The practice of midwifery has been around for hundreds of years. In today’s world of modern midwifery, the practice may look a bit different, but the values of providing a gentle and supportive approach to pregnancy remain the same. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) partner with OB/GYNs to not only provide physical care, but to offer education and empowerment to guide you through your pregnancy journey. To gain some of that knowledge firsthand, we spoke with a midwife from Axia Women’s Health – Seven Hills Women’s Health Centers, Stephanie Deimling, CNM, MSN, to gain advice for moms-to-be.
If this is your first pregnancy, or even your third, it’s normal to be nervous. I’ve found that talking through things is the best way to calm my patients’ nerves. Whether it’s something a patient or her partner may consider small or big, we want to know. Helping to pinpoint exactly what’s causing you concern is the best way to address it. Pregnancy can be an emotional time as is, and we’re here to help you navigate it.
Getting adequate nutrition during pregnancy is extremely important to support you and your growing baby. When you’re busy, it can be tempting to reach for snack foods, but those usually don’t provide the complete nourishment you need. Try to keep it simple. Focus on eating meals that include a protein, veggie, and carbohydrate. Of course, during the first trimester this is easier said than done! I tell my patients that during the first trimester, you’re in survival mode, so don’t worry too much about eating a balanced diet if you’re feeling nauseated. The second trimester is when you’ll likely start feeling better and can focus on nutrient rich foods from all the categories and colors of the rainbow.
We know that movement is important for reducing stress, and maintaining a healthy weight, but certain movements can also be helpful to get baby in the right position for delivery. One website I recommend to my patients is SpinningBabies.com. They offer a series of self-guided daily activities that can help lengthen your muscles and increase range of motion in your joints and ligaments. These stretches may even speed up your delivery by helping guide baby in the right direction (into and through) the pelvis. Plus, all exercises are vetted by experts and are proven safe during pregnancy.
Many hospitals and birthing centers now offer different options for aromatherapy or hydrotherapy to make your birth a more calming experience. However, it never hurts to bring your own things in from home to add a personal touch. Many of my patients like to bring in their own pillow, a favorite essential oil, or a playlist of their favorite music. All of these things can help to create a relaxing environment, which may even help with pain management.
Postpartum can be a very difficult period as you’re navigating breastfeeding, perhaps preparing to go back to work, and overall figuring out how to juggle the demands of motherhood. While the 6-week check-up is a great opportunity to share any questions or concerns with us, it doesn’t have to stop there. I always encourage women to give us a call if they’re struggling or want to discuss issues as they come up in the first year after birth and beyond. Concerns with your pelvic floor or changes in family planning needs are all common. We have so many resources to help you with the emotional and physical aspects of acclimating to your new life as a mother.
Having a child is a transformative experience – a journey that calls for particular attention to mind-body-spirit harmony. We’re here to guide you every step of the way. By working in conjunction with your midwife and your OB/GYN, you can create a birth experience that meets your unique needs!
To schedule an appointment with Stephanie or one of her colleagues at Seven Hills Women’s Health Centers, call (513) 231-3447.