From the moment a mother-to-be finds out she is pregnant, things start quickly changing, literally and figuratively. First trimester symptoms are likely kicking in and both mom and dad’s minds are rushing thinking of everything they have to do and learn in the nine months leading up to the baby’s arrival. Doctor’s appointments to be scheduled, a registry compiled, a birth plan written out, family notified and so much more.
After telling their partner, most moms call up their doctor next, to schedule that first appointment. “This will be the first appointment that kicks off [the] pregnancy care (antenatal care). [Mom's] GP will let the midwifery team know [she is] pregnant and they will give [her] a date for [her] booking appointment, which usually happens around week 8 to 10 of [the] pregnancy. [She] may also be able to self-refer or see a midwife straight away, but [the] GP can let [her] know how this works in [her] area,” shares Tommys.org.
Even from the start of pregnancy, life can get a little more complicated. From navigating how to get through the work day while feeling nauseous to how to deal with a growing belly, life sure starts changing quickly for moms-to-be. Luckily, there are plenty of women who have been through the whole thing a time or two and can shed some time-saving tips for newly expectant mothers. Keep reading for 20 shortcuts to life during pregnancy, sure to make any pregnant mama’s life a little easier!
20 Turn An Old Tank Top Into A Belly Band
No sewing skills needed for this pregnancy hack. Skip the maternity jeans and DIY your own belly band using an old tank top. DIYMaternity.com shares how to achieve the look. You will need, “An old tshirt, cami or tank top that is very stretchy and fits snuggly on your body. I’d say go for a size smaller than you’d normally wear. It doesn’t need to be seamless, but if you can find one – great,” writes DIYMaternity.com. Next, “Measure at least 12″ from the hem (but I found more was better), and cut,” adds DIYMaternity.com. And that’s it, you’re literally done!
19 Schedule All Of Your Prenatal Appointments Ahead Of Time (And Stick To A Schedule!)
“Studies show that mothers who visit their doctors regularly during pregnancy deliver much healthier babies on average,” reports TheBump.com. You will find yourself at the doctor’s office very frequently for all of those prenatal check-ups. Save yourself time and schedule them all out in advance. Your doctor’s office will know exactly how often you will need to be seen, so why not just schedule them all at once? While you’re at it, try to stick to a schedule. For example, always schedule your appointment on a Thursday afternoon, Tuesday morning, or whatever works for your schedule. Planning these out ahead of time, in addition to a consistent schedule is a crucial time saver.
18 Invest In Bra Extenders
Another way to cut the costs of maternity clothes, is to buy yourself some bra extenders. These handy little doo-dads, allow you to just keep wearing the bras you already have. How do you use them? “The extender sits between your bras closure (the hook and the eyelet it attaches to) adding some extra length to. If you have ever on a bra before then you will have no difficulty with a bra extender,” explains Parent.Guide. The bra extenders are really cheap and you can find them at most department stores and even on Amazon. They are a real lifesaver for pregnancy and those postpartum days when nothing seems to fit like it used to!
17 Always Look For The Expectant Mother Parking Spots
In a hurry rushing into the store? There’s a parking spot for that! Always keep an eye out for expectant mother parking spaces when you’re out shopping. A lot of major retailers have parking spaces such as this available. You might even be able to apply for a temporary Handicap parking permit of your own. “Most states also offer placards for temporary disabilities for pregnant women and people with short-term disabilities. Typically, these placards will be valid for up to six months or up to the date that your doctor notes on the application, whichever comes first,” shares TheZebra.com.
16 Say Yes To Help!
“Can I get the door for you?” “Do you need help with that?” “Is there anything you could use a hand with?” Once you become pregnant, and announce it publicly, a lot of people will offer to help you out. From everyday things like loading groceries in your car, to offers to help with projects around your house, most friends and family are happy to help. Say yes to these offers! It can be frustrating sometimes to feel like you can’t do a lot of things, but that’s no reason to not accept the help.
“Never again will more people be so willing to help you. Accept that bus seat. Say yes to offers to carry your packages. Rather than feel guilty, resolve to pass the favors on to another pregnant woman later,” suggests FitPregnancy.com.
15 Stock Up On All Of Your Favorite Snacks
Several weeks into your pregnancy, you will likely start noticing some cravings kick in. Avoid the late night grocery store run by stocking up on all of your favorite snacks, and throw in a few random things too, you never know what you’ll get a taste for at 3:00 a.m.! WhatToExpect.com suggests packing snacks in other places you frequent as well. “No matter where your day takes you, make sure healthy snacks go along for the ride. Stock your fridge and pantry with plenty of nutritious nibbles, sized to fit in your purse, briefcase, pocket, glove compartment, desk drawer,” writes WhatToExpect.com.
14 Keep A Stash Of Crackers & Peppermints In Your Car
Especially important for the first trimester, you will want to have a stash of both cracks and peppermints on hand. By stocking up on these items in your car, you will have them wherever you go. It can be hard to stomach food during the first trimester, so having crackers on hand to munch on can help fill your tummy and make you feel a little better. Peppermints help with nausea, so they are super handy to have around at all times too! “Candy Canes – Peppermint candy, gum, Skittles.. anything to mask the excess saliva you are producing,” suggests TheMamasGirls.com.
13 Buy Yourself A Nice Pair Of Tongs: You Won't Be Able To Reach Things Yourself
As your belly grows and grows, you’ll soon reach that moment when you can no longer even see your toes. And with that moment, comes the realization that there are a lot of other things you can’t reach either. You can buy a fancy grabber tool, or just opt for any old pair of kitchen tongs. You will find this pregnancy hack is a huge life saver. You can now actually recover the things you drop, instead of leaving them sit until your partner gets home.
If you opt for an actual grabber tool, HuffingtonPost.com recommends the following, “You can buy reacher grabbers at many pharmacies, retail, medical equipment and home improvement stores. But, because it’s a specialty item, the selection is very limited. Your best bet is to buy one online at amazon.com, which sells all of the top reachers at prices ranging between $12 and $40. Just type the product name in the search bar to find it.”
12 Track Your Milestones And Appointment Info All In One App’
There are a lot of apps available that allow you to track your pregnancy and milestones. Search around and find one that works best for you. I used the Ovia App for my pregnancy and I loved it! “This pregnancy tracker allows you to easily track your baby's growth, symptoms, photos, and you can ask anonymous questions for other parents in the Community section of the app. Now you don't have to wonder if you're the only one who seems to be growing nipple hair like crazy. This app also lets you log pre-natal vitamin intake as well. And while the option to track your baby's growth via fruit-shaped visuals is an option, you can also change the growth setting to "Parisian Bakery" if you've ever wanted to know how big your baby is on a scale of croissants to baguettes. C'est chic,” writes Cosmpolitan.com.
11 Opt For An All-In-One Baby Registry
It maybe be tempting to compile a registry at more than one retail location. Many people do this for the simple reason that not everyone will want to shop at the same place. Grandma probably doesn’t want to order something from Amazon and your best friend Beth doesn’t want to actual set foot in a brick and mortar store to purchase your gift, I get it!
Opt for an all-in-one registry like Babylist.com. They allow you to add items from anywhere to your registry. People can even opt to add funds to your baby’s college savings. This option will make your life a lot easier, and you’ll love that you can add products from anywhere to your registry.
10 Start Brainstorming Your Questions For The Doctor Right Away, And Write Those Questions Down
Seriously, write them down as you think of them! If you’re anything like me, by the time you get to the Doctor, you’ll have forgotten all of your questions until the moment you are walking out the door. Using the handy Ovia Pregnancy Tracker app mentioned above, I started jotting down questions as I thought of them, and was much more prepared from then on and out.
“Instead of trying to remember everything you want to say, Dr. Rohini Bhat, an internal medicine physician with Edward Medical Group, says if you have questions or concerns, write them down before your visit with the doctor. “This helps keep your thoughts organized,” she says. “Try to write the ones that are most important to you first so that if the doctor does not have time to go over all your concerns at one visit, the most important ones will have been answered for you,” reports ChicagoTribune.com.
9 Get A Head Start On The Birth Plan While You’re At It
While you’re writing stuff down, get started on that birth plan. Saving it until the last minute will be stressful and end up taking you. Not quite sure where to start or what a birth plan even is? WhatToExpect.com explains, “A birth plan is just that — a plan that communicates your wishes and goals for before, during, and after labor and delivery. In it, parents-to-be can offer up their best-case birthing scenario: how they'd ideally like labor and delivery to play out if all goes to "plan." A quick Google will search will get you pointed in the right direction on how to get started. You can also jot it down as a question for your Doctor at your next appointment.
8 Use The Kinder App To Start Agreeing On Baby Names
Naming a baby is one of the most exciting parts of any pregnancy. Whether you or your partner have agreed on names since before your baby was conceived or if you’re still butting heads to come to an agreement, it’s certainly fun to dream up the name of your little one. The Kinder Baby Name app makes finding names you and your partner both like, fun and easy! “With Kinder we have created an app in which you can quickly flick through name suggestions either liking or dismissing them. Your likes are than matched to the likes of your partner and by both looking for names you'll end up with a shortlist of names you both like,” states the Kinder App Description.
7 Have Your Baby Shower Guests Address An Envelope Before They Leave For Thank You Cards
This handy little trick will save you a ton of time when you sit down to write your thank you notes from the baby shower. All you have to do is leave out envelopes and pens and a sign asking guests to write their address on an envelope. I recently attended a shower where they handed out the envelopes after the gift opening and then passed around a basket to collect them. What takes guests literally less than a minute to do will end up saving you so much time! Your guests will likely be more than happy to participate!
6 Buy Maternity Clothes That Can Transition Through All Stages
You definitely do not want to be buying new clothes every time your bump grows, or your booty gets a little bigger. Shopping for clothes that will transition through your trimesters and even into your postpartum body is definitely the way to go. “When your regular clothes are just too tight but you're not ready for full-fledged maternity wear, buy a couple of pairs of inexpensive non-maternity pants and tops a size or two larger than you normally wear. Some women have great success finding both transitional clothes and maternity clothing alternatives in boutiques and departments that specialize in "plus sizes." They tend to be less expensive than maternity retailers, too,” suggests BabyCenter.com Another tip, shop secondhand or borrow from friends or family members!
5 Outsource Housework Where You Can
Pregnancy is a great excuse to get yourself a housecleaner. Whether you choose to have your house cleaned, have some mow your lawn or outsource your laundry, if you can afford one or more of the above, it’s worth it. Mother.ly makes a convincing statement, “Paying people to clean your home will cost you between $13.50 and $20.50 per hour of free time, making house cleaning one of the cheaper household chores to hire out. Could you put in a little elbow grease and get the work done yourself? Sure. But when you employ people to clean your house, you haven’t just bought dust-free surfaces and a floor that lets you go sock-less. You’ve bought time. You can use that time to tackle much bigger and more rewarding home projects, like organizing an overflowing pantry or designing your dream closet.”
4 Invest In Some Noise-Cancelling Headphones
I know what you might be thinking, “They’re cute sure, but how does this make my life easier?” Honestly though, noise cancelling headphones are a game changer. Not only will you be thankful for these when you’re on the bus, train or plane next to a screaming child, they will actually make your day to day work more productive.
“...wearing noise cancelling headphones can help drown out distractions, and increase focus on the study material. Some people need to have music on inside those headphones; some need soft lyrical tunes, while others focus better with instrumental tracks. Still others find music distracting (when you start singing along in your head you’re not reading the text book, right?) and prefer to play ambient white noise like ocean sound effects, a rushing river, or wind.Whatever your personal preference, a set of good noise cancelling headphones can help you concentrate,” states Blog.BestBuy.Ca
3 Start Your Morning With A Brief & Easy Work Out
There’s truly no better way to begin your day than with workout. It will leave you feeling refreshed, energized and proud of yourself! “Studies have shown that children who were exposed to exercise in utero are less likely to be overweight and are at a lower risk for diabetes. Exercise is not only a way to start connecting with your baby, but it’s a way for you to stay connected to your own body,” states Health.com. Try YouTubing some prenatal yoga videos, take the dog for a long walk, or go for a short jog. It doesn’t have to be complicated! Once you get into the routine, you will be so thankful you did.
2 Followed By A Big Glass Of Water!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We hear it all of the time, pregnant or not. "One of the biggest indicators of lethargy or low energy is that you are dehydrated," Batayneh says. "Because water aids in both body regulation and brain function, it is also closely related to balancing out our moods."After a long period without anything to eat or drink, the first thing you consume in the morning can be a shock to the body. If that first thing is ice water, it will get the body working and "can boost your alertness and low energy levels," she says,” writes an article on BusinessInsider.com.
1 Don't Feel Bad Asking Your Partner For Help
"During pregnancy, the focus is on the woman, and the man often gets left out," says John Hewlett, a father of five from Laramie, Wyo., adding that sometimes the man doesn't know how to involve himself. Bring him to your OB appointments, have your health care provider show him how to judge the size and position of the baby, and attend childbirth classes together. Let him pamper you, and ask for what you need, whether it's a back rub, a shoulder or a sounding board,” writes FitPregnancy.com. So sit back, relax and do not feel bad when you need help or support. Growing a tiny person is hard work, so don’t feel guilty!
References: www.tommys.org, www.diymaternity.com, www.thebump.com, www.parent.guide, www.thezebra.com, www.fitpregnancy.com, www.whattoexpect.com, www.themamasgirls.com, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.cosmopolitan.com, www.babylist.com, www.chicagotribune.com, www.itunes.apple.com, www.babycenter.com, www.blog.bestbuy.com, www.health.com, www.businessinsider.com,