Finding out you're expecting a baby is an amazing moment in your life. If you've never been pregnant before, the news can be a little overwhelming. With all the excitement, some important things may be overshadowed, such as calling your insurance provider or finding the perfect daycare. Don't stress out; take a deep breath and celebrate every moment. Here are three things every pregnant woman should know before having her baby.
Contact your insurance company
Health insurance companies can differ in their policies and plans. You can find out what's covered for your prenatal care and the cost of delivery. For example, how many doctor visits are covered and if you need to pay anything out of pocket. You’ll also want to find out what you are responsible for if you haven't reached your deductible before giving birth. Some insurance companies will cover necessary items up to a certain amount like compression stockings for preeclampsia. In some countries such as Australia and the US, many people choose to take out private insurance. There are multiple plans to choose from depending on your needs and can afford. Ask your insurance company about any additional charges you may incur, such as newborn testing and hospital stay beforehand. This can help you prepare for that bill in the mail and what is optional or necessary during your pregnancy. For families that qualify as low-income, you may be eligible for government assisted healthcare in the US and similar affordable healthcare programs in Australia.
You may have heard other mom's talk about strange changes during pregnancy. Your hair, for example, can change texture or color. Your body is producing a lot of hormones which can give you teenage-like acne or a smooth, flawless complexion. Many women find their joints have loosened in some places but stressed (like the sciatic nerve) in others. Morning sickness is a deceptive name; you can experience nausea and vomiting at any time of the day. You can find relief with a few sips of your favorite ginger soda, sour candies or your doctor may prescribe a nausea medication.
Your hormones can affect your memory causing frustrating by perfectly normal brain fog, also known as pregnancy brain. As you get further along you may begin feeling more fatigue especially if you are still working. If you haven't already, explore your employer's policies for maternity and paternity leave once you plan to tell them you're pregnant. Some larger companies such as Spotify and Microsoft offer anywhere from 18 to 20 weeks paid leave. In the US, employees of companies that don't offer paid time off can sign up for FMLA. If you are accepted, this federal program can pay you temporary benefits for up to 18 weeks. Australia's government has a similar program for bonding time for fathers and partners that can be used before or after the baby comes home.
Help when you are home
You may want to find a daycare or full-time nanny if you work (or need some extra hands) to relieve you of extra stress before you and the new arrival come home. There are online nanny organizations that give you information like experience, specialties, reviews, and if you want, a background check. Once you are back at work, you may want to consider some nighttime help such as a relative willing to sleepover occasionally or a night nanny. Sleep deprivation can interfere with work and everyday activities. There are a couple of quick tips to make things easier at night. If you plan to bottle feed, you may want to keep bottles and pre measured formula ready for multiple night-time feedings. Soft lighting can help you see during midnight diaper changes without waking your baby.