When people think about adoption, they often think about the legal process of placing a child for adoption. They are not mistaken to think of adoption in those terms. Adoption is commonly defined as the process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another from that person’s biological or legal parents. However, this definition doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of what an adoption entails. For one thing, it doesn’t discuss the birth mother’s role in the adoption process.
The birth mother plays a huge role in the adoption process. She chooses the adoptive parents. She gives birth to the child. In many adoptions, particularly open adoptions, she forms a loving relationship with her child just like the adoptive parents. Perhaps most importantly, the birth mother undertakes the crucial role of caregiver during the entirety of her pregnancy.
Pregnancy has an enormous amounts of health ramifications for an expectant mother. Pregnancy also has ramifications for the child. Studies show that a child’s physical well-being throughout their lives is affected by the conditions they were exposed to during pregnancy. That is why it is so important for birth mothers to take care of themselves and their children during their pregnancy.
Here are six tips for how to have a healthy pregnancy.
- Don’t Smoke or Drink
This may seem obvious, but it needs repeating because it is so important. Don’t smoke or drink during your pregnancy. Smoking or drinking during pregnancy has very harmful affects on the developing child. For example, smoking decreases the oxygen flow to the child. This can lead to birth defects or premature births. Even smoking or drinking in moderation isn’t safe.
Exercise is perfectly safe for most pregnancies. Studies even show that exercise can reduce the risk of miscarriage and lead to shorter labor times. It can also improve mood, circulation, and sleep cycles. However, always check with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen. Not every pregnancy is the same, and some high risk pregnancies aren’t compatible with exercise.
- Monitor your Eating Habits
Everyone knows a birth mother is eating for two when pregnant. But make sure to monitor your eating habits when pregnant. Gaining too much weight will make it harder to lose it later, just as gaining too little weight during pregnancy puts your child at risk for low birth weight and developmental problems. A woman of normal weight should gain between 25 and 35 pounds when pregnant.
- Learn About Depression
Anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of women experience symptoms of major depression during pregnancy. Birth mothers placing their children for adoption are no exception to these statistics. Depression can lead to premature labor, so it is important to talk to your doctor if you lose interest in activities you enjoy, sleep too much, or experience any of the other signs of depression
- Buy new shoes
It’s no secret that pregnancy involves weight gain. This weight gain throws off your center of balance and puts extra pressure on your feet, which can lead to the flattening out of your feet. Your feet may also retain fluid and swell up. Wearing comfortable non-restricting shoes, or even going up a shoe size, can help combat this sometimes painful side effect of pregnancy.
- Get the right foods
Eating the right foods can have a great effect on your developing child. For example, a 2007 study showed that eating fish can lead to children having higher I.Q.s, better motor skills and better communication skills. This is because fish is high in omega 3 acids, which are good for brain development. Just make sure to eat the right kind of fish, as some fish contain mercury.