Meigs Health Today: Building a Support System During Pregnancy
By Jenna Petry, RN, WIC Health Professional
Pregnancy can be a trying and emotional time in a woman’s life and a support system is a very integral part of a healthy pregnancy and birth. Support can come from any direction. You can look to those closest to you whether that be your spouse, significant other, friends, parents, siblings or coworkers for support, but there also are support systems set up within your own community or local communities of which you can take advantage.
From that moment you first find out you’re pregnant, many changes begin to occur not only physically but emotionally. There is a growing little baby, a tiny human, dependent upon you for survival. That can be a lot to handle. Some welcome it as an answered prayer because they’ve waited and prayed for that moment; meanwhile, for others, it may be a total surprise. Regardless you will still need those around you to help you along the journey and to have your back when you are an emotional wreck or further on when you may physically need ahelping hand.
Straight away find out which people will be supportive of you during your pregnancy. If there are those that encourage your continued poor habits of smoking, drinking, etc., now is the time to let them know that you are implementing a healthy lifestyle in order to have a healthy pregnancy, birth, and baby. Hopefully, they are understanding and supportive. If not, youmay want to distance yourself from those people in favor of friends and family that encourage your new healthy life choices. Find people who have been there already. If this is your first pregnancy, parents and older siblings are a good source of support and information as are close friends. You should be surrounded by like-minded people who understand how important it is to take care of yourself by eating right, beingactive, getting plenty of rest and not having to deal with unwanted stressors or negativity, if possible.
At the Meigs County Health Department’s WIC Office, we try to be an extra source of support for pregnant mothers and their families. We not only discuss diet habits and ways to improve nutritional intake, but also look at mom’s health issues and history and take that into account when suggesting changes. We encourage our mothers to reach out to us if they have any questions or concerns. Our goal is the same as theirs: to have a healthy pregnancy that ends in the birth of a healthy, beautiful child. Breastfeeding questions always are welcomed and encouraged because breastfeeding is extremely important to us. It is the first choice a mother can make to support a healthy life for her newborn.
For more information, please contact the Meigs County WIC Office at 740-992-0392 Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to noon or 1-4 p.m.