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          The Foundation of a Good Pregnancy

          July 13, 2005

          Dr. Phil outlines the keys that lay the foundation for a successful pregnancy experience and that lead into good parenting. Plus, learn the number one thing parents do that may put their child’s life in jeopardy.

          Key 1: Realistic Expectancies

          What sets people up for disappointment is when they think something is going to turn out one way, but it turns out to be another. That is why it is important to have expectancies that are realistic. The good news is, no matter what anyone tells you about pregnancy, you’re about to begin the most joyous, fun, unbelievable time of your life. You’re getting ready to change all of your thinking about what having a child is like and you’re getting ready to have a completely different attitude. The rewards outweigh the sacrifices 1,000 to one.

          Key 2: Preparation

          You must be as prepared as you can be for what is ahead and what you’ll need to do. It is very important to include the baby’s dad in the process as well. The father really needs to not be crowded out of the pregnancy and baby experience. Dads: Stake your ground and change those diapers, get involved with bonding with your child right away. Moms: He may look like a bear with boxing gloves on trying to change that diaper, but don’t take over. He’ll learn just like you did. And together, you can grow as a couple with the joys of the parenting process.

          Key 3: Patience

          It seems obvious, but it's extremely important to learn patience. Expectant mothers can go through many different emotions due to the hormone fluctuations and they may have difficulty dealing with the changes in their bodies. For the first time, it isn't all about you and it requires a shift in body image. Weight gain is a part of pregnancy and is needed in order to support the growing life inside your body. Research absolutely supports exercise during pregnancy, such as low impact cardio, yoga and light weight training. Women who exercise during pregnancy are much less likely to have postpartum depression, and much more likely to regain their figure and lose the weight rapidly afterward.

          Key 4: A Unified Front

          An expectant couple should provide a unified front in the pregnancy experience. Mutual support between you and your partner can make all the difference. As you work together planning for the family addition, listen to your partner's ideas and negotiate. Things like negotiating a name for your baby can be a fun experience.

          The number one thing parents can do that may put their child's life in jeopardy is to not cherish the relationship with their partner. When you become a mother and father, you have to be careful to not stop being friends and lovers. It's so easy to be consumed by your child, but you have to remember that kids join our lives, we don't join theirs. Of course they are important, but don't forget to take care of the relationship that is their base of operations. Spend time as a couple and nurture your relationship so your child has a solid future ahead.

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