Did you get a positive pregnancy test but it still doesn’t feel real?
You aren’t alone.
Pregnant women in every trimester, even the third, often feel amazed and baffled by the reality that their body is growing another human and an organ (the placenta).
It’s amazing and almost feels like a dream. And while nothing prepares you for the moment you learn you are going to be a mom, once you have that information there are things you can do to make pregnancy feel less like a walk in the twilight zone and more like a well-organized adventure.
Photo by Evie S.
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Here are some things you can do to make your pregnancy feel real.
Take time to acknowledge your pregnancy status in a way that serves you. Many of us learn we are pregnant by peeing on a stick. The moments that follow are often filled with positive or negative emotions. Take time to analyze that initial emotional reaction and then rationally consider how pregnancy and welcoming a child will change your life. A journal is a great place to begin this private and necessary assessment.
If you need support kick-starting your pregnancy journal, sign up for the 5-day pregnancy journaling challenge, it’s free.
2. Involve your partner.
Too often our partners are viewed as sidekicks in our pregnancy journeys. I invite you to consider your partner as your co-hero. Moms are heroes and partners that are present and involved can be heroes too; however, we have to allow space for this to be true.
Of course, 0ur partners will differ in their desire and ability to be involved in the pregnancy and birth processes but consider if you are actively making space for him or her.
- Is your partner invited to appointments before other family members?
- Are you engaging in conversation about choices that will impact you and your partner?
- Are you treating your partner how you would like to be treated if the roles were reversed?
To the extent that it’s possible and safe, be intentional about including your partner in your pregnancy and birth experiences. It can have a positive impact on the relationship.
💡Idea: Have your partner download the same pregnancy app you are using to track your pregnancy. Talk about each milestone together.
3. Walkthrough the baby section slowly.
Welcoming a baby into your life is a big deal. It can feel overwhelming, especially for first-time moms but education and exposure helps. The easiest thing to expose yourself to is baby products and resources.
🚨 There are tons of baby products you do not need but an awareness of what is available and pricing is useful.
Before you were pregnant, you probably skipped the baby sections in stores altogether; it will soon become your first stop!
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger
4. Buy your first baby item.
You may only be a few weeks pregnant but having that first baby item, no matter how small, can make pregnancy feel real!
Our first baby purchase was a crib. I watched my husband spend at least an hour putting this thing together and when it was finished it changed the room and our expectations.
If you aren’t ready for a big purchase, a cute little gender-neutral onesie would be perfect.
5. Tell your parents.
Grandparents. If you are the first to turn your parents into grandparents, watch out! They may turn into people you don’t recognize and they will not let you forget you are pregnant once you tell them. The constant reminders will help you feel like a mom-to-be, for sure!
Photo by Daria Shevtsova
6. Stand in the mirror and rub your tummy.
It seems silly to rub your stomach in the mirror but there is a baby growing inside of you. Spend time looking at yourself and noticing the changes in your breasts, your stomach, your thighs, and your hips. You are a phenomenal woman.
Get comfortable looking at yourself and loving yourself. In our society, people like to talk about getting ‘snatched back’ but I encourage women to embrace the new. If you want to improve or change your new body after having a baby – that’s fine. Just understand that your body will never be the same after you give birth, even if you lose the baby weight. But…you can always be intentional about loving your body.
7. Treat yourself.
Pregnancy is about your baby but it’s also about you. Making sure you are in a positive headspace and well cared for at every stage is just as valuable as all the things you do for your baby. So. Take time for you.
- Work in your garden.
- Get a massage.
- Enjoy a pedicure.
Do what is nurturing. You are worthy!
8. Begin nesting.
Nesting is a real thing defined as the urge to clean and organize during your pregnancy.
If you feel this urge (and even if you don’t), it’s never to early to start preparing for your little one. Organize every area of your life. Clean your home, your car, and your mind. And, focus on the things you can do before you give birth to make life with your new baby as enjoyable as possible.
9. Start reading pregnancy books.
Nothing says ‘pregnant’ like a woman reading pregnancy books. There are tons of books on pregnancy and you may be tempted to read all of them. Don’t.
There is such a thing as information overwhelm. Instead, choose a handful of books that resonate and ask people you trust for suggestions. I highly recommend Birth Without Fear by January Harshe.
The books you read will be helpful but understand that as a mom what you learn from your child will be the most valuable information.
10. Start following quality pregnancy resources on social media, blogs, and websites.
I love Alpha Mom’s week-by-week pregnancy calendar, Mommy Labor Nurses Instagram, and Her Holistic Path YouTube. Education and entertainment is the best way to learn about the changes happening in our bodies and these mamas deliver.
11. Purchase a baby skincare product and use it at night.
There is no shortage of baby products on the market but they are all created consciously. This means as new moms, we have the responsibility to ensure the products we use are quality and non-toxic. I like to use products with ingredients I can easily identify. Here is a list of non-toxic online shops for baby products. Choose one and use it on yourself.
12. Sign-up for pregnant freebies.
Getting free gifts in the mail with baby goodies is a nice reminder that the baby is coming. Here is a list of free baby samples available to new moms. While free is nice it doesn’t mean it’s quality. Read labels and pass on products that aren’t to your standards.
Photo by Evie Shaffer
13. Evaluate that ultrasound photo again.
Have you sat down and looked at the ultrasound? Do it again. That’s your name. Your baby! If you are early in your pregnancy, it may still look like a little alien but soon it will be a full-grown human! Ah-mazing! Another thing you can do is to get a device that allows you to listen to your baby’s heartbeat. As a mom who has experienced loss, I know how we assuring each milestone and pregnancy can be.
14. Park in the “Expecting Moms” parking space.
It seems like those parking spots are disappearing but if you see one, park there. Heck, you are now expecting and you deserve that spot! 😉 Also, allow people to be kind to you. Initially, I’d pass on people allowing me to skip the line or pass through more quickly but as my stomach grew my humility shrank. Yes. I’d happily skip to the front of the line to get off my feet more quickly – thank you!
15. Join Amazon Family.
The discounts and free 2-day shipping on baby products will be a Godsend when your baby arrives.
You can also use Amazon to create a Baby Registry.
16. Hang out with other pregnant women or don’t.
Women who are pregnant talk about being pregnant. Ha. Baby talk seems endless when you are pregnant, especially when you begin to show. Hearing what other women have to say about pregnancy is useful but be careful that you don’t let those experience impact your own goals and expectations in a way that isn’t serving you well.
17. Start looking at lists of names.
Picking a name is big deal. If you aren’t already sure what name you’d like your child to have, head over to Pinterest for an endless scroll of baby name posts. Uni
18. Start planning for baby financially.
I had insurance and still ended up with 4 bills. It’s never to early to start budgeting and saving for baby. If you need some help, visit the shop to learn more about the Pregnancy Budget Toolkit.
19. Tell your co-workers.
If you are far enough along, tell your co-workers. Not unlike your parents, they aren’t likely to let you forget you are pregnant.
20. Create a baby box.
Use an old shoebox or an expensive box and write prayers or wishes you have for your baby. Post-pregnancy, you will love looking back at all your thoughts and prayers before you gave birth. It’s beautiful!
21. Watch and read baby stories.
I’m so guilty of watching and reading dozens of baby stories. I didn’t watch them before I was pregnant but they were my Friday night jam during pregnancy. Find some good baby story reads here.
22. Tape/stick a funny photo on the fridge.
When you are pregnant you wonder what your baby will look like. Use an app to merge a photo of you and your partner for a funny photo of what baby will look like. He/she will probably look like dad.
23. Pray daily for your baby and your family.
Adding your baby to your prayers is a great way to make it all feel real! I was gifted a weekly prayer book for pregnant women and it made me feel better about my worries and concerns, especially during the sleepless nights.
I wish you the very best on your pregnancy journey! It’s emotional, beautiful, and life-changing becoming a mom! I can’t believe there was a time I didn’t want this. Now, I can’t imagine life without my little girl.
Congrats on your pregnancy!
Visit the shop for digital resources to help you organize and manage your pregnancy with intention and grace.