There will be a lot you learn about pregnancy and motherhood from books and other mothers, and probably everyone you meet. There are, however, many things you may not expect during and after pregnancy. Keep in mind that not everything may go as smoothly as you’d like it to, so be prepared for bumps in the road and know how to overcome them when they happen.
Little Things Women Might Not Expect During Their First Pregnancy
Having an ultrasound is one of the best parts of being pregnant because you can get a glimpse of your little one growing inside of you. Most women are prepared for a regular ultrasound where the cold gel is smeared on their bellies, but some don’t expect to need to have a pelvic ultrasound done. A pelvic ultrasound can look pretty intimidating, especially if you’ve never had one done before. Ultrasound technology has been evolving for decades and may be used for a variety of reasons, including confirmation of the pregnancy, checking the age of the fetus, or locating a tubal pregnancy.
Breastfeeding Challenges and Benefits
There are incredible benefits associated with breastfeeding for you and your baby. The benefits of breastfeeding include:
- 50% fewer deaths related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Reduces chances of baby having diarrhea and respiratory infections
- Reduces mom’s risk of breast cancer by 5%
- Reduces mom’s risk of ovarian cancer and Type 2 diabetes
- Breastmilk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off bacteria and viruses
One thing you may not know is that breastfeeding can cause your breasts to become uneven. Some babies only prefer to be nursed on one side, causing the other breast to become larger because it’s full of milk. Sometimes it can be hard to remember which side you last nursed on. One way thing to help you remember is to clip something small on your bra strap on the side your baby last fed from. You can also choose to pump milk from the larger breast so it doesn’t become engorged.
Health Care Costs
Something that may catch you by surprise is the cost of healthcare when you’re pregnant, during delivery, and after your baby is born. It’s important to find out ahead of time what your insurance covers and what your out of pocket expenses will be. Women without any kind of health insurance can expect to pay anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 for healthcare, but the cost will vary from state to state.
To help reduce costs, find out about the different medical procedures your doctor or midwife recommends and find out if they’re necessary or not. Doctors may suggest medical procedures you may not even need, so never hesitate to question them. Currently, evidence-based practices are helping to improve the U.S. health care system, as well as the quality and cost of care.
At first, Having your First Child Can Feel Overwhelming
When your baby arrives, you’ll likely feel extremely overwhelmed but this is normal. When you get home after being in the hospital, you might even feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Everything will come naturally though and you’ll figure things out as you go. Don’t hesitate to ask your loved ones for help because any help will definitely come in handy.
Despite the challenges of pregnancy and becoming a first-time mother, you’ll get to experience joy like you never have before. All the difficulties you faced will quickly be forgotten about and be replaced with indescribable love you have for your new son or daughter. If you decide to breastfeed your baby and need help to learn how to do it correctly, there are many organizations that can help you out such as La Leche League, so don’t hesitate to contact them to get all the help you need.