Pregnancy is a time to really be kind to yourself, both physically and mentally, so do only what you have the energy and and appetite to do – otherwise, get as much rest as you can.
Besides rest, here’s what else I’d do more of if I was pregnant again (and what I wouldn’t).
I would… (if I could)
Stay as active as I could, within reason. My recovery from my first pregnancy was quite a lot easier than my second, and I attribute much of that to staying fit and doing strength-training a couple of times a week. While I had a lot of lifting a toddler during my second pregnancy, it wasn’t quite the same!
At-home yoga and pilates are perfect if you’re short on time or on a budget, and I found F45 workouts easy to adapt to my changing needs (though you shouldn’t do anything harder than you did pre-pregnancy).
Buy so many clothes – for myself or baby. I’ve just been through my own wardrobe to clear out any maternity/larger clothes I bought for myself during pregnancy, and it’s disappointing how little times I wore anything – even pregnancy jeans. I lived in my LJ maternity leggings (I did have a few pairs!), and one maternity dress, but hardly wore anything else. If I was going to shop again for myself, I’d invest only in clothes I could definitely wear for breastfeeding (wrap dresses, button down dresses or shirts, etc).
I’m also guilty of going overboard with newborn clothes during both of my pregnancies, but the baby a) grows out of them so fast and b) gets changed so many times a day due to various spills, that I could have definitely shopped smarter. If you’ve already shared your due date, I’ll email closer to the time that you’ll be thinking about baby’s outfits, but otherwise these are the best investments:
- Dimples Merino Layette: beautiful New Zealand made merino, the ideal fabric all year round, there are three layette options, it gives you a beautiful ‘coming home’ outfit, and provides each of the ‘basics’ baby needs to start life. I find Dimples ‘NB’ size roomier than others so they last a lot longer for my babies.
- Sleep gowns: If there was one item of clothing I couldn’t live without, it would be sleep gowns (noone needs to be trying to match up domes in the night). We live in these.
- And… that’s basically it! A few cotton or merino onesies, footed pants and sleep gowns are all you really need.
You will most likely be gifted some beautiful outfits by friends, but to begin with, you won’t need much more than the basics, and it’s much more fun doing some online shopping in the middle of the night after baby arrives anyway (you’ve got some long nights ahead of you, save something to look forward to).
Take more photos (or have a maternity shoot). Though your changing body may make you uncomfortable and tired most of the time, it’s pretty incredible to be growing a tiny human, and I think it’s so special to capture this moment in time. We print our photos with Happy Moose, who deliver them framed and ready to hang (all done in New Zealand by a small, amazing team) – I have a discount code with them which is ‘meg‘.
While you’re at it, I also wished I spent any free time I had organising and printing my other photos – I always leave it way too long to put them into albums, and pregnancy is the perfect time to sit on the couch choosing your favourites.
Work so hard! During my first pregnancy I designed ‘made with love‘ (which I hope you’re loving already) which took a huge amount of my energy, and the first 20 weeks of my second pregnancy I was in my first year of a new business venture, which also totally zapped me.
Whether you work for someone else or run your own business, I’d prioritise delegation over everything else. You know you’re going to need a break, so make sure you’re able to pass over all essential work to other capable hands sooner rather than later. I’ve never been good at delegating, but last year I hired another Auckland Mum to give me some ‘virtual assistance, and it’s been a life-saver.
Organise, and make the most of, time with my partner. Especially during my second pregnancy, because with our two little people, finding time together is few and far between, but even with my first – because the time you have after your baby is born is so different. I wish I organised a couple more date nights, went to more movies (not in the last month though, when even sitting became uncomfortable!) and taken a little baby-moon staycation in the last month.
For my second pregnancy, if I could have (it was 2020, so I really couldn’t have!), I’d also have taken a last overseas family holiday with just Teddy, because it’s going to be quite a bit harder to do so for the next few months at least.
Stress about putting together a nursery. I was in such a rush to get a cot, feeding chair, find the right decor, set up the baby monitor, etc etc, and then my first baby ended up staying in his co-sleeper for 6 months. With Emmie, I haven’t even set up the baby monitor – she’s next to me almost all the time, and I know I’ll hear her if she cries from her bed. Unless you’re planning on moving baby straight into their own room, all you need is a safe sleeping space for them.
Same goes for baby bath – we use this one now, but with Teddy we just showered with him to begin with, and had lots of sink baths!
Speaking of day naps, I would definitely try to rest more, and that’s probably a good place to conclude this email, as my newborn is sleeping so I should too. If you don’t have a Growbright body pillow to sleep with yet, honestly invest now – code is ‘meg’ for 15% off.
If you haven’t already, fill in your due date and I’ll send you emails to suit where you’re at on your journey, and feel free to ask if you have any specific questions.