Perfecting pregnancy: How to have a happy pregnancy

A mommy-to-be's health is the number one concern during pregnancy, but it's also important to enjoy those 40 weeks.
By P&N

Here’s how to have a happy pregnancy.

Most expecting moms know the basics of a healthy pregnancy, like regular doctor visits, a nutritious diet and plenty of rest. But there’s more to a healthy pregnancy than snoozing and taking prenatal vitamins. Welcoming a new baby is life-changing, and it’s important to nurture your emotional well-being as much as your physical condition. Achieving a healthy and happy pregnancy is different for everyone, but there are a few things anyone can do to make the most of her expecting status.

Know what to expect
Preparing mentally and having realistic expectations is the first step toward enjoying your pregnancy. For some expecting moms and dads, this means long discussions with fellow parents, taking every baby care class within a 4-hour drive, and doing enough online research to earn a Google degree. For others, it means tuning out unsolicited advice and trusting instincts.

Not all women like having buns in their ovens, and that’s OK. There are some unexpected, not-so-glamorous symptoms of pregnancy, such as wacky wake-you-up dreams, dry skin and breakouts reminiscent of teenage years. Reading honest tales of other women’s pregnancy woes is good for a giggle while also helping you prepare for these surprises.

In addition to the changes you’re encountering, tune into your baby’s progression as well. Knowing about your little one’s development in the womb can help you better understand the transformations going on in your own body.

Bid worries goodbye
All pregnant mommies have fears, the most common of which is the culmination of pregnancy: labor. Acknowledge but try not to dwell on the concerns, and take actions to help you feel more prepared. Discuss delivery options with your OB or midwife, take a birthing class, create a birth plan, and remind yourself of all the siblings who wouldn’t exist if labor wasn’t worth it!

Another frequent concern for expecting gals is whether or not they’ll be good moms. Fortunately, studies show that women who worry about being good moms are rarely otherwise.

If you’re fretting over having everything ready in time for baby’s arrival, relax. Newborns need very little, so you’ll have a few weeks of getting to know each other before raiding much of the loot from your shower. And you can always send hubby on an emergency run to Babies”R”Us if something is urgent.

Embrace the changes
Pregnancy can feel like an emotional roller coaster, but try to enjoy the ride. When else do you have an excuse to cry over commercials or snap at your husband for no reason? Sudden increases in hormones can trigger mood swings, anxiety and even depression. This can be hard to broach when everyone is overjoyed by your belly, but nearly all pregnant women experience bouts of fear and unease. Talking to your caregiver or other confidant about how you feel can help alleviate your discomfort.

Watching your belly expand and the numbers on the scale soar can shake even the most confident mama-to-be, but your body is performing an amazing act and deserves respect. While you don’t have to love the new, rounder you, it’s important to coddle your belly and satisfy your needs—even if that need is another bowl of ice cream! Just remember, these changes bring you closer to your end goal: a healthy, happy baby.

Accept a little pampering
Since you’ll soon be focused completely on another life, take some time to pamper yourself now, and let others do the same—pregnancy is a time for celebration! Baby showers, well-wishers and the steady flow of Has the baby arrived yet? queries can feel overwhelming, but this outpouring is born from care and excitement. Try to enjoy the extra attention you receive and bask in the moment. After all, pregnancy only lasts nine months.

More than ever, find ways to de-stress, whether it’s through writing in a diary or getting a prenatal massage. And remember that your life won’t be the only one turned upside down with the arrival of your bundle of joy, so try to involve your partner in the preparations and festivities. You might not be able to sip a margarita, but go out for tacos just the same. Even consider taking a babymoon! Whatever you do, don’t put too much pressure on yourself—you don’t need to have a perfect pregnancy to have a perfect baby.

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Posted in Emotional Health, imported, Pregnancy