Congratulations! This is a really exciting time for you & your partner. It’s also a time that comes with a ton of questions. I mean, what is more nerve wrecking than a life changing milestone & the fear of the unknown. The book about what to expect when you are expecting is a mixture of your doctor, you mom & Stephen King’s scariest novel all wrapped into one. So, I want to keep it simple for you. Everyone is going to have advice for you 99.9% of it will be outdated & unsolicited, so good call girl, I’m glad you found me on Google. Welcome.
As a mom of two (see total street cred with loads of experience) I have some advice that’s not only current, but useful. Every pregnancy is different, but our recommendations here are meant to be broad spectrum while still useful.
Ready? It’s simple. I promise.
#1 Put down that bagel. Pregnancy is NOT a get out of carbs free card. Nope sorry, someone lied to you when they told you, “you can eat whatever you want!”. I mean sure, if you are ok with wearing stretchy pants for the rest of your life because you did a tornado’s worth of damage to your body in 9mo, then carb away. Not only do they spike your blood sugar (diabetes mellitus is a real bitch), they stay with you for what feels like forever. Opt for some eggs, cheese & nuts in the morning. Make some easy to grab egg muffins & 200 calorie packs of mixed nuts & dried fruit, you will thank me for this pro tip during your “I’m so tired, I’m going to die slump” when everyone is giving you the stink eye for grabbing a coffee.
#2 You are going to gain weight. That’s normal, expected & totally ok. You are cultivating life here woman, it’s ok to increase your pants size by a few notches. Just keep eating healthy, drinking that water (oh the bathroom trips you will be making, start making maps of the places you frequent of the “nice” bathrooms – you’ll thank me later. I’m sure you will have an encounter with one super annoying person or two that had a unicorn pregnancy & “didn’t gain a pound”, they are a freak of nature & instead of letting them make you feel bad, you should run away from that liar as fast as you can. 99.9% of us gained weight & if you choose to breastfeed after you will be back in those pencil skirts in no time after baby comes.
#3 Dress the part! I know that I didn’t want to give it to buying clothes for nine months out of my whole life, it just seemed like a waste. Guess what? It’s not, they are in fact clothes you will wear for 9mo & beyond, like into space beyond. Ok, that was hyperbolic. You will get your monies worth out of these clothes, so don’t be cheap! That $20 dress you scored at Target, looks like you picked it up off of the floor of your grandma’s closet, so it is not a deal, it’s a dump. It’s not considered “treating yourself” when you invest in something that makes you feel & look good. All of these pregnancy hormones & changes to our body do a number on the way we look & feel about ourselves. Good god woman, don’t go cheap on yourself now. Actually, call & make a hair appointment, get your nails done, go out to dinner with friends (after your finish reading this).
#4 Stop listing to people’s advice. You don’t have to tune them out completely, but you can pretend you are listening to it all & then walk away with only the tidbits you liked to hear. I won’t tell, I promise. Do: go with your gut 100% of the time. I think that’s something I say to people all of the time when they ask me for pregnancy advice. I turn it around & say, “What do you want to do?” . As long as you aren’t slamming caffeine, alcohol or cigs (things that have been proven to cause major birth defects), I say, it’s your body & your baby. If you want to eat a small portion of soft cheese, go ahead. Small! If your body can’t handle it you will know within 20 minuets & some GI distress. Lesson learned & you can go about your pregnancy knowing that it’s just not for you. You will drive yourself crazy obsessing over every little detail & you will miss out of small moments that are pretty darn amazing for you & baby. Your hormones are going to drive you crazy enough. Don’t add unnecessary stress.
#5 No one wants a blowout. Start doing those Kegels now. Now! If you take nothing else away from this, please for the love of your vagina, do these. Muscles only get stronger when you use them. Your delivery will thank you, your doctor will thank you & your post recovery time will thank you too. If you don’t know how to do them, that’s ok, here is a quick step guide:
- make sure your bladder is empty, ignore this at your own risk.
- Tighten you pelvic floor muscles. Not sure where they are? Next time you pee, stop mid stream & remember the muscles you are using, this is your pelvic floor.
- Hold your pelvic floor muscles tight and count to 20, relax & count to 10.Repeat this 10 times, 3 times a day. I used to do them when I was driving to & from work. I would use the street lights on the highway to hold & relax, that’s just an example, do what works for you.