Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Some of these recommendations may seem obvious, but others may be people you haven’t thought of. You may find that you don’t have every single one of these suggestions on your team – I just want to make you think and consider incorporating a lot of people into your Prenatal Team. The more support you have, the better you will feel, right? So, take a look at this list and see if there’s a few additional people you can recruit to be on your team and cheer you on!
Prenatal Fitness Expert
As you research fitness during pregnancy, you are going to see a lot of conflicting information on the internet. Everything from “just put your feet up and wait until the baby comes”, all the way to “don’t change anything about your workouts while pregnant”. While these may be well-intentioned, neither are sufficient. Your body goes through an incredible amount of changes and each person is different. A specialized trainer that understands what is going on in your body can help you maintain a healthy pregnancy on your fitness journey.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist
Now, to be honest, until I got into this field as a specialist, I did not even know that a pelvic floor physical therapist was a thing. However, having one on your team is very important and can make a huge difference in your pregnancy and recovery. These specialists focus on the pelvic floor and its impact on your health and wellness. If you’ve ever been to a physical therapist for another health related issue, you know how much better they can make you feel and how they can connect dots that you didn’t even know existed. The same thing applies with pelvic floor physical therapy and I highly recommend that you recruit one of these therapists onto your team!
Having an OB/GYN that you have developed a good relationship with can help put your mind at ease throughout your pregnancy. If you find a doctor that you like and trust and build a relationship with prior to pregnancy, stepping into this new chapter with a doctor that already knows and understands you can be a great asset. You will be more inclined to share what you are experiencing and won’t be afraid to ask questions that you may otherwise be embarrassed to. Your doctor will also be more able to offer suggestions and recommendations that they know you will be comfortable with.
" The nice thing about teamwork, is that you always have others on your side. "
Many of us have friends that feel like family and would do anything for us. Keep those people close by during your pregnancy as well. Whether they have had a baby or not, having a community of women surrounding you that can support, encourage and cheer you up when you’re down is important. Often, friends can provide a perspective on things that you may not have thought of otherwise. They can help keep you level-headed and grounded through all of the changes going on during pregnancy and post-partum.
Your family will probably be your biggest supporters throughout your pregnancy. They will be there to listen when you’re frustrated, laugh with you when you’re happy and provide a should to cry on when those hormones hit you hard. Everyone’s family makeup is different – it may be your mom, spouse, grandmother, aunt or any other family member that is your greatest cheerleader and encourager. Lean on them when you need to – don’t feel like you need to keep everything to yourself. Let your family be there for you and help you!
While your pediatrician will not play a huge roll before baby comes, it’s still a good idea to do your research and find someone that you like and are comfortable with. Reach out and have a meeting so you are both on the same page before you give birth.
Even though most of your doctor’s appointments through pregnancy will be with your OB/GYN, don’t forget about your GP! If YOU get sick – a cold, the flu, something like that – you’re still going to see your general practitioner. It’s good to keep your GP in the loop with what’s going on with you and baby, so he or she can work in conjunction with your OB/GYN as needed.
If you need another person at your side to support and encourage you as well as provide you with a lot of insight and knowledge into this new phase of life, getting a doula onto your prenatal team can be very valuable for you. While doulas don’t have as much medical training as a midwife, they know a lot about pregnancy and delivery and most will also assist mom, baby, and the family in the transition period postpartum. Even if this is not your first baby, there is going to be a huge change in your family dynamic once that new little baby comes home. And having an extra set of hands around for a few days after giving birth can be a tremendous help!
Doctors and Nurses in Training
As a former schoolteacher, I couldn’t pass this one up. If you have the opportunity to let doctors or nurses or anyone else desiring to learn, in on your pregnancy or birthing experience, please let them! They cannot learn unless they practice, so give them a chance and help them learn.
Many people elect to use a midwife instead of or alongside their OB/GYN to assist in their pregnancy and delivery. If you’re looking for a more personal touch, or a home delivery, hiring a midwife is a great option. They have a lot of medical training and can be a wonderful asset for you.