Congratulations! You’re pregnant! Whether this is your first child or your third, there’s nothing quite like the experience of being pregnant and giving birth. During your lifetime, you’ll experience lots of amazing things, but growing a tiny human inside of you is definitely a unique and thrilling adventure. As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll encounter obstacles, challenges, hormonal mood swings, and so much more. But you’ll also experience the amazing gift of bringing life into the world and all the joy that comes with it. There’s lots to look forward to, lots of planning and preparation to do, and lots of things you need to get crossed off your list before your little one arrives. Once you’re done freaking out and celebrating, pick up the phone and call your doctor, nurse practitioner, or midwife (whomever you plan to see throughout your pregnancy) and make an appointment. It’s time to begin your prenatal care!
Keeping yourself healthy and happy during your pregnancy should be your number one priority – what goes into your body also goes into your baby. The first thing you think of is food, but there’s so much more. Even the lotion you use, the medicine you take, and the chemicals in your hair dye might need to be altered. Everything you eat and everything your skin absorbs isn’t just about you anymore; you’re taking care of two people now! While it’s important to take that into consideration, it’s also important to keep mom happy. Happy mom = happy baby. Pregnancy is not about sacrificing yourself, but is instead about gaining another life and the excitement that comes along with it.
To start off, maintaining a healthy diet and ingesting vital nutrients (like folic acid) are key to supporting you and your growing bump. You should begin taking prenatal vitamins as soon as possible. One of the first things your baby develops is the neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord. This means that you should start a healthy diet full of all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs right from the get go. Eating healthy diet is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy pregnancy, but there are other things you should (or shouldn’t do) during your pregnancy:
Top Do’s and Don’t’s of Pregnancy:
In addition, being pregnant can be royally confusing , especially if this is your first child. How do you know what ache or pain is normal and which isn’t? Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recommendation is if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should call your doctor:
- Contractions at 20 minute intervals or less,
- Dizziness or fainting,
- Pain of any kind,
- Heart palpitations,
- Trouble walking and swelling of your joints (edema),
- Strong cramps,
- Vaginal bleeding or leaking of fluid,
- Shortness of breath,
- Constant nausea and vomiting, or
- Noticeable decrease in baby’s activity.
While all of these are great tips for a healthy pregnancy, there are two main points: stay healthy and happy. Exercise, maintain a healthy diet, get lots of rest, and start preparing for your little bundle of joy!
As your pregnancy progesses, you’ll find that each trimester brings many new challenges and feelings. But you’ll also encounter unique fashion challenges as your bump grows. Clothes that fit great will slowly become increasingly indecent and showing off your curves becomes secondary to keeping your belly under your shirt. There’s no reason to buy an entire new wardrobe, especially if you can’t afford it. Broken down by trimester, here are the top tips for how to surpass and conquer the major trials and tribulations of maternity clothing and staying comfortable in the skin you’re in.
- 1st Trimester
- 2nd Trimester
- 3rd Trimester
Hide your little bump. When you first get pregnant, you’ll want to scream it from the mountain tops, but once the excitement dies down, you might reconsider. Lots of moms keep their pregnancy under wraps until the second trimester when the risk of miscarriage decreases and the baby has settled in more.
Tight clothing will just make you look like you’ve gained a few pounds so instead, opt for loose fitting clothing that flows over your waist and belly instead of highlighting it. Don’t over do it though, as overly baggy clothes will make you feel frumpy and unstylish.
Tips from other Moms
- Splurge on one good pair of maternity jeans. They’ll end up costing you about $100-200+, but you can wear them all the time and they can be a major wardrobe saver. “For my last pregnancy, I bought one awesome pair for $175 and wore them constantly. I just matched them with different tops every day, and no one was the wiser. In fact, I wore them so often they got a hole in the butt in my last week of pregnancy!“
- Buy a maternity belt. A maternity belt is different from a belly band in that it offers support for your growing tummy. It can be worn under or on top of your clothes, and can provide some much needed relief from lower back pain, round ligament pain, and so much more. Plus, some do double duty and also can work as a belly band at the same time. Don’t know the difference between the two? Read this article that compares belly band versus maternity belt. “.. It’s really helped give me the bit of support I needed for this last month of pregnancy. My rounded ligaments and lower back were killing me! It helps me get through the day and trying to do normal things.”
- Find your favorites. Instead of spending a fortune on a whole new wardrobe that’s only going to get a few months of wear, pick out a handful of tops that you can mix and match with cardigans and sweaters from your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. “A few t-shirts and tanks in different colors, maybe with ruching on the sides.”
- Don’t go big. The easy thing to go is to browse your local store and pick out a bunch of clothes that are too big for you and hope they work out. However, wearing bigger clothes doesn’t necessarily mean better. Baggy, over-sized clothes will make you look and feel frumpy and make you look bigger. If you can grow a human, you can rock some maternity clothing too. “Instead, slim down your silhouette and emphasize the features that aren’t expanding with snug-sleeved tops, skinnier pants, and button-down shirts or blazers (from your pre-pregnancy wardrobe) left unbuttoned.”
- Pick colorful. Don’t limit yourself to dark and/or neutral tones; add a pop of color whether that be a cardigan or a fun dress that shows off your bump too! “Don’t limit yourself to black and neutral tones — color is an essential part of the modern maternity closet. You’ll feel happier when you’re wearing clothes that aren’t drab.”