How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy before Adoption
You find out you’re pregnant, and you’ve decided to place your child for adoption. If you’re like most birth mothers, even though this wasn’t something you expected or wanted right now, you still care about your baby’s future and want to set them up to have the best life possible — that’s why you chose adoption in the first place. But you still have several months of pregnancy ahead of you before then.
Your decision to place your baby for adoption is often seen as an act of love, but the process of carrying your child to term is your love letter to them. You are the birth mother; pregnancy is your time to nurture and care for your child and give them the best start to their life you can. To help you do that, here are some tips on how to have a healthy pregnancy before adoption.
- Go to Doctor’s Appointments
One of the most important things you can do is have regular checkups with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to help you know what to expect medically with your pregnancy, help create healthy dieting and exercising plans for you during pregnancy, spot and work to fix any unexpected complications with the pregnancy and other medical help with the pregnancy. Your doctor may even be able to help you find local resources for medical and non-medical pregnancy support by recommending support groups, local pregnancy-safe aerobics classes and other local resources you might otherwise not find out about.
Make sure you talk with your doctor about your adoption plans. At best, they may be able to give a little support or help you find adoption-related resources. At the very least, they will avoid language that may cause awkwardness or make you uncomfortable during checkups.
- Know What to Expect
While your doctor can help you in this regard, it won’t hurt to do your own research as well. WebMD has an extensive guide that goes through week-by-week what changes should be happening for the baby, for your body and gives tips for things like how to relieve common pregnancy pains specific to each week. Outside of the week-by-week articles, there are also many other articles in the guide about general dos & don’t, diet, fitness, sex, medicines, common pains (and relief for them!) etc. during pregnancy.
There are also other websites like healthypregnancy.com and Mayo Clinic you can look at and many more. As with any internet research, though, make sure to think critically about the source. Make sure multiple, credited sources support ideas and talk to your doctor before trying anything you read on the internet.
Knowing what to expect during your pregnancy will help you prepare mentally, physically and emotionally for the changes that will be happening over the coming months. It will also help you spot possible complications and have them addressed.
For some other reading and resources, check out Tapestry Books’ collection of books for birth parents and other resources and links from Adoption Choices of New York.
- Take Care of Yourself: Healthy Diet and Exercise
One of the best ways to take care of your child during pregnancy is to take care of yourself! Make sure you get a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains. Cut back on caffeine, and cut out smoking and alcohol altogether. Talk about any drugs and medications you’re taking with your doctor and see if they need to be adjusted during pregnancy. Be aware that some over-the-counter medications you might normally take without any issue will not be OK to take during pregnancy, so make sure you do some research and talk to your doctor if you’re unsure before taking anything.
Exercise is also an important part of pregnancy to help you maintain the healthy amount of weight gain during pregnancy. However, it can be difficult to know what exercises to do during pregnancy. Generally speaking, swimming, brisk walking and perhaps some low-impact aerobics are a few good ideas. Adoption Choices of New York has guides to eating right and exercising while pregnant, and of course, talk to your doctor about what exercises might be good for you to do!
- Take Care of Yourself: Support Systems
Taking care of yourself during pregnancy doesn’t stop with the physical needs. Make sure your emotional, psychological and spiritual needs are met as well. Surround yourself with people who love and support you, because you shouldn’t have to go through this journey alone. Having others there who can lend a helping hand, pick you up when you’re feeling down and remind you of why you’re doing what you’re doing will help you immensely whenever you get frustrated or are going through a particularly difficult time.
Not only can you have friends and family surrounding you with love and support, but you can also get professional counseling to help you work through stresses and feelings relating to both pregnancy and adoption. Pregnancy alone can be a lot to handle. There are a lot of changes and emotions that are happening during this time. Choosing adoption will also come with its own complex emotions and feelings. Having someone to professionally help you through those is a good and healthy thing. It’s okay not to do it alone; in fact, no one should do this alone. We all need help sometimes. At Adoption Choices of New York, we will assign a Birth Parent Counselor to help you through all the steps from pregnancy to birth and placement.
How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy before Adoption
Even if your pregnancy wasn’t planned or expected, it can still be a beautiful thing. We hope these five tips are a great way for you to have a healthy pregnancy and start your adoption journey well. And remember: you don’t have to do this alone. There are a lot of good resources and support systems out there (and online!) for birth mothers. You’re doing a good thing by giving your child their best chance; now do the same for yourself during this time of pregnancy!
Meet the Author: Darby Summers is an avid fan of fantasy and sci-fi stories in all mediums, and aspires to share a story of her own to add to the genres she has adored her entire life. Raised in a house with the rule: “You can stay up as late as you want, as long as you’re reading”, Darby’s passion for reading, literature, and language was inspired at a young age, and continued through her achievement of a Bachelor’s in English from Allegheny College in 2017.
When she isn’t absorbed in the latest series to capture her attention, Darby enjoys working on cosplays and going to cons with friends. Her perfect night consists of staying in playing games (of the video, board or card varieties), making some delicious homemade pizza, and settling in on the couch for a movie with her husband, Adam, and cat, Sylvie. (187)