If you choose to parent your baby, there may be factors that you just don’t know right now such as: Will the baby’s father be parenting with you, co-parenting or involved in a lesser/no capacity? Will you have the help of parents or other family members? Many women find it very beneficial to talk through their concerns, find out about community resources that are available, and sort through their own questions. You can do that at Support Circle. Whether you are parenting solo or with help, following are some considerations to help you as you begin your journey to parenting.
YOUR CIRCLE OF SUPPORT
You don’t have to go through this alone. Take some time to Identify your circle of support that can come alongside you during your pregnancy and as you parent. Family members, friends, or trusted advisors can provide the emotional and physical support you need. When creating your circle, consider including people with positive attitudes towards you, your pregnancy and towards life. Positive people can be sources of encouragement. Negative people can stress you out and that stress is not good for you or your baby.
Find your experts. These may be other parents that have been there and know the life hacks and can help you navigate your way. Like knowing the best resale shops and their sale days or the better daycare centers (and ones to watch out for). It could be a counselor or advisor that can give you a list of community resources that can make your single parenting experience easier. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience all around you.
Eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise and sleep, along with prenatal vitamins can help to improve your overall health and the health of the baby. If you haven’t already, the sooner you begin making healthier choices and taking prenatal vitamins, the better. If you are concerned about drinking and medication or drugs you may have taken before you found out you were pregnant, medical personnel at Support Circle can answer your questions. Many patients find these answer very informative and stress relieving.
If you have not yet visited a medical office or clinic to have an ultrasound, that should be your first step. An ultrasound can provide a more accurate dating of your pregnancy than going by the start of your last menstrual cycle. Knowing when to expect your baby will be important when planning for after the delivery.
Pregnant women require numerous doctor visits for prenatal care so medical insurance will become important. Support Circle staff can provide information on insurance.
Whether you are in high school, college or trade school, or working in an office, a stay-at-home mom or small business owner, don’t be afraid to talk to your employer, human resources, school advisor, patient advocate, or a counselor. You might be surprised at the ways they can work with and/or recommend resources within your local community that can help you meet not just your financial needs, but your practical needs as well. For example, if you are having morning sickness, you may be able to have a flexible schedule to start later and end later. Or, if your baby is due at exam time, there may be some flexibility on when you write your exams. You won’t know what is available to you unless you ask.
Determining how much, if any, financial support the father intends to provide will impact your finances. A discussion on his financial involvement may be uncomfortable but will help you in your planning process. Our patient advocates can help facilitate these uncomfortable discussions or even help you to find free legal services to arrange for the child support your baby is entitled to.
Women who have addressed insurance and financial related questions in-depth are able to make decisions with much greater confidence and peace.
Reaching out to your community can make your parenting journey an easier one. As with all things in life, there will be good days and bad days. Having a strong support system and preparing as best you can are ways to make the journey better. You don’t have to do it alone.