Your bump is expanding week by week and your baby’s kicks are getting stronger. But it can still be difficult to get your head around the prospect that you’re about to be a mum.
Notes Mia Scotland, a doula and psychologist with Your Birthright, “It’s a big step that involves a steady series of changes throughout pregnancy and in the first few weeks of your baby’s life. At times, you may be confident and excited, but it’s also normal to be worried, unsure, even in denial. It’s all part of the process of preparing for this change in your life.” Here’s how to switch your mindset.
1) Stop worrying. Please.
Managing the finances, preparing to quit your job or wondering if you’ll ever see your toes again — all these can be big worries. But it’s important that you stay calm. A 2012 study carried out at Ohio State University found that stress could hinder some of the brain benefits that occur in pregnancy — such as being better at multitasking. “Whenever you catch yourself feeling stressed, focus on yourself,” Scotland suggests. “Have a treat such as a facial, massage or warm bath. Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your baby, and will help you to adapt to motherhood.”
“Whenever you catch yourself feeling stressed, focus on yourself.”
2) Prepare for the physical changes
Your body has gone through lots of changes in the last few months and now, as you enter the home stretch, these will become even more apparent. “These changes are happening to prepare your body for birth and motherhood — so read up on why they’re occurring,” Scotland notes. “Antenatal classes also provide information on the birth and teach you useful babycare skills, so you’ll feel more prepared for becoming a mum.”
The most common concerns of parents-to-be mainly revolve around the ability to cope during pregnancy, labour and after birth. Parents also fuss a great deal about the health of their baby from bump to birth! The Thomson Medical’s Childbirth Education Course is specially tailored to equip parents-to-be with the crucial skills and knowledge they need to experience the joy and excitement of bringing a new life into the world.
This carefully structured course taps on the family-centred care of Thomson Medical and its rich experience as a maternity hospital. Besides preparing parents-to-be for the experiences and challenges of having a baby, dads will also be happy to know that the course helps fathers become more engaged throughout the whole journey. Lessons are tailored to guide and support parents with practical prenatal and postnatal hands-on tips.
After picking up the knowledge, skills and finding that pregnancy myths have been debunked, parents-to-be will have newfound confidence, since they will have less anxiety and apprehension through the rest of their pregnancy and parenthood experience.
Fonnie Lo, assistant director (clinical) and lactation consultant at Thomson Medical, recommends that parents start attending the childbirth course when their baby is at around 20 weeks of gestation. Although no special preparation is required, register early as seats are limited. You can find out more here.
3) Visualise what you’ll have to do
You may find it hard to connect your pregnant belly — even when it wriggles and hiccups — with the tiny, crying person you’ll soon have to care for. “Imagine yourself seeing, holding and cuddling your baby,” Scotland says. “Looking at your scan photos and cute baby videos online can help you visualise your new life. It can seem surreal that it’s really your baby inside you, but picturing yourself as a mum can speed up the adjustment process.”
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