Pregnancy: What Worked For Me

Being a first-time mom can be absolutely terrifying. From the moment you tell people you're pregnant you start to hear a constant drone of wonderful things like "Your body is never going to look the same", "Oh, you're tired, well GET USED TO THAT!" and my personal favorite "Do what you want now, because once that baby gets here you'll never have time to do them".

First of all most of these things are partially true - but constantly hearing them doesn't help anyone. Secondly, there are things you can do and planning that can be done to eliminate these things or at least make them a little more manageable.

So here is a list of things and products that helped me. They may or may not work for you (hey, everyone's different right?) - and as always - check with your OBGYN/PCP and Pediatrician.

1. "Morning" sickness: not sure why it's called that because it was all day, every day for me. But my doctor prescribed Diclegis for me, which is what they also prescribe for nausea related to chemo. It ended up costing me $250 after insurance. When I asked my doc about it, she was shocked it cost that much and told me Unisom + B6 is basically the same thing. I took that until I was about 14 weeks and my nausea subsided.

2. Sleep. Investing in a good pregnancy pillow is definitely worth it, along with some comfortable pajamas that can grow with your belly. If you're anything like me, you hate napping during the day because you prefer to get things done - but trust me, you need to sleep when you can because the exhaustion will catch up with you. You and the baby are the most important thing now - everything else can wait.

3. Nutrition. Find a good prenatal with Folate - I used (and still take) Ritual Prenatals because the ingredients are well sourced and they auto-deliver every month. Try to get greens and other healthy foods in when you can because there will be days or even weeks when you just want chicken nuggets or ice cream. Be careful when it comes to things that haven't been FDA approved, such as adaptogens. I'm not telling to take them or not, just check with your doctor before using any new superfoods, powders and supplements.

4. Getting dressed. First of all, start using a belly butter or oil as soon as you get the good news. I did this and I ended up with zero stretch marks! Also, resist the urge to run out and buy a ton of maternity clothes because you won't need them until you're several months pregnant. I bought a couple pairs of pants from LOFT and some stretchy skirts and that lasted me through to end of my pregnancy.

5. Your registry should be filled with things you'll actually need! Yes, all the baby toys and clothes are super cute, but take the time to make sure you have the necessities on there. I'll link mine here. We barely had to purchase anything after the baby was born because we were (thankfully) so prepared. Which brings us to the..

6. Nursery! I'll do an entirely separate post on how we organized our nursery. I was a little (ok, a lot) obsessive about making sure we had everything organized and ready-at-hand for diaper changes and feedings.

7. The hospital. Pack a bag EARLY. You just never know when you might need to go so be prepared as early as you can so your mind is at ease (this goes for installing the car seat too). We did both at 7 months.

Here is what I packed:

-Toothbrush and toothpaste

-Hair brush and hair ties

-Long phone charger

-Full coverage, supportive underwear

-2 comfortable outfits

-Frida Mom Labor and Delivery Kit (first of all, no one told me about ANY of this recovery prior to my delivery so if you have questions about any of this feel free to message me!)

1 or 2 outfits for baby, along with a sign for pictures if you want one

What I wish we packed:

-Snacks for my partner (he was starving and ended up having every meal at Starbucks in the hospital lobby)

-A comfortable pillow and blanket (our room was freezing!)

-A cooling, calming face mask (I popped all the blood vessels in my cheeks during delivery and my face was VERY swollen)

8. The birth. I say this to help you and not to freak you out: You can plan the birth down to the very last thing, but chances are that most if not all of it, will not go according to plan. Mine certainly did not end up happening the way I thought but at the end of the day, my beautiful, healthy baby was in my arms and that is all that matters. Discuss all the possible options with your doctor so you know the decisions you might be asked to make while things are happening. Discuss it with your partner. Be prepared for things to change. It doesn't make you any less of a mother to use pain medicine, but it's your choice if you choose not to. It doesn't make you any less of a mother to use a midwife instead of a Labor and Delivery doctor, it's completely up to you. Just make sure whatever you choose, is the best option for both you and the baby.