Planning a Healthy Pregnancy with the Family

Pregnancy is a wonderful event that could happen to any family. Having a new family member will always be a blessing to the family, bringing joy and happiness. But when the pregnancy happens, the mother could be stressed out, and can even suffer postnatal depression.

So what could the other family members do to help a pregnant mother? Though they can’t share in the pregnancy, the family can help her plan and create healthy pregnancy practices and routines. Giving the mother support as a family could protect her from particular stress hormones.

When a woman is pregnant, a high level of stress is likely to happen due to several factors. Moreover, research stated that stress could negatively affect the mother’s or child’s physiological and psychological states. 

In this article, you can find how you, as a family member, can help a mother by planning a healthy, stress-free pregnancy.

Have a healthy lifestyle

When the mother is pregnant, keeping a healthy lifestyle for the whole family in the house is important. As a family, your job is to keep reminding the mother of the healthy lifestyle she has to follow. Constant low-intensity exercise is one of the things that the family should ensure the mother regularly does. 

Other than that, smoking should be prohibited for the mother and other family members. Alcohol is also one of the things that the mother should avoid. 

Another thing that you should remember is to keep the mother’s diet in check. A healthy diet means that she should always include adequate energy-giving food, protein, vitamins, and minerals in her meals. The food should always contain a variety of green and orange vegetables, meat, fish, beans, nuts, whole grains, and fruit. 

Thus, family members can help the mother to have a healthy lifestyle by preparing meals and snacks to keep the mother full. They can also offer the mother massages, backrubs, etc., to keep her comfortable and reduce discomfort.

Prepare financially

Something else that a family member can do, especially the husband, is to keep the finances and insurance on track with the pregnancy. Research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that a married couple spends an average of $296,684 to take care of the baby until they reach 18 years old. It indicates that pregnancy needs to be taken very seriously financially, starting from the hospital bill to caring for the baby until they reach 18 years old.  

Families should also take note to check their health insurance. Having an insurance policy that does cover maternity will always be quite handy as not only will it help you during pregnancy but also after childbirth

So check if the insurance covers all the needs for the pregnancy. If you are unsure about this, you can always come to the nearest local hospital or social worker to ask about all this stuff and ask for help.

Attend antenatal classes

Antenatal class or prenatal class is an important part of pregnancy life. It is designed to help prepare the mother for labor and delivery and the baby’s first few weeks. The antenatal class has also shown to be one of the places where mothers can make new friends

The husband should always support the mother in going to the antenatal class. Research shows that one of the most important benefits, when the couple goes to the antenatal class, is the social and emotional support from the husband.

Create a safe home environment for pregnancy

Sometimes the home environment could be dangerous for a pregnant mother without the family realizing it. Many things need to be considered by the family when the mother is pregnant, and creating a safe environment for the mother is one of them. From the house paint to the pets, some things might be dangerous and need to be taken care of.

House painting is something that needs to be taken care of by the other family members if it needs to be done. Oil-based paint and thinner have always contained more solvent, which has been linked to a number of miscarriages and congenital disability cases. Thus, it’s best that other family members take care of the painting business in the house if it needs to be done.

Taking care of the pets is also something the mother should avoid, especially when it’s something related to the litter. Cat feces is known to have Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that can cause an infection called Toxoplasmosis. The infection can increase the risk of miscarriages and cause blindness and brain damage to the unborn baby.

Create a support system for the mother

A support system has always been an important part of human pregnancy. Research shows that pregnant women with low family and social support are correlated with some issues like prenatal depression and anxiety, which in turn is a factor that increases pregnancy complications. That is all because a mother’s psychological state is vital to the unborn baby’s well-being. Hence, the whole family, as a support system, should collaborate to help the mother ease her mental and psychological stress.

Another research also shows that the husband’s involvement in the pregnancy always shows benefits such as lower risks of poor birth outcomes. The husband or partner needs to give more intimacy and support during the pregnancy. 

In a relationship, communication is key. Keeping communication alive means that the mother will always feel supported and won’t lose her morale and motivation during pregnancy.

Prepare for labor

Labor is something that is complex. Everything can seem overwhelming for some people. All the stress, pain, and fatigue will reach their climax, and even the most seasoned mother in pregnancy will still feel it. 

But of course, the mother can prepare for the labor with the whole family’s help. The body naturally prepares for labor. However, preparing some things before they come never hurts.

The mother and the family should learn and understand the signs of labor. Together, all the family members need to prepare for the baby’s delivery. There’s a lot of stuff that can be done to prepare for labor. 

First and foremost, the mother should rest up and eat right. She also needs to always feel relaxed and not be stressed. While the mother is doing all this, the family needs to tend to other matters, such as packing the bag for the delivery in the hospital. There are a lot of things that need to be brought to the hospital, such as clothing, entertainment stuff, etc.

In conclusion

Pregnancy is not a simple event. It’s not only a concern for the mother but also for the whole family. All family members should work together to make the pregnancy experience less scary and stressful for the mother. Starting from financial planning to the actual labor day, all the family members should do their part to help the mother go through the experience smoothly.

For more learning resources on pregnancy, check out the Family Science Labs. The lab uses the research of the Institute for Life Management Science to produce courses, certifications, podcasts, videos, and other learning materials. Visit the Family Science Labs science labs

Photo by João Paulo de Souza Oliveira on Pexels

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