I couldn't wait to call my doctor to schedule an appointment, hoping they would give me some personal affirmation, support, encouragement, or even that they would express a little bit of excitement to match my own. But I would always leave that initial appointment feeling a little disappointed. A standard pregnancy test very similar to the one I'd taken at home would be completed in the office by someone I didn’t know, and the pregnancy would be clinically confirmed. I would be booked for my first prenatal visit - which wasn’t until I was 12 weeks pregnant. On my way out the door, I was handed a generic pamphlet that reminded me not to eat blue cheese, lunch meat, or raw sushi. Needless to say, my need for emotional or informational support was not met, and I walked out of the office feeling the weight of all my unanswered questions hanging heavy on my shoulders.
I was always longing for a way to be active and engaged in my pregnancy. Even early on, I didn’t want to just passively wait for my next appointment. Pregnancy is not just a physical condition requiring medical monitoring - it is a complete transformation within the life of a woman and her family.
I wanted this to be a shared, supported experience.
I wanted to be as informed as possible.
I wanted to do my best to do the right things.
I wanted to enjoy it as much as I could despite the discomforts.
I wanted to be told what I was experiencing was normal.
I wanted my fears to be reassured by people who showed that they really cared.
I wanted face to face connection with those who were walking the same path I was.
I wanted to be affirmed as a mother - even though my mothering journey had only just begun.
And all I had was a pamphlet.
For personal reasons, we had decided to wait a while to share our news, like a lot of people choose to do. Those weeks and months are very emotional - they are exciting, scary, thrilling, exhausting, and uncertain. Prenatal visits with a primary care provider do not start until 12 weeks, since there is not much to monitor during that time. That is 3 whole months of waiting.
Of course it’s not realistic for a doctor’s office to provide a patient with all of the emotional and physical support they need during a pregnancy. A doctor’s job is to medically monitor pregnancy for safety. Midwives spend more time emotionally investing in their clients during pregnancy, but of course they cannot do it all - nor should they.
I could write to unknown faces across the internet on places like BabyCenter or even on Facebook mom groups. But a “congratulations” from a nameless face (or avatar) is just not the same as a congratulatory hug or spoken word of encouragement.
The doulas and educators of A Woman’s Design have lived this walk. We completely understand that once you have a pregnancy confirmed, the weeks and months before the start of your prenatal visits are very emotional. It is a sensitive time of pregnancy that is not often acknowledged, especially since mom’s belly has not started to grow yet. Mom seems to be the only one who can feel the very real effects of this pregnancy - both emotionally and physically.
Wouldn't it be nice to come together with other expectant mothers to share your exciting news? Maybe you can find a pregnancy buddy to walk along this journey with and have your most common and embarrassing questions answered in a small group?
We would like to introduce you to A Woman’s Design, Online Prenatal Wellness Program. We know you’re busy but you still want information and community.
The Prenatal Wellness Program is intended to bridge the gap between early pregnancy and the time you take a complete childbirth education series as well as encourage and enhance women and their family's confidence throughout pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.
We cannot wait to meet you and celebrate your little one…because you shouldn’t have to wait.