Keep your sanity for those nine months with these hot tips.
(FYI, this post has an affiliate link to a couple products I recommend. If you decide to purchase it I receive a bit of cash at no cost to you. Hey, isn’t that why we blog?)
Take the prenatals. I usually bought the Target or store brand for economical reasons, but they all worked (I think). User warning: these will make you constipated so be ready for some difficulties with your BMs if you’ve never experienced that. To counter it take fiber pills (and stool softener, trust me on that). (Insert ‘YIKES’ emoji face)
Do what you can to avoid stretch marks. I started a regimen of using Burt’s Bees Lemon & Vitamin E Oil and rubbing it on my stomach and upper thighs throughout my pregnancy. Apparently I’m vain and read somewhere that prevented stretch marks. I used it religiously throughout my pregnancy when I’d get out of the shower and haven’t seen a stretch mark since. After a few weeks of using it you’ll get quite sick of that sweet lemon smell. Just a heads up, but stick with it!
Move yo’ ass, momma! Walking & Prenatal yoga. My yoga teacher at the time told me to stop downward dogs. I was so surprised when she said that. (Clearly, I am not a doctor or in the medical field.) so I tried a ton of YouTube pregnancy yoga and found this woman’s videos. I tried to do them daily. Her soothing voice and badass pool made me feel like I was doing something right. Aside from yoga, another easy way to get moving is walking or running. I was jogging up until week 24 or so. Then my doctor told me to start taking it easy, so I did just that and switched up to long walks. These became a nice meditative break from my day. I found myself connecting with my unborn peanut. Preparing myself mentally, I’d think about things I wanted to do once she arrived. In my opinion keeping as active as you can is crucial.
Make sure you’re comfortable with your Lady Doctor. If you can’t tell by now, I clearly have some hiccups, so making sure your comfortable with your OB is pivotal. I’m never one to speak up but when it came to this I finally did. You see your OB a TON during pregnancy. I go to a group of doctors but I found during pregnancy I loved one woman above all the others. I mentioned it to her and she now exclusively sees me. I took the chance when I went into labor it wouldn’t be her but luck was on our side and she was working the day I delivered. The lesson here is make sure you’re going to be comfortable with the person who’ll have their hands inside you more than you! Unless you’re a nympho. It’ll help you relax a bit more leading up to the big show.
Keep a log of thoughts to tell your future kid. This is something I’m still doing. It’s not fluff like: “I wish you become a unicorn and eat vanilla ice cream whenever you want”. They are very real, specific items I’ll share with her when she’s the right age. Some of them also serve as notes to myself to remind myself in case life and motherhood beat me down. For example when she’s 14-16 and starting to date, have a real talk with her about sex, drugs, and relationships and what to expect. I think that’s about the time most people have their first love. I know it’ll be uncomfortable to be real and open but I think It’s important to tell your kids what’s normal and what’s not. Basically, I don’t want my daughter to make the same mistakes I did. Or feel lost like I did. Even if I never share these as they are written to her I think it’s a good exercise for your mental health. Go back and visit your notes once in a while and edit them. It also helps with keeping your individuality and remembering you are and were a person before you became a mom. Keep that little spark of individuality alive, it’ll bring you sanity on tough days. Side note: I’m a big proponent of journaling in general so if you don’t already keep one this is a great time in your life to start one too. (Aside from your don’t “do this” log for your child, if you decide to start one.) Marshall’s & TJ Maxx always have adorable journals for less than $10. Or you know you can make a trip to the Amazon and find one if you don’t want to leave your house.
WATER. Drink as much water as humanly possible. It’s an element of life so embrace it. Treat yo’self to a cute environmentally glass friendly water bottle and keep that thing at your side, day and night. Again, take a little trip to Marshall’s or TJ Maxx, or add one to your Amazon cart. Also if you haven’t already get on the sparkling water bandwagon! I mentioned this elsewhere but I found the bubbles and act of opening the can was kind of like a little replacement for my beers. (I’m stressing the ‘kind of’.) A bit similar of a concept for when they suggest smokers use a little totem or something to replace the physical aspect of smoking…but whatever you do, stop drinking & smoking for pregnancy! It’s def not the most fun thing but having a healthy baby is worth the sobriety. Plus once you do get cleared for take-off again you get to re-discover all your faves so that’s something to look forward to.
I highly recommend “What to Expect While You’re Expecting” by Heidi Murkoff. These books will guide you through and help you prepare for your pregnancy and first year. I was the first person in my family to start producing sea monkeys so I hadn’t really been around a pregnant person in my adult life. If you read my first ‘Fear & Loathing through Parenthood’ post you’ll quickly gather that I had no idea what to expect. There is also a website and app you can download to reference along with the book. The app is cool because it’ll tell you things like “today your baby is the size of a gummi bear” and also use it to track your diet & appointments to keep on track. There’s a ton of apps to choose from but they are all basically the same concept.
Keep a sense of humor and offer to be the DD. You’re friends will love it and keeping up with your social life will make you feel connected to that aspect of your life. Also, if you read my Fear & Loathing Through Parenthood post you’ll know I was afraid of FOMO and having to take the back burner. When I was pregnant I went to five concerts, a bachelorette, three weddings, and threw a major fundraiser for work. I kept my normal routine going. It is the last hoorah in a way!
Lastly, talk. Talk with your partner and share your feelings about the whole process. It’s important to keep them involved of what you’re going through and experiencing. Also to remind them you’re body is currently creating a foot while they are on their fifth beer and eating sushi. So keep that dialogue going! Also, talk with other women who have recently had a baby to get an idea of their experiences. Some people will have great advice and some people will give you ideas of things that you aren’t going to do.
Hopefully if you’re reading this you take away a bit from these tips. If you have any to share, please do! Communicating is how we learn and grow as a race. If you have some amazing thing you did during those nine months that kept you grounded, share it with the world below!