Establish a Maternity Care Plan
The Top 5 Considerations When Establishing a Maternity Care Plan
Congratulations, you just found out you’re expecting! As exciting as this time is, there’s a lot for you to do in these next eight or nine months. But before you dive into a frenzied Google search for pregnancy how-to guides, take a deep breath and relax! You do, in fact, have plenty of time to learn about prenatal care.
As a newly expectant mother, there are five overarching factors to consider for your maternity care plan that you can begin working on right now:
1. Find a Healthcare Provider You’re Comfortable With
Your healthcare provider is going to be with you every step of the way from your very first jump into prenatal care through childbirth, so you want to be sure you’re comfortable with the doctors and nurses, and that they match your attitudes on the maternity care plan you want. Some questions to consider include:
- What is their approach to using things like IVs and electronic fetal monitoring?
- Is family-centered maternity care important to them?
- Do they seem invested in you personally?
- Does it seem like they will respect your wishes?
Besides feeling comfortable with the doctors and nurses who will be taking care of you, you’ll also want to make sure you think about your surroundings when you’re in labor. Do the facilities provide private delivery suites? Is specialty care like VBAC offered at your hospital? These are important points to consider when choosing where you plan to give birth.
2. Maternity Leave
Because the likelihood of miscarriage is higher during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, it’s usually a good idea to wait to tell family, friends and colleagues until the second trimester. But no matter when you decide to announce your pregnancy to the world, remember to clue in your job’s human resources department. Even the best maternity care plan in the world doesn’t mean much if your leave isn’t approved. You’ll want to iron out the details of your maternity leave and get answers to any questions you may have. For example, you’ll want to know exactly how long your paid leave will last, and what will happen if you suddenly need to go on leave early due to complications.
3. Nutrition and Exercise
Nutrition and exercise are two of the most important factors of prenatal care. It’s important that you start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. This will ensure you and your baby are getting all the nutrients needed to stay healthy, especially ones like folic acid and iron that are difficult to get from food alone. You’ll also want to work with your doctor on deciding what your diet and exercise regimen will look like throughout your pregnancy. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the foods you should and should not include in your diet, as well as the types of exercises and work outs you can do to stay active while pregnant.
4. Determine Your Birth Plan
At first glance, a birth plan may seem pretty self-explanatory. You know when your due date is and you know where you’ll be riding out the waves of labor and childbirth. What’s more to figure out? Well, you can actually get pretty detailed with this part of your maternity care plan! Consider things like:
- Who you want in the room with you during labor and childbirth?
- The positions you plan to use during labor and delivery (sitting, standing, squatting, etc.)
- How you’ll get to the hospital when you go into labor (or if your water breaks early, what will you do?)
- Pain relief – will you use natural techniques like breathing exercises or do you prefer medication?
- Whether or not you want immediate skin to skin contact with your baby after birth or want to immediately breastfeed
- Your preferences for your baby’s care after delivery (feedings, where your baby sleeps)
You can either think through your birth plan on your own or work with your doctor to create one that aligns best with your needs.
5. Think About Your Childcare Plan
It’s never too early to start considering what will happen after your baby is born. Will your spouse be able to take any time off after the birth to help out? Will you have family members available to watch the baby when you go back to work, or will you need to find a nursery for your child? Working out a nighttime schedule with your significant other will also relieve a bit of stress and allow you to get some sleep each night. The more you plan ahead, the smoother it’ll be to transition into childcare when your baby arrives!
Build Your Maternity Care Plan with King’s Daughters’ Health
At King’s Daughters’ Health, our skilled, compassionate staff offers expectant mothers just like you high quality, family-centered maternity clinic designed around your needs and comfort. Our team of experts can help you build a maternity care plan that addresses your unique needs.
Contact us today to learn more about what your maternity care plan and prenatal care can like look at with help from King’s Daughters’ Health.