Oh, pregnancy, how I loved you. You turned me into a girl who vowed to never be pregnant and only have children through a surrogate (thanks, sis for volunteering at the time) into a momma who is ready for round two! You may know that I didn’t have the easiest pregnancy, but it was the most incredible, beautiful stage of my life. I’ve never felt more special or important as I grew my little poppy seed into garbanzo bean, clementine, mango, and eventually watermelon (is anyone else hungry now?).
I’m 7.5 months post-partum and no, I am not living in a blissful after period with blinders on. Trust me, I still remember the daily and nightly agonies I endured, and even with that, my statement stands.
Trying to come up with only 9 tips for 9 months proved very difficult, but I did my best to come up with 9 of the top tips I have for your pregnancy. More posts to come on this topic though, don’t you worry! I’ve included some of my favorite pregnancy moments, and if you have any questions you would like me to address in the future, leave a comment below.
9 Pregnancy Tips
Educate yourself…but not too much
What, you’re wondering? Since when is education a bad thing, especially coming from a teacher!? I spent countless hours pouring over every pregnancy book I could get my hands on, from the absolutely ridiculous Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven (a ploy to convert you to veganism) to the massive ‘pregnancy Bible’ What To Expect When You’re Expecting, and truly everything in between.
There’s a line between knowing your options, what’s happening in your body, and learning about what’s to come and getting completely overwhelmed and stressed with information you don’t even need. Information is power, but too much information is dangerous when it comes to pregnancy.
- Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth
- Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide
- The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be
Question your medications
I was one of the unfortunate people who experienced 10 months of nausea and vomiting, some of it very severe that left me couch-ridden and crawling to the bathroom. Not my brightest moments. I was thrilled when my doctor prescribed me Ondansetron, also known as Zofran, to reduce my debilitating nausea. Thank goodness after a few tries, I gave up on it since it didn’t work for me, because months after I had my baby, I learned something very troubling. I was working on a copy writing job and came across my assignment: Zofran birth defects lawsuits.
My heart dropped in my stomach as I did my research and learned that many drug manufacturers, in an effort to push their drugs to the market, do not properly disclose all side effects to healthcare professionals and consumers to boost their bottom line. Zofran has been linked to an increased risk of heart defects, cleft palate, and other devastating birth defects. Read more about it here. The bottom line is, ask questions and do your research before accepting prescriptions, especially while you’re pregnant.
It’s okay to skip birthing classes
I know many women benefit from birthing classes, and I’m not discounting their experiences as part of their education and preparation process. However, I chose not to take a birthing class for many reasons including the following: 1. I heard from many people that the multi-hour class at my hospital was overwhelming, tiring, and not useful; 2. many classes are anti-medication and make their agenda well-known. I didn’t want to feel under attack for wanting an epidural; 3. my husband and I read books and watched videos on our own and preferred preparing in our own way.
You can go to classes and spend time and money ‘preparing,’ but your baby will decide what your plan is. You should educate yourself (see #1) and have an idea of what you want, but you have to be flexible – a class cannot prepare you for that. If you enjoy the social aspects of classes, by all means, have at it. But I did not attend any class, and guess what? …
I had a baby! And it was awesome! And I knew how to breathe and push her out! It did not go according to how I envisioned, but it was the greatest moment of my life. Have an idea of your options, know what you want, be flexible, show up to the hospital, have your baby. Boom.
Buy clothes that make you feel pretty and borrow if you can
I’m guessing even the most attractive, fit girls feel unattractive at some points in their pregnancies. It can feel disheartening not to wear your normal clothes and have parts of you swell up that you didn’t know could. Maternity clothes can be pricey, but you need to buy clothes that make you feel pretty. You don’t even have to splurge – most of my “maternity clothes” were just normal clothes that I bought up in size, and now I can wear them post baby.
However, there was one day around the holidays when I was woefully feeling sorry for myself and boycotting a black tie Christmas party because I felt like a puffy amoeba blob. My dad took me against my will to Destination Maternity and made me try on all the clothes without looking at the price tags. I ended up with the most beautiful, comfortable dresses that made me feel pretty – something I hadn’t felt in a long time (thanks dad!).
Additionally, I was blessed that a co-worker let me borrow her maternity clothes. If a friend offers, be sure to take extra good care and write a heartfelt thank you note to follow up.
Not only is it important to eat healthy to keep your baby growing in tip top shape, but you also need to remember to pamper yourself. My husband and I set up a great night routine, which included back, leg, and foot massages before bed – I highly recommend this. It was a necessity for me because I had excruciating pain that made laying down, sitting, or walking painful…so pretty much everything! Even for those of you lucky enough to feel wonderful, you deserve this kind of treatment. In addition, see how you can pamper yourself at home and fake pregnancy radiance.
I know it can be tempting to push through and go about your daily business as though nothing has changed. But it has changed! You are carrying a person. Even if you look and generally feel great, your body is working so hard to create a human – take things slower than usual and accept help from others. I felt like I didn’t want additional attention or special treatment at work but was happy when I finally surrendered to a closer parking spot and assistance in taking it slow up and down the stairs (I never did give in to the elevator key though!). You will also benefit from having emotional support to celebrate your happiness, listen to your fears, and silently listen when you just need to complain. When people offer to help, they mean it.
Don’t let registering stress you out
I urge you not to fall into the trap of having a sweaty, stressful, anxiety attack type of registering experience I initially had! Check out my baby registering tips here.
Document your pregnancy
Although 40 weeks of pregnancy may feel like an eternity (especially at the end…the last week itself feels like 9 months), but before you know it, it will be over. You think you will remember all those special moments, funny quirks, or annoyances of pregnancy, but they will quickly fade to make space for the little bundle of squish coming your way. Take the time to document your pregnancy – for better or worse – by keeping a journal and lots of pictures! Write letters to your future baby or you can even setup an email account for your child and send him/her emails. Here are my picks for journals:
Hello, I’m Pregnant: A Pregnancy Journal
Pack for the hospital early
Babies have their way of coming whenever they feel like it, or God forbid there is a complication, it is best to be prepared. You will benefit from my hospital bag checklist – I bet there are items you didn’t think about! While you’re at it, here are some things about regarding visitors in the hospital.
So there you have it – 9 tips for 9 months.