A Pregnant Lady's Cheat Sheet

A list of everything I would have loved to have when I first found out I was pregnant:

1. What do I do first?

-Contact Anna, Alice, And Laurel (Santa Barbara Midwifery), even if you are not planning on a home birth. They are a great place to start and have volumes of information and resources, and books to lend, and your initial meeting is free. You can find more information on their website at www.santabarbaramidwifery.com or give them a call at: 805.563.0348 . **Please see my earlier post about my home birth experience.

-Subscribe to Mothering Magazine immediately.

-Find a pre-natal workout class for fun and some exercise. You'll end up meeting the ladies you'll be spending all of your time with for the next couple of years here. I like Tracy Schmidt's class at the SBYMCA. It's kind of jazzercize-y and it takes away morning sickness. Also, Fredda Spirka teaches a great free pre- and postnatal yoga class through adult ed. This may be your most valuable resource. You will learn so much about doctors, midwives, pediatricians, birth, etc. from the women in these classes.

-Make sure you are taking a good pre-natal vitamin

-Grab a book on each of these: pregnancy, baby's first year, breast feeding. The Traveling Pants in Carpinteria usually has used books which are really inexpensive. The thrift store at St. Joseph's is also a great resource, but you have to dig and they are only open Wednesdays and Saturdays until 2 pm.

-Get insurance if you don't already have it. AIM is great for those who qualify. It's worth taking a look: www.aim.ca.gov/

2. Where do I register?

***I have an older post that is a sample registry that might be helpful, and you can find it by scrolling down.

-Find a site like myRegistry.com where you can register at any online store, and have just one list for everything. Some great online stores include palumba.com, novanatural.com, albeebaby.com, and babiesRus.com.

-It is so important to register at a physical location. Summer for Kids in Montecito has some excellent natural choices and Chicken Little in Santa Barbara has a huge selection as well.

3. Is home birth for me?

-Please look into this, even if you don't think it's for you. We are so lucky in Santa Barbara to have such great choices, and since this is one of the biggest decisions you'll be making in your life, it probably deserves a little research. I was terrified of home birth before I had real information. I watched movies and talked to midwives and women who had given birth at home and decided undoubtedly that it was the safest and best decision for me and my baby.

-Watch some movies! So important. The Baby International Film Festival has some great ones. I recommend The Business of Being Born, with Ricki Lake if you only plan on seeing one, or as a starting point.