Becoming a mom is actually a really busy time in one's life. As the big day approaches you will have more doctor's visits, more things to organize, a baby shower to think about, remodeling your house, worrying about family and friends coming into town, and figuring out your work situation. Not to mention you will make plans regarding your pediatrician and insurance. The cherry on top is the slew of effects that will come with your growing bump, which can include continued sickness, getting slower, becoming heavier, tiredness, and overall uncomfortableness.
With all this said, do not feel pressured in having to fit in some of the "must do" tasks you might feel obligated to have to do because of what you see in social media, read in checklists, or maybe someone told you what they did and now you think you need to do it also.
1. Maternity Photoshoot
Set up a tripod at the beach or a park and take a few "natural" looking pics while walking towards the camera. Maybe grab a selfie stick and take a laying down pic with your partner with a colorful blanket underneath you. Recruit a friend to snap a few photos, or grab your DSLR and stop someone to take a few quick pictures in an outdoor setting. Maybe set the timer on your camera in the perfect spot.
These are all ideas on how you can get some pregnancy photos without having to spend the time and drop the big bucks for a maternity photoshoot. Don't feel pressured into it! Do you really envision yourself posing with a chiffon dress flying behind you and would you frame it? If not, taking some fun and in the moment pics can definitely do the trick. Go black and white, use Layout app to create a collage if you wish, try the Baby Story app, print them out on Snapfish or another photo service, and voila, sentimental DIY photos.
2. Creating a Dream Nursery
A baby doesn't know if it's in a nursery filled with lace drapes, fuzzy bunnies, and a lit up marquee sign bearing her name. All the baby needs is lots of love, to eat, to poop, and a safe place to sleep.
Don't feel like you need to go all crazy Pinterest style, or hire an interior designer, to get your nursery space decked out for all of Instagram to go gaga about. The essential needs are what is most important and there's plenty of room for creativity with some rearrangements of your bedroom space and incorporating colors in new room accents or photos. The thing that should be on your to do list here is making whatever space you have, as organized as possible with storage, and placing away baby things in a way that will make your life as easy as possible. Concentrate more on a nursing space, or feeding "haven", because that's what you'll be utilizing most when baby is born.
Tip: A changing table is more of a nice thing to have, rather than a complete necessity. At times you're gonna change the baby where ever (like the floor, the couch, the bed) and not on the changing table. Get a good changing pad first and foremost and think of the changing table second if you're concerned with money and space.
3. Moving your Home Completely
There's no need to get up and move. New leases or new mortgages, this is just a ton of work, lots of money, and possible stress you don't need while preggo. Especially, a little one is just that...little. She's not gonna give you minus points because you are taking her home to your one bedroom apartment. Plus, a smaller space encourages going outside and enjoying more time on stroller walks and getting fresh air which is beneficial for both baby and parents.
Now, if it seems necessary for some city dwellers to move because of the space issue, tackle this as early on during your maternity phase because it will get physically harder the later you wait.
If you can wait, make your way over to the Container Store and get to space making. Do this by donating clothes you haven't used for over a year, getting rid of stuff in the garage, storing things you don't need, redoing your closet to accommodate the baby's clothes, and get savvy with all the transitioning products that are meant to multifunction and save space, like the Babyletto Gelato 2 in 1 Crib.
Having a transitional crib is a space saver. Dress up the space with an adorable rug that matches your style, and find a comfy reclining chair for nursing bliss.
4. Having to do Prenatal Yoga
You've heard of it. You may have some friends telling you how they did it. You can read about it all over the internet. Some people do it with goats.
Don't feel like you have to do it too! While prenatal yoga has tons of benefits, many exercises during pregnancy are equally beneficial. Simply walking helps reduce chances of preeclampsia, excess weight gain, and boosts energy. There are other choices of workouts while pregnant, and paying for yoga classes doesn't always have to be one of them.
5. Childbirth Classes
Okay, knowledge is power and the more you know...well the better. Is it gonna be the end of the world though if you don't do a childbirth class? Nope. Many moms say that once they hit active labor everything they learned and heard in the past went out the door. Listen, women have been giving birth since forever - infinity -and beyond. It's a great option and we're not saying not to do it, but if you skip it don't stress out, you're gonna still be able to do what you need to do.
Tip: Most childbirth classes cost money, so if you are in a money bind to choose a class to take, choose an Infant CPR class instead. This is something you will want to know how to do.
6. Eating your Placenta
Placenta encapsulation is a beautiful thing, if done correctly. Mammals have been consuming their placenta since the beginning of time, aka placentophagy. Some people go raw with smoothies and other creative recipes. If you don't have it done right, the process could introduce bacteria and other nasty outcomes from not selecting the utmost caution or most professional service to do this for you. Eating your placenta may have many benefits like a faster postpartum recovery and better mood as some moms claim, while the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology says these are not scientifically proven or documented. There are no proven health benefits, so, unless you are determined to drop the cash, take the chance, and have it done perfectly, don't feel like this needs to be on your priority list. Make a very well balanced diet with lots of milk boosting foods at the top of your to do's when the baby arrives.
7. Buy a Traditional Diaper Bag
Yes, you need a diaper bag. No, you don't need a traditional one labeled as "diaper bag". First off, they are pretty pricey and with the way they look, really scream "Hello everyone, I'm a diaper bag". With the stylish nursing clothes available, chic strollers, and trendy baby wraps out there that really make mom style go to a whole other level, you may want to up your diaper bag game to match.
Get savvy and find an big tote, backpack, or shoulder bag that has more of your style in mind. Buy an organizer insert and there ya go, a "diaper bag". Find something that has a waterproof or easy to clean liner and make sure your insert is full of pockets and fits well in the bag. This way you look good, feel good, and you still can accomplish carrying around your baby's necessities. If you are up for a little splurging, there are higher end designer "diaper bags" that have everyday and long lasting use due to their chic colors, plain exterior, and multi functioning design.
Tip: Reduce your chance of a "packed to the brim" diaper bag by staying organized, packing that diaper bag like a pro, and filling it with only what you need to get through the day. Like having a wipes holder that holds 20 wipes instead of bringing the entire 100 pack with you. Pack a dry/wet bag, change of clothes, extra diapers, more wipes, and also all the "extras" for emergency in a separate bag that stays inside the car. This way your diaper bag isn't one hundred pounds while you are out and about.
Keep going mama! You're doing great! If you can squeeze these things into your pregnancy experience then totally go for it, but if not, don't think twice about it! Prioritize and do what you can, little by little, day by day. You are growing a human so you get a hall pass for taking it easy and in the end, every mom to be journey is different and will require different needs. Pick and choose what matters the very most for you to accomplish. Enjoy the path you're on and embrace the moment.