It’s an established fact. Some women can’t stand being pregnant, getting big and bloated, and hauling around a giant stomach, and some women, for reasons, probably understood by Darwin, love it.
The latter part of this quote by American writer, Rich Cohen sums me up perfectly. I’m on my third journey only two months to go and if God wills it then I am ready for more!
This post focuses on the basic things to do for a happy pregnancy, regardless of any pregnancy cycle in your life – whether your first or any subsequent ones. I am speaking to both the gentlemen and the ladies here, so don’t assume this is only for the women and sneak away to read another one of my intriguing posts 😉
The pregnancy experiences vary for all women. Mostly, I believe the way the partner feels about the pregnancy matters a great deal much more than anything else you can do for yourself alone. But the lodestone in the pregnancy is the lady who is experiencing it.
I LOVE being pregnant, to feel so feminine, like a woman.
For the Gentlemen
Just to reiterate that women can either have a wonderful pregnancy or one that is not so much. If you want her to have a happy pregnancy then remember that Your Support Matters. Here are a few things you can do to show you care:
- Let your woman sleep more, rest other times.
- Make breakfast. Let her rest.
- Read up on pregnancy and childbirth.
- Take part in discussions on pregnancy and childbirth and beyond.
- Be there for all the appointments/prenatal classes.
- Be gentle during intercourse and communicate if this position works or that – the comfort of your lady matters at this point 🙂 You can get creative.
Now we’ve covered ^ Let’s get down with the Survival Guide for a Happy Pregnancy for you.
For the Preggos
Focus on caring for yourself
Mark Twain said a man is not comfortable without his own approval. When you are pregnant, you are not sick, you don’t have a disease; this is just another phase of life just like getting your first period was. This is a time to celebrate your body and the fantastic changes it will go through!
If you can afford it, then make those salon appointments to get your hair done, or your nails did. Get that soothing massage – ensure you go to a practitioner certified to work on pregnant women too.
Do not go for a drastic change in hairstyle, because if it upsets you then it defeats the purpose.
I would not recommend you to get a whole new wardrobe for pregnancy because as your body continues to grow you may just get over them within the month.
Invest in quality attire, inside and out:
- The right maternity bras that support your growing breasts.
- Multiple underwears to change twice during the day. (Yes, you got to do to it.)
- A good pair of maternity jeans (if you love wearing jeans!)
- Sleepers that are flowing and comfortable.
- Comfortable, yet firm walking shoes.
My biggest Mistake during Pregnancy
It was to buy a new post-delivery wardrobe – while I was pregnant. Not
only did my body change and went back to normal (Yay! for exclusive breastfeeding!) but my taste for clothes changed too. I loathed the clothes I purchased beforehand thinking “oh I may not have the time to go out shopping once the baby comes…” But trust me, once the baby comes, shopping is a superb way to get mall-walking-exercise and buying clothes little by little is wise too. Fools rush in, remember?!
Love the baby bump, celebrate your pregnant body. Take pictures of the beauty to remember forever.
If you are encouraged to look your best, Dress Your Baby Bump With Inspiration From Style Bloggers.
Yes, keeping yourself hydrated is one of the best things you can do, both while pregnant and otherwise too. It not only helps avoid constipation (because of your prenatal vitamins and all that hormone flurry) but it helps relieve heartburn, keeps your hair and skin looking healthy, flushes out all the toxins from your body and keeping urinary tract infections at bay.
Take Your Prenatal, every day
Many argue saying that since these vitamins are not natural, your body does not absorb them as much. I say, take the vitamins if it makes you feel better. Take your tests and see how your iron, calcium, and Vitamin-D levels are doing and with the help of your doctor and decide whether to take them or not then. For me, along with a healthy diet, I thrived on these supplements! I saw the difference how my skin and body felt when I wasn’t taking the prenatal and so I took them, even post delivery. I even fought nausea with Vitamin B12 pills!
Remember to Rest
You are growing another human being inside of you will need all the rest you can get. When I was working as HR, my workplace had a resting room complete with bunk beds and pillows. I used it for an hour within my 9-hour working day. Now, as a stay at home parent, freelance writing has given me more flexibility and I earn way better than before anyway. If you are interested in freelance writing then will check out all my posts in the series here.
Get Your Body Moving
This is a sure shot way to feeling good about your pregnancy. Ensure that you are checked and have a sign-off from your doctor to exercise. My exercise of choice: long leisurely walks and regular sex – yes, the whole pregnancy.
Walking is not only one of the easiest exercises, but it also has several benefits:
- Stay fit and maintain your weight naturally.
- Lower the risk of developing gestational diabetes.
- Fresh air and maybe some company is an absolute stress buster!
- Increases your flexibility, therefore, higher chances of normal pregnancy.
- Balances your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Remember to invest in the right “walking shoes” so there is less pressure on your spine and knees. It seems like everywhere you look these days, someone has a fitness tracker on their wrist. Get the best fitness tracker for motivation.
Don’t eat TOO much
Eating for two is total BS, LIES! You are eating to nourish your own body and your body is supplying the required nutrients to your child within the womb. What I am trying to say here is that simply piling on the rice and the number of chapatis on your plate at meal times will only give you a nasty heartburn and other complications. Heartburn is one of the major problems during pregnancy.
Do not underestimate the power of dry fruits!
The best thing to do here is to first get yourself checked for your BMI and then go to a referred dietician to chart out a plan that best suits your body type. For me, I had:
- Small portions of meals every couple of hours.
- A glass of milk either morning or before bedtime; sometimes both, depending on what my body needed.
- 3 different fruits during the day (before meals).
- Almonds, Raisins & fenugreek seeds (4 nos) soaked overnight in water.
- Lime juice/coconut water.
- Dark chocolate once a day.
- 2 liters of water every day.
Eat when you are hungry and eat what your body craves for.
Be Mindful of your Cravings
It’s not just pregnant women, everyone has cravings. Just that during pregnancy, the instinct of having something, in particular, can be more intense. Your body never lies, so you will need to think about the things you crave for a second before you indulge them.
I craved for green chilies and turns out, I was deficient in Vitamin C. Others who may crave for red meat may be deficient in protein. Craving for chocolate just means you need to have more minerals like magnesium in your body and so on.
Bottom line, when you have a balanced diet, you don’t have cravings; if you have the munchies for something, in particular, go for it! Ensure that you supplement your diet with whatever was missing and you don’t overindulge. (As I did with sweets and got pimples!)
Increase Your Awareness about things
Reading up would be the first thing to do as soon as you know you are expecting. I believe we live in a world that allows us to make educated and informed choices, far more than our mother’s generation could.
We need to take advantage of all the information out there; whether over the internet or through books. I have more faith in published books since websites and blogs can have their own agenda and that may not be fair to make the choices right for you.
When I talked about my pregnancy to Ritesh, one of my mentors at work, he handed me Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care: 8th Edition and reading the first chapter encouraged me so much that I deep dived into the book during my pregnancy and refer to it time and again even now for my toddler (and will read it again as my children get into their tweens and teens!)
Dr. Spock says, TRUST YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN – Here is an excerpt from the first chapter:
“Don’t take too seriously all that the neighbors say or be overawed by what the experts say. Don’t be afraid to trust your common sense. Bringing up your child won’t be a complicated job if you take it easy, trust your instincts and share your concerns with your friends, family and doctor… All parents do their best job when they have a natural, easy confidence in themselves. Better to relax and make a few mistakes than to try too hard to be perfect.”
Isn’t that encouraging? I didn’t find writing like this in any of the other books. Let me know if you do.
The writers who put together this book, not only give you comprehensive information on EVERYTHING related to your child – age by age – but also elaborate the logic and consequences in using different methods. The book is written in a fluid language so it would make perfect baby shower gift for your friends and loved ones too!
While you get this book for yourself or not, you need to get yourself acquainted with several concepts most of which are narrated perfectly in this book and will likewise be discussed in my posts here. Remember to subscribe so you don’t miss any!)
Look up both pros and cons to see which methods would be right for you and the initial research will keep you and your partner prepared for the adventure that’s coming!
- Breastfeeding from Day 1
- Breastfeeding during Pregnancy
- Natural Birthing Choices
- What to expect in C-section or Second C-section
I have observed that unless your man witnesses your baby in the flesh, the reality of it does not strike him as much as it does to you who experience the flutters and the kicks of another human growing inside of you! The experiences to both genders are different.
Encourage your partner to read up too. However, do not stress if they don’t listen to you right then. If I can generalize men here, they are practical, so they will learn as they go, they will see the baby and will know it’s time to pull the socks up! Be patient with your man. He will get there… hopefully soon.
Engage with other Preggos
Having talked about reading, it would be wise to be a part of the many groups on social media that resonate your own values. For example, I am a “natural parenting” warrior and so, I am part of the BRAS – Breastfeeding Resources and Support, baby led weaning, natural mamas and many other groups where I can raise my doubts and get a variety of answers to my queries too.
The best thing I learned from my father-in-law is that you must never hesitate to ask.
Being engaged within such groups or being friends with people who’ve had similar experiences or may go through this with you, are a big asset. Treasure them. Empower them.
While you are at it, I would recommend you set up an account with BabyCenter so you can not only take advantage of their immense articles on everything, but their weekly update on pregnancy and childcare are also on point!
However, you will need to use discretion is taking all the advice you would get – and yes, there will be advice coming at you from every direction by concerned family members and loved ones. Be gracious and say, “Thank you for letting me know, I will research about it OR I will talk to my doctor about it OR let me see how it goes”.
Always read up about any advice you get before applying it to yourself or to your baby.
Give Credit to the beautiful body God has given you
I do not believe in the law of attraction or chanting of affirmations. But after reading these for the first time, to be honest, I realized how much our bodies are capable of and how little we give credit to it.
- I know how to take care of myself in pregnancy.
- My body knows how to give birth.
- My baby knows the true birthday.
- Birth is safe for me and my baby.
- My baby will be born at the perfect time.
- My body knows when to give birth.
- I am a good mother.
- My baby will find the perfect position for birth.
- I love my baby.
- My baby loves me.
- I am a strong woman.
- Contractions help to bring my baby.
- I will make the right decisions for my baby.
- My pregnant body is beautiful.
- My baby senses the peace I feel.
- I accept the help of others.
- My baby’s head fits snuggly into my pelvis.
- I accept my labor and birth.
- I am surrounded by those who love and respect me.
- My baby feels my love.
- I know how to take care of my baby.
How I got over my Pregnancy Fears
My life is not based on trusting myself alone. If it was like that then I would still be the drug-addict, promiscuous person I was in my teens and early adulthood. My life was never as rosy as it is now.
I had the self-doubts about whether a person like me (who couldn’t stand babies or children before) could be a good mother? Or being a smoker, depended on drugs, I never trusted my body to bear children. I had fear of miscarriage.
All that changed when I Found God.
The one thing that cleared all my doubts and gave me the confidence to move ahead was God, having faith is trusting in the unknown.
These Bible verses gave me the strength to keep my head up, change my present lifestyle and to look forward in renewed spirit for the future.
But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty. 1 Timothy 2:15
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. Psalm 127:3-5
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6