Most people are aware of the basics- don’t drink alcohol, smoke, or lift anything heavy during your pregnancy. Certain types of shellfish and changing kitty litter (being exposed to ammonia) are also big no-nos. It can seem restrictive, but when it comes to the health of your child, I don’t see why anyone would risk it. For a complete list of activities, food, and medications to avoid when pregnant, read this post by Marissa at Kindred Bond:
-Do not eat anything raw, uncooked, or fish that contain mercury
-Do not eat/drink anything unpasteurized.
-Avoid aspirin, Tylenol, “natural”/herbal supplements, and regular vitamins.
-Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time
-Don’t travel for long periods of time during your third trimester
-Do not participate in any high risk or contact sports, like water skiing, snowboarding, or scuba diving.
My sister is pregnant with her second child, and is due next week! However, her doctor doesn’t think she’s going to make it that far- that baby is ready to come out! So, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for when the baby does decide that it’s time. For a list of things that everyone should do before their baby is born, read this article by Alisha at The Savvy Bump:
-Get some freezer meals ready, so no one has to cook anything for a few weeks
-Deep clean your entire home, especially the baby’s room
-Stock up on essentials- formula, diapers, baby clothes, and wipes
-Give yourself some pampering- get a pedicure, or a massage
-Have your postpartum wardrobe planned out
I have several friends that just announced that they’re pregnant! And my own sister is due with my niece in three weeks- so I’m really excited all around. However, the days are getting hotter and longer, and anyone who has been pregnant can tell you that the summer heat can sometimes be unbearable. If you’ve recently found out that you are expecting, first of all, congratulations! Second of all, read this article by Holly at Simplify Create Inspire for tips on surviving a summer pregnancy. It could seriously save your life:
-Get comfortable- get you some breathable, stretchy, cotton clothes
-Find a way to cool down- bump up the AC, turn on the fans, take a cold shower, or take a dip in a pool
-Eat some frozen desserts- popsicles, icecream, and froyo is going to be your best friend
-Keep up your fluids- always keep a bottle of cold water with you
-Get comfy at bedtime- crank up the AC, sleep in comfy Pjs, and surround yourself with fluffy pillows. A good body pillow can be a lifesaver.
Remember when you were in school, and sometimes a teachers would be merciful and let you use an index card “cheat sheet” on a test? Why don’t they have those for real life? For doing your taxes, or auto maintenance, or raising kids? Well, good news- at least for the last one. This post by Jennifer Fishkind at Princess Pinky Girl has rounded up the best “parenting cheat sheets” on the internet. Check it out, and you will have a handy guide for:
-How many diapers you will need per day
-Diaper contents and baby health
-Baby sign language
-Baby Physical Development
-Appropriate chores by child age
-Baby feeding charts, when to move on to solid food, etc.
-Baby sleep guidelines
It’s super useful! Every new or expecting parent should bookmark that post immediately.
I’ve seen countless articles, posts, and Pinterest tips about what pregnant women should pack in their hospital bags- but never anything about the dads. That is, until I found this article by Krista at While He Was Napping! Check it out for a great list on what Dad can bring to the hospital to make himself, Mom, and Baby more comfortable. It has a full list of hospital essentials (pillows, shirts, comfy pants, snacks, etc), but here are a few super useful out-of-the-box things I’d never think of:
-Extra towels from home- if he wants to take a shower, he’ll need one! It’s also just a good idea to have extra towels. You never know if a hospital is going to be generous or stingy with them.
-Swim trunks- if he wants to shower or help you shower, but isn’t keen on doctors/nurses potentially walking in on him.
-A laptop, tablet, or something else to do- sometimes labor can be a LONG process
-A list of important contact numbers- grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends- everyone who needs to know about the baby!
Being a new mom is one of the most draining things in the world. Recovering from childbirth, taking care of a newborn, lack of sleep, and still maintaining activities of daily life can seem impossible. If you are also breastfeeding, the stress can negatively affect your milk supply. It’s important to maintain your own health, so your child can also be healthy and grow up strong! Check out this list by Devany Ledrew at Breastfeeding Place for the best foods for breastfeeding moms to eat. These foods will provide you and your baby with tons of vitamins and nutrients:
Being a parent is hard work: especially when your baby learns how to use his legs and becomes a toddler. Chasing them all over the home, keeping them out of dangerous areas, and the constant vigilance you have to keep over them is extremely exhausting. A huge part of keeping your sanity at that stage is by setting up an area where kids can safely play. That’s why play pens are such godsends! That, and they have so many other uses. Check out this post by Rachel at A Mother Far From Home for why you need a play pen on your baby registry:
-Napping in other areas of the house when room sharing with sibling
-Safe independent playtime
-Corraling kids when you need to get other stuff done
-Family homes: bring the play yard to grandma’s so the kids have somewhere to sleep if they are sleeping over
Being pregnant isn’t a walk in the park by a long shot. While it has its ups, and is totally rewarding in the end, it can also be exhausting and draining. However, you can combat the negative side effects by making sure your body is as healthy as possible before conceiving, and by mentally preparing yourself by knowing what to expect. Check out this article by Leigh Ann at Intentional By Grace for how to best prepare your body before the baby arrives. She also has several tips on boosting fertility, so be sure to check out the full article:
-Eat plenty of nutrient rich foods that are full of vitamins, like fish, fruits, and leafy green veggies.
-Limit sugar and caffeine
-Rest, rest, rest. Get plenty of sleep at night, and take naps during the day.
-Take vitamins daily
-Pamper yourself: take baths, and splurge on a massage every once in a while
Photo Credit: Joana Coccarelli
Before you decide to have a child with someone, it’s important that you both agree on some fundamental issues. Sure, you and your partner don’t have to share all the same beliefs and ideals, but you should be able to agree on how to raise your kid. Check out this post by Michele Zipp at The Stir for conversations that you and your partner absolutely need to have before the baby arrives:
-How you want to birth- hospital or in home?
-Baby name choice- find something you both love
-Potential complications- what will you do if your child has special needs, etc. ?