An African American woman meeting with a nurse to get pre-natal careIt is important to take care of your health before giving a child up for adoption. Healthy choices can help you feel better both physically and emotionally during your pregnancy. Here are five important steps to take care of your health before adoption.

Go To Your Doctor’s Visits

It is very important that you go to a doctor as soon as you think you are pregnant, and that you continue to make it to all of your doctor’s visits until you deliver. Let your adoption professional know who your doctor is, and tell your doctor about your adoption plans.

If you are scared to go to the doctors, take someone who cares and can be supportive of you. If you don’t have anyone to go with you, or if you need help getting to your appointments, tell your adoption professional and the adoptive family you have chosen. The adoptive family will most likely be very supportive and make every effort to get you the medical attention that you and the baby need.

Always be truthful with your doctor about any past or current drug, alcohol, or tobacco use. It may feel tempting to not be honest if you are using drugs or drinking while you are pregnant, but the doctor can help you and the baby with potential health issues if you are. Giving a child up for adoption may be emotional, but don’t let that lead to decisions that might negatively affect your or your baby’s health.

Eat Right

Nourish your body with healthy foods. Not only is the baby getting all of the vitamins and minerals it needs to grow from you, but your body is also going through a lot of physical changes as your pregnancy progresses. Your doctor will recommend the best foods for you to eat at different points in your pregnancy, and what to avoid.

You will need to take a prenatal vitamin every day to be sure that baby isn’t missing any important nutrients. If you have problems getting access to healthy food or prenatal vitamins, tell your adoption professional or adoptive family right away so someone can help you.

Take Care of Nausea

For some people, “morning sickness” can last all day long. You may feel sick for only the first semester, or you may feel sick all pregnancy long. Eat something first thing in the morning to help settle your stomach. If nausea makes it hard to eat something, stick with wheat toast or a small bowl of oatmeal or healthy (not sugary) cereal and milk.

Try to eat small meals more often during the day to keep your stomach from feeling empty, which tends to make nausea worse. Some women get relief from special motion sickness bands that use pressure points on your wrist to help ease nausea. If you are feeling so sick that you can’t eat, be sure to let your doctor know.

Keep Your Energy Up

Pregnancy can leave you feeling physically tired and worn down, especially in the first and third trimester. You need to get plenty of rest, so go to bed early and nap whenever it is possible.

Eating small, healthy meals throughout the day will help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Avoid excessive caffeine or sugary foods that can give you a temporary energy boost but then cause your energy levels to crash.

You may not feel like it, but regular exercise will help you feel more alert and give you more energy during the day. Some physical activity, like a daily walk, is good for your mind, body, and the baby.

Pay Attention To Your Mental Health

Pregnancy hormones can make women feel overwhelmed, stressed, or sad, and giving a child up for adoption can introduce even more of these feelings. If you feel like your emotions are out of your control, that you can’t find any enjoyment out of life, like you can’t eat, or if you have anxiety or sadness that lasts longer than two weeks, call your doctor and adoption professional right away. Counseling is available to you at no cost, and you can get support and help for depression.

Your adoption professional and adoptive family are here to offer you the support and help that you need, and you can always turn to them when you need the healthy food, medical care, or emotional support that a pregnancy requires. Let them know what you need — call 1-800-923-6784 anytime, 24 hours a day. Taking care of your health will help you feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally during your pregnancy.

Heather Featherston
Written by Heather Featherston

As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.

Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.

As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.

Read more about Heather Featherston


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