Congratulations! That baby fever that you’ve had has come to rest upon you and you FINALLY get the chance to experience the joy of being a mom for the first time or again! As you know, life can turn on a dime, meaning that you need to be prepared as possible for your little bundle of joy. Said preparation in the first twelve weeks isn’t only physical! There are mental, emotional, and financial preparations that need to be made as well.
According to The Bump, here is a list of things that expectant moms need to bear in mind:
- How to spread the good news
- Finding a good ob-gyn
- Checking your health benefits
- Scheduling your first checkup and all relevant prenatal testing
- Doing a financial forecast
Telling the masses about your new addition
This starts with telling your partner, which can be an ordeal all by itself. Knowing how much your life will change is a daunting feeling, but even this can be made to be special for them. It’s not something you want them to hear from someone else, so think about how they communicate and receive communication and go from there. Let the decision of when and how you tell others to be between the two of you! Why? Keep reading!
In this digital world, sharing the news of your soon coming little one has taken on a completely new identity. From creative gifts for the grandparents to be, to the iconic gender reveals, everyone you know and love can celebrate right along with you. Even though it will take quite a while for you to get used to it yourself, there comes a time when the important people in your life will need to know. After all, you are going to need a strong, solid, and stable support system throughout your pregnancy. Start NOW and surround yourself with those who are truly happy for you and those who are reliable!
Assembling your medical team
Let’s face it…the family doctor you’ve known and loved all of your life isn’t always going to be the one who delivers your baby. Yes, you can ask around on social media or even your circle of friends, but the decision is up to you. Whether you choose to have an ob-gyn, midwife, or doula, know that having the right medical team is paramount to anything else. Will it change? It can, depending on your needs and the decision you and your partner make throughout your pregnancy. You have options and, while they are many, it’s okay to use as many of them as necessary.
You don’t have to stay with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable, has a superiority complex, or doesn’t hear, honor, or respect your wishes. Having the right team makes things so much easier. One of the biggest determinants of who that is depends on our next topic.
Knowing your health insurance in and out
You’ve most likely visited friends or family members in hospitals and birthing centers that made you want to move into them. You’ve dreamed about having your baby there and you may have even started planning for that to happen. As happy and giddy as you may be, you might want to calm down for a second and look at your health insurance benefits. You need to know who is in your network and who is not. Your insurance MAY cover SOME out of network costs, but don’t depend on that too much as it could change and leave you in a tight spot.
Those wonderful doctors and spa-like facilities may be your dream come true; however, if they’re not covered by your insurance, you could be spending tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket. You may even have to change your insurance company, which could be even more expensive for you, but worth it if it means that you and your baby receive the best care. It’s very important to know exactly who, what, when, where, why, how, and how much your health insurance covers so that you can make adjustments. Whether you work for a company or are self-employed, pregnancy is considered to be a life event where your insurance coverage can be changed at any time. Don’t be afraid to make necessary changes! Once you know what your insurance covers, then you can move accordingly.
Your first appointments
A first prenatal appointment can be nerve-wracking as you probably are full of questions and that’s normal, especially if this is your first child. You want to ensure that you’re doing everything right, on time, and by the book, because you want to be as stress-free as possible. One of the first things your doctor will tell you is that every baby and every situation is different. They will also probably tell you that the horror stories you’ve heard may or may not be ones that you experience.
During this appointment, you’ll want to know what you should and shouldn’t be doing, eating, and even wearing so that you can make any adjustments at the onset. You’ll also find out what physical activity changes you need to make. These changes aren’t meant to make you incompetent or inactive forever, but to ensure that you remain as safe as possible. What happens in this first trimester is crucial and you’ll have to curtail the desire to do all the things all at once before you can’t. This won’t always be easy because this is a huge shift in your daily routine and you will be doing a lot of learning, reading, and researching as you go.
It is safe to say that you will never not have a question that needs to be answered and it’s okay to ask them, especially when it comes to genetic testing. Some conditions can be picked up early enough for treatment decisions to be made and while considering this can bring angst, you want to put yourself in the best position possible to be able to handle what comes along, including a change in finances.
The financial forecast
Every mom knows that, outside of your rent or mortgage, raising a child is the most expensive expense that a family can have. Many times, expectant moms don’t know what things will look like for them until it’s time for the baby watch. One of the first things you’ll need to find out is what your company’s maternity and paternity leave policies are. If it is unpaid, consider getting short-term disability to help with your expenses during your time away from work. These programs usually cover 50-70% of your income, which can be a big help!
Enrolling in rewards programs from baby product companies is one way to save here and there or possibly even get a free product or two for your little one. Even grocery reward programs such as Fetch Rewards allow you to accumulate points towards gift cards that can be used anywhere online or in-store. In addition, you can open a savings account and divert funds there specifically for baby needs. If you are using a personal finance program that allows you to set savings goals, that can help as well because you will be able to automatically distribute funds for that. Knowing your household expenses will help you make the best plan. It’s all about knowing your costs, which vary based on what care regimen you want for your child. Things such as cloth diapers, natural baby care products, and laundry services can add up, so you want to have those costs in mind and keep an eye on them throughout your pregnancy.
This first trimester is full of uncertainty; however, with the right people, places, things, and ideas around you, you will be able to navigate this new territory with joy! The most important thing to remember is that no one can live this for you, so always consider your sources when you are looking for tips, tools, resources, strategies, and the like. If what is being presented to you is something that you know you may not be able to deal with, then you need to use your power and utter the universal one-syllable word that stops many in their tracks –NO!
You will be told to do, say, and think a lot of things, but weigh what you hear against your goals, wishes, and values. This little one is YOURS and you want to have as much of the best as possible, even if it means that those ancient trusted family mantras have to be tabled. You already have much to think about and you need to keep your head and heart as clear as possible so that you can think!
Whatever choices you make, learn from them and know that not every day will be all sunshine and pine trees, but that’s all a part of getting ready for your baby! Plus, the things you experience become great stories for them!
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