You’re pregnant… now what?
You are on a journey to motherhood, and this is an amazingly beautiful time in your life!
You celebrate your news with family and friends. You may even start to use google to search some of your pressing questions hoping for an informative insight or answer.
“When is cramping in early pregnancy normal?”
“What foods are safe in pregnancy?”
“What are the signs of preeclampsia?”
“How often should I feel my baby moving?”
“Why am I feeling so much anxiety about giving birth?
We have so many different online sources to receive information from the simple google search to Facebook, Instagram and even Tik Tok. Once the reality sets in that you’re going to be a Mum you begin to navigate the internet world to find out everything that you need to know about pregnancy, birthing and postpartum. Pregnancy is also a time of change, some of these big feelings are welcomed, while others are scary and uncomfortable. If you suffer from anxiety, it can be hard, emotional, and complicated. You need support from the very start of your pregnancy.
You need support from the very start of your pregnancy. Finding your support network being those special women in your life who will love, nurture, and support you during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I have set out some suggestions below on how to best cope with your worries and anxiety in preparation of your journey:
1 Write about it
Use a journal or notebook to start making jottings. Releasing your fears, concerns and worries by writing them down on paper can be a really healing way to lessen feeling of distress and increase wellbeing.
2 Who is your fab 5?
Gather your fab 5. These women will be the closest women in your life, and they will form your support network. You have chosen them to be there for you and they want to be there for you! They are there to listen, love, nurture and support you throughout your pregnancy, as birth approaches and then during postpartum. They know their role and they are honoured to be part of your journey.
3 Find the right Care Providers
Where would you like to birth?
- Public Hospital
- Private Hospital
- Family Birthing Centre
Once you know where you would like to birth you then need to choose your care provider. When choosing a care provider, you really need to think about and discuss with your partner what you are comfortable with, what type of birth you want and what aligns with you.
Your options are:
- Private Practicing Midwife
- Public Midwife and OB
- Private OB
- MGP (Midwife Group Practice)
- CMP (Community Midwife Practice)
- Midwifery Clinic
- GP Shared Care
Always remember you can change care providers at any stage in your pregnancy if they do not align with you and your birth.
4 Educate Yourself
Knowledge is power. Take the time to reach out to your fab 5 and hear their positive birthing stories and postpartum experiences. Welcome others empowering stories in too. Research independent childbirth classes that you and your birth partner can attend to learn about the physiology of birth and how to keep calm and comfortable during labour.
Many of these independent classes focus on how natural birth unfolds and how using relaxation techniques, breathing, different active birth positions, rebozo, acupressure and natural options for pain relief which can all help contribute to overcoming anxiety and fear surrounding birth.
Take the time to educate yourself with reading books, reading blogs and listening to podcasts. Ask friends or family if they have any pregnancy/birth books you can borrow or jump onto Facebook Marketplace for secondhand ones or visit your local library.
5 Celebrate You!
You are an amazing woman and you deserved to be celebrated! Make the time to go and have a relaxation massage, facial, ocean swim. Really anything that you enjoy making you feel totally relaxed. Ask your fab 5 to organize a Mumma Nurture Circle to honour you as the beautiful birthing queen that you are.
It is so important to ensure that we are looking after our emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing. Fill your cup girl!
6 Hire a Doula
A doula is hired by the mother for the mother and family! We work for you and no one else! A Doula is a familiar friendly and warm face throughout your pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey. Your doula is here to help you feel seen, heard, confident and support you and the way you want to birth. They work with you and your partner through different techniques for labour such as acupressure points, light touch massage, use of the rebozo and pain-relieving techniques.
If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it – Dr John Kennel
7 Plan for Postpartum
Write your own nurturing and supportive postnatal recovery plan. Engage your Fab 5 and any other family or friends in your postpartum network. Caring for a little human and all the other people in your life it’s important not to lose track of your own self-care. Self-care is important part of your mental health and can help you manage stress, lower risks of illness and increase energy. Self-care can be something as small as ensuring you are getting enough quality sleep and rest, eating healthy regular meals, staying hydrated, putting a face mask on, lighting a candle or having a herbal bath. These things can sometimes be easier said than done which is why it is important that you prioritise your self-care and you can do this by having a supportive postnatal network.
You are going to be the most amazing mother and our bodies are made to birth! I hope these tips suggested will help ease your anxiety surrounding pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey. Gather your Fab 5, believe in yourself, and trust the magical journey.
My name is Aimee Duckworth, and I am a doula in Perth, Western Australia who has completed extensive training at The Doula Training Academy. If you would like more information about my doula services, please contact me: