The exciting process of growing a family also can be worrisome and frightening. Parents-to-be have less than nine months to get ready for an event that will change their lives forever. For eager moms and dads, this ninemonth period might seem like nine years. All you want to do is meet your baby, hold him and love him. In other ways, the nine months might pass too quickly. There are baby supplies to buy, nursery patterns to sort through, parenting books to read and nerves to calm.
Dr. Natalie Gregory with Lowcountry OB/GYN in Mount Pleasant adores her job. She gets to walk parents through the baby process. She sees the excitement when they learn that they are expecting. She addresses mothers’ concerns as their bodies change.
“It’s amazing to watch,” said Gregory. “And then the excitement that delivery day … and they get to bring their baby home.”
Gregory is qualified to offer advice not only because she has delivered baby after baby but also because she is a mom and a mom-to-be herself. She and her husband already have a daughter; in February, they will welcome their first son.
“I am going through the same thing with my patients,” she revealed. At Lowcountry OB/GYN, a patient educator meets one-on-one with expectant parents during their first trimester to answer questions about the pregnancy. Months later, the educator holds a pre-delivery session to discuss the labor and delivery process.
Gregory advises parents-to-be to ask a lot of questions. In fact, she recommends they arrive at each visit with a list and suggests they maintain a pregnancy journal to catalog information and any concerns they might have. As patients enter the final stretch, Gregory offers specific advice: “Go through the scenario of, ‘If I went into labor today and had to leave.’”
For instance, would you have a bag packed with your favorite pajamas, a toothbrush and a nursing bra? Or would you simply tell your husband or partner what to toss together?
Some things you absolutely want to take with you are your insurance card, your driver’s license and information needed for your baby’s birth certificate. Also, know who your pediatrician will be so you can pass that information on to the hospital.
In addition, Gregory recommends deciding who will help while you are away. Will you need someone to keep an eye on the house, watch the dog or care for your other children?
“It makes for a less stressful situation if you’ve thought it through,” said Gregory.
Moms-to-be should also prepare themselves for the days and months after the birth. According to Gregory, 80 percent of new mothers have postpartum blues. This isn’t necessarily postpartum depression, but new moms often feel weepy, overwhelmed and sleep-deprived. “I think (it’s important to know) what to expect as far as the emotional roller coaster,” said Gregory.
Be sure to talk to your partner and family members to advise them of things they can do to assist you. Discuss how to share overnight feedings and whether you would like a family member to stay to help for a period of time.
Her final recommendation as you wait for delivery day?
“Look forward to it with optimism.”
For more information about Dr. Natalie Gregory and Lowcountry OB/GYN, visit www.lcobgyn.com.