Becoming a parent is both incredibly exciting and a bit scary. Let us walk you through a few steps that you can take before and during your pregnancy if it happens to be in Germany.
Inform them that you intend to become a mother. Do an ultrasound, do tests and check your health before proceeding, and check a realistic time to start after eliminating contraceptive methods.
Check your teeth in advance for any necessary dental work, teeth cleaning, or surgical intervention. Once pregnant, some measures are not possible because the specialist needs X-rays and you cannot be exposed to radiation or anesthesia.
Get your back, pelvic floor and core checked, strengthen them and have the body ready. Should take about 6 months of regular 3-4x/week to get to a decent shape. We recommend fascia training, yoga, and Pilates.
4.Nutritional and mental strength
Check with a nutritionist or a doctor and do a safe detox regimen (not diet), clean your gut, and get your thyroid in check. The metabolism change regimen after Dr. Simmeons or an Ayurvedic one are safe and helpful, but a personalized plan is much smarter.
Obstetricians recommend taking folic acid (e.g. Folio) at least 4 months before getting pregnant. Math tutoring is pretty expensive, so an unchecked thyroid and not taking folic acid can impact the fetus’s brain development.
If you ever felt the need to seek mental health support, it is a great idea to start at this stage. One reason is to have closure, understanding, and healing for yourself first. Then for your baby, to avoid passing on generational trauma and be a conscious parent.
5.Quit smoking, and caffeine, and switch to non-alcoholic drinks
It is much better to start in this phase than later. Not just for your body, but also for your baby who can benefit from a clean “home” in your womb, free from addictive substances and triggering habits. Additionally, during pregnancy, many women experience fatigue as a constant symptom, so having a restful sleep, without caffeine will do you good in the long run. Especially in the post-partum recovery.
Additionally, coffee consumption interferes with the effects of folic acid, so why risk it? As for alcohol, did you know that nowadays there is a large palette of tasty non-alcoholic wines, champagnes, spirits, and beer?
See if you need to move to a different apartment: bigger, more convenient. With this, see if you need to get a different job and that you have your finances ready. Whatever you think having a baby costs, triple it.
7.Check your daily habits and social environment
Going from 0 to 1 is a significant change.
Ensure that your partner understands the implications of becoming parents.
Tip #1 for power couples: take together a couple of coaching sessions to prepare the field for your new roles. It is important that both understand that wanting and doing are important, but also taking care of yourselves equally.
Tip #2 for power couples: we strongly recommend a joint e-mail address as a family. This way all your bureaucratic aspects, but also a doctor, school, traveling, arrangements, purchases, and updates are managed together, and you cut the energy-draining role of the middle-agent.
Check and clean your environment, triggers, habits, and expectations. Everybody has the same 24h in a day. When having a child, your attention, time, and interests will be differently allocated. It is important that you arrange your surroundings and daily habits so that they are supporting and giving, not asking for the same attention or worse, taking it.
Maintain the habit of physical activity. Your back, vagina, abdominal muscles, back again and interior organs will thank you during pregnancy and after birth. Diastasis recti, vaginal tear, or a bad back can be almost permanent if not prevented through regular, supervised, and personalized exercise. There is no real efficiency with targeted or one-size-fits-all training you find on social media.
There are many self-employed, certified health practitioners who are specialized specifically in the pelvic floor, core, and fascia training. Former athletes, nurses, physiotherapists, and yoga trainers with medical training. You support local businesses and your body for the rest of your life.
Make an appointment with your gynecologist for 42-45 days after your last menstrual cycle.
Some may say it is too early, but if your menstrual cycle Is between 21-25 days, there is a good chance you will see the yolk sac and maybe see a heartbeat too.
Being in Germany and benefitting from health insurance starts to kick in nicely about now. Public insurance takes over the majority of the costs for the ultrasounds, tests (urine, blood, chromosomal), medicine, and even courses.
Do a teeth cleaning and check-up. During pregnancy, the calcium in your bones is affected and it is wise to take care of your teeth very well. Additionally, there is a lot of bacteria in the mouth, so it’s an extra hygiene precaution.
4.Foods that are allowed or not
Check what spices you are/are not allowed. Some of them are common sense (e.g. avoiding raw food), while some are interesting to learn that they stimulate the pregnancy, while others can contribute to a miscarriage due to overheating the body.
We found this article here valuable, but feel free to do your own research as well.
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5.Register yourself with a maternity clinic
This is never too early. You can try to register as soon as you have your pregnancy test positive, just to get a foot in the door. You can calculate online the expected birth date and register as soon as you can. In most cases, they will ask you to write them again when you are in pregnancy week 12 (SSW12 – Schwangerschaftswoche)
6.Register with a pediatrician
When living in a busy big city like Munich, it is quite difficult to get a pediatrician for your child. Some people have to wait a whole year. The doctor’s staff will be quite happy to see you are planning well ahead and also makes their work easier.
Make sure you research the doctors in your area and contact them. It is not too early to register for one during the early stage of pregnancy, especially if the chosen doctor has plenty of positive reviews on Google Maps and Jameda, hence a lot of demand for new patients.
7.Register with a hebamme
The German healthcare system is at its finest again.
The hebamme is a specialized individual in supporting with knowledge pregnant women and couples. Their assistance is throughout the pregnancy, labor, and a few weeks after birth.
Their valuable contribution is covered completely by health insurance.
How cool is it to become a parent in Germany?
8.Register with a kindergarten
Definitely do it at this stage. Regardless if it’s a public or private, big or small city or village. There are not enough kindergarten spaces and teachers available, so registering your child in the early pregnancy stage is not only possible but responsible.
9.Register with a Tages – Mutter or Vater (day mother or father)
This is the pedagogical solution for children between 1-6 years old, in case they do not attend a kindergarten. This is a caregiver, with pedagogical background, approved by the local authorities and registered in their system, ready to take care of small groups of children, of 2-5 maximum. Such services are subsidized by the local authorities. The costs can vary, but in Munich, they are on average €69/month for 31 hours/week. Here’s a catch: if your child is 1-2 years old and the parent’s gross income is EUR 60.000/year (add EUR 5,000 for every additional child), the costs are reimbursed by the Bavarian government.
In comparison to a kindergarten, such a childcare solution is beneficial for the fact that the child can socialize in a smaller group, the Tagesmutter or Tagesvater can dedicate more attention to the child’s needs, there are flexible times and when possible, they can also take care of the child over the weekend.
You can register after you have given birth, at best 6 months before you know you will need this kind of care.
10.Inform your employer and clients
Prepare a transition period with your colleagues and identify the right replacement. Your work will still be smoothly done and your stakeholders are safe and in good hands, well before you leave.
You are a soon-to-become mother, this one’s easy practice for you.
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