Pregnancy prep can feel a bit overwhelming—so much information, so many physical changes, so many things to think about! After all, you are building another human (and that doesn’t happen every day!) It doesn’t hurt to get a head start on all the pregnancy prep so that you can enjoy, or endure, every moment of your superpower. Here are 5 ways to start pregnancy prep early, and get a leg up on the whirlwind ahead.
Eat for two (in quality, not quantity)
By now, you’ve probably mastered eating. You’ve had at least a few years of practice, moved on from liquids, to mush, to solids, and you’ve even tackled advanced tactics like scarfing tacos from your favorite food truck without spilling the hot sauce on your favorite pants. You’re a natural, but it’s difficult to inherently know the nutrition you and your new little friend need during your 9 months together. Babies go through a wide range of developmental phases and stages, and each week of your baby’s development favors a different set of nutrients. Since baby isn’t exactly “eating” yet, it’s up to you to make sure you and your little one have the fuel you need to collectively rock life.
Babies go through a wide range of developmental phases and stages, and each week of your baby’s development favors a different set of nutrients.
What Does Baby Need?
Here’s a handful of resources to help you track what nutrients you and your baby need, and how you can incorporate them into your current favorite recipes. Who knows, you might even find your new favorite dish.
- Baby Building Blocks – a week by week nutrition guide to show you what recipes will help you out during that week of your pregnancy, and why.
- AmericanPregnancy.org – a source of which foods contain the vital minerals and vitamins for a healthy mom and baby.
- Fit Pregnancy – a variety of answers to common nutrition questions as well as recipe ideas for pregnant moms.
- How Does an Olympian Prepare for Labor – Video Series: Olympian, 7X USA champion and proud mom, Alysia Montaño shares how she “trains” for labor. Here’s what she said about nutrition:
“It’s no secret that athletes must be conscientious, as should we all, with what we consume. Given the fact that I believe labor is physically taxing, why wouldn’t I take the same approach to feeding and fueling my body so that it can perform optimally and efficiently when my physical demand is at its most high.”
See what else Alysia has to say about nutrition here.
Keep up your fitness
The limits, or lack thereof, of exercising while pregnant is a hot debate across the internet. Thankfully, we’ve had scientists and athletes weigh in on the risks (few) and rewards (many) of prenatal exercise and why you should keep doing it. Not only can exercising while pregnant help with the normal effects of exercise such as improved mood, muscle tone, and better sleep, but it can actually help with your birth experience. While some precautions are important, such as avoiding high-impact activity and avoiding exercising to the point of exhaustion, experts generally agree that exercising during pregnancy is both safe and beneficial.
Exercising while pregnant can help with the normal effects of exercise such as improved mood, muscle tone, and better sleep, And can also help with your birth experience.
Alysia Montaño also discussed the importance of strength training in her mental and physical preparation for labor:
“I harness my strength, both mental and physical, in the weight room and through bodyweight exercises because I believe the tools I have learned about how to incorporate the body and mind in an orchestrated way will help me through the physical intensity that is labor, just as strength testing trained my body and my mind for the Olympics.”
Take a birth class
Yes, birth is natural… However, the modern birth, and all the decisions that come with it, can feel a bit more complicated. It helps to know what’s going on during labor, and to know all your options and preferences before the big day arrives. Having the terminology, methods, and options in your head beforehand can help you feel more prepared for whatever comes down the pike. Signing up for a birth class can help with the tips, tricks, and knowledge will help you through the process.
Taking a birth class can help you learn the tips, tricks, and knowledge to guide you through the birth process.
For your pregnancy prep, you may want to sign up for birth classes sooner rather than later. They tend to fill up, and some classes can last for months, which means you need to sign up early in order to start at the beginning of your second trimester.
Trying to find birth classes? Here’s a list of all sorts of birth classes, and where to find them.
Make some mom friends
Support is so important during pregnancy. Whether you’re a 1st time mom or a 5th time mom, pregnancies can be different every single time, and it helps to have a network of people to support you whenever you need it. Mother networks are local (or virtual!) support groups with both experienced and inexperienced moms that exist to provide support and guidance for pregnant mothers. Whether you are looking for a general mom group, or something specific like unmedicated birth groups in Memphis, you should be able to find both local and virtual groups for support and knowledge sharing. For local mom meetups, try meetup.com to find gatherings like this one in Boston. If you’d rather try something online, there are a number of virtual mom groups on Facebook such as Main Street Mamas.
pregnancies can be different every single time, and it helps to have a network of people to support you whenever you need it.
Learn a thing or two!
You and your little bean have a full ten months (yup, it’s really ten) to learn all the amazing things about growing a tiny human and arm yourself with information to rock this motherhood thing.
That’s where Preg U comes in. Our team at Bloomlife cares about you and all the mom/ baby duos out there. After all, that’s why we created a company that’s dedicated to advancing prenatal research and medicine. We think you deserve access to better information to make confident, self-assured decisions about your health and the health of your baby. That’s why we created Preg U, the smart girl’s guide to pregnancy and parenting.
There’s a lot of fluff floating out there on the internet, and sometimes it feels like following a search trail of symptoms online inevitably leads to unpronounceable doom. But we’re scientists at heart, and that’s not our style. We’ve brought out the big guns – PhDs, medical experts, birth professionals, badass moms – for expertly written and science-backed articles… covering everything from how to boost your baby’s microbiome to helping you answer “are these contractions are normal?” It’s like chatting with your super smart, non-judgemental best friend who happens to have an advanced degree and loads of experience in the birth world and doesn’t care if you want to have a baby behind a tree or if you would prefer to be surrounded by beeping machines with pain meds coursing through your veins.
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Get to know your body.
Bloomlife is committed to accelerating long overdue advancements to improve the health of moms and babies, starting with our at-home contraction monitor. Why would you want to monitor your contractions at home? We’re so glad you asked.
With an at-home contraction monitor, you can see how your body is changing leading up to the big day:
- You can see your Braxton Hicks contractions strengthening your uterine muscle. See how your body pattern is changing with daily recordings
- Sometimes you need a second opinion, and Bloomlife’s contraction monitor can give you insight into what you are feeling. Those sensations you are feeling? They may be contractions.
- There’s only so much you can learn about yourself from Google. Bloomlife helps you understand what your unique pregnancy feels like to you.
A part of pregnancy prep you may not be thinking about now, is when you should actually head to your predetermined birth facility for the big moment. Unfortunately, there’s no big confetti ball that bursts above your head when it’s time to head out. In fact, it can be quite confusing and troublesome to figure out when you’re truly in labor. With the Bloomlife monitor, you can store and share vital data about your pregnancy so that you can see your contractions and determine if you are having Braxton Hicks contractions, prodromal labor, or if it’s time to start the car! Who knows, you might even save a false trip to the hospital.
See how the Bloomlife contraction monitor works here.