines (NNC) stresses the importance of eating the right kinds of food and physical activity, especially when one is pregnant. A balanced diet and good physical condition can significantly contribute to a healthier mental disposition of the mother.
Ask your doctor about what food must be avoided and what you should eat more of, so that the baby can benefit from this, too. Also ask about different exercises or physical activities you can and cannot do, as everything you do now will greatly affect the health of the baby.
Consider prenatal classes
There are different prenatal classes you can sign up for to prepare your mind and body. A special yoga class for pregnant women is becoming more and more popular in the Philippines. The disciplines taught in yoga classes include best postures for giving birth, relaxation, and more. As always, it is best to consult your OB-GYN before enrolling in any class.
Communicate with your spouse
Couples can get through an easy pregnancy better if there is a strong support from the partner. Knowing that you have someone with you through the different stages of pregnancy can help manage your apprehensions. Sharing what you’re going through also helps strengthen the bond with your husband.
And while it’s the wife who is carrying the baby, the husband, is having the baby, as well. Very often people, including couples, discount this fact.
Have a strong support system
The outpouring of close friends and family can help with your mental preparedness. Sharing the joy of pregnancy is always a blessing and knowing that you do not have to go through this alone is going to make the pregnancy even more joyous and memorable.