As I mentioned before I loved being pregnant, even though I was nauseous pretty much 24/7. I didn’t care, because it was everything I had dreamed of. Pregnancy is such an amazing, miraculous thing. I know a lot of women don’t experience it that way, but there are a couple of things you can do to feel less overwhelmed and uncomfortable and more prepared and excited. That’s why I’m sharing some insights, tips and tricks I picked up during my pregnancy. Hopefully they will help you as well. So, if you are pregnant – congratulations! – here are my ten tips for pregnant mamas!
1. Be a mama- nerd
I read a lot of books when I was pregnant with Aya. Books about pregnancy, birth, sleeping, breastfeeding and parenting. I would definitely advise you to do this for two reasons. First, an informed mama can make her own choices and feels strong and confident. A lot of people are going to try and tell you ‘what is best for you and your baby’. It will be a lot easier to say ‘no’ if you have read up on these subjects. Second, once your baby is here you are not going to touch a book at least a year because you are too freaking tired. So drink up all that info, store it somewhere and GO.
2. The Baby List
There are so many things to be bought if you are a first time mama. You can find a lot of lists on the internet with items you need for your baby. It would be wise to check with a veteran mama is all of these products are absolutely necessary. But even after crossing off the exces, you are left with so much shopping. Spread out the items on your list over the months ahead. That way you don’t have to spend a crazy amount of money at once. You can turn it into a fun outing: something you can do with your partner and get excited for your little miracle.
3. This is tight!
I bought my first pair of pregnancy jeans when I was four months pregnant. It was heaven. And in hindsight maybe a little late. So just give into it as soon as your clothes feel uncomfortable. I didn’t like the pants with the tight bands around my belly, so I wore a lot of leggings. And I basically lived in Calvin Klein pajama bottoms in my third trimester (not at work obviously). Also, don’t wait to buy a bigger bra. Run to the store the minute things start to feel tight.
4. Downward Pregnant Belly
I would definitely advice you to find some sort of pregnancy class. I did pregnancy yoga, but honestly any sort of pregnancy exercise class will do (just make sure the instructor is certified). Also, a lot of birthing classes are financed by your insurance, so that’s worth checking out. I didn’t like my yoga class, because there was a LOT of talking and very little yoga. So I was bored out of my mind (and also fell asleep half the time) during those classes. But that was mostly because I had read about ten thousand books about pregnancy, birth and parenthood before my second trimester. So if you are not a big reader, those classes can be very helpful.
5. Walk, walk, walk and then walk some more
It’s important to keep exercising when you are pregnant. Just keep yourself informed on what you can and cannot do exercise-wise. Please don’t underestimate what your body is going through! I found out that walking was the perfect exercise for me. I preferred it over swimming (less of a fuss) and pregnancy classes (less of a bore). Not only did it help me feel energized, it also helped with pretty much every pregnancy ailment I experienced. Honestly, walking is amazing. Huge walking- fan. Also after your baby is born: it’s the perfect way to get and stay fit after pregnancy and you can do it with your baby.
6. Boob Class
I mentioned I am a nerd right? But seriously taking a breastfeeding class is not superfluous. If you are thinking about breastfeeding your baby or have already made up your mind I would definitely urge you to learn more. Knowing about latching on, complications, obstacles, benefits and options before your baby is born is so important. Not only will it give you confidence (which is key when you are a first time mama), it will also help you overcome any breastfeeding issues you may encounter once your baby is here. So, read a book and take your partner to a breastfeeding class. I promise, it’s so worth it and it can also be quite hilarious.
7. Breathe woman! Breathe!
I read a ton about giving birth when I was pregnant. I was one of those pregnant women who was actually looking forward to giving birth. I was very curious about the whole experience! I knew I wanted a natural birth, but I did not feel comfortable having a home birth. So I picked out a hospital and started doing the work. I took a few sessions with a pain hypnosis professional and did my homework, which meant a lot of breathing and visualizing. This got me through my contractions up until about two hours before delivery. Whatever coping mechanism you choose, make sure it is something you believe in, makes you feel confident and empowers you.
8. Get everyone on the same page
You may have your ideas about how you want things to go once you go into labor, but it is extremely important that the people around you also know what (and what NOT) to do. So write a birthing plan. There are many examples on the internet that you can use and make your own. Make sure that the people who are in the room when you give birth are willing to respect and follow your birthing plan. Obviously certain medical decisions are out of your hands, but initially you and your baby are Boss.
9. I asure you
It’s time to check out your health insurance. You need to know what your insurance will cover and if you need to upgrade your coverage. You do not want to have to deal with surprise bills when you are nine months pregnant or have a tiny newborn keeping you up 24/7. Call your insurance or go on the web and check out if things like a hospital birth, pregnancy classes and physiotherapy are covered.
10. Belly Rights for the Pregnant Mama
Last but not least a couple of random tips that will help you enjoy your pregnancy even more. For the next nine months you have the most important job in the world: you are helping you tiny human grow. This job comes with a couple of rights. You get to be irrational at least once a day. You get to decide you don’t want to be around negative people, because that energy is bad for the baby. You get to say thank you to advice and then do the exact opposite. You get to decide who touches your belly (because seriously, do you touch your co-workers belly?). You get to say no to things and people that are exhausting, heavy or simply no fun.