Five Rules for a Fabulous Pregnancy
Hooray! You are expecting! For new moms and dads, getting used to the news of a growing family can be quite the undertaking. “It took a while for the news to sink in when we were pregnant with our first. And each pregnancy since, it has been such an exciting moment,” says Whitney Rollins, Olathe mom. Telling your partner, sharing the news with the important people in your life and visiting your doctor’s office to get confirmation of your pregnancy are all exciting, meaningful milestones.
So now that you have shared the news with friends and family, celebrated with your partner and started your list of baby names, what comes next? Being prepared mentally, physically and emotionally is crucial to tackling well the nine months before Baby arrives. Pregnancy is exciting—and a lot of work! To help you have a fabulous pregnancy, we talked to parents around the metro to find out the top tips and tricks to keep your journey stress-free and fun!
Nap, Nap, Nap. The old adage about getting your rest before Baby arrives lingers for a reason! Once Baby is here, sleep can be hard to come by. During pregnancy, your body works very hard to build a little human, and that is an exhausting effort. So, listen to the time-tested advice and take those naps, go to bed early, let yourself sleep in. Your tired body will thank you and you will have wonderful memories of that rest when you are up at night with your new addition. “I remember going to bed at 7:00 p.m. when I was pregnant with my first. Ah, those were the days!” says Katie Shale, Overland Park mom.
Eating for Two. Although it isn’t quite accurate that you are eating for two during pregnancy, your eating habits may change. “My heartburn was crazy when I was pregnant. And I had all these cravings. I felt like a totally different person at mealtime,” says Kaitlyn Peshaw, Shawnee mom. “I had to avoid things I loved and I started to love things I never wanted before.” Be sure to follow your doctor’s guidelines on weight gain and healthy eating, and remember that drinking plenty of water is critical during pregnancy. Eating satisfying foods high in protein and vitamins will keep you feeling energetic, and staying hydrated can prevent excess swelling. If you are a mama who experiences morning sickness, look for resources to help calm your tummy so you can eat enough to keep you and Baby strong!
Have a Plan…but Don’t Plan on It. Many new moms and dads begin making plans from the moment they see the results on the home pregnancy test. “I planned everything—the nursey, the name, newborn photo props, our sleep schedule, our parenting style, how we would teach our baby to talk. Even my labor and delivery were planned in advance. Let’s just say, few things have gone as planned,” says Robyn Krebbs, Overland Park mom. Although knowing what you are getting into, what you are comfortable with during pregnancy and what your priorities are for parenthood are all important, equally important is understanding that plans don’t always pan out. Roll with the punches and be ready to adjust your plans as needed throughout pregnancy, during labor and delivery, and as you navigate parenthood. Having an open mind and a flexible attitude will prevent unnecessary stress and allow you to enjoy each twist and turn on this amazing journey.
Educate Yourself. Learn all you can about the adventure of pregnancy! The best way to make decisions is from a position of knowledge, and there are no more important decisions than those that impact your pregnancy and your family. From understanding the stages of pregnancy, to learning about what Baby and your body need, to planning for delivery and breastfeeding, information out there can overwhelm! Make sure you consult reputable sources and ask your doctor if you have any questions. Additionally, when your new addition arrives, understanding what to expect for you and for Baby will help you advocate for both of your needs and your health.
Enjoy the Perks! Pregnancy is a magical time. So many changes are happening in your life and in your body, and the days hold so much anticipation. Some people may pry a bit with questions about the little one, but most folks are going to give you very special treatment. “I love how people open doors for me, offer to carry things, and even complete strangers say congratulations,” says Megan Westly, Kansas City, MO, mom. Don’t feel guilty about relishing the perks of being an expectant mama! Enjoy the extra desserts, the compliments and the offers to let you take it easy. Before long, life will be all about the baby!
10 Quirky Facts About Pregnancy
- When you are about four months pregnant, your baby begins to urinate inside of you.
- At the start of pregnancy, your uterus is the size of a small peach. It stretches to the size of a watermelon—about 500 times its original size!
- Amniotic fluid is mostly sterile urine. Babies pee while in the womb, drink it, then pee it out again.
- By the end of your pregnancy, your placenta will produce the same amount of estrogen that a nonpregnant woman produces in three years!
- Nine out of every 10 women experience a change in skin tone during pregnancy.
- Although pregnancy hormones can do amazing things for your nails and hair, many women experience massive amounts of hair loss after giving birth.
- Pregnant women have less oxygen in their blood, which is what causes "pregnancy brain" or forgetfulness—yes, it is real!
- Babies can actually taste the food their mothers eat while they are in the womb.
- Women who suffer from heartburn during pregnancy are more likely to have babies born with lots of hair.
- At the end of pregnancy, the drop in the levels of progesterone helps initiate the start of labor.
Melissa Bellach is a freelance writer, wife and mom of three living in Overland Park.
As always, please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns.