What to expect when expecting in the KMC

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ciara M. Travis
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
"Yay! We're pregnant! Now what?"

Being pregnant is no easy task. Combine that with being stationed overseas and an entirely separate challenge is added. Luckily, there is no shortage of resources for the 'expecting' family here in the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

The moment I found out I was pregnant, I was overwhelmed with joy. How exciting this was going to be -- my first child will be able to say he or she was born in Germany. Then, my head was suddenly swamped with a million questions.

What did the KMC have to offer me and my family while we were expecting? What doctor will I see? Will my son or daughter be German or American? What options do I have in classes?

Now seven months in and looking back, I see there is plenty available here to fully accommodate any pregnant mother.

Throughout my pregnancy, I've thought about many things and how they would affect me and my new bundle of joy.

First things first -- would I continue seeing my primary care manager, or would I begin seeing a new doctor?

It depends. Anything not pregnancy-related that occurs prior to 20 weeks of gestation, you would do exactly what you normally would do. I got sick twice prior to 20 weeks, and both times used the personal help advisor line to determine if I needed to see a doctor.

For anything pregnancy related, I went through Landstuhl Regional Medical Center's OB/GYN clinic. I've had regular appointments scheduled every four weeks to check on the status of myself and what my husband and I like to call 'the peanut.'

My advice? Since you are pregnant and are likely to forget important questions during the four-week-wait time, write down as many questions or concerns you can. That way, you get as much out of your appointment as possible.

After my first few appointments at LRMC, I was offered many opportunities to grasp the 'expectant mother' experience. All of the extra support helped me through everything, considering this was our first child.

There is a program offered through LRMC where a nurse can meet with you on a monthly basis to give you any advice you're willing to take. They gave me tons of helpful information and I got a lot of one-on-one time, giving me the chance to ask questions about how my body was changing and what to expect in months to follow.

Because I am just about 30 weeks, I can now register for the evening courses offered through LRMC on Thursdays. The courses, I've been told, cover everything from breast feeding and labor and delivery, to the long-awaited post partum.

Aside from the medical aspect, there were many other things that concerned me. Like any other pregnant woman who is self conscious about gaining weight, I tried to figure out how to keep fit during my pregnancy. Luckily, I found out a pregnancy class was offered on both Landstuhl and Ramstein.

Because of convenience, I took the class at the Ramstein Southside Fitness Center -- and I am so glad I signed up. From the first class till now, I feel like my overall fitness has really improved.

As an active duty servicemember, I understand that I must be back in tip top shape within four months of delivery. And I can almost assume that most women would like to return to their pre-pregnancy fitness shortly after childbirth. I personally believe because I've kept up with my fitness during pregnancy, bouncing back may be a bit easier.

It has been very helpful to attend a class that teaches specific training on how to stay fit during pregnancy was exactly what I needed. The course covers everything from Pilates and core work to circuit training and specific muscle training. I couldn't have asked for a better fitness plan, especially designed to help me and the 'peanut' stay healthy.

As far as maternity uniforms, I can recommend two things. If you're unable to afford the new maternity uniforms, first check out the Airman's Attic. If you can't find what you need there, contact your first sergeant.

As for knowing what to expect after the baby is born, there is a class offered through the Airman & Family Readiness Center's new parent support program called Bundles for Babies. This class offers support for new parents and can help them in knowing what to expect in having a new baby at home and the safety it requires.

With 10 weeks to go, I am cramming as much as seemingly possible into each and every day. I still have major purchases to make and I am trying to stock up on diapers as much as possible. With the high volume of people on Ramstein, I recommend getting as many of your purchases earlier on in your pregnancy as possible so when your cute little 'peanut' comes, you are fully prepared. The most important of those purchases -- a crib, mattress, bottles and accessories, and a breast pump if you are a working mom who plans on breast feeding.

I wish the best of luck to you and your newest addition!

Here are some numbers that were extremely helpful for me during this pregnancy:

A&FRC, DSN 480-5900 or commercial 06371-47-5900
Airman's Attic, Bldg 2162, Tue, Wed, and Fri 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
LRMC OB/GYN, DSN 486-7196 or commercial 06371-86-7196
LRMC Labor, Delivery, DSN 486-8208 or commercial 06371-86-8208
Passport, Visas & Birth Registration office, DSN 480-2240 or commercial 06371-47-2240
Personal Health Advisor line, toll free in Germany 0800-825-1600
Southside Fitness Center, DSN 480-0294 or commercial 06371-47-0294