I’ve shared all of these tips over the course of my pregnancy on my Instagram posts/stories but I still get DMs to this day asking for various bits and pieces of info mentioned below.
So, here it is. The list I wish I had had when we first found out we were pregnant.
I read a lot of books to calm my nerves but here are my top 4 recommendations.
- Hypnobirthing by Maie Mongan
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
- A Mindful Pregnancy by Andy Puddicombe
- Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina
My #1 tip: don’t feel pressured to finish a book – I didn’t finish any of these. They all sat on my nightstand and I’d read bits and pieces from all of them on different days. I used these books as therapists – whenever I felt anxious about labour and delivery, I’d read an Ina May birth story or a chapter from Hypnobirthing. Whenever I’d feel anxious about raising our baby, I’d read Brain Rules. If you view these books as tools you can use to serve you instead of a checklist of must dos, you’ll feel a lot more calm and prepared – both of which can only mean good things for you and baby!
We didn’t take prenatal classes and instead opted to do it on YouTube in the comfort of our family room – in our pjs. The class is in three parts so you could watch it over multiple days – each part is 40-50 minutes . When I shared it on Instagram, I had so many message to say that the video was far easier to understand and much more comprehensive vs prenatal classes that they paid for!
Tony and I paused the video at times to “practice” the labour pain management tips and I’m so happy we did. The pressing on the lower back trick is what singlehandedly got me through 6 hours of labour! Highly highly recommend watching this with your partner or whoever will be with you during labour and delivery.
My cousin who has two beautiful daughters first sent me a link to his google drive and the actual Dunstan Baby Langauge DVDs when I was pregnant. But then so many of my followers sent me this link to Priscilla Dunstan’s segment on Oprah. It’s a lot shorter but covers pretty much the same info – how to understand your baby. This was a GODSEND especially in the early days when we had no idea what we were doing. Xavi definitely speaks this language and I’m grateful we knew how to understand him.
Whether you meditate daily or have never meditated before, I highly recommend the Headspace app – specifically the 30 day pregnancy pack. I did this in my 3rd trimester when stress levels were high and all kinds of unsettling thoughts would float around in my head. Even if you don’t decide to do this particular program, I recommend taking up some kind of meditation practice – not just for pregnancy but for labour and delivery too. The Mindful Pregnancy book I mentioned above is by Andy (the creator and the voice of the Headspace app) so it’s a good place to start if you’re new to meditation!
I had grand plans of doing yoga throughout my pregnancy – that didn’t happen. I only started doing yoga in my 36th week and Sara Beth’s prenatal videos were amazing. Both for stretching and for prepping for labour. I now do her postnatal videos, which are equally amazing. I love her entire YouTube channel for a great yoga practice in the comfort of home! As always, please consult your OB and/or midwife before taking up any kind of exercise especially while pregnant!
If you’re pregnant and/or a mom and feel I’ve missed anything, please share in the comments below! Or, if you know someone who is pregnant, feel free to send her this post!