January 29, 2015

5 Things I Wish I Had Known During My Pregnancy

​​Life teaches us many lessons, and few of the biggest lessons that I have learnt have been during my first pregnancy. It’s true when they say that some things in life are better understood only when experienced. You may spend hours reading about, and skimming through pictures of exotic holiday destinations, but not until you finally make that trip will you be able to soak in the true beauty of a place. Similarly, no matter how many sources give you their two cents worth about pregnancy, your experience of this phase is going to be truly your own. Regardless of how mentally and physically ready you may be, there will still be many untold truths that you’ll discover through this journey. Here are 5 things I discovered that I wish I had known during my pregnancy: 

1. A Restful Sleep Is Very Important – I remember back in college, I’d go days without sleeping properly and it never seemed to affect me. Things have obviously changed now and an undisturbed sleep has become a luxury. Sure, pregnancy brings its own share of sleep troubles, but now that I am a mother, sleep deprivation has reached another level altogether. I wish I had realized how important proper sleep is, not just for my health, but also for my baby’s. Lack of sleep during pregnancy increases the level of the stress hormone, cortisol which in addition to influencing your mood impacts the fetal development, too. Ensure you get good sleep not only during your pregnancy but also your postpartum days as lack of sleep can also interfere with lactation. My husband and I take turns to get some shut eye while looking after the baby. If the night has been hard for me, I make it a point to get required sleep during the day.

2. Hubby Time Is Crucial For A Happy Relationship – During pregnancy, my husband and I were so consumed in thoughts and talks about our baby’s arrival that we hardly made quality time for each other. Now, with the little one in our lives, it’s gotten all the more difficult. I now realize that the two of us should have spent more time with each other during pregnancy. I wish we'd have taken a short vacation, just the two of us, to celebrate our relationship. I don’t remember the last time we went on a romantic dinner date and I really miss those times when we used to. I am certain my husband does, too! Make sure you and your beau give each other a lot of time and make beautiful memories before you become parents. There’s very little “couple-time” you’ll get after your baby’s born.

3. Pregnancy Is Not An Excuse To Slack – Seeing your waistline grow in size can pretty much bring your morale down. I for one was so demoralized that after a point I even gave up on my workout regimen. I’d advise all expectant mothers to avoid repeating my mistake. Staying active during pregnancy will not only make it easier for you to carry the baby’s weight but will also help improve muscle tone and endurance, thereby preparing you better for the physical stress of labor. According to a Mayo Clinic article, exercise may also reduce risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and postpartum depression. Make sure to consult your doctor before chalking out an exercise plan.

4. Naming The Baby Is Not Easy – I used to cringe hearing about the weird names some parents give their kids; it’s only when our turn came did I understand their struggle. My husband and I had put off naming our baby daughter till she was born. That clearly wasn't the best idea. We had a hard time coming to a consensus on a name for her, and the family pressure didn’t help either. I wish we had done our research on baby names before our little girl came in our lives. Things would have been much easier. Thinking of a suitable name that will stick with your baby for her entire lifetime needs a lot of time and thinking. Ensure you prepare a list of potential names for your baby, prior to his or her arrival. Trust me, there’s going to be a hoard of other things that will keep you on your toes when your baby is born.

5. Cherish The “Me-Time” While It Lasts – Spending a day with my friends, going shopping with mom, getting a relaxing massage at the spa – I didn’t see the importance of these little moments until I was blessed with a daughter. Though being a mom is the most wonderful feeling in the world, I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss my “me-time”. Now, before making any plan with my girls, I have to put my daughter first. So, ladies, let yourselves loose and enjoy thoroughly before you embrace the responsibility of being a mother.

Author Bio
I am Aradhana. I am a passionate writer and love to write on topics like parenting, wellness, health and lifestyle. I believe good health is the key to success and happiness. I am a contributor for natural news, elephant journal, naturally savvy and MomJunction.com. Through my writings, I want to motivate people to develop healthy habits and adopt natural ways of living to achieve sound health.

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