I am hearing about a different friend or acquaintance every week who is pregnant, many who are first time moms. My little one just a little over a year old, so while I do not claim to be an expert by ANY means, I’d like to share some tips, thoughts, and products I discovered through pregnancy and being a brand-new mom! Everyone shares something different, so maybe some of these things you didn’t know about! I’ll go in chronological order, from the earliest stages of pregnancy to holding your newborn!
THERE ARE TWO LINES..I’M PREGNANT! Ready or not, here he (or she) comes, so here are some things to look for and look forward to…
1) “Morning sickness” is NOT just in the morning for many women! For this wonderful symptom. I highly recommend “Preggie Pops” or “B Natal” lollipops. You can buy them at Babies R US for sure, but a quick google search will show many other sources I’m sure.
2) Exercise during pregnancy-be careful to not overdo or under-do it based on your doctor’s suggestions. I had to modify Zumba dance moves as I got further into the pregnancy.
3) Read “First Time Mom” by Dr. Kevin Leman (Christian family counselor..he also has good marriage books). This is something you will want to read before you have your baby and again afterward, say at age one! For practical medical, feeding, and general baby knowledge, I liked What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and What to Expect in the First Year.
3) For those with gestational diabetes…..Tips on yummy foods–I found where all the sugar free treats are! TCBY has a strawberry and sometimes other flavored sugar-free yogurt. Those self-serve yogurt bars also usually have some sugar free yogurt (usually vanilla). If you are okay with a little caffeine later in pregnancy (You research it and ask your doc, because I sure am not one!), Crystal Light has caffeine as well as NON caffeinated drink mixes. It may give you diarrhea a little though depending on how much you drink and how sensitive your tummy is. 😉 It also has Vitamin B release in some drink mixes. Snack Packs come in sugar free chocolate pudding. My best treat while on my diet was to get a sugar free chocolate pudding and mix in some natural peanut butter. MMM best think I had for quite awhile!
4) Be watchful of your belly during pregnancy of what is called a diastatis. You will be able to tell best when you lie down flat on your back, then try to get up off the bed. If there is a new little split down your torso about in line with your belly button, you have what I have read 1/3 of pregnant women get. The muscles are moving out of the way for the baby! Unfortunately, this lucky 1/3rd of women will have to do some exercises to repair it, as it weakens the ab muscles and can cause back problems later if left unrepaired. I believe there are preventive exercises you can do during pregnancy. You can research this and/or talk to a doctor/physical therapist about it. I didn’t prevent it, thus my reason for sharing the knowledge with you. Some women get this during the pushing phase of labor, by the way.
5) Things to get done before baby comes (stuff for YOURSELF! Think about things that are far away, take time and noise to get done (nailing pictures in the walls with a sleeping baby may or may not work out..is it worth the risk?) Hanging out with friends, going on a “baby moon” with whatever your budget will allow, clothes that are a little bigger than your pre-pregnancy size (because shopping will NEVER be the same, even if you somehow actually find time to shop haha!), and clean your car out. I wanted the new baby to come home in a clean car..and now it looks like a locker/trash can again..oh well, he started out right at least! Maybe I’ll do spring cleaning. 😉
6) Maternity clothes–borrow from friends or buy second-hand (consignment for babies specifically have maternity clothes normally, second hand stores sometimes carry maternity clothes-some of my cutest maternity clothes were from general second-hand stores. Look online for options to register for a pre-sale consignment event (like Rhea Lana) for “expectant moms”, but remember to keep in mind baby showers you might be having. Target and Walmart should have some maternity panties, and yes, you will probably want some if you value comfort. Be prepared to buy new shoes if your feet swell. Just budget for some extra clothes when coming up with your “baby moon” destination. 😉
7) Do NOT de-tag any clothes unless you intend for your baby to wear them in the first few days of life. Also, you may want to wait to hear your baby’s estimated weight toward the end of the pregnancy.
8) Sometimes what you read about Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor) vs. the real thing can be misleading. I went in to the hospital twice because I had strong contractions that became closer that did NOT go away with walking, not walking, water, and rest for an entire day and sometimes more. Probably the most and only very helpful indicator I was told by a doctor is, “If you struggle to breath through the pain its so bad, that is probably real labor.” Even knowing that, however, I still only went to the doctor because I thought I had a very painful UTI that was-you guessed it-my baby on the way! I was dilated to 6cm already! When concerned, call your doc!
8) You will want to invest in some LARGE underwear that doesn’t even really make contact with you much..if you know what I mean. Also, I saw how to make homemade “Padscicles” on Pinterest. The Hospital will give you these, but if you want more, look those up!
9) If you will be pumping breast milk, you can get a hands-free bra. (Someone gave me one while Ethan was in the hospital, and let me tell you, it was SO helpful! You can read, type, eat (Gotta eat to keep that milk going, haha!) As far as the pump itself goes, some consignment shops have them and while sharing tubing might be kind of unsanitary, you could use the electric pump part itself; after all, that is the pricey part! You can buy tubing and other gear separately, at Target or other related stores. IF you have a friend who is not currently pumping but has one, you could talk to the friend about borrowing.
10) Speaking of breastfeeding/pumping, I have NEVER been SO HUNGRY in my life as much as when I was pumping! I would eat a peanut butter sandwich in the middle of the dang night after pumping! Even being super tired, your body will need a LOT of calories to keep the milk supply up. Breastfeeding does, however, help you drop weight pretty quickly! It contracts your uterus back down, which you can learn more about from the above mentioned books! On topic, however, is a book I liked about breastfeeding (which I sadly couldn’t utilize much 😦 was The Complete Book of Breastfeeding.
AFTER BABY COMES
11) Let others do CHORES for you rather than have them watch the baby for you if they offer to help around the house (unless you want a nap.) Your baby’s biggest need is food and bonding with you, Mommy! Wait until your kid is 2 years old and wild, then farm them out to grandma for long periods of time! (Just kidding, mostly :D) But seriously, God designed breastfeeding in part because the babies need closeness to their mothers in their early months!
12) That being said, do not be afraid to go on a date with your husband ( or if you are a single mom, don’t be afraid to at some point allow yourself some time to yourself out of the house when you start feeling a little crazy.)
13) Baby shoes are very hard to predict sizing..also, many baby shoes are pointless. They are cute, but I would settle for just a few pairs for pictures and special occasions until they are learning to walk. Just my opinion, but I only have a boy so ;).
14) Do not fall prey to fighting over who has had less sleep or who has helped more…just don’t. Your marriage will be better for it. Remember to have the servant’s heart but also try to give yourself breaks.
15) Do something for yourself, Momma. Moms are usually not so good (nor are women in general) about letting themselves just do something for themselves. I am working on this myself. It’s hard.
16) Give your husband (if you’re married) a kiss when you get home as well as your baby.
17) Sing or listen to music to de-stress when your baby is crying a lot.
18) Get out of the house, even if its a stroll. It will help you not go insane when its an especially long day.
18 tips for 18 years..then they are adults and its all easy from there, right? haha If you have a kid with special needs, this site has lots of tips for that, but please contact me if you get a prenatal diagnosis or you find out at any time your kiddo has special needs and I will help you out in any way I can! Also leave comments, any mommas or daddies, with advice because I’m new at this momma thing, too!