- Education and Science
How To Be Single, Pregnant & Make Your Experience Count
Whether you are a single mom going through a divorce, facing sudden life changes such as losing a spouse/partner through death or life threatening illness, or the father is a no show, we all face the same obstacles and burden in trying to support ourselves and our children on one income as well as taking care of ourselves medically, emotionally, mentally and physically.
Single moms need to know that they matter regardless of the circumstances that brought them to where they are now, facing life alone with a newborn or already existing child to think about and care for is hard work. If you are a new single mom to be you should give yourself every opportunity to be successful and education is the best way of doing so, you can’t do what you don’t know successfully.
Do everything that is needed to give you and your baby the best possible start in life, don’t just fold and get depress over what’s facing you because you will be so stressed out and then you will be no good to yourself or your baby. You enjoyed the process of making a baby now enjoy the process of motherhood and enjoy your life. While God frown upon fornication (sex before marriage) and adultery (sex with a married man other than your husband) He still love you as a person, after all He created you in His image and according to His words you are fearfully and wonderfully made, so do not let no one or any circumstances in life let you feel less than what you truly are.
Being a first time mom prenatal care is very important both to the mom and the unborn baby because it help keep you and your baby healthy. Babies of mothers who do not have prenatal care is less likely to be healthy than those with prenatal care, it is said that these babies without care are three times more likely to have a lower birth weight and five times more likely to die, due to medical problems. Doctors can detect and treat various health problems as they arise early in pregnancy and they will advice you of things that you can do in order to give your unborn baby a healthier start in life, so please put the odds in your favor by seeing a doctor on a regular basis.
What to expect during a prenatal visit
Your first prenatal visit to your doctor is basically a routine visit, this is where you are meeting your doctor for the first time and it’s where a doctor patient relationship starts to developed. In order to get to know someone you have to begin with questions, the doctor will first take your health history, he’ll do a complete pelvic exam including a Pap test and he’ll also do blood works and a urine test. Other routine test that will be done is blood pressure, height and weight checks, he will also calculate your due date, and depending on how far along you are he might or might not do a sonogram. Additional monthly visits to your doctor will be needed; as you go he will continue to monitor your blood pressure, he will measure your baby’s health by monitoring your weight gain, checking the baby's heart rate and measuring your abdomen in order to keep a check on the baby’s growth. Nutrition will be addressed and you will be given prescription for prenatal vitamins, you will be given advice on the doe's and the dont's of physical activities. You can expect to see your doctor more frequently as your pregnancy advances or if you have a “high risk pregnancy” due to medical issues such as diabetes and or high blood pressure, in this case you have to be monitored more closely and frequently.
Where to go to for free or reduce-cost prenatal care
Being a single mom our biggest struggle is money or the lack thereof, so I would like to let you know that you can get more information on prenatal care and help with your pregnancy by calling 1 – 800 – 994 -9662 or contacting http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/prenatal-care.cfm#g or the following organization below.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Phone number: (888) 232-4636
Internet Address: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Phone number: (800) 370-2943
Internet address: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/
March of Dimes
Phone number: (888) 663-4637
Internet address: http://www.modimes.org/
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Phone number: (800) 762-2264 (for publications requests only)
Internet address: http://www.acog.org/
American Pregnancy Association
Phone number: (972) 550-0140
Internet address: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/
Lamaze childbirth classes
Lamaze classes prepare a mom for what lies ahead and gets you ready for the big day “LABOR DAY”. These classes are small individualized classes and they are taught by competent, highly qualified educators, they teach expectant mothers the art of relaxation by using various techniques such as controlled breathing, positioning and massages to help ease the pain and enhance comfort. Their goal is to increase women’s confidence in their ability to give birth, the benefits of these classes are; they provide one on one support during labor and they help moms with early interaction with their babies.It is recommended that Lamaze class be be taken in the last trimester of pregnancy which is the beginning of the 7th month of pregnancy.
These classes prepares and empowers mothers as to what to expect and how to handle yourself in the coming months of pregnancy. The educators will give you a more detail accurate account of what’s involved in giving birth and you will get the pleasure of seeing all the gory details before hand, by watching childbirth videos as well as getting your questions and concerns attended to immediately. Your doctor will prepare you medically as far as nutrition, prenatal vitamins and keeping you abreast as to how you are progressing with your pregnancy, anything further you are basically left up to your devices. Doctors focused mainly on the medical aspect of pregnancy more than the maternal aspect, it’s their duty or obligation to see that you have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery, sure there are pamphlets and articles you can read but there is nothing better than to have professional support guiding you into a realm that you have never been before.
Before your baby is born give him/her the best chance in life, one of the things that you can do is to properly educate your self on the process of childbirth and one way to do this is through “Lamaze child birth class”, so why not take full advantage of this time to prepare yourself. Not much new mom’s to be that is in a low economic standing thinks about such things but this program is definitely empowering and it will help you enhance your childbirth experience and bonding with your baby.
Parenting classes for new moms
Another class that will help you in coping after giving birth and gives you the understanding of how to take care of your newborn is newborn parenting classes. Good parenting is vital to your children’s physical, emotional and spiritual well being as well as to yourself, parenting is a very important and joyful experience as well as challenging and satisfying, so it’s worth us putting our best effort forward.
Motherhood is very overwhelming, time consuming and physically draining and you can easily become frustrated, tired and angry especially when you do not have the proper support of the father or for that matter a family support system. While recovering from giving birth your body is going through a period of readjustment and rebuilding so you can get stronger and heal properly, with this you as a single parent has to readjust your life now because baby makes two, these changes although expected are now overwhelming. Parenting is a learned art, so when starting out you might not have the understanding of what’s going on with your baby and how to recognize their cry or to fulfill their needs so added knowledge and support will be helpful in enhancing your confidence and ability to make informed decisions and meet your child’s needs.
My first birth experience
I am a single mom of 3 boys, now grown young men, they are wonderful young men and I love them very much. My boys all have different personality and needs and as the boys were growing they were a handful which was very challenging at times. Being a single mom is very hard, lonely, and stressful but it is very fulfilling and rewarding, I would not trade being a mom for nothing in the world.
I remember when my first son was born, I was still living with my mother and she gave me support during the pregnancy but she was unable to communicate effectively the things that would prepare me for motherhood so I was clueless to a lot of things that was involved in pregnancy and birth. The doctors took care of me medically but not knowing or fully understanding the birthing process made things a bit more intense in the delivery room for me because I was basically on my own. Sure the nurses was there but the traffic was very fast paced because the staff were very busy with other patients, so they would come in and out at different interval to check on me and to make sure that the medical aspect of care were on tract, because of this there were not much time for any real type of support.
In my hospital room I experienced isolation in between the time the nurses and the technicians were in the room, I had no personal support during labor and delivery and the environment was basically sterile, cold, empty and lonely. If I had it to do all over again (thank God I don’t) I would definitely make use of Lamaze childbirth classes and all that was available to me because my experience would have been more eventful and rewarding.
Labor and Delivery is a very scary time for a woman because it’s a life and death kind of a situation. On one hand it is a beautiful experience because the life you have created is now coming into this world and you get make their acquaintance with joy and pride, but on the other hand it is scary because of how many complication can arise during labor and delivery, both to you and your baby. You will not be 100% prepared but you can be prepared as much as possible, just hearing conversation or birthing horror story from other mothers or watching TV with people giving birth is not enough to prepare you or educate you because when it’s your turn to pop that baby out the experience will be uniquely your. No two pregnancies are the same so when you are unprepared it’s a scary and helpless feeling knowing that you are now responsible for the life of someone else that is totally dependent on you. Back in 1978 things was not so prevalent as they are today as to getting help and all the various classes that are available today, I had heard about Lamaze class in passing but nothing I pursued or knew that I could pursue, if I had that experience my labor experience would have been more meaningful and tolerable.
Forget your trouble and have fun with your pregnancy
Most single moms are working and some are not, either way it's a struggle to balance financially. We are living from paycheck to paycheck and the finance are hard to control, so we work in means of priorities and try to catch up as we go day by day. In most cases we never seems to catch up and sometimes it look like we take one step forward and ten steps back but we have to keep going. Most times we are sharing space with our mothers, family or friends as we try to make ends meet, many single moms are young teens to young adult and are not working and they have to rely on federal aide as means of support but that should not stop you from making every moment count and having fun with yourpregnancy. Have fun while you are pregnant regardless of your circumstances, pamper yourself and love your baby in your womb, you don’t have to have a great deal of money to do this, it just takes commitment and time.
Something’s to do to have fun;
Start a pre-pregnancy scrapbook project, this scrapbook should be filled with precious moments of you and your belly and anything relating to the baby such as the baby first photo in the womb, yes your sonogram picture of course.
Be a model, take pictures of yourself and flaunt your belly, tastefully of course, showing different sides of your mood enjoying your baby bump.
Start a journal and record your memories of baby first movements and highlighting all that is important to you and what you would like your baby to know when they are older.
Be a decorator, whatever the space you have for your baby, make it personal for that baby in some way or another, be creative, you do not have to be grand, if it’s one thing you can do let it stand out and make a statement.
Take time for yourself, relax and pamper yourself, maybe a manicure be it homemade or professional, you get the idea.
I hope this article help in some way to find new ways of experiencing God’s miracle “The Miracle of Birth” as this is the season of our Savior’s birth. Jesus was of a humble beginning but His birth had a great impact, He was born in a manager and that event was a blessed one, it’s still being remembered, talked about and reenacting every Christmas as we celebrate His birth.
Mothers, God bless you all.