Tips For Pregnant (Especially First Time) Moms No One Tells You About

So you're here because you're pregnant or plan to be in the future. Great. There are so many things I wish I knew prior to being pregnant. My hope is that by reading these I can help you have a more enjoyable and positive pregnancy. It is never too early to start doing your research on what to expect when pregnant. Being over prepared is better than under prepared in my opinion. There are so many things you can do right now that will better prepare you, even if you are not pregnant yet, but hope to be in the future. 

1. Invest In Some Good Sneakers (Or Better and Cheaper: Shoe Inserts) 

There is a reason this is number one on my list. This would have saved me a lot of pain and discomfort my whole pregnancy and into postpartum. Do not wait until you are in a lot of pain before doing something. I had a lot of hip pain, especially as my baby grew inside of me and my bump expanded. Pregnancy is not the time to try wearing your favorite heels, unless your outfit really can not live without it. In that case, I would say, tread lightly. For me, even one inch booties caused a lot of hip pain. I didn't even know it was the cause until I did some trial an error and realized I was better off ditching the heels. Especially for around the house, or moms who stay at home, investing in some good heel and sole inserts will help you a lot. Even if you wear crocks or slippers in the house, heel inserts are a good way to prevent future injuries, especially as you carry your new baby around the house. Sneakers or tennis shoes are great. If you're like me and like the convenience of slipping something on around the house, sole inserts will save you a lot of trouble. Plus, they are much cheaper than buying a new pair of shoes. (Best $8.00 I ever spent). So if your hips, knees, or other body parts start hurting, look at what is supporting you: your feet. The rest of your body will thank you. 

2. Glutes, Glutes, and More Glutes 

The gluteal muscles are the muscles around your buttock, thighs, hips and pelvis. This is going to tie in with the above tip about preventing hip pain. A growing baby puts a lot of strain on a mama's hips and if the area around the hips are not strengthened, your hips are gonna hurt. Doing exercises to strengthened this area at least 3 times a week will go very far. Even if you aren't pregnant, it is never too early to do some squats or bridges to get this are stronger. Honestly, the earlier you start implementing this, the better. Definitely do not wait until you start feeling pain, too. Prevention goes a long way, and again your body will thank you for this later. 

3. Start Practicing Breathing, Meditations, and Visualizations for Birth ASAP

Maybe you're 8 weeks pregnant or maybe you're 30 weeks pregnant. Maybe you're planning to get an epidural or maybe you're planning to go natural. Regardless of where you are on the spectrum, it is never too early to start practicing these extremely helpful exercises. I started at maybe 30 weeks pregnant, thinking, hm maybe now is a good time. But, I truly wish I had thought of it much sooner. This can really help you get into the mindset of birth before you experience it. Many people have said, and I would agree, that birth is a mental game. Flooding your mind with positive thoughts about birth and learning to relax your body will only help encourage you to have a more positive outlook on the birth experience. Of course, if you are going to download an app, it might cost you, but $3 or more dollars a month is nothing compared to having some peace of mind about your baby's birth. My top two recommendations for meditation apps are Christian HypnoBirthing (a Christian approach) and Made For This (a more Catholic approach) (with Made For This birthing app being my #1 pick). Although these two are both Christian apps, I am sure there are a plethora of them out there that can cater to your exact needs.

4. Cold Smoothies, Papaya Enzymes and Motion Sickness Bracelets 

These is my suggestions for the first trimester when morning sickness (aka all day sickness) is the most prevalent. Typically, cold foods are going to go down a lot easier than warm foods. That's where smoothies come in to help you get all the nutrients you might need for breakfast in a large smoothies instead of making something you can't stomach (like eggs for example). My favorite dairy free smoothie includes: coconut water (which have a lot of electrolytes for moms who are pregnant or breastfeeding), 1.5 cups of frozen fruits of your choice, 1 date, a handful of chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 2 scoops of a pea protein powder of your choice (do not skip this ingredient because pregnant moms really need their protein). Drink it with a straw to help it go down if your nausea is extremely bad.

Papaya Enzymes are a not very expensive additive to your after meal routine and are great at speeding up digestion so that you don't feel so sick after eating. Even better, they are all natural. Most directions say to chew up to three small pills after each meal. This helped me so much once a family member recommended it and I wondered why no one really talked about it. After learning about it, I was not caught eating a meal without them. They helped soothe my stomach almost 5 minutes after taking them. 

I wore motion sickness bracelets my entire pregnancy. My "morning sickness" pretty much lasted my whole pregnancy (although it significantly improved after the 1st trimester). Those bracelets helped so much and I truly don't know what I would have done without them. There are a lot other benefits to them than just helping with morning sickness. Having insomnia while pregnant? Motion sickness bracelets help so much. I still use them to help me sleep when I am having a restless night's sleep.  

5. Practice Small Simple Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

If you are like most moms who can not wait to get back to exercising after your baby is born, but realize there is almost no time when you have a newborn to do so, I got you covered. Small, simple exercises are a good place to start. You are going to want to find a few of them before the baby is here and practice them too. My favorite is a pilates exercise where you draw your navel up into your abdomen and your hips down and hold. It should feel like your are wearing a seatbelt and done while laying down. It can be implemented while breastfeeding your baby in the side lying position and really takes almost little to no effort at all.

I hope you are implement at least one of more of these tips and have found them useful. Whatever season of motherhood you are in, I hope you know you are doing great and can do great things. You got this mama! 

*Disclaimer: Advice is based on best practices, I experience during pregnancy and beyond. They do not replace medical advice from a doctor. Ask your doctor before implementing.