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Congratulations, You're Pregnant! Now What? - Step 2 - Start learning as much as you can to boost your confidence.

No sooner do you see those two pink lines on the positive home pregnancy test than you may start worrying about all the “what ifs” that could go wrong.  That’s one way to go through pregnancy and childbirth, but certainly not the recommended.  While it may tempting and sometimes even impossible not to dwell on the negative possibilities, you cannot control what mother nature has in store for you.  Indeed, the only thing you can control is your attitude and reaction to what is happening now.  You can also arm yourself with the best, evidence-based information that will boost your confidence in growing and birthing your baby.
Resources and activities for increasing your confidence:

Early Pregnancy Classes - Take an early pregnancy class through your hospital, community center, or Lamaze educator.  Early pregnancy classes help you connect with your own pregnancy and with other pregnant women.  You’ll get to find out about what resources are available to you within your community and have the opportunity to ask questions and get your worries addressed in a supportive environment with a trained educator or health care provider.  Most early pregnancy classes help newly pregnant women understand their range of choices in care providers and birth places.

Group Exercise – Exercise during pregnancy is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  Prenatal yoga, swimming or walking group exercise gives expecting women an opportunity to build strong bodies and receive emotional and informational support from peers and a knowledgeable, trained instructors.  Taking prenatal exercise classes from instructors trained to work with pregnant women helps insure you’re strengthing the areas of your body that really matter for childbirth!

Smart Internet Resources – When trying to find answers to your pregnancy and childbirth question online, try always to consult with organizations who use evidence-based research to make their recommendations.  Three fantastic organizations:  
World Health Organization - Recommendations for care in normal birth:

Childbirth Connection – Excellent information on evidence-based practices in childbirth http://www.childbirthconnection.org/
Centers for Disease Control – Fantastic information on making the healthiest lifestyle choices for increasing your odds of a optimally healthy mother and baby during pregnancy and childbirth.    http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/pregnancy_gateway/now.htm

Integrating regular emotional support from your peers and trained educators with solid, evidence-based recommendations are your best tools for the healthiest, happiest, and most confidence start to pregnancy and eventual parenthood.

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