You Know The Title

I am sure most of you have heard the title before. This classic bit of word wizardry is hard to forget once you’ve read it and it has been providing incredible resources for parents for decades.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

From the Dust Jacket

Incorporating everything that’s new in pregnancy, childbirth, and the lifestyles of parents-to-be, complete with a preconception plan, information on choosing a practitioner, birthing alternatives, second pregnancies, twins, making love while pregnant, and coping with common and not so common pregnancy symptoms.

You can read a sample of the book on Amazon (I’ve linked to the 2016 edition, the book was first published February 15th 1969 so maybe your mother even read this classic). At the time of writing this the book was a #1 bestseller on Amazon. With a reassuring 3.8 out of 5 starts from 3,500 customer reviews. On good reads the reviews were a little bit harsher, however. The book only got 3.74 out of 5 starts. Granted some 38,000 readers had rated it and nearly 3,000 had written a review. You can see what the Good Reads reviews look like now.

Is This Book for You?

I will be honest, this book may not be for you. There are a lot of resources out there. Both free, and in the form of books like this one. If you are looking for information about your pregnancy and what to expect during the different stages you don’t have to look very hard.

But I will say that if you are looking for a book that is both informative and friendly to read then What to Expect… may be for you.

What to Expect… walks you through the different stages and as the title suggests if gives you an outline of what to expect as you move forward. While other books may dive into all of the clinical and in-depth explanations this book provides a way for you to learn what will be coming up without over stimulating your imagination. There are a lot of things you will need to learn during your nine month journey, learning what comes next is an important tool for getting you through the different stages of your pregnancy.

If you would like to stay well informed during the process you may want to pick up a copy of this book.

Fun fact: Some of you may be familiar of the movie of the same name staring: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Ben Falcone, Anna Kendrick, and Matthew Morrison. This movie is actually inspired by the books by Heidi Murkoff!

Find a Caregiver

When you first learn that you are pregnant you will want to make a prenatal appointment with your caregiver.

If you don’t have a caregiver yet you will need to find one. This can be difficult and you will want to do this as soon as possible. This means that it is time to do some research. Ask around in your circle of friends and research who might be a good fit.

In the event that you can’t get an idea from your relative or friends you can ask your other healthcare providers if they have any recommendations.

Check against your health insurance to learn if the possible doctors are covered under your plan.

Typically a caregiver will not see you until after the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. This gives you the chance you need to find a suitable one. But be warned, don’t wait until the last minute. You will be surprised how difficult it can be to get an appointment. So get busy before all of the slots are filled up and you are left to look for another option.

When you meet with the caregiver you will need to know when your last period was. Note this down as soon as you learn you were pregnant.

This date will be used to determine your due date.

Be prepared for additional questions. You can expect questions like you and your partners medical history. The medical history of both of your families. Are there and chronic conditions of genetic abnormalities, etc.. The first meeting isn’t just about answering questions it is also about asking them. Make sure that you note down any questions you have as they arise so that you can ask them when you get to see the doctor.

Before you go to the appointment note down all of the medication you are currently taking.

Your caregiver will need to know everything that you have been prescribed. But include drugs or vitamins and health supplements that you may be takings.

Many over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies are not safe during pregnancy. The more information you can provide, the more complete the picture you can paint, will give your doctor the opportunity to consult you on your medications.

For example if you take medication for a chronic condition contact your caregiver immediately so that they can work with you. A sudden, unmonitored stop can be dangerous.

We’ve gone over the importance of finding a caregiver to help you through the prenatal care. We’ve looked at different questions you may be asked. And we have seen why it is important to be able to offer your caregiver as much information as possible.

By starting early and providing them with a good base to work on you are taking steps for both you and your unborn child.

Pregnant Smokers

Did you just learn that you were pregnant? Do you smoke? Then quit. And do it as soon as you can. Every single cigarette that you do not smoke improves your baby’s chances to be born healthy and happy.

Everyone should know that smoking and consuming alcohol raises a large number of problems and placed your unborn child under many health risks.

Smoking raises the chance for miscarriage, placental problems, and preterm birth to name just a few. But like alcohol, smoking also impacts fetal growth. It increase the risk of stillbirths and infant death.

But as we learn more about the effects cigarettes have on unborn children our understanding of just how dangerous it really is also increases.

Smoking has been linked to cleft lip as well as cleft palate.

Now you can not only improve your health but you can give your child the chance to start life under healthier circumstances as well.

Remember, it is never too late to quit smoking.