There is no shortage of advice for women who are expecting. In fact, often there is too much advice. That can make it hard to find the advice that will actually be helpful and, frankly, trying to sort through it all can add unnecessary stress to what should be a joyful time. Here we provide an overview on what you need to know during your first pregnancy.
- Prepare the Basics Now
You’ve got plenty of time, right? Nine months to prepare the baby’s room and get ready for your new little bundle of joy is lots of time. The truth is, that time will fly by. Morning sickness may make your days seem long and yet the baby will probably arrive before you’re fully prepared.
The temptation is to put things off until closer to the baby’s arrival. Remember, you’ll need a number of items on hand before you bring your baby home from the hospital. Have family members purchase items prior to the baby’s birth or buy them yourself.
Keep in mind that by the end of your pregnancy you might not be up to shopping or finishing the baby’s room. Fatigue, being put on bedrest, or having the baby arrive early could make waiting until the last month or two a very bad idea. Make sure you at least have the crib, bedding, child safety seat (so you can bring your baby home!), a couple of changes of clothing, a baby bib or two (these can serve double duty as burp cloths!), diapers, and a receiving blanket well before the big day.
- Stay Off the Scale
Avoid becoming obsessed with your weight by skipping a daily weigh-in. Your regular doctor’s appointment will be often enough to check your weight (unless your doctor says otherwise). Too often women become overly concerned about gaining too little, gaining too much, and how quickly (or slowly) they are gaining weight. Your weight gain will vary in speed during your pregnancy. Rather than your weight, focus on trying to eat reasonably healthy food in reasonable amounts. As long as you avoid “eating for two” at every meal, you should be fine.
- Ignore Advice
Often one of the biggest challenges facing new parents-to-be is an overabundance of advice. It may seem that everyone has something to contribute once they find out you’re expecting. Make sure you listen to your doctor’s advice but don’t pay too much attention to what everyone else says.
- Avoid Tales of Terror
For some reason, people seem to delight in telling new expectant women terrible tales. Try to tune out the stories of long deliveries, painful experiences, or nightmarish battles with morning sickness.
At the same time, try to avoid the overly chipper stories. Remember, it’s a pregnancy, not a completion. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by tales of “perfect” pregnancies. If you’re battling morning sickness or swelling ankles, you don’t want to hear about how someone else’s pregnancy was magical. Don’t believe it and try to change the subject if people try to make you feel bad about your pregnancy. Enjoy the experience as much as you can and look forward your bundle of joy.