So you’ve recently found out that you’re pregnant? Congratulations on what promises to be an amazing and fulfilling journey ahead!
From the moment you made the discovery, you could probably feel your whole world changing.
Out goes just you and your partner, and in comes a tiny little human with more presence than you could ever imagine.
When I now look back at my pregnancy, there are dozens of things I wish I knew then that I’m now knowledgeable about.
Things that would have made my life easier, more comfortable and in some instances safer too.
While I can’t turn back the clock, what I can do is pass on these pregnancy tips, hacks, and advice to other new moms, in the hope that you not only survive, but also thrive, during the next 9 months.
So without further ado, here are 15 of the best and most useful pregnancy tips and hacks that I wished I knew when starting my journey.
Table of Contents
- 1. Stay Hydrated
- 2. Smart Snacking
- 3. Avoid Certain Foods
- 4. Comfort is Key
- 5. Embrace The Body Pillow
- 6. Exercise, Mindfully
- 7. Birth Plan & Beyond
- 8. Don’t Forget How Strong You Are
- 9. Connect with Other Moms
- 10. Pamper Yourself
- 11. Stay Safe During Foot Massages
- 12. The Magic of Kegels
- 13. Wear Sunscreen
- 14. Not All Activities Are Safe
- 15. Seek Expert Support
1. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is crucial during pregnancy.
Not only does it help combat fatigue and support the body’s changing needs, but it’s also a great excuse to indulge in a variety of flavorful mocktails when the mood strikes.
During pregnancy, it is advisable to drink 8 to 12 cups (64 to 96 ounces) of water every day, and potentially much more in hot weather or when exercising.
This is particularly important because water offers many benefits to expecting moms, including aiding digestion and helping form the amniotic fluid around the fetus, and also because dehydration can be especially dangerous for pregnant women.
2. Smart Snacking
Cravings are an inevitable part of pregnancy, and our advice is to embrace them, but with a healthy twist!
Opt for nutrient-rich and protein-rich snacks like nuts, yogurt, and fresh fruit and vegetables wherever possible, but don’t feel guilty about the occasional ice cream or chocolate bar from time to time.
Remember you are looking for a balanced diet and approach, but that doesn’t mean you have to be perfect all the time (which is both unrealistic and necessary).
3. Avoid Certain Foods
When you are pregnant you’re probably going to need to make some dietary changes compared to your non-pregnant days.
In simple terms, it’s best if you only eat dairy foods with pasteurized ingredients, and opt for meat or fish that has been properly cooked (avoid deli meat and beef jerky), limit your caffeine intake, and of course, cut out any alcohol or smoking for the duration of your pregnancy (and potentially beyond if breastfeeding).
4. Comfort is Key
As your belly grows, finding comfortable clothing becomes a top priority.
So it’s wise to invest in stretchy leggings, loose-fitting tops, and, of course, the holy grail of maternity wear—the maternity pillow (see below).
Related: What To Wear To Your Baby Shower
5. Embrace The Body Pillow
Invest in a body pillow to support your back and hips as your belly grows.
These versatile pillows can be your sleep companion, providing comfort and helping you find the perfect sleeping position.
These pillows are game-changers and will soon become your new best friend (don’t be surprised if your husband or partner feels neglected thanks to the love, attention, and support that your pillow is providing you)!
6. Exercise, Mindfully
Staying active is essential for a healthy pregnancy.
Low-impact exercises like prenatal yoga or swimming are great, but if you are a regular in the gym then you should be able to continue lifting weights, squatting and deadlifting, provided you make some modifications (especially in your second and thrid trimesters).
7. Birth Plan & Beyond
Creating a birth plan is a thoughtful way to express your preferences, but be flexible.
Labor can be unpredictable, so go with the flow.
Don’t forget to pack a hospital bag with a well-chosen going-home outfit, and as an added tip, make sure your partner or husband thinks about what to pack in their bag too.
8. Don’t Forget How Strong You Are
It sounds cliché, but you really are stronger than you could ever imagine.
If you think about it for a moment, right now you are growing a tiny human inside of you. Yes, your body is literally growing a human. How cool and amazing is that!
During your pregnancy there will no doubt be times when you feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, but that’s totally normal.
You may feel like you just can’t go on, and you just want to throw in the towel.
But just remember how amazing you are, and that you are so much stronger than you ever imagined possible. And more capable than you ever dreamed.
Trust me, you WILL be just fine.
9. Connect with Other Moms
Joining prenatal classes or online communities can provide a valuable support system.
During these sessions you can share experiences, tips, and even the occasional laugh with other expectant mothers can make the journey more enjoyable.
Plus you never know, you might end up making some new friends for life.
10. Pamper Yourself
During pregnancy, you absolutely should make time for self-care.
Whether it’s a relaxing prenatal massage (see below), a warm (but not hot) bath, or simply putting your feet up, pampering yourself is essential for both physical and mental well-being.
11. Stay Safe During Foot Massages
For many moms-to-be there are limited risks to receiving a foot massage while pregnant, provided you seek out a certified professional who is trained in prenatal massaging.
One of the reasons why you should turn to a trained professional is because they know where to avoid when messaging a pregnant woman’s feet.
These professionals will know the acupressure points that can induce labor, enabling them to give you a relaxing and beneficial massage while steering clear of certain areas.
12. The Magic of Kegels
Kegel exercises aren’t just for after childbirth.
By incorporating them into your daily routine you will help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which can assist with bladder control and postpartum recovery.
To do them, simply:
- Practice squeezing as though you’re stopping the flow of urine when you use the bathroom.
- Hold for three seconds, then relax for three.
- Repeat 10 times for a complete set.
13. Wear Sunscreen
During pregnancy, your skin becomes more sensitive, and this means that pregnant women can burn more easily than normal.
In hot and sunny weather it’s therefore vitally important that you protect your skin using sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30, and cover as much skin as possible when you are in the sun by wearing loose, breathable clothing.
14. Not All Activities Are Safe
Any activity where you are at risk of falling is best avoided while pregnant.
As are other activities that aren’t proven to be safe, or which place unwanted pressure on your stomach.
For this reason, you should avoid or think twice about taking part in activities including horse riding, scuba diving, jet skiing, skiing and ziplining. , as well as anything where you could be bumped or hit, such as rugby, football, hockey, squash, or martial arts.
15. Seek Expert Support
Let’s face it, despite all the great article, books and well-meaning friends and relatives, sometimes we all need the advice and experience that comes from an expert.
For this reason, you may want to consider having a private midwife if you have the means.
The great thing about these professionals is that they will understand you and your pregnancy, so they should be able to give you any support when you need it.
Midwives are typically able to offer care before, during and after your pregnancy, and as such, their roles and duties may include carrying out prenatal exams and order tests, monitoring your physical and psychological health, assisting with your birth plans, advising on your diet and exercise, and of course educating you (and your partner) about pregnancy and answering any questions you may have.
Must Read: Your Guide To A Happy & Healthy Pregnancy