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The Practical Pregnancy Guide

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First time pregnancy guide for new moms! All you need to know in one blog post for free! #pregnancy #habitatformom

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of baby kicks and back pain!

If you’re reading this, I think congratulations are in order! Regardless of your situation, whether your pregnancy was planned or not, the precious life beginning inside of you is indeed a cause for celebration.

You have a “little you” inside of you! Isn’t that about the greatest thing EVER?

So, have you just recently found out you are pregnant? Still getting over the shock? Or are you grinning from ear to ear because after trying to get pregnant for so long, you’ve finally done it?

Either way, you’re likely to feel a ton of emotions right about now. That’s normal because realizing that a baby is growing inside of you can be a tad bit overwhelming.

For those of you who are past the initial stage of finding out you’re pregnant, don’t worry.

This guide covers a myriad of topics throughout your entire pregnancy. There’s bound to be some useful tips in here no matter how far along you are.

Feeling stressed about getting everything done before baby arrives? The Nesting Planner will have you totally organized and prepared in no time.

Now go get yourself a tall glass of sparkling water, put your feet up and get comfortable!

This guide is meant to provide some helpful tips, as well as give a slightly humorous view of your months to come…

 

Click on the section you want to read to skip ahead mama! You won’t hurt my feelings. 🙂

You are Pregnant – Now Arm Yourself
Let’s Talk About Your Habits
What Can You Expect During Pregnancy
First Trimester
Second Trimester
Third Trimester
Bonding With Your Unborn Baby
How Much Money Does It Take To Support A New Baby
Basic Necessities You’ll Need Before Baby Arrives
How To Get Your Partner More Involved During Pregnancy
Exercise & Pregnancy
Fun Things To Do During Your Pregnancy

 

You’re Pregnant – Now Arm Yourself!

 

Are you ready to be bombarded by a zillion books, pamphlets, magazines and other pregnancy paraphernalia?! Advice from everyone you’ve ever known including your mother, your mother IN LAW, doctors, friends, etc…?

Phew, it could get hectic!

Although I’m just injecting a little humor, it does have some underlying truth to it.

I want to make a point that there are several different answers and solutions to questions you’ll certainly have throughout your pregnancy.

Even among doctors, opinions can vary so widely that your eyes would pop out.

You have to make a commitment to yourself from the very beginning – a commitment that says you will

  • a) Always trust your own instincts as long as you aren’t putting yourself or your unborn child in any danger and
  • b) Listen to your doctor.

There are some great books on the market today that goes into extreme detail about your entire pregnancy.

Some of them are useful and can help answer your various questions. But try not to get too obsessed with reading all kinds of information.

Why?

Because you’ll develop fears and stress about all sorts of things – none of which is good for you or your baby.

The best thing to do is to start a journal, and anytime you have a question write it down. Then bring it along on your next doctor’s appointment.

During your pregnancy, there are some helpful things to “arm yourself” with.

One such item that was a godsend for me was a body pillow. As the little one starts to grow, sleeping can get quite uncomfortable.

A body pillow looks the same as a normal pillow, except it’s about as long as you are tall. It’s great to stick between your knees when sleeping on your side.

 

Another item I relied on was a heating pad for my back. I didn’t get severe back pains, but achy enough that the heating pad provided some soothing relief.

Of course, you’ll also need some maternity clothes, but not for awhile. Most women do not need maternity clothes until their second trimester (anytime after the third month).

I have a post about specific things on what you need to do when you find out you are pregnant and you can read it here.

 

Let’s Talk About Your Bad Habits

 

One of the first things you need to do when you find out your pregnant is review all of your bad habits.

We all know the big bad ones are smoking and drinking, right? So cut that out.

Quitting smoking might be a very stressful obstacle for you, so make sure to consult with your doctor. Sometimes the stress a mother’s body undergoes when quitting something like smoking is more harmful to the child than the actual act of smoking.

I’m not saying that I advocate smoking during pregnancy – no way!

But it’s always best to be fully honest with your doctor and seek their advice. While smoking is definitely a bad habit, so is taking on a lot of stress.

Some doctors have said minimal alcohol will not harm your baby, such as a glass of wine once in awhile (i.e., once a week!).

Personally, I don’t see the point in taking any risks.

If you are going to go ahead and have alcohol sometimes anyways – please talk to your doctor. Remember, ALWAYS be honest with your doctor, so they can be in the best position to help you and protect your unborn child.

 

One of the most overwhelming thoughts newly pregnant women have, is the realization that everything they do to themselves now also affects another innocent human being.

Another “bad habit” is stress. Although stress isn’t actually a habit, I wanted to talk about it here because it’s important to minimize any amount of stress during your pregnancy.

If your daily life consists of a lot of stressful situations, now is the time to reevaluate things and find a way to minimize or eliminate the stress.

If that’s not possible (for example, your job might be stressful and not something you can change), then you need to educate yourself on how to best deal with the stress.

There are many great books on the market today that discusses dealing with stress. Your doctor should be able to help you in this area as well.

 

What Can You Expect During Your Pregnancy

 

Your pregnancy is split into three terms, called trimesters. The first trimester occurs roughly from week one through week twelve.

The second trimester continues to week twenty-eight, and the third and final trimester is the remainder of the pregnancy.

 

Your First Trimester

 

The most common symptom you’ll hear about and may experience during the first trimester is morning sickness.

Your body is undergoing so many changes, it’s really quite impossible not to have any symptoms. Not all women will experience morning sickness, while others have a hard time with it.

Everyone’s different, and you won’t know what your symptoms will be like until you experience them yourself.

Also, expect to feel tired and fatigued a lot of the time. Again, your body is reacting to the many changes going on. Don’t fight these changes.

If you get tired, rest and go easy on yourself. You’re not pregnant the rest of your life, just for nine months or so!

One way to help with the fatigue is to make sure to drink a lot of water. This will also help with any constipation you might have to deal with. And yes, you most likely will experience that and other unpleasant symptoms!

You can head over to my post about what you’ll need in your first trimester here.

Your breasts might become extra sensitive or even swollen. This is normal. It’s a natural progression for your breasts to develop more fully and prepare for breastfeeding after the baby is born.

Whether you decide to breastfeed or not, your body will prepare for it.

 

After your first trimester, that tiny being growing inside of you will now have developed their main organs. It’s truly amazing to realize the phenomenal growth process that’s going on.

Just wait until you get to have your first ultrasound, and actually SEE inside the womb!

You should take extra care of yourself all during your pregnancy, but it’s most important to take things easy during your first trimester.

Remember, eliminate that stress! After twelve weeks or so, your risk for miscarrying is much less. It can be stressful just worrying about your child, but really try not to obsess about it. Your body knows what to do, so let it do its job and don’t get in the way!

Near the end of the first trimester, you’ll likely start to feel better as the morning sickness alleviates and you gain some of your energy back.

Here is a post on some awesome morning sickness relief products.

 

Your Second Trimester

 

Yay! Goodbye morning sickness and fatigue! But hello big belly and Braxton Hicks!

This is an exciting phase of your pregnancy because so many things become evident now. Your belly will start to grow, and others will notice that you’re pregnant.

There’s no hiding it! Many women develop that “pregnancy glow”, and you likely will as well. Enjoy these few months because before you know it, your final trimester will be here.

You can check out my post on things to do in your second trimester here!

This is the phase in which you’ll want to get some maternity clothes. There are so many choices out there today for all styles and body sizes.

Depending on your budget, you can really go crazy with a brand new wardrobe. But you don’t really need more than a few items of each type of clothing. Even loose or baggy pants (that aren’t maternity style) could be sufficient for many weeks.

One of the best things about this trimester is experiencing the first time you feel your baby move. Often times, feeling a little kick or nudge is truly when you start to envision the child developing inside you.

Another exciting milestone for many during this period is finding out what gender your baby is.

Click here for some awesome gender reveal party supplies!

Many parents love to find out, simply so they could start buying the “girl” or “boy” baby accessories and clothing. And of course, decorating the nursery if you’re planning on doing that.

You can even get great maternity t-shirts that say things such as “I’m All Diva – And So Is She!” (with an arrow pointing down at your growing belly).

 

Your Third Trimester

 

By the time your third trimester rolls around, you might be thinking this pregnancy is never going to end!

You’ll start to feel exhausted more frequently, and you’ll be filled with the anticipation of holding and seeing your new baby. But it’s also a very joyous time because the finish line is fast approaching!

During these last few months, the best thing you can do is continue taking great care of your body, avoid unnecessary stress, and get plenty of sleep.

Check out my post on what you need to do in your third trimester here.

This could be a very uncomfortable time period for you, considering all that’s going on within your body. Some things you’ll experience include having to urinate frequently due to the baby pressing into your bladder (not fun!).

Other symptoms that may be predominant are excessive gas, increasing fatigue, constipation and digestive problems, headaches and back pain.

Sounds pretty crazy, doesn’t it?!

Well, don’t let this overwhelm you because not every woman experiences all of these symptoms all of the time.

Those are just some of the annoyances you’ll have to deal with, and you’ll deal with them fine. Really, you’ll get through it!

One such symptom I had a lot of trouble with was heartburn. These magical things quickly became my go-to relief every night.

As the time of birth approaches, your baby is completing development. The only organ that continues to develop is the lungs.

Now is the time to prepare yourself for the birth process. In many areas, you can attend childbirth classes that teach you all about the actual birth, and teach you techniques to use during your labor.

If you can’t attend one of these courses, don’t worry – there are still plenty of great books and material to be found. The key is to learn some breathing techniques…

 

(they truly do come in handy!) and PRACTICE them, a lot! These last few months is the time to start preparing yourself.

You can also check out my post about what you’ll need in your third trimester to make it more comfortable for you here!

 

Some advice you should follow (or at least consider) in your third trimester include:

 

  • –  No over-doing it! This means no lifting heavy items or participating in excessive exercise and sports.
  • –  Get off those feet, and get plenty of rest.
  • –  Try to avoid sleeping on your back, because this puts pressure on your nerves and that’s not a good thing!
  • –  Continue eating a healthy diet, and that means healthy food choices, NOT limiting your food intake. Your baby needs nourishment, so now is not the time to worry excessively about your weight gain.

    Bonding With Your Unborn Baby

Before I get into this subject, I want to make something very clear. Some women, throughout their entire pregnancy, never feel that they’ve bonded with their unborn child.

This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.

Sometimes women have great difficulty learning how to bond with the tiny child forming inside of them. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to bond with your child after he or she is born!

And bonding isn’t something that happens automatically. You can learn techniques that help show how to forge a bond between you and your baby.

 

Your entire pregnancy is an important bonding period. Bonding with your baby helps to develop trust and love.

The remainder of this section will provide tips and techniques to help you bond with your baby.

Set aside sometime each day, in a quiet place by yourself. Just you and your baby. Close your eyes and put yourself in a relaxed state of mind.

Now, as you lightly massage your belly, imagine yourself holding your precious baby in your arms. Remember, you’re alone so there’s no reason to feel silly or embarrassed.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your child – they really can hear you!

A great gadget to have during your pregnancy is a baby heartbeat monitor. These wonderful devices allow you to actually hear your baby’s heartbeat.

I used one all throughout my pregnancy and it was such an amazing experience.

This can be a great tool to help you bond with your baby. There’s a wide range of baby monitors on the market today, each with their own unique features.

If money isn’t an obstacle, you could even get a video baby monitor that will actually show you your child! Imagine getting to see your baby whenever you want, instead of having to wait for your next ultrasound appointment.

Please consult with your doctor about using a baby monitor though. Some women’s pregnancies have certain complications, in which excessive use of baby monitors can cause further problems.

Another way to bond with your baby is to decorate and prepare the nursery. The act of actually getting everything set up for your new arrival will put you in closer touch with your child.

Talk to your baby about their room and describe what it looks like. Babies love the sound of their mother’s voice, even while they are in the womb.

 

How Much Money Does It Take To Support A New Baby?

 

Okay, you must realize that having and raising a child is not cheap by any means. The major costs associated with having a baby may include doctor’s fees, basic baby necessities, and unnecessary but extremely helpful items.

It’s extremely important to get proper medical care during your pregnancy. Your doctor needs to see you at regular intervals to be able to detect any problems during your pregnancy.

This is one fee that you do NOT want to skimp on. If you are really strapped for cash, consult with your hospital or town to find out what kind of assistance is available.

Your baby will require some basic necessities.

During the first year, they will need to be properly clothed and fed, and have a safe place to sleep (okay, this actually goes on for more than a year… but let’s just look at the initial year’s costs!).

There are ways you can save money with even these basic items. For example, if you decide to breastfeed you could save upwards of $100 a month from not having to buy formula.

But breastfeeding can also introduce some new costs, such as a breast pump and nursing pads. Some hospitals will rent breast pumps at a much more affordable rate, so you can look into that as well.

You can also save by using cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers.

Although you can get inexpensive disposable diapers, they will still cost approximately $100 a month. Little babies need to be changed often, sometimes up to 12 times per day!

Cloth diapers only have to be purchased once, but then you have the added responsibility of washing and cleaning them.

Strongly consider this as you evaluate your tasks and stress level on a daily basis.

Having a safe place for your baby to sleep is important, so a crib is another cost involved. But you can avoid that purchase for some time if you decide to have your baby sleep with you.

Many parents enjoy this. Not only does it increase bonding with the baby, but it also reduces the need to get up out of bed for night time feedings.

Especially if you are breastfeeding – it’s much simpler to feed your baby while laying in bed. 

A car seat is a definite must. In fact, most hospitals won’t even let you leave without first inspecting that you have a car seat properly installed.

Throughout your baby’s first year, you will find that certain items can be very useful even though they aren’t essential to the care and safety of your child.

One such item is a stroller. Even if you can’t afford the latest and greatest super stroller, at least try to purchase a less expensive one.

This way you can easily take walks with your baby and provide them with fresh air and sunlight. Trust me, a little fresh air can do wonders for the both of you. 

Another wonderful (but not necessary) item I loved was our baby swing. It seems that many babies enjoy the lulling sensation of swinging.

These aren’t very affordable to everyone though, but you can certainly pick one up second-hand for much cheaper. Don’t be afraid to shop around.

 

Basic Necessities You’ll Need When The Baby Arrives

 

At first when you look at this huge list of things to buy it looks rather overwhelming. But after you buy the initial items that you require, maintaining them isn’t as difficult.

 

You have to make some decisions first, such as the following:

 

  • –  will you use cloth diapers or disposable diapers?
  • –  are you planning to breastfeed or use formula?
  • –  are you planning on getting a crib right away or using a bassinet, or are you planning on having the baby sleep with you in your bed?
  • –  depending on the configuration of your home and where the baby will be sleeping, you may or may not want/need to buy the baby monitor
  • –  you need to be aware of the average temperatures, so you can stock up on warmer or cooler newborn clothing.

The one thing you absolutely require is a proper car seat.

When you start shopping for a car seat, you’ll quickly find out that there’s a huge assortment of brands, styles, and prices. Just remember, choose something that you’re comfortable with.

You can buy a convertible seat, which will grow with your child.

You can also buy an infant carrier and car seat together (called a travel system).

There are many choices, so take your time and find something suitable to your preferences and budget. Speaking of budget – more expensive car seats do not automatically equate to SAFER car seats.

An $80 car seat can be equally as safe as a $500 car seat.

Finally, don’t get caught up in all of the accessories and extra features. Some things are nice to have but have nothing to do with the safety or purpose of the car seat.

Do you really think your 3-month-old is going to take notice of that fancy cup holder?! 

Another necessity is a safe place to sleep…

Even if your baby will be sleeping with you in your bed at night, newborns take many naps throughout the day.

So if you aren’t planning on purchasing a crib, you should find a safe alternative. You can look into getting a bassinet, cradle or playpen (sometimes referred to as a pack-and-play).

Again I need to stress that just because something is more expensive (for example, cribs can run from $100 to thousands of dollars) does NOT mean it’s a safer place for your baby to sleep.

If you aren’t planning on breastfeeding, you’ll need to choose a type of formula to start your newborn on.

Keep in mind that you can change what brands you use as you progress if you find that your newborn isn’t digesting a certain formula very well.

Powdered formula is the least expensive (versus its liquid-ready counterpart), and it works equally as well.

Some mothers have said that the liquid- ready formula is easier for their babies to digest, but there is no reason you couldn’t start off with the powdered version and see how it goes.

You can purchase brand name formulas or generic – they are BOTH equally healthy and nutritious for your baby.

Next time you’re in the store looking at the formula, compare the ingredients of a generic and brand name product. Since baby formula manufacturers have such strict rules to adhere to, formulas cannot vary too much from each other.  

If you want to try breastfeeding, you don’t need to buy anything. But a lot of mothers like to use a breast pump, for the obvious reason of being able to pump milk and feed to their baby later on.

You can even freeze your breast milk.

You’ll also want to get some breast pads.

These are just small pads that you insert into the front of your bra, that help soaks up any leakage from your breasts when your baby isn’t feeding.

Trust me – you will have leakage! Nothing is worse than being out in public and having two large wet circles appear on the front of your shirt!

 

Diapers: 

You’ll either be purchasing disposable or cloth diapers. Newborns typically need to be changed a dozen times a day or so, so make sure to stock up.

are all items you may want to get in addition.

Don’t be concerned about getting generic diapers or baby wipes. A lot of them turn out to work just fine.

Personally, I used cloth diapers for my son in the beginning. Unfortunately, some major life changes happened to us in his first 12 months and I had to resort to disposables after all.

But, I saved a lot of money during the many months we did use cloth diapers.

Clothing:

Your newborn will certainly need some clothes, so I’m including this in the absolute necessities list.

You’ll want to get a lot of one pieces. It’s one piece and typically snaps between the legs. Although I love the zip up ones better.

These offer quick and easy access when you have to change 10 to 12 diapers a day.

If it’s cold in your area when your baby arrives, make sure to buy some warm clothes and plenty of blankets. You can also purchase a winter cover for your car seat, which wraps around the seat and acts like a jacket.

Babies have a much lower tolerance to cold temperatures than us, so make sure to check often if they’re starting to feel cold. Other basic clothing items include:

Always be sure to protect their little head!

 

Bathing: 

While not absolutely necessary, a baby bathtub makes it a lot easier to bathe your newborn. Again, these come in a wide assortment of styles and prices, but you don’t need anything extravagant.

I got a hand me down bathtub and it worked out fine. You’ll want to stock up on bath items such as:

Safety and First Aid: 

Some basic first aid items are definitely a necessity. You want to be fully prepared at all times.

Common first aid and safety items include:

As you can see, the above lists are only recommendations. The basic fundamentals are federally approved car seat, proper nutrition (i.e., formula or breast milk), clothes and a safe place to sleep. Oh – and diapers are very important!

 

How To Get Your Partner More Involved During Your Pregnancy

 

A lot of times, your spouse may be completely intimidated by your pregnancy, or completely ambivalent. It can be tough on you, as you try to reason out his way of thinking.

Try to keep things in perspective though. You’re definitely going through a bonding process that he’s not a part of yet. So your perspective may be a lot different than his.

Some men feel as if your pregnancy is a personal experience, and not something that they can be involved in.

There are ways to help him feel more involved though. Get him involved in setting up the baby’s room, and shopping for the necessities.

Try to let some control go, and let him make some of the decisions.

Sure, he might pick an outfit or toy that you would never choose, but who cares? You need to encourage him to get and stay involved.

You should also insist that he join you in your doctor appointments.

You don’t have to let on the real reason you want him to go (to help him be more involved in the pregnancy). Just let him know you find it difficult being there by yourself and that you could really use his support.

Another great tip is to share in the experience of your baby moving around in the womb. You can do this with an ultrasound device. Most of these devices allow you to listen to your baby’s heartbeat.

You can also be proactive about sharing your experiences as the baby kicks and moves around. Make it a game, to see who can predict the next kick! 

New dads, before and after the pregnancy, can experience feelings of neglect. Suddenly there’s a new person in their life, and that little baby is taking time away from your relationship with your spouse.

During your pregnancy, try to emphasize how much you appreciate your spouse and everything they do for you. Praise works wonders! 

Try to get your husband used to the fact that he’s going to be a father.

One way to do this is to start calling him “Dad”.

This will help sink in the reality that he’s about to become a father. 

Above all else, never lose sight of communicating with each other. Listen with an open mind, because many times new fathers have some serious concerns.

They might not feel like they have anyone to share them with. Let him know that you’re willing and eager to discuss what’s on his mind.

 

Exercise And Pregnancy

 

First, I need to state that you must check with your doctor before doing any type of exercise during your pregnancy.

With that said, many times light to moderate exercise is perfectly fine during pregnancy. Although you may have a medical condition that could make exercise harmful, so again, please check with your doctor first.

The best exercises during pregnancy are those that don’t require you to bear extra weight. Things like riding on a stationary bicycle or swimming are great options. Even low impact walking is often acceptable.

You need to be careful to avoid situations where you might fall or hurt yourself. Remember, you’re not just taking care of yourself anymore. You have that sweet baby to think of.

Always see your doctor right away (and cease all exercise) if you experience any of the following:

 

  • –  sudden abdominal or pelvic pain
  • –  blood coming from your vagina
  • –  chest pains
  • –  severe headaches
  • –  dizziness or nausea
  • –  problems with your vision

If you haven’t been on an exercise program before getting pregnant, then you should proceed very carefully. Be careful not to overexert yourself and take frequent breaks.

Also, always be sure to eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits and carbohydrates. This is important to keep up your strength, as many of these nutrients are given to your baby. 

Finally – always stay well hydrated. It’s important to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise. 

You may be concerned about how much weight you’ll gain during the pregnancy.

This can vary from woman to woman, as it depends on your height and weight before you conceived. If you maintained a healthy weight for your height prior to pregnancy, then it’s normal to gain about two to five pounds in the first few months, then about one pound a week thereafter. 

You might experience feelings of anxiety or depression as you gain weight throughout your pregnancy. This is normal. But you must remember, the extra weight is essential to help your baby grow and relish.

The extra pounds WILL come off! It’s much more important to focus on the quality of your diet, versus how much weight you’ll gain. 

In reality, you should be increasing your daily diet by 300 calories a day.

 

Check out my top 5 hip opening stretches for childbirth article here.

 

Fun Things To Do During Your Pregnancy

 

Keep A Journal 

Take a few minutes each day to write down your feelings and thoughts. Down the road, you’ll really appreciate having your journal to reflect back on and can even share it with your child later on.

Start A Scrapbook or Baby Memory Book 

Scrapbooking can be SO much fun. It’s a hugely popular past time. You can start a scrapbook to include photos and events during your pregnancy. After your baby is born, you’ll have plenty of experience and can create a beautiful scrapbook of your child. You can also buy a baby memory book, which helps to record all kinds of things you’ll experience during pregnancy and beyond. 

Decorate The Baby’s Room 

This can be a fun project to do with your spouse. There are many things you can do to decorate a nursery. Of course, it’s fun just shopping for all of the amenities! But you can also create a mural, arrange photos, or start a book collection just to name a few ideas. 

Refresh Your Memory Of All Those Baby Games And Songs

Soon you’ll be wishing you knew some popular baby games and songs. Now is the perfect time to learn them. You can find a lot of information online. Create a list of baby songs and games that you like, and then memorize them. Sing to your baby every day even while they are in the womb. They can still hear you and love the sound of their mother’s voice. 

Plan A Date Night With Your Spouse 

A great idea is to plan a special night with your spouse out once a month. This helps to maintain a strong relationship and open communication, as well as getting you out of the house and feeling good about yourself. You can do the romantic thing with a candlelit dinner and sparkling cider, or have a comical night out at the movies to see the latest comedy playing. 

See How Long You Can Balance Things On Your Tummy! 

Okay, this is kind of silly but it’s a lot of fun! Get your spouse involved too, and make a game out of it. It’s great fun to watch your baby kick and move around!

Celebrate With A Glass Of Sparkling Cider 

Of course, you shouldn’t be drinking any alcohol during your pregnancy. But who says you can’t celebrate? You could even throw a party in celebration! Just don’t be the one designated to handle all the party planning – you need to rest a lot!  

Gather Up Your Favorite Baby Magazines And Relax 

Speaking of resting – this is a great way to do it. Flipping through baby books and magazines can be educational as well as entertaining. You could even cut out photos from magazines of baby items you love, so you can refer back to them when you’re ready to head out shopping.  

Create A Cast Of Your Pregnant Tummy 

This can be a wonderful momentum to capture the beauty of your pregnancy. You can purchase belly cast kits right on Amazon! Several layers of wet plaster strips are applied to the front of your body. Once they are set and dry, the entire cast comes off and maintains it’s shaped. Then the fun part begins when you get to finish and decorate it! Search on the Internet for “belly cast” and you’ll find plenty of information. 

Get Professional Pictures Taken 

Your skin and hair look the best during your pregnancy, so go get some dreamy photos taken! Pregnancy photos are very popular, and many professional photographers specialize in this area. You’ll be grateful for the pictures later on, especially when you can share them with your child.  

Start Taking Lots Of Photos! 

Whether you get professional photos done or not, you can still take a lot of great photos yourself. This is another great way to get your spouse involved. Many women who skip this often reflect back and wish they had photos during their pregnancies.

Don’t let this time pass by without documenting it! 

A fun idea is to take one snapshot of your tummy each week or month. At the end of your pregnancy, you’ll have a wonderful collection of pictures, showing your tummy growing at each stage. You can even combine these into a video, and if you’re technically inclined, have a morphing display of your growing belly! 

Have A Night Out At The Movies

Get together with your girlfriends and go watch the latest new release at the theater. Spending time with your friends will help you feel more “normal” after coping with the long months of pregnancy. 

Get A Maternity Massage! 

Massages offer a slew of benefits, pregnant or not. During your pregnancy, you’re bound to experience muscle cramps and backaches. Treat yourself to a relaxing (not vigorous!) massage to help relieve tension and reduce stress. 

Have A Day At The Spa 

Treat yourself well! You could get a pedicure and manicure, get your hair styled, and even get a makeover. Looking and feeling pretty will help you through the tougher times during your pregnancy. 

If you are just not in the mood to get up and go anywhere you can always do a spa day at the house  🙂

Join A Class Specifically For Pregnant Women 

Many gyms host classes for pregnant women. These could include things like swimming, water aerobics, and yoga. Not only will you feel great but you’ll be able to meet other moms-to-be as well! 

Sign Up For Prenatal Classes 

Many communities offer prenatal classes to expecting mothers and fathers. These classes help prepare you for the eventual birth and beyond. You’ll learn many things to expect during labor! It’s also a great opportunity to meet other expectant parents. 

Join A Pregnancy Community On The Internet 

There are many great communities online for pregnant women. Most of these communities have forums or bulletin boards where members can post and respond to each other. It’s a wonderful way to connect with other pregnant women and share their experiences.

If you liked this helpful article and are feeling a little lost about how to prepare for your new baby, you should check out The Nesting Planner!

It is an amazing solution for you to stay on track throughout your entire pregnancy. It also comes with an easy to navigate Breastfeeding Handbook for beginners that will help you let go of your worries and lays out everything you might encounter in the first few months of your breastfeeding journey.

You can also sign up for some amazing FREE Email courses located at the bottom of the product description pages.

You can check out the Nesting Planner here.

If you liked The Practical Pregnancy Guide or have any questions please leave a comment down below!

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Ultimate pregnancy guide for new moms. Jam-packed with information on what to expect, preparing for baby, bringing baby home, necessities for baby, fun things to do and more...
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About The Author

Jennifer

Hey there! Jennifer here, and I run this website. I am a mommy to one amazing awesome boy named Nicholas and hold 4 certificates in childcare and development. I created this website to provide useful information about pregnancy and parenting, spark inspiration and help you live a better life as a mom!

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