1. Open communication with your partner.
The 9 months of your pregnancy will be one of the most transformative, emotional, nerve-racking, and amazing experiences ever. The best way to get the support that you need from your husband is through open communication.
Be sure to share what you’re feeling with him. Doubts, financial worries, and any discomfort can be made better when you discuss them together. But don’t forget to share your joy and excitement as well, over things like baby’s first kick and hiccups. Do your best to include your husband on this pregnancy journey.
2. Wear comfortable, flattering clothes and shoes.
The media is full of “Celebrity Pregnancy Style” and photos of actresses in dazzling clothes and stilettos, proudly showing off their bumps. Meanwhile, we can hardly squeeze our swollen feet in our flats. High heels are out of the question. And pregnancy style basically means wearing our husband’s clothes.
If you can no longer fit in your clothes, underwear and shoes, treat yourself to new ones. Buy things that make you feel confident and comfortable. Stop comparing yourself to glamour shots of other pregnant women posing on Instagram. (Think they always look like that? Think again.) You’re beautiful as you are – and your husband would agree.
3. Don’t believe every pregnancy and childbirth horror story you hear.
We all get wind of horror stories about someone’s friend’s aunt’s 30-hour labor/ terrifying emergency c-section/ near-brush with miscarriage. The hypothetical worst-case scenarios make us panic. When we’re already dealing with crazy hormones and mood swings, lending our ears to these horror stories certainly doesn’t help.
4. Get plenty of sleep.
Your body works overtime to house your baby (say hello to pregnancy fatigue), so make sure you get plenty of sleep. This can be slightly tricky at times, what with all the physical and emotional changes going on – especially when you’re experiencing some of these common sleep-stealers:
Heartburn: Alleviate heartburn by propping your upper body with pillows. This prevents acid from moving up. Avoid eating large meals or fried foods, especially before bedtime. You can also ask your doctor to prescribe antacids.
Frequent trips to the bathroom: It seems like your bladder is now the size of a thimble. Right as you’re on the throes of deep, satisfying sleep, you have to pee. Again. Try this: Avoid drinking anything a couple of hours before bedtime, but make up for it by upping your fluid intake throughout the day.
Not being able to get into a comfortable position: Pillows help. If you normally sleep on your belly or back, you’ll have to get used to resting on your side to accommodate your growing bump. Prop a pillow between your legs, behind your back, or under your bump. It may take many tries, tosses, and turns to finally settle into a comfortable position, but you’ll get there!
Your skin stretches rapidly as your belly and breasts grow, and this can lead to itchiness—or even stretch marks. Moisturize daily with coco butter, shea butter, creams, or oils (Vitamin E is especially hydrating). You’ll find that the act of massaging moisturizer over your beautiful bump is incredibly soothing, both physically and emotionally. Another idea to ask your husband to do it for you. Nothing like a massage from your main man to make you feel pampered and loved!
Other tips to relieve itchiness: Wear loose cotton clothing. Avoid very hot showers, which dry your skin and worsen the itching.
6. Have a plan.
Not a planner? Now’s a good time to start practicing.
When are you going to tell your boss and colleagues about your pregnancy? Do you have maternity plans in place yet? Decide when you’re going to interview for a nanny before you return to work. If you want to take a “babymoon,” start scouring destinations and flights before you’re too far along to fly.
7. Have lots of indoor entertainment.
There will be times when you’re not in the mood to go out. (Morning sickness, anyone?) Grabbing drinks with your girlfriends might not be as enticing when you can’t drink. Plus, you’re sick of searching for public toilets and holding in your pee every time you’re out.
It’s understandable if you’d rather stay at home – just be sure to have plenty of indoor entertainment. Find the next television show to get hooked on, stock up on magazines, or take up some arts and crafts for fun. And remember that you can always invite your friends over for a lovely, relaxing time at your place, where the bathroom is only a few steps away.
By Jenny Tai