Pregnancy can hold some of the best and worst times of your life – here are 50+ ways to enjoy pregnancy, even when it’s hard.
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While I definitely believe that every pregnancy is a miracle, and I’m very grateful that I’ve been able to be pregnant two times…it isn’t always easy to enjoy. I often envy those who have easy pregnancies (like our contributor, Katelyn, talked about here). I have been trying to make an effort to not complain (keyword being “trying”) and enjoy this short period of my life as much as I can. I remember right after Jack was born crying because I felt guilty that I just “wasted” away my pregnancy being miserable. That was definitely fueled by postpartum hormones, but there was certainly some truth to what I was feeling.
I thought I’d share 50+ ways I came up with that may help you enjoy pregnancy a little more (or maybe even just endure it a little bit better.) Some of these are things you’ve probably heard before, but hopefully you’ll come away with a few ideas to make those nine long months a little more enjoyable.
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Easier said than done, I know, especially if you are working or have small children (or both!) But I believe that getting as much sleep as you possibly can does so much good during pregnancy. I feel like I’ve been way more exhausted during this pregnancy than my first one with Jack, and sometimes, I can’t even function if I don’t take a mid-afternoon nap. While it may take some juggling of schedules or self-control to turn off Netflix before midnight (or maybe that’s just me), getting enough sleep will help you feel better, more optimistic and just have more energy in general. If you have really bad heartburn, a wedge was heaven send to help make sleeping easier!
2) Eat Small Meals and Snacks
Whether you experience morning sickness or not, it’s important to keep your stomach filled. You don’t need a ton of extra calories (I believe it’s just about 300 extra a day), but it is important to make sure you aren’t starving yourself either. Try not to concern yourself too much with your weight gain (just talk with your doctor about the appropriate amount you should be gaining), and make sure you stay energized. There have been many times where I start to get grumpy and light headed, and it’s because I went longer than I should have before eating. I’ve started carrying around granola bars (Nature Valley and Larabars are my favorite) and crackers, just for those times when I’m feeling a bit out of it. It definitely helps with the morning sickness as well. I also really loved townhouse crackers!
3) Get a pregnancy massage
I’ve never gotten an official pregnancy massage, but I’m dying for one later on in my pregnancy. I actually got something similar to a massage at a recent chiropractic appointment (which, I highly recommend all pregnant women see during pregnancy), and it was amazing. Make sure you go to someone who has the equipment and training for pregnancy massages though. I’m always seeing great deals on Groupon for pregnancy massages. This is something I know a lot of women enjoy and recommend in pregnancy. Don’t be afraid to indulge!
4) Get a pedicure and/or manicure
Pregnancy is a time that many women don’t feel 100% a lot of the time – I think it’s a good idea to pamper yourself when you can. A pedicure or a manicure can be some much-needed “me” time, that allows you to feel a little more relax. Again, definitely check out websites like Groupon, to get deals on spa treatments! If anything, order yourself a manicure and pedicure kit (enlist the help of your spouse!)
5) Buy a pregnancy pillow
This goes along with the whole getting enough sleep thing – and I wish I had one of these when I was pregnant with Jack. Pregnancy pillows are designed to help pregnant women get more comfortable. I bought one about half way through my pregnancy with Oliver, and it was AMAZING. You can get a super high-quality one at pregnancypillow.com, and you can get $50 off using the code C113D4. It makes it much more affordable! You can also get this awesome pregnancy pillow, which is the one I have.
6) Use Preggie Pops
Preggie pops are great if you have morning sickness, or if you experience a lot of excess saliva during pregnancy (both of which I sadly have a lot of experience with!) I don’t use them all the time, but they are just nice to have when you need something to help you feel better.
7) Indulge on those cravings every once in awhile
I would never be someone who tells you pregnancy is a time to eat whatever you want – in fact, I think it’s important to make sure you are trying to have a healthy, balanced diet. The whole “you’re eating for two” thing is kind of a myth (since you only need a couple hundred extra calories.) However, it’s okay to indulge on cravings every once in awhile. Don’t feel bad about getting a big slice of cake for dessert every now and then, or getting an extra scoop of ice cream. It’s okay to treat yourself!
8) Let people help you
A lot of women feel like they have to be super women and get everything done themselves. I think it’s important to not only ask for help when you need it, but accept help when it’s offered. Not everyone is lucky enough to live near family, have a supportive church or community group, or even close friends. But for the most part, I have seen many people are willing to help during pregnancy – so let them if they offer!.
9) Join a pregnancy discussion board
I love being a part of the BabyCenter.com birth month club discussion board. There’s a lot of encouragement, and it’s (usually) a safe place to ask questions. There are sometimes some mean moms in there, so be aware of that, but overall, if you are having trouble finding anyone who understands what you are going through, this can be a good place to connect with other moms who are in the same stage of pregnancy as you.
10) Make freezer meals
I did this right before Jack was born, and it was a lifesaver. My mom stayed with us for a few weeks, and we also had some meals prepared from members of our church, but it was nice to have a nice supply for freezer meals. I honestly didn’t want to make food for awhile after Jack was born. Here’s a great list of freezer ready meal recipes. This could be a fun thing to do a few other friends. I just saw these FreezEasy meal plans that seem so awesome and easy – no thinking involved. If you buy all 5, you can get $10 off!
11) Create a Pregnancy Diary
WHen I was pregnant with Jack, and I’ve continued to do with this pregnancy, is do a weekly blog post on our family blog. It’s been fun to compare this pregnancy to my last one that way, and I think it’s a good way to keep track of things you may not remember otherwise. There are lots of ways to do a pregnancy diary – you could use a traditional journal, or even something like this Belly Book. At a conference I went to recently, one of the keynote speakers talked about how her son was really dark and struggling in his pre-teen years, and when he found a diary his mother had kept during his pregnancy, he realized how much is mom loved him, and she said she believes him finding that book saved his life. You never know what good can come from keeping one!
12) Get a hair cut
My hair grows like crazy during pregnancy, which results in it being even thicker than it normally is. This makes it hard to take care of, and most days, I end up with my hair in a pony tail. However, something I love doing while pregnant is getting a hair cut. It just feels so much more refreshing than other times for some reason. Plus, it’s nice when they style it – it’s kind of a fun way to be pampered (tip – beauty schools often offer cheaper services and include things like the style, head massage, etc. I love going to beauty schools for my hair cut!)
13) Do pregnancy yoga
Exercise can sometimes be more difficult during pregnancy, but I highly recommend pregnancy yoga. It helps you prepare your body for birth, and it’s just good for your spirit. I love these free series of pregnancy yoga on YouTube, and here are tons of different pregnancy yoga videos you can purchase.
Even if it’s hard to exercise, it’s very important during pregnancy. Even though I’m exhausted and sick most of the time, I find that even going on a brisk walk every day helps me feel a little bit better. There are many benefits to exercising during pregnancy, and it’s recommended that you get at least 20 minutes a day. Even if you didn’t exercise much before pregnancy, just starting with walking can make a big difference in your mood and your recovery from child birth. I put together this collection of free pregnancy exercise videos that I love!
15) Stay hydrated
I can’t remember the exact figure my doctor gave me, but pregnant women need to stay more hydrated than the average person. I think my doctor said I should be drinking two times more than I did before I got pregnant. Try to avoid caffeinated or sugary drinks, as those can make you feel more sluggish. However, if water is too hard on your stomach, try adding some lemon, diluting some juice, or something like that. Infused water bottles are AMAZING. It’s just important to stay hydrated – especially if you live at a high altitude.
16) Take a bubble bath
Even though the water needs to be at a lower temperature during pregnancy, I still love taking bubble baths to relax during pregnancy. It’s especially nice if you start to have swollen ankles, or if you are on your feet a lot. If you get aromatheraphy bubbles (this one sounds heavenly) or bath salts, it can make it even more relaxing.
17) Go on short walks
I already mentioned the importance of exercise during pregnancy, but I think sometimes you just should go on a walk. If you are stuck at home all day, it can help brighten your mood to be outside. It’s good to get the circulation flowing, especially during pregnancy.
18) Go out to lunch with your friends
19) Take a pregnancy or child birth class
I took one of these from my local hospital, and I loved it. It really helped prepare me for child birth, and it was fun to do with my husband and connect with other new parents. If you can’t go to an in person one, my friend, Hilary, who is a Labor and Delivery RN, has an amazing online prenatal class you can take. You can get 10% off with the code CLARKS. Hilary is amazing and got me through my pregnancy!
20) Get Maternity Pictures
I’ll admit that getting pictures of myself while I was pregnant wasn’t high on my priority list. Still, I sometimes wish I did! Whenever I show Jack the pictures of me from when I was pregnant, he is so excited. I think pregnancy brings about a very unique kind of beauty, and even if you hate how you look most of your pregnancy…chances are, you’ll want some kind of memory of it. Getting professional maternity pictures isn’t a must, but it can definitely be a fun excuse to put a little extra effort into how you look.
21) Get a 3D/4D ultrasound
I don’t think it’s a good idea to get tons of extra ultrasounds done, but if you have the opportunity to get a 3D/4D done, it’s really neat. We had one done with Jack (because of a study we were participating in), and it was one of the neatest experiences. I loved being able to see more detail of how sweet and perfect he was.
22) Buy cute maternity clothes
Long gone are the days of frumpy maternity clothes. If that’s still what you want, I’m sure you can find some, but fortunately, there are tons of cute maternity options nowadays. I recently discovered ThredUP, where you can get some awesome maternity clothes (and if you use that link, you get $20 toward your first purchase for free – no minimum!)
Stitch Fix is a fun subscription-based clothing program, and they just launched a maternity program – you pay a $20 styling fee, and they send you a box of clothes picked out just for you. You can send all the clothes back or pay for what you want to keep (the $25 goes toward buying clothes), but it’s kind of a fun surprise to get in the mail! I also have used this while I’m nursing, and it’s one of the only places I’ve gotten cute, breastfeeding compatible outfits.
23) Take advantage of pregnant status
There are certain perks that come from being pregnant – people are more likely to give you their seat, you can get free things, and you can justify putting your feet up a little bit more. I say, take advantage of it! I mean, don’t make people wait on you hand and foot, but hey, if someone wants to pamper you a little bit, then I say do it!
24) Get a hammock
I got Forrest a hammock for Christmas, and let’s just say I’ve probably been enjoying it more lately than him. It’s a nice way to relax outside, especially if you have other kids, and they want to play outside…and you are just exhausted. Hammocks are just comfortable all around!
25) Take a babymoon
We didn’t do this with Jack, and we won’t be doing anything extravagant for this baby, but it might be fun to take a little trip – even if it’s a staycation. We’ve been looking at little getaways near us on Groupon recently, and there really are some tempting deals. It can be a great way to connect with your spouse before a new baby comes. If you have other kids, it might be a fun thing to take them on as well!
26) Get a baby heartbeat monitor
So I saw a heartbeat monitor on Amazon, and I asked my doctor about it. She said there’s no harm in having one, so long as you don’t freak out if you can’t find a heartbeat (especially in the earlier months of pregnancy.) I got one, and I’ve recently been able to find the heartbeat with it…and it’s SO cool to be able to hear my baby’s heart at home. You can even record from it in case you want to send it to family who live far away. If you get stressed out easily, you may not want to get one…but if you just want to try hearing the heart even now and then, it’s a fun little tool to have.
The one that I have is no longer sold on Amazon, but you can buy it here. However, the same company is selling this one on Amazon for about $15 more, and it looks amazing – it tells you the heart rate! I think I’ll get this one next time around.
27) Take weekly bump pictures
I don’t really share these with anyone that often, but it’s a fun little digest of how my belly is growing. I like to compare them to bump pictures I have from my pregnancy with Jack. The Baby Center app has a “bumpie” section that lets you keep them in a little album, which I love doing each week. Here are some creative ways to document your pregnancy.
28) Have a fun gender reveal party/reveal
Gender reveals are all the rage right now – in fact, this post I wrote about creative gender reveal ideas is one of our most popular posts. You don’t have to have a huge party, but it can be fun to do something a little more unique when you find out if you are having a baby boy or girl.
29) Read pregnancy/parenting books
Not all are created equally, so I’d definitely do your research before reading these…but if you are wanting to prepare yourself (as much as you can – there’s only so much you can do to prepare for pregnancy, child birth, and child rearing), books can be a good way to pass the time in pregnancy! I’m a big fan of What to Expect When You are Expecting – the dad’s version looks awesome, too. If anything, you should watch the hilarious movie.
30) Park in “pregnant women” spots at the store
Most stores don’t have this type of parking, but when they do, take advantage of it. I always loved going to Babies R Us and being able to park in the stork parking!
31) Decorate the nursery
Be creative! Get your child’s nursery ready before they come and have some fun with it. My friend, Anita, wrote this great post on how to save money on your baby’s nursery – it’s a must-read (you don’t have to go into debt to have a child!)
32) Buy or make a hospital gown
I was perfectly content with the hospital gown that the hospital provided me with, but I have to admit, I love all the cute hospital gowns some of my friends brought with them to the hospital. Here is a super cute pattern that you can make yourself, or there are plenty of stores and Etsy shops online that sell them! I know several people who have bought this one and loved it.
33) Learn a new hobby
I really learned to enjoy sewing when I was pregnant with Jack. It was something I had always wanted to do, but I just never really had the time. When I was pregnant, I had a lot more downtime, so it’s something I taught myself. If you are on bed rest, or just find yourself needing to rest more than usual, take that time to learn something you’ve always wanted to do (you know, assuming it’s not something like sky diving!)
34) Look at baby name books or family history for name ideas
Deciding what to name your baby is hard! We have a few names we like for our baby, but I’m still not 100% set (we didn’t decide on Jack’s name until he was two days old – and it wasn’t the name I thought we would go with!) Going through baby name books, looking online, or even looking at your family history can be a fun place to look for names!
35) Watch this video (and grab some tissues)
36) Watch What to Expect When You are Expecting
I’m not entirely sure why I love this movie so much, but it never gets old. It’s one of the only movies I’ve watched over and over again, and I laugh and cry every time.
37) Try and ignore unwanted advice
There’s a lot of advice out there, and people wanting to give it to you. Myself included! While I think most people mean the best, it’s important to realize that not all advice is applicable to you! Try and just brush off advice that you don’t need or want! I find myself getting riled up about parenting posts I don’t agree with, and it’s just dumb. Just parent your kid the best you can and in the way you feel right about, and everything will fall into place.
38) Binge watch something on Netflix
Now this may result in losing some sleep, but I think it’s fun to find a show you enjoy on Netflix, and just watch one episode after another – especially when you don’t have the energy to get out of bed. Forrest and I have recently enjoyed watching Friends together, and I’m always re-watching old Grey’s Anatomy episodes (even though I’m so mad about the recent events in the current season!) If you want something more pregnancy related, I know a lot of people are loving the show “Call the Midwife”!
39) Find a doctor or midwife that you love
I wrote a post awhile back on tips for finding an OB/GYN or mid-wife. I think it’s important to find a provider who has similar views on birth and personality to you. Of course, the most important thing is finding someone who will get your baby here as safely as possible, but I think it can make or break your pregnancy depending on your provider. If you clash with your doctor, don’t be afraid to “break-up” with them. My sister switched her doctor toward the very end of her pregnancy, and she was so glad she did. If you don’t have a good relationship with your provider, you may have a hard time trusting their opinion!
Emotions are all over the place during pregnancy – laugh when you can. Sometimes something will happen, and I feel like I’m on the verge of crying…but if I can find something to laugh about, it makes it so much easier.
41) Make a baby registry
Even if you aren’t having a baby shower, this is fun to do. I think that MyRegistry is a great place to register, because you can register from items from any store online, and it’s all organized on one website. A lot of baby registry programs will send you a gift card for creating one (I know that Target and Babies R Us does). You can even create one on Amazon! I made one awhile back, and they sent me a fun “Welcome Baby” package. And if you are a first time parent, you should definitely check out my no-nonsense baby essentials list if you aren’t sure what you need.
42) Sign up for lots of freebies for new and expecting moms
Here is a post I wrote awhile back about freebies and discounts especially for pregnant and new moms!
Are you dying to know what your child is going to look like? Why not put together your picture with your spouse’s and see what comes up! This website is so funny – though I can’t guarantee the results 😉
45) Find reasons to be thankful
If you are feeling down, sad, or discouraged, sit down and write down all your blessings. As one of my favorite songs goes – count your many blessings, name the one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. Realizing everything that you do have can do wonders on your mood.
46) Write down everything you like about being pregnant
Even if it’s just one thing, write down something you like about being pregnant. Here’s something to start you with – you’ll get to meet the love of your life in just a few short months!
47) Write down your hopes and dreams for your baby
48) Buy a new mattress
Okay, I’m a HUGE believer in the importance of having a good mattress. We didn’t have a good one until March, and let me tell you, it works wonders. I used to wake up in pain, and many times throughout the night. We purchased a new one, and after the initial “breaking in” period, I’ve never slept better. Even though I’m 20 weeks pregnant, I actually sleep through the night, and I feel good when I wake up.
49) Use an activity tracker
This can be a little depressing if you look down at your tracker at 7 PM and see you’ve only take 700 steps…but it can also be a great motivator! I’ve noticed that on the days I feel the most downtrodden, I’ve also taken the least amount of steps. Get out there and move! There’s lot of wearable trackers out there in a variety of price ranges – I personally love my FitBit Charge. If you have a FitBit, be sure to add me – [email protected] and then read my FitBit 101 guide.
50) Use an infused water bottle
This is a great way to drink more water – put strawberries, lemons, even mint. It definitely makes drinking lots of water easier!
51) Buy a cute print for your baby’s nursery from Modify Ink
I discovered this awesome website at a blog conference, and it’s so cool. It makes it easy to make customized art for every room in your house. I”m currently in the process of making one for Jack’s room. I highly recommend checking it out. I’ll have a discount code for you all soon.
53) Shop for baby clothes
Is there anything more fun than shopping for baby clothes? I think not! Here are a few tips on how to get kid clothes for cheaper. I know I can hardly resist the baby section at Target (and we don’t even know what we are having!)
54) Read my posts on pregnancy!
Okay, just a little self-promotion here. Pregnancy is something I’m very passionate about. When I was pregnant with Jack, I felt like everything online was so negative about pregnancy and becoming a parent, and it really affected me. I started this blog with the purpose of curating positive content about parenting, pregnancy, and just family in general, because, for me, my greatest blessings and joys in life have come from those three things. I hope you’ll read some of my other parenting and pregnancy posts (including my “Surviving Pregnancy” series) if you enjoyed this post!
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