Tuesday, March 11, 2014

5 Tips for a Chill Pregnancy

The last two words anyone would use to describe me are "chill" and "patient". Furthermore, my first baby was born prematurely at 35 weeks and I'm currently on bed rest with my second due to preterm labor. So who the heck am I to be talking about a "chill pregnancy"?

Well, actually, my pregnancies have been some of the most zen moments in my life. I think it's because my focus was/is primarily on my baby and for once I just can't be bothered with keeping the house perfectly clean or doing all the things normally expected of me. It's also such a relatively short time in your life (especially if you have preemies!) that I've been trying to just ride the wave [of nausea] and enjoy it while I can.

5 Tips for a Chill Pregnancy: Get the scoop from someone who normally isn't very chill!

So, what are my wise words to pass on to you? Check 'em out and thank me later!

1. Ease up on the pregnancy books

I recommend "What To Expect When You're Expecting", even though their puns make the book twice as long as necessary and they called my cervix incompetent. But the book does a good job of letting you know what to expect (great, now their punniness is wearing off on me) each month of pregnancy, both with you and your baby.

Apart from that, try to limit yourself to just one or two other pregnancy books. After a while they all start sounding the same and some will have you second-guessing yourself. Pregnancy's too short to waste it with your nose stuck in a medical book! (Though if you're looking for a lighter book to stick your nose in, might I suggest my book, Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer, hint hint).

2. Do the double-pee

Remember when you were a kid and your parents would ask "Who needs to go to the bathroom" right before you would leave? That's you now. You go at least 20 times a day and even if you go right before you leave the house, somehow you're still rushing to find a restroom while running errands. Well, no more. With my patented (it's not really patented) double-pee system, you'll never be stuck with a full bladder again. About 5-15 minutes before going to bed, leaving the house, or settling in for a Walking Dead marathon, go to the bathroom, then go again right before sleeping/leaving/lazing on the couch. You'll sleep longer, you'll be able to complete tasks uninterrupted (or at least for stretches longer than 30 minutes).

3. Become BFF with your Boppy

Not only is the Boppy great for nursing once baby comes along, it is fabulous for helping you get a good night's sleep during those last few months of pregnancy. When you're sleeping on your side (which is probably the only comfortable position these days) place one end of the Boppy under your bump and the other through your legs. This evens out all your curves and allows you to relax in comfort. Now, go catch those zzzz's!

Sleep better with your Boppy: The best way to get restful nights during pregnancy

4. Go for an 8 out of 10

I know all you hot mamas are normally perfect 10's, but pregnancy can take its toll. Whether it's blotchy skin, bloating, or stretch marks there's likely something less than perfect about your appearance these days. Not to mention how tired you are (because you haven't yet had a chance to try tips #2 and #3). It's tempting to throw on sweats and give up. Don't!

I shoot for an 8 out of 10 from my norm. I don't want to be a total slob but I'm also not going to spend time to straighten my hair or put on full make-up. Things that usually make the cut: shower, simple but cute outfit, pull the hair into a ponytail, tinted moisturizer, and lip gloss. I look put-together without spending much time, which in turn makes me feel good about myself (yay, I'm not a slacker!) while still having time to relax.

5. Be prepared

Take it from someone who didn't pack her hospital bag and then went into labor at 35 weeks, you want to be prepared. Fortunately I'd had the nursery finished, all my paperwork up-to-date, my to-do list cleared, and my freezer stocked with ready-made meals. So other than my husband making three trips back home to pack my bag (he was too frantic to get everything on the first and second go), things went pretty smoothly for Baby #1.

Now since I'm on bed rest for Baby #2, I refuse to be caught unprepared again! My hospital bag is packed, the nursery is mostly set up, and we have various lists taped all over the house for when the time comes (what to pack last-minute for the hospital, instructions for the in-laws on taking care of our son, emergency numbers, etc.). Start getting ready as early as you feel like (but not later than the 6-month mark) and just pick one thing per day to do. You'll get there, hopefully with time to spare!

Want more? Subscribe to receive an email when I post a new article, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Life's short. Laugh more. Buy my books at Amazon.com.

Vicki Lesage, Author