Pregnancy is a miraculous, wonderful experience in a woman’s life. It can also be difficult, uncomfortable, and exhausting!
Even through the sickness, the fatigue, and the aches & pains, I have truly loved being pregnant both times. This second one has been tougher on me than the first was, but I’m still committed to appreciating every day of it!
I would love to see you enjoy your pregnancy as much as I have mine. To help you, I’ve compiled a list of tips & resources I think will help you have the best pregnancy possible for you!
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Epic List of Pregnancy Tips & Resources
Coping with morning sickness
- Eat little snacks every couple hours – this one was huge for me. Keeping my blood sugar levels stable gave me the biggest relief of anything.
- Sip ginger ale through a straw – taking small sips instead of big gulps makes a huge difference!
- Ginger snaps, ginger candy, smoothies with ginger … anything with real ginger in it.
- Stay moderately active – I didn’t have the strength or energy to do the high-intensity workouts I had been doing, but I found that staying moderately active (i.e. getting up and walking every hour or so) actually made me feel better!
- Preggie Pop Drops – These things are awesome!! They were the best things I found to keep the nausea at bay … or at least to a manageable level.
- Plan ahead, if possible, to have freezer meals! – These will be your best friend when you’re too nauseous to cook but want to eat healthy and keep your food budget low!
- Additional Reading:
Health & Nutrition
- Focus on eating a variety of foods from all the different food groups.
- Eat lots of protein and fiber to help you stay full.
- Foods that are high in iron: spinach, meat, beans, lentils
- Eat several small meals throughout the day.
- Don’t forget about your oral health – Here’s a great resource for what is/is not safe in dental care during pregnancy or when trying to conceive
- Additional Reading:
- YouTube Workout Videos
- Jessica Smith TV – She has a prenatal series that’s good, but I also used her regular walking workouts throughout my pregnancy.
- POPSUGAR fitness prenatal series – my favorite is this leg & butt workout
- BodyFit by Amy
- Denise Austin has some good pregnancy workout videos, if you can stand her peppy chatter (which I, personally, cannot).
- Strength training – Strength training is great for pregnancy! It strengthens your back muscles, helps prevent lower back pain, helps build strength & stamina for labor and delivery, and can help you keep your weight gain under control.
- Read more about weight training while pregnant: Great Pregnancy Exercise: Weight Training
- Prenatal yoga – I used Hilaria Baldwin Prenatal Yoga video when I was pregnant with Aidan and loved it. I have not been able to do yoga during my second pregnancy due to hip issues, and I miss it!
- Additional Reading:
Dealing with the exhaustion
- Take naps
- Go to bed at a decent time
- Fuel your body – Eat wholesome, balanced meals
- Drink tons of water!
- Be patient with yourself
- Don’t let others guilt you into doing more than you should.
- I LOVED my Snoogle!
- Additional Reading:
- Eat several small meals instead of three large ones.
- Eat slowly.
- Avoid fried, spicy, or rich foods.
- Try propping your upper body a bit, or sleep in a recliner.
- **My best advice** Don’t eat right before bed! I’ve noticed my heartburn is worse when I lie down right after having eaten.
Aches & Pains
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.
- Wear comfortable shoes with good support!
- When standing, distribute weight evenly on both feet – this one has been a big one for me!
- Visit a physical therapist – he/she can give you exercises specific to your body. I did this during my second pregnancy due to horrible hip pain, and I learned I had been doing exercises that were actually making the problem worse!
- Go to a chiropractor! – I regularly saw a chiropractor throughout both my pregnancies, and it helped tremendously! Plus, it gets your pelvis aligned correctly for a smoother delivery, and who doesn’t want that???
- Consider getting and wearing a support belt – I have not done this, but I wish I had with this one! My belly this time around is bigger and heavier, and it really starts to get sore. I’ve heard from other ladies that wearing a support belt gave them a lot of relief.
- Use non-maternity pieces whenever possible – With my first pregnancy, I was mostly pregnant through the winter. I made great use of maternity tanks & tees (which are much cheaper than blouses) paired with cardigans I already owned. Being pregnant in the summer this time, I’ve been wearing a lot of non-maternity maxi skirts and knit skirts with elastic bands.
- ThredUp!! – I heard of ThredUp quite some time ago, but never used it until my second pregnancy. I was pregnant in a completely opposite season and had to get a whole new wardrobe. ThredUp enabled me to get really good quality (and cute!) maternity clothes for SOOO much less than stores like Motherhood Maternity.
(Learn more about it here.)
- Shop second hand.
- Borrow from friends.
- Invest in a few basic staple pieces and mix them up with fun accessories.
Enjoying your pregnancy
- Include your husband or partner as much as possible!
- Try to enjoy every minute of it, even when you get huge and uncomfortable! It only lasts for nine months – make the most of it!
- Don’t take it for granted. Pregnancy is amazing and miraculous, and some women never get to experience the wonders of it. Consider yourself blessed!
- Pray over your pregnancy. Pray over your health, over your comfort, over your emotions, and over your marriage.
(If you’re not sure how to pray for these things, I highly recommend the book Prayers And Promises for Supernatural Childbirth!)
- Stay active, but don’t overdo it. Do as much as you feel comfortable doing, and let the rest go!
- Show respect and kindness to others, even when your hormones are going wacko!
- Take pictures! You’ll be glad you did later. A close friend of mine offered to do a maternity photo session. I didn’t want to because I felt huge, not beautiful, but my husband talked me into it. I’m so glad he did – I love looking through them and cherishing those memories!
- Keep a pregnancy journal – I kept mine VERY simple. I created a Word document where I jotted down quick notes every couple days. Later, when I had more time, I would go back and fill out my notes with more details and write them in complete sentences. (I used this system for Aidan’s first year, too, which worked MUCH better for me than a scrapbook or journal.)
- TRY to look past your size and see the beauty of pregnancy. I know, it’s hard, especially when everyone is reminding your daily that you’re “so big!” I’m not good at this one at all, so if you struggle with body image issues during pregnancy, I’m right there with ya, sister!
Pregnancy Websites & Blogs:
- The Bump @ www.thebump.com
- Pregnant Chicken @ www.pregnantchicken.com – at times a little too crass for my taste, but it is very amusing, and does a good job of assuring pregnant moms that no matter what weird things they’re experiencing, they’re never alone!
- Fit Pregnancy @ www.fitpregnancy.com
- Giving Birth With Confidence @ http://www.givingbirthwithconfidence.org/ – this one is new to me, but I’m really liking it!
- Alpha Mom @ http://alphamom.com/category/pregnancy/
- Baby Center @ www.babycenter.com – I love the personalization feature!
- Just Mommies @ www.justmommies.com – super fun website that is very user-friendly and has lots of fun things to explore, like quizzes, charts, and printables!
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting @ www.whattoexpect.com
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