They say “It takes a village to bring up a baby.” But it also takes a village to bring up a mother.
Pregnancy is a transformational time in a woman’s life. It is rewarding but also brings about major changes and causes a lot of physical and mental stress. The woman’s body is not the only thing that is changing. She has to adjust and adapt to significant emotional, hormonal, social and professional changes. Having timely and all-around support is crucial for maternal and infant health and to ensure a healthy and fulfilling pregnancy journey. In this blog, we will discuss the different types of pregnancy support women need.
Benefits of Pregnancy support
A study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that women who received support during pregnancy had a 22% lower risk of preterm birth and a 30% lower risk of low birth weight babies compared to those who did not receive such support. And women who receive adequate and timely support experience 5 times lower risk of perinatal depression.
Early intervention can make all the difference when it comes to identifying potential health risks and receiving appropriate medical care that can prevent and/or manage complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia which can impact the long term health of both the mother and the baby. Having access to the right support at the right time impacts the overall well-being of the mother and elevates the whole ‘pregnancy to parenthood’ experience for the entire family.
Physical Support for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women can benefit from consulting with various types of experts who can provide physical support during their pregnancy. Fitness experts such as prenatal and postnatal yoga or pilates coaches, can provide tailored exercise programs that meet the specific needs of pregnant women, taking into account factors such as their age, weight, and any underlying health conditions.
Similarly, dietitians and nutritionists can provide advice on healthy eating during pregnancy, including how to meet the increased nutritional demands of both the mother and baby. This can be particularly useful if the woman is at risk of developing or has conditions such as gestational diabetes.
By consulting with these experts, pregnant women can ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to maintain good physical health throughout their pregnancy.
Emotional Support for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy can also be an emotional rollercoaster. Many women experience feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression during pregnancy, and it’s important for them to seek help if they are struggling. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, up to 20% of pregnant women experience prenatal or postnatal depression. Joining a support group or practising mindfulness can be effective in reducing stress and anxiety.
Emotional support from family and friends is also vital during pregnancy. Having a supportive network of loved ones can provide encouragement, comfort, and help manage stress and anxiety, which is essential for overall health and wellbeing.
Additionally, maternity coaches (could include doulas, childbirth educators or midwives) who can provide professional and compassionate guidance and assurance are invaluable in improving the emotional health of the expecting mother and spouse. The continuous informational support they provide throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum can help women navigate the changes and challenges of pregnancy, prepare for childbirth and breastfeeding, and take on the role of parenting with confidence.
Partner Support for Pregnant Women
A study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology concluded that pregnant women who received social support from their partners had better mental health outcomes during and after pregnancy. Partner support during pregnancy plays a significant role during the woman’s pregnancy journey. It’s important for partners to attend prenatal appointments and childbirth classes, as well as to communicate openly and honestly with their pregnant partner about their feelings and concerns.
Career Coaching for Pregnant Women
Career coaching support can be especially helpful in preparing for maternity leave and developing strategies for returning to work after pregnancy. Career coaches can help women navigate the challenges of balancing work and family life and overcome career-related challenges. They can guide them in managing stress, redefining career goals, and negotiating work arrangements. A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology reported that women who received career coaching during pregnancy reported higher job satisfaction and were more likely to return to work after giving birth. With the right support, women can successfully transition into motherhood and back to work.
Medical Support for Pregnant Women
Professional medical care is crucial in this period. Regular prenatal care appointments with a healthcare provider can monitor the development of the baby and identify potential complications early on, preventing them from becoming more serious issues later on.
Structured support for Pregnant Women
While all of the above-mentioned are support options that are personalised to the woman’s needs, the standard structured support also has a role to play. Community resources can provide valuable support for pregnant women. Programs and organisations offer pregnancy support services such as support groups, education, and resources, including childbirth classes and breastfeeding support, to help women feel more connected to their community and provide them with the resources they need to have a healthy and successful pregnancy.
Pregnancy requires comprehensive support to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby. Pregnant women can benefit greatly from comprehensive support that covers various aspects of their health and well-being. Maternity coaches and experts for fitness, wellness, nutrition and career can provide tailored guidance to meet the specific needs of each woman throughout her pregnancy journey. By taking a holistic approach to pregnancy and postnatal support, pregnant women can feel empowered and confident in their ability to navigate the challenges of pregnancy and postpartum.
At Veira Life, we understand the unique needs of pregnant women. Our custom-built platform is designed with women at its centre and set up to provide compassionate timely support and professional advice to women through every stage of their motherhood journey so that they feel empowered and confident every step of the way.
Anu Shenoy is the Co-Founder of the Singapore-based Femtech startup, Veira Life, which provides support to women throughout their entire parenthood journey. At Veira support is personalised, holistic and comprehensive starting from pregnancy to birthing, postnatal recovery, breastfeeding and transition back to work.
Currently, Veira Life is giving away their highly rated prenatal class “Healthy Pregnancy Guide” and a free 30-minute call with a maternity coach or lactation counsellor to first-time users. Register through their website to avail of the offer.Follow Womenlines on Social Media