One of the reasons birth parents choose adoption is to provide their babies a promising future with many opportunities for love and success. Many birth mothers are not currently in the position to build a family in the way they hope to. It’s a courageous decision to give your child a loving family for the rest of his or her life.
However, there is another future that is just as important: your own. Your pregnancy can be a time to make plans, set goals, and make decisions to reach your highest potential in the future. Here are some simple things you can do during your pregnancy to give yourself the best possible future.
Staying active and healthy as much as possible during your pregnancy can really help to ensure your future health. Generally, women who maintain their activity levels during pregnancy have less aches and pains, reduced weight gain, and easier deliveries. The reduced impact on your body can help you as you meet the challenge of finalizing the adoption.
Staying active during pregnancy can also help to reduce your risk for developing postpartum depression. Since depression can hinder your recovery from pregnancy and reduce your self-efficacy, making exercise a priority is worth the trouble, even on the days when you just don’t feel like it.
Some women have trouble with joint pain and discomfort during pregnancy. You might try prenatal yoga, swimming, or walking as your exercise if you find higher intensity exercises to be too challenging or difficult with a growing belly.
Write Down Your Vision for Yourself
Visualizing your goals is an important step of planning how to get there. During your pregnancy, take time to sit and actually write the ideal future you’d like to see for yourself. Write the ideal future you’d like to see for your baby. Then, you can work backwards from this vision to see what it might take to get there.
For example, if you’d like to graduate from college, you can document the obstacles that are standing in your way: finances, relationships, or prerequisites. Once you have a concrete idea of the things you need to overcome, you can create a plan for how to get past each hurdle.
You can gain clarity from this exercise to illuminate the path ahead. Some mothers also find this comforting, as it helps to provide perspective surrounding the difficult choice to choose adoption for your baby.
Choose Achievable Goals
Once you know your obstacles, you can start small. Fold up your vision for yourself, and work on what you can work on at the moment. For example, your first task might be to graduate from high school or pass a difficult class in college. Some mothers might want to get a part-time job to save money for community college.
Your goals can be even more specific. You might, for instance, want to travel one day. An obstacle to keep you from traveling might be living paycheck to paycheck. You might start using a budgeting software to help you track your expenses. You might look at night classes so you can earn a higher wage.
Planning achievable goals and meeting them while you prepare for adoption is one of the best things you can do to boost your confidence in the choices you make for yourself
Use Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations can help you prepare for birth and recovery. These are statements you write yourself to feel more empowered about your body, your baby, and your choices as a mother. Examples of affirmations you can repeat to yourself are:
- I am in control of my own life.
- My body is wise and knows how to give birth.
- My body is good and physical changes are natural.
- I’m not afraid to choose what is best for my baby.
- I can adapt to changes in my circumstances.
- Even when things don’t go perfectly, I am still able to choose what is best for me.
- I am making the right decision for my baby.
Because so many women experience feelings of anxiety, fear, and discomfort during pregnancy, negativity can overwhelm your self-confidence. Positive affirmations offset those fearful thoughts as your remind yourself that you are able to make good choices for yourself and for your baby. Empowerment can help you choose the right adoptive family.
Even though personal goals and preparation are essential for birth mothers, there is only so much you can do alone. Pregnancy counseling can help you deal with feelings of shame, loss, grief, and anger in a healthy way. Talking to a professional before and after placing your baby can really safeguard your mental health.
Bring your affirmations and goals to your counseling appointments. Having an “end game” can help your counselor know the direction to take with your sessions.
For more questions about how you can plan for your future and meet the goals you want for your own life, contact A Child’s Dream.