Categories
Pregnancy

10 Things to Do in Your First Trimester

Whether this pregnancy was planned or is unplanned, there are certain things you should know. When you first find out you’re pregnant, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.   Know that A Friend for You is here to offer friendship, support during your pregnancy, practical help, community resources, and even some gifts to encourage you along the way.  If you need assistance, keep reading for more information on how A Friend 4U can support you!

Tips to Navigate Your First Trimester:

1. Investigate health insurance.

You’ll need to know what your health insurance plan covers regarding prenatal care, delivery costs, and care for your baby. By calling your health insurance company and asking for the benefits department, you’ll be able to know your coverage.  If you don’t have insurance, you may qualify for Medicaid to help with anticipated expenses

2. Find an OBGYN or Mid-wife.

If you have an insurance provider, you can check out their preferred providers.

3. Schedule a prenatal appointment.

Your first prenatal appointment usually occurs in the second month, between six and eight weeks of pregnancy. Some healthcare providers won’t see you until you’re at least eight weeks pregnant. However, you’ll want to get on their calendar well before eight weeks. 

Before your appointment, make a note of the first day of your last period. This will help your provider. Also, write down any questions you might have for your provider.

4. Take your prenatal vitamin.

If you haven’t started taking a prenatal vitamin yet, now’s the time to start. It’s a good idea to get enough folic acid while trying to conceive and during your first trimester. This will help your baby grow healthy and strong.

5. Consult your provider about medications you’re taking.

There are several drugs – even some over-the-counter ones – that aren’t safe during pregnancy. However, talk with your provider before you stop taking your medications. In addition, you should ask your provider what medications, supplements, and vitamins are safe to take.

6. Be aware of certain activities which could be harmful.

Some activities, jobs, and hobbies can be dangerous to you and your developing baby. For example, certain cleaning products, pesticides, solvents, and lead in drinking water from old pipes should be avoided.

If you’re routinely exposed to chemicals, heavy metals (like lead or mercury), certain biologic agents, or radiation – which are common at some research and medical jobs – you’ll need to make changes as quickly as possible.

7. Stock your kitchen with healthy stuff.

Stock your pantry, fridge, and freezer with pregnancy-friendly foods. In addition to this, you should cut out cigarettes, cigars, alcohol and limit your caffeine to less than 200 mg per day (that’s about one 11-ounce cup of coffee).

8. Get relief from morning sickness.

Unfortunately, “morning sickness” isn’t limited to mornings. Nearly 75% of pregnant women experience morning sickness during the first trimester. For mild cases, try eating small, frequent meals and snacks and sticking to bland, room-temperature foods. Ginger and acupressure bands have also worked for some women. If these things don’t help, talk with your provider about taking vitamin B6 or an anti-nausea medication.

9. Get enough sleep

With early pregnancy, exhaustion is more prominent than you think. So getting more rest by turning in early – even if it makes you feel like a grandma— will help tremendously.

10. Treat yourself! 

Remember being pregnant is challenging. Find something to do to treat yourself. Perhaps it’s watching an episode of your favorite show, or going to your favorite store, taking a walk around your local park for some fresh air.  It doesn’t have to cost much or anything, just something that fills you.  A lot of change happens to your body during pregnancy, so you need to give yourself some grace.  

Know that A Friend for You can help with anything on this list.  For support, resources, and connection during this challenging season, why not reach out to us?  Contact us! We are happy to help in any way we can!

Categories
Pregnancy

Second Trimester To-Do List

Welcome! You’ve made it to the second trimester! This means less morning sickness and more fun! Most women say they feel their best in the second trimester. So, what should you do with your newfound energy? We’ll tell you!

#1 — Shop!
You read that right! Your baby bump is starting to show, and you’ll need to find some comfortable (and cute) maternity clothes. Shopping online can be an easy way to find affordable maternity clothing.  Remember, shopping doesn’t have to cost a penny. Do you have a friend who has recently had a baby?  Borrowing clothes can be an easy way to fill up your wardrobe.  AFriend4U is just a phone call away and can suggest some sources for gently used maternity clothes!

# 2 — Stick to or set up an exercise regimen
Getting regular pregnancy exercise is a great way to keep you strong for labor and help you maintain a healthy pregnancy. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, as well as include safe stretches.

# 3 — Keep a journal
It is sometimes helpful to write down all your thoughts and feelings. Pregnancy can sometimes feel like it will last forever. However, after your baby is born, it often feels like it flew by. Keeping a journal can help your mental health and keep memories that you can look back on.

# 4 — Find a birth class
Birthing classes fill up fast, so you should start your search now. Depending on the type of birthing class you choose, some last a day while others last for weeks. It’s good to know what to expect now before running out of time. You can check your local hospital and community center for these as well.

# 5 — Start looking for childcare
Childcare is expensive. It can take a while to get your child into a good daycare or find a nanny.  So, starting a pros and cons list of daycare centers, nanny care, home daycare, and relative care is essential. If you live in an area where daycare centers are in high demand, make time to go for tours and put your name on waiting, even if you aren’t sure what you’ll do. It’s better to have too many options than none at all.

# 6 — Get caught up on your dental needs
Sounds strange, right? No one likes going to the dentist, but getting caught up on your dental needs is important to do now. Once the baby comes, it will be harder to get to the dentist. In addition to this, delaying your cleaning and cavity fillings can lead to infection, which won’t be healthy for you or your baby. Nevertheless, going to the dentist is safe for pregnant women, so go ahead and make the appointment.

# 7 — Moisturize your belly
Your body and belly are going through a lot of changes. Putting creams and oils will help reduce the itchiness. Check out the best list of oils and creams for pregnant bellies!

# 8 — Sleep on your side
Many caregivers advise sleeping on your side instead of your back. Getting extra pillows to place between your legs, under your hip, or behind your back helps make it more comfortable. Researching the best sleeping positions might be helpful too.

# 9 — Start doing Kegels
Kegel exercises can help prevent urine leaks during and after pregnancy, keep hemorrhoids away, and improve the muscle tone of your vagina.

#10 — Plan your maternity leave
Make sure to talk with your human resources department or your supervisor now. Learn what benefits you may be eligible for, and make sure to fill out all the necessary paperwork now.

# 11 — Avoid high-risk activities
As your belly grows, you will notice it affects your balance, and your ligaments are also being stretched, making it easier for you to get hurt. Avoid activities that have a risk of falling, or that may cause trauma to your abdomen.

# 12 — Work on your home improvement to-do list.
Often when a pregnant woman is getting closer to labor, she goes through something called “nesting.” This is when you prepare the home for your baby. In addition to setting up the nursery, you may want to organize your closets, declutter, and take inventory of what you’d like to fix around the house. If you can’t ask your partner or he’s not that handy, a family member or friend may be able to help you. Remember, you don’t want to expose yourself to chemicals, move heavy furniture, or climb ladders. Additionally, you’ll want to childproof your living space as well.

# 13 — If you have older children, prepare them for the baby’s arrival
A new baby brings a lot of changes into a home. It’s important to tell and retell your older child what to expect and how to care for their new sibling.  Starting these conversations now will help them prepare for your newest family member. In addition to this, make sure you have a babysitter on call when you go into labor.

With each trimester, the days seem long, but the trimesters seem short. So, try to enjoy this trimester while you prepare for the next one. You’re getting closer, and remember A Friend4U is here to offer support to you at any stage. You can call or text us at 970-704-5236. Or you can reach out to us through our contact form.

We look forward to serving you!

Categories
Pregnancy

You’re almost there! Third Trimester To-Do List

If you’ve been pregnant for 28 weeks, you’ve just entered your third trimester! Welcome!

Many women start nesting and preparing for their newborns when they enter their third trimester. But what should you do to prepare for the upcoming weeks? We are glad you asked. Here is your third-trimester to-do list:

Weeks 28-32:

1. Monitor your baby’s kicks. 

After 28 weeks, your baby will have a rhythm for their kicks. Counting kicks is essential because when you monitor your baby’s movement, you can notify your OB if something changes. If something changes, it could be a sign of problems in the pregnancy.

2. Baby proof your house

There is a lot in your home that you may not even be aware of that is unsafe for a baby. Check this article out to help you baby-proof your home.

3. Create a birth plan with your OB.

“Plan for what it is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.” — Sun Tzu.  Thinking about your concerns and desires well before getting to the hospital can help you have a better birthing experience.

4. Get more comfortable clothes. 

When your body aches and you’re not sleeping well, having comfortable clothes can help. As Hayley Hasselhoff says, “Find what makes you feel comfortable. The confidence you wear your clothes in is what’s really going to shine.”  And it doesn’t have to break the bank!  There are many local resources that offer gently used clothing if you need more comfortable clothes.

5. If you haven’t already taken a child-birthing class, we highly recommend you do that.
Additionally, a breastfeeding class can be helpful too if you are choosing to feed your baby that way. Click here for online courses.

6. Start meal planning for when you get out of the hospital.
You can cook ahead and freeze your meals, or you can get some microwaveable meals.

Weeks 32-36

1. Go over your items and check to see if there are still baby items you’ll need. We have contact information for local resources that offer gently used baby items.  Your Volunteer Friend can get you that information.

2. Create a first aid kit with the following items:
A baby thermometer, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, and petroleum jelly. You can always call us for advice for any of these to-dos! We know this is a lot of information.

3. Make sure you have a safe place for the baby to sleep.
If you do not have a nursery or a crib; a bassinet is a good option.

4. Pack your hospital bag

Pack clothes for 3-5 days if you are going to have a C-section. Just imagine you’re going on a trip. What would you take? What would you want with you? For example, do you apply a lot of lip balm, then bring your lip balm. Do you curl or straighten your hair? Bring what products you use. Additionally, bring a sweater (it can get cold in the hospital). Bring nonperishable snacks. If you plan to nurse, make sure you have nursing bras and nursing pads. Normally the hospital takes great care of you – anything you forget, they should be able to assist you with.

5. Make sure to already have your car seat safely out into your car.

You can click here to find a child safety certified technician to help you secure your baby’s car seat.

6. Ask your OB about the routine newborn screening tests at the hospital.
Make sure to discuss any additional tests you’d like to run. In conjunction with your visit, make sure you have your Group B strep test (week 35-37) done.

Pregnancy Checklist for Weeks 36 Through Delivery

1. Wash baby’s clothes with newborn laundry detergent

2. Go to your doctor’s visits. Doctor visits will be weekly until delivery.

Recap: Just remember, you know what’s best for your baby! You’re capable and strong enough to be a mom. The most important thing is to have a safe place for your baby to sleep, play, and be fed.  Make sure you’re taking care of yourself as well. You need to be healthy for your baby. You’ve got this!

We are here to help you in any way we can. If you’re challenged to find anything on this checklist, just contact us and we’ll be happy to point you to some affordable and free resources. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, contact us by calling or texting: 970-355-3502, or email us at: info@afriend4u.org.