Pregnancy through the eyes of a midwife
Meet Emilia Adamczyk, Midwife, sensory integration therapist, Buteyko instructor and baby sleep consultant. Emilia is the author of numerous parenting and scientific articles on breastfeeding, infant care and development. She shares with us a unique view of pregnancy through the eyes of a midwife.
What is your experience with it women pregnancy?
I often encounter patients in their first trimester of pregnancy. It is a thrilling experience for me, but I also feel a great sense of responsibility to properly guide them through this life-changing process. Regardless of whether the pregnancy was planned or not, it is always accompanied by strong emotions and anxiety about the changes that will come. There isn't much content available to learn about first trimester pregnancy, so many women look to the internet to find information, though this can be unreliable. I have noticed that some women have a strong connection with their bodies, and can tell they are pregnant before taking a test. However, there are also women, particularly those in the medical field, who may be disconnected from their bodies and have a lot of fear about the pregnancy, often not realizing they are pregnant until the fourth month. These women even may experience spot bleeding, which is due to the hormones and not necessarily an indication of a threat to the pregnancy. They may mistakenly think it is their period, and no longer consider the pregnancy suspicious even if they don't want it. The body is truly amazing, that's the observation I always end up making.
What is the latest research saying about pregnancy needs?
Recent research has suggested that pregnancy needs to be taken seriously, not only in terms of physical health but also psychological well-being. If a pregnant woman feels unsupported and has difficulty adjusting to her changing life, it can make parenting more difficult. This is why it is important to take the 9 months of pregnancy as a time for self-care, so that the woman is in a better frame of mind to take on her role as a mother. To better meet the needs of pregnant women, I suggest to meet as early as the first trimester, rather than waiting until the third trimester. This allows for the woman to receive support and guidance throughout her pregnancy and more effectively prepares her for the challenges of motherhood.
What strategies do you use to help mothers manage pregnancy?
I recommend using natural methods that are supported by clinical research. A psychotherapist, psychologist, or health coach can also provide support depending on the pregnant woman's level of readiness. It's important to protect pregnant women from hearing negative stories from friends which is a common unfortunate occurrence. Ideally, each pregnant woman would have someone they can talk to and that can give constructive, encouraging feedback.
What does the job of a pregnant woman coach look like?
Pregnancy is always a bit of a surprise. It often comes during unfinished business. A pregnant woman coach assists women in setting priorities and finding time to take care of themselves. He or she helps pregnant women stay emotionally independent and in tune with their values and needs. I encourage pregnant women to do research and choose someone they can trust. That's also also applicable when selecting a midwife or doctor. Thorough background check with friends, colleagues and the medical community is a must. Without trust, I've seen pregnant women running their pregnancy in parallel with two doctors. This can be very stressful and I really don't recommend.
How do you stay up to date on the latest treatments and therapies?
When it comes to researching, my approach is to start by looking at the latest publications on Google Scholar and the PubMed database. I would typically review material from the past three years to ensure accuracy. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the data is unbiased and that it is not sponsored research, but rather reliable scientific research conducted by people who are motivated by more than just commercial interests.
What resources do you recommend for pregnant mothers to lean how to manage their pregnancy?
At this moment there is no one portal that I could recommend. I would recommend that pregnant mothers learn how to manage their pregnancy symptoms by utilizing a variety of resources. This would include books and other publications that cover the subject, as well as seeking out the help of specialists. It is important for pregnant women to know that physical and emotional changes during pregnancy are normal, and they should not be ashamed to reach out for help. It is also important to keep in mind that the role of the father is also important in the pregnancy, and they should be given the space to provide support and care. Some fathers may even experience symptoms related to Couvade Syndrome, such as gastric issues, fatigue, cravings, and mood swings that need to be addressed. Ultimately, it is important for pregnant women to remember that they are not alone, and that their partner can be a great source of support and information throughout the process.