If there's one thing that a pregnant woman can't stand, it's getting unsolicited advice from other people. "Sleep while you can!" is one of the most obvious and most annoying soundbites that I heard over and over and over and over. But even late in my pregnancy, I found myself handing out free advice to those who were newly pregnant and I came to realize that it's not a sense of "I know everything" that leads to women dolling out their words of wisdom; no, it mostly comes from a place of "I wish someone had told me about this!" or "Please learn from my experience because it sucks learning this the hard way". I was pretty open to women sharing their experiences with me, as long as they didn't expect me to follow their every little tidbit. All woman are different and every pregnancy is different! What works for you might not work for me, but I did appreciate knowing what my options were. So it's with that spirit of SHARING, not dictating, that here I offer all my unsolicited advice to pregnant women everywhere. :)
Coconut oil- buy it now. Rub it on your belly, hips, lower back, and breasts. It may or may not help with preventing stretch marks. I have none, even though I fully expected to get a lot, and I used coconut oil every morning and night, so you can draw your own conclusion.
You're going to need bigger bras and bigger underwear. Don't fight it, it's not worth it to deny the increase and be miserable in undergarments that are cutting off your circulation (I speak from experience). Just buy from the clearance rack at Target or Walmart because you're probably going to have to size up more then once over the course of your pregnancy. Or, at least buy the bra extender! It's like $6 at Target and will make life so much more comfortable.
Ever heard of Round Ligament Pain? It's real, and it HURTS. Like, the make it so you can barely stand up, let alone walk, kind of pain. It's horrible. Lucky for me, I had a friend who recommended that I massage that area with Lemongrass Oil. The next day, no pain. And I didn't have any more pain after that. As soon as I would feel a little twinge, I would rub Lemongrass Oil on it, and be done! The oil also came in handy when my feet really started to ache (you know, from all the extra weight). Ask the husband for a foot massage with Lemongrass Oil and you will feel like a whole new woman!
Constipation, it happens. For me, it was the worst part of first and second trimester. My solution? High fiber foods and no carbs! Your diet will make all the difference with your digestion during pregnancy. Pay attention to how different foods effect you.
Chances are that you will get puffy. Your hands and feet will swell, maybe a little, maybe a lot. I didn't swell a lot until my last month of pregnancy and I credit that largely to the sheer amount of watermelon I ate and the gallons of water I drank. Sure, I had to go pee all the time, but it seriously was worth it to avoid being a puff ball for my entire pregnancy. Watermelon is so good for your circulation. EAT IT. (It also helps with the constipation issue, bonus!) And water... duh.
Are you prone to headaches? Get peppermint oil! I get hormonal migraines and peppermint oil is my lifesaver. Luckily I only had a couple migraines during pregnancy, and since I wasn't going to take any medicine, I was even more grateful for the power of peppermint. I just rubbed a couple of drops on the hot points of my migraine and the relief is almost instantaneous.
I'm sure you've seen those pregnancy pillows, the giant, bed-hogging pillows... they seem ridiculous but go ahead and buy one. I didn't, and I regret it. I got by with just my body pillow and regular pillows stuck here and there and everywhere but really, it would have been so much easier, and more restful, to just have the huge wrap-around pillow. I'm definitely going to invest in one for my next pregnancy, or at least borrow one from a friend!
And speaking of borrowing, borrow as much as possible! Especially when it comes to maternity clothes. Your body is in a constant state of growth so there is no point in you spending a bunch of money on clothes that will only last a month (in my opinion). If you find a few items that you LOVE and make you feel cute and comfortable BUY THEM! Obviously. But just borrow the rest. Your wallet will thank you.
Naps. Don't avoid them. Give in.
Travel! These are the last days that you get to be baby free, take advantage of them! Josh and I went on a "babymoon" to Disneyland and it was soooooooo fun! Sure, I couldn't do all the rides in my delicate state, but just to be away with my husband, anticipating the arrival of our little one, imagining all the future trips we would be making as a family of three. You'll only be "just the two of us" for a little while longer, live it up!
COMMUNICATE. I cannot stress this point enough. Tell your spouse how you are feeling. Tell them how you think you will be feeling. Tell them what's going on with your body and your emotions, let them know what you're going through! They can't help and support you if they don't know how you're doing. I was not shy with telling Josh all my fears about pregnancy and giving birth and I was very specific in telling him how I needed to be supported, and I really think that helped us avoid a lot of pregnancy fights. Plus, I didn't complain a lot. That might seem like a small thing but I really think it's helpful to the husband if the wife isn't whining all the time. When you make the pregnancy as easy as possible on your husband, he will be willing to make your life as easy as possible at every turn and he simply won't be able to say no to any foot rub requests! I'm so thankful that Josh and I both enjoyed my pregnancy, that makes it a lot easier for us to both look forward to the next one! ;-)
Plus, after 9 months of bliss or misery, you get a beautiful little baby and it's all worth it...