Most people agree that prenatal care is very important, but did you know that seeing a midwife while trying for a baby can increase your chances of conceiving sooner, and can help you prepare for your pregnancy?
Last week, we touched on how midwives can decrease your chances of having a c-section. Today, I am taking a look at what your midwife can do for you before you even get pregnant.
Nutrition and vitamins are extremely important in pregnancy, but these two factors also greatly influence your chances of conceiving. Most women do their best to eat adequately when they are trying for a baby, and many take prenatal vitamins. One Certified Nurse Midwife I worked with told me that women often come to her thinking they have great diets, when the reality is different.
Midwives are often experts on nutrition, and they know how much a good diet impacts fertility. During your first appointment with a midwife, she will probably tell you more about what foods promote the healthy growth of the fetus in the early stages of pregnancy, and which foods can increase fertility.
It is also important to know what foods not to consume while you are trying to get pregnant. Through my midwife, for instance, I learned that folic acid, a supplement used by lots of women in the preconception stage, is a synthetic replacement of the real thing follate which can be found in foods. Follate is more effective than its artificial counterpart. She also told me about herbs and other supplements that promote health while trying for a baby.
Another thing your midwife can do is to identify pre-existing medical conditions, and perhaps get them under control before pregnancy. This can also be done by a family doctor or an OB, but if you are planning to use midwifery care during pregnancy and birth, it is important to know if you have any health issues that might risk you out of a midwife s care. Since this will impact the care you receive during pregnancy, and the kind of birth you can have, knowing what you can expect is very welcome. Midwives are known for their personal commitment to their patients, and if you have a good midwife, she will use the opportunity to get to know you and your needs, and advise you about pregnancy, birth options, working out issues in your relationship before conceiving, and spiritual and emotional preparations for pregnancy.
Perhaps your midwife will tell you about cervical mucus, and how to recognize signs that you are fertile. She ll take the time to answer any questions you might have about fertility and pregnancy. Another midwife tells me that, once a woman is already pregnant, she is often too busy with the pregnancy and too overwhelmed by hormonal changes to rationally work out many practical issues. If you are able to find out what you truly want in regard to your birth and beyond before, you have a better chance to make it happen. A good midwife can turn out to be a key companion in the process of exploring everything that you need to know about conception, pregnancy, and birth.