Your life during pregnancy is like nothing you’ve experienced. Enjoy this special time and try these tips to ensure you take care of both yourself and your unborn child.
This is a time to snuggle up with baby books, try out different baby names, and meet with other pregnant friends to compare notes. It is a time for stillness and daydreaming and imagining just who this creature inside of you will turn out to be. It is a time for decorating the nursery, buying pure cotton onesies, and asking Grandma to knit tiny yellow booties. In short, this is your time, and we want you to relax and enjoy it to the fullest.
Doing so means stepping out of the rat race and setting aside your PalmPilot, your day planner, and endless to-do lists. If you continue to work, follow sound, on-the-job tips to help ease some of the stress and discomfort. It means slowing down, taking care of your needs before all others, and experiencing your pregnancy fully. We know this is hard. It probably feels indulgent. But the demands of the outside world pale when compared to what is occurring inside of you. What, we ask, could possibly be more important than growing a healthy baby?
We encourage you to embrace this extraordinary time. Both you and your developing baby are best served when you do. When you’ve passed the first trimester mark, you can announce your condition to the world, take naps with pride and revel in the amazing, glorious, wonderful experience called pregnancy.
Here are some suggestions for how to make every day of this amazing journey count.
Enjoy the Limelight . . . It Won’t Last!
If this is your first pregnancy, you may be surprised by all the unsolicited advice you receive. And no, it won’t all come from your mother-in-law! Complete strangers will think nothing of commenting on your appearance and offering their opinions as to whether you’re having a boy or a girl.
Relax, and learn to take it all in stride. Everybody is interested in a new baby, after all.
Besides, all this attention won’t last. You can be sure of that! Once that baby is born, all eyes will be diverted from you to the darling little bundle in your arms. The good news is that people will no longer be commenting on your looks, touching your protruding belly, and inquiring as to whether you’re having twins or triplets—but that’s only because no one is looking at you anymore!
A Little Indulgence is Good for the Soul
Your doctor’s instructions to take good care of yourself leave plenty of room for a little indulgence now and then.
An extra 300 nutrition-rich calories per day are all that’s required to grow a healthy baby. Provided you are fairly faithful about exercising regularly and eating an overall healthy diet, there’s no reason not to satisfy your sweet tooth every once in a while. An occasional half-cup of gourmet frozen yogurt or a slice of berry pie will not do much harm to the baby and could do a world of good to your state of mind.
Don’t fall into the trap of worrying about every pound you gain. That extra weight is going to a good cause, after all! If you’re concerned about gaining too much weight, check out our Perfect What-to-Eat-While-Pregnant Diet.
Not all indulgences need to be food related. Why not shop, for example?
The time will come in your pregnancy when you absolutely, positively cannot get away with wearing unbuttoned jeans covered with a big, baggy shirt. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good. Count yourself lucky to be pregnant at a time when there are multiple options for stylish, inexpensive maternity clothes. Check out the many online resources, as well as your local shops. Tent dresses, you’ll be delighted to discover, have gone the way of the dinosaurs.
If you’re just not in the mood to spend money, take a look at all the products you can get for free. Being pregnant certainly has its advantages!
Now that you’re pregnant, naps are no longer an indulgence. You need some time to put your feet up and recharge. There is a lot more going on in that body of yours than you may realize. Recent research shows that naps can be hugely beneficial, provided they are taken at the right time, and for the right amount of time.
Try to schedule a nap for the same time each day. Ideally, you will nap approximately halfway through your typical waking hours. So, if you normally arise at 7 AM and go to sleep at 11 PM, 3 PM would be your ideal time for a rest. Twenty to twenty-five minutes is the right amount of time for a nap. If you sleep much longer than that you will feel groggy upon awaking, rather than rejuvenated.
Don’t be surprised if you have some strange dreams during that nap of yours. Pregnancy wreaks as much havoc with your brain as with your body. Read up on the dreams of pregnant women to gain insight into just what yours might mean.
If you aren’t a big fan of napping, consider scheduling a restorative massage or arranging an afternoon at your local day spa. There you’ll find lots of ways to pamper yourself; we advise you try them all!
Can’t find time even for that? Then, at the very least, pamper yourself with special skin creams. Pregnancy can take its toll on your skin, so keep it well nourished.
Pick a Name—But Not Just Any Name!
Research shows what parents have suspected all along. That is, the name you choose for your child matters—a lot.
According to psychologist Dr. Albert Mehrabian, PhD, there is a clear correlation between a person’s name and how others treat that person. Just because a name has a positive personal association for you does not necessarily mean that others will share the association.
When choosing that perfect baby name, it’s in a parent’s best interest (not to mention the child’s!) to think not only how the name will play in the immediate family, but also to consider the impression it will make from the sandbox all the way to the executive suite.
Play with different names, from the classic to the creative, and then create a short list of your favorites. Stumped as to where to begin? Our Baby Names Wizard will help!
Prepare the Nursery
If ever there was a time to “feather your nest,” it is now. Whether you live in a tiny apartment or a multi-bedroom house, there are fun and creative ways to make room for Baby. When considering colors for the nursery (or whatever area of the house the baby will sleep), choose colors that are soft and soothing, such as a quiet green or the palest of buttery yellows. Both have been shown to be conducive to quiet and sleep, and both colors work well for babies of either sex. If you are superstitious about decorating the nursery before baby arrives, you can still enjoy spending time choosing your colors and fabrics so all will be ready to go once Baby does come home.
There are entire superstores dedicated to nursery “necessities.” Buy out the stock, if you wish, but know that it doesn’t take much more than a crib, a changing table, and a good diaper pail to make a baby’s nursery comfortable and safe. Spend the money that’s left on items that you know will add ease and convenience to your life.
Chat, Commiserate, and Spread the Word . . .
Most pregnant women relish the details of their pregnancy and enjoy comparing notes with other women in the same boat. Join WFA Mom’s Due Date Club to connect with other moms who share your due date. It’s a built-in support group and, besides that, it’s fun!
Nine months can be a long time to wait to meet that little one inside of you. Now, thanks to “MyWFAMoms,” you need wait no longer. You can log on to your personalized pregnancy calendar and pull up all sorts of information that not only tells you what your baby is doing at each stage of development, but shows you pictures of what your darling might look like as well!
These are just a few suggestions for how to completely, totally, and absolutely give in to your pregnancy and enjoy every moment of it. We encourage you to add your own ideas to this list and incorporate them into your life. The time to pamper yourself is now. Once your little one comes along, chances are you won’t have time for such indulgences for a while . . . but you’ll have your memories of a pregnancy well-spent!