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11 Pregnancy Myths and Facts Every Woman Needs to Read

Pregnancy and childbirth can be both exciting and scary. A woman’s body will go through many physical and emotional changes throughout her entire pregnancy journey.

However, there are many pregnancy myths circulating the internet, confusing what is best for both you and your baby. This article addresses 11 common pregnancy myths, discussing topics ranging from infertility to postpartum depression.

Myth #1: You’re Eating for Two

OB Myth-You Are Eating for Two When Pregnant

A pregnant woman should only consume an additional 200 calories a day and focus on developing healthy eating habits. Your baby needs nutrients to grow and develop, and you should aim to eat a balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and calcium-rich foods. 

It’s also important to talk to your OB-GYN about supplementing important vitamins like folic acid and iodine, which can be difficult to attain at adequate levels through diet alone.

Myth #2: It’s Okay to Have an Occasional Glass of Wine

You should never drink any alcohol while pregnant. There is no safe amount or type of alcohol during pregnancy, and even moderate intake can lead to lifelong problems for your baby. These problems can be less obvious than those caused by heavy drinking and can include coordination, attention, and learning issues. 

Alcohol-related congenital disabilities are entirely preventable. Your OB-GYN can offer advice on avoiding alcohol while pregnant and provide the resources you need if you find it a struggle to stop drinking.

Myth #3: It’s Dangerous if You’re Past Your Due Date

Your due date is a calculated estimate of when your baby will hit 40 weeks. It’s normal to give birth before or after your set due date. In fact, you must go two weeks past your due date to be considered a post-term pregnancy. 

You may fall into a post-term pregnancy if: 

  • This is your first pregnancy 
  • Your baby is a boy 
  • You have a body mass index of 30 or higher (obesity) 
  • Your due date was calculated wrong due to confusion of your last menstrual period (LMP) 

If you do go past your due date, your OB-GYN will closely watch the baby’s size, heart, weight, and position. Your OB-GYN may recommend a labor induction to help promote a vaginal birth if the health of the mother or fetus is at stake. 

Learn more about what to expect during labor and delivery ! 

Myth #4: If My Periods Are Irregular, I Will Not Be Able to Get Pregnant

Another pregnancy myth—irregular periods mean I am infertile. The occasional irregular cycle is more common than women think, and it does not mean you will struggle with infertility. The hormonal balance that regulates the menstrual cycle is very delicate — sleep disruptions, exercise routine, and stress levels can all alter your period. Although, if you are consistently irregular, conceiving may be more challenging due to the inability to predict ovulation correctly.

If you experience irregular periods, especially if you have gone three or four months without a period, talk to your OB-GYN. They can help determine if there is an underlying health issue and discuss treatment options and lifestyle changes that can help increase the chances of conceiving. 

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common conditions that affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and fertility. Learn about the symptoms and treatment options here ! 

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Myth #5: All Bleeding During the First Trimester Means a Miscarriage

While any bleeding during any stage of pregnancy can be alarming and scary, it is not always associated with a miscarriage. In fact, vaginal bleeding is extremely common in the first trimester, occurring in 20% to 40% of women. However, it’s still important to talk to your OB-GYN if you experience any bleeding during pregnancy to assess what’s going on. 

Learn more about what to expect during your first trimester of pregnancy .

Myth #6: If You’re Over 35, Then Your Pregnancy Will Be High-Risk

A pregnancy that begins after a woman is 35 is considered a “high-risk pregnancy” because certain risks are slightly higher, not inevitable. Most moms 35 or older have a normal pregnancy and healthy baby. Pregnancy myth, debunked! There are even some advantages to being an older mom, including financial stability and having more life experience that can help during your parenting journey. 

Talk to your OB-GYN about the types of complications that can occur. These complications can result from underlying health issues that arise more often as we age, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Getting proper treatment for these issues can better your chances of having a healthy pregnancy. 

If you’re 35 or older, schedule an appointment with your OB-GYN consider the benefits of a preconception consultation, a visit when you start trying to conceive and make sure to keep every appointment throughout your pregnancy. 

Read more about common myths surrounding high-risk pregnancies .

Myth #7:  Breastfeeding Comes Naturally

OB Myth - Breastfeeding Comes Naturally

Read our breastfeeding advice and 10 Tips for Breastfeeding Success !

The decision to breastfeed is a personal one, and it should also be an informed one. Read ‘ Your Guide to Breastfeeding ’ from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office on Women’s Health to read more common breastfeeding myths.

Myth #8: You Can’t Get Pregnant if You’re on Your Period

​​While it’s uncommon for a woman to get pregnant while she is on her period, it is not impossible. Sperm can survive in the uterus for up to five days, so if you have sex near the end of your period, there is a possibility that sperm can fertilize an egg after it's released during ovulation. This is most likely to occur if a woman experiences shorter menstrual cycles.

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Myth #9: You Shouldn’t Drink Coffee if You’re Pregnant

While a pregnant woman should not drink any alcohol, she can enjoy a cup of coffee. Although, this is where moderation is key. Research suggests moderate caffeine consumption (200 milligrams or less per day) does not cause miscarriage or preterm birth. This is equivalent to about a 12-ounce cup of coffee. If you do opt to enjoy a cup of coffee, it’s important to limit other caffeine consumption from soft drinks, tea, and chocolate.

Myth #10: Once You Have a C-Section, You Will Have a C-Section For All Your Future Pregnancies

Many women believe that once they have delivered a baby by Cesarean section, or C-Section, they will have to schedule a C-Section for their future pregnancies. This is not always the case. A Vaginal Birth After a Cesarean (VBAC) is now considered an option for many women. Depending on your health history, the reason for the initial C-Section, and C-Section scar location, your OB-GYN may give the “OK” to try a VBAC. 

Risks associated with a VBAC include infection, blood loss, and the rupture of your previous cesarean scar (a very rare but serious risk). You and your OB-GYN must be prepared to go into an emergency C-Section at any moment during a VBAC if you or your baby’s health is at immediate risk.

Myth #11: All Mothers are Blissful and Happy After Childbirth

perinatal-mental-health-postpartum-anxiety

Some women experience the “baby blues” about 2 -3 days after childbirth and may feel depressed, anxious, or upset. The sudden change in hormones may cause this, and it usually gets better within a few days or 1 - 2 weeks after childbirth. 

The first three months after childbirth are often referred to as the “ fourth trimester .” You may experience shifts in emotions and physical abilities during this time, and your OB-GYN is available to talk with you through any of your questions. 

If a new mother is dealing with intense feelings of sadness, extreme anxiety, and despair that are preventing her from completing daily tasks, she may be experiencing postpartum depression. Postpartum Depression is a serious condition, and it’s important to talk to your OB-GYN if you have any of these symptoms. 

Do not wait to get help, Moreland OB-GYN is here to support and help you through your journey into motherhood. For more information on postpartum mental health, click here .

One Last Myth to Remember! I No Longer Need to See My OB-GYN When I’m Done Having Children 

If you are done having children, it does not mean you should skip your annual OB-GYN visit . Your OB-GYN will still want to continue performing essential health screenings for cervical cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. They can also continue to be an excellent resource during any stage of your life, including menopause . 

Moreland OB-GYN will be your caring provider throughout your pregnancy journey, whether you just started trying to conceive or you’re in the early weeks of pregnancy. Our caring providers will take the time to listen to your needs and concerns and can help talk with you about pregnancy myths, facts, and the important things you should know. 

As your trusted, local medical partner, we’re here to help you feel safe and confident about your health and the health of your baby. Schedule a visit today!

Ready to plan your pregnancy and birthing experience? Download our Pregnancy Planning Kit by clicking the image below to get started! 

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Pregnancy: Everything you need to know for your journey

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Key takeaways:

Arm yourself with tips, tricks and information to prepare for your pregnancy journey., find out what to do before you get pregnant., learn about early pregnancy., see what to expect during pregnancy. .

[7 MIN READ]

Whether you’re a new or experienced parent, you may have a lot of questions about your pregnancy. At Providence, we are devoted to creating a patient-centered, caring and open environment designed to celebrate your pregnancy and help you find joy while relieving your anxiety.

Before you get pregnant

If you’re planning on having a baby, you’ll have nine months to prepare for motherhood but what about getting ready for pregnancy? There are important steps to take before you try to conceive. Read on and make sure you’re as healthy as can be — for yourself and your baby.

7 things to do before you get pregnant

See your physician Schedule a doctor’s appointment to discuss your family’s health history and any ongoing conditions, such as diabetes or asthma. Ensure that your  immunizations  are up to date and inform your provider of any medications or supplements you’re taking. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory or search for one in your area.

Stop smoking and drinking Smoking and drugs, including alcohol, may make it more difficult to get pregnant. If you do get pregnant, these substances can increase the risk of miscarriage, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome),  preterm birth , fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and other disabilities. Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor if you need help quitting. Also, it’s a good idea to dial down your caffeine consumption. Drinking too much caffeine (more than two cups of coffee or five cans of soda daily) may make it harder to conceive.

Eat a nutritious diet Cut back on empty calories, such as  sugary drinks  and junk food. Fill up on high-protein foods, produce, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Seafood contains mercury, which may cause birth defects. Limit your seafood to 12 ounces of fish a week and avoid large ocean fish, such as shark.

Reach a healthy weight Ideally, you want to hit your target weight before you get pregnant. To boost your chances of having the healthiest pregnancy possible, it’s best not to be underweight or overweight. Regardless of how much you weigh when you get pregnant, don’t try to lose weight during pregnancy.

Take vitamin B Folic acid, a B vitamin, decreases the risk of birth defects, particularly in the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Start taking a daily vitamin with at least .4 milligrams (400 mcg) of folic acid before you get pregnant, as a baby’s brain and spinal cord begin to develop early in the pregnancy.

Exercise regularly Exercise can help your body better handle the changes and stress that pregnancy brings. If you already exercise, you can probably stick with the same program for the majority of your pregnancy. If you don’t exercise, aim for 30 minutes of brisk activity five days a week and continue that schedule while you’re pregnant.

Kick back Try to minimize the stress in your life. Get as much rest and relaxation as you can. You’ll miss those peaceful moments once the baby comes!

Learn what to do before you get pregnant .

Early pregnancy

Are you pregnant? Pregnancy symptoms can vary, but one of the most significant signs of pregnancy is a missed period. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Swollen or tender breasts
  • Spotting or light bleeding
  • Fatigue or tiredness

To be sure, take a pregnancy test at home. Simply knowing for sure will bring you some peace of mind and allow you to start planning for a healthy future. At-home  pregnancy tests are up to 99 percent accurate  when they’re done properly and at the right time. They can be purchased at most grocery stores, pharmacies and even some discount stores.

All at-home tests work by measuring the amount of HCG hormone in a woman’s urine. HCG levels increase as a pregnancy matures. You’ll get the most accurate results if you take the test five days or more after you ovulate. The closer you are to the date when your next period should start, the more accurate the results will be. If you take the test too soon, the HCG level may be too low to indicate pregnancy.

If you get a positive result on an at-home test, make an appointment with your health care provider as soon as possible. For most women, this first visit takes place between the eighth and tenth week of pregnancy. The sooner you see a health care provider, the sooner you can get prenatal care for you and your baby.

Learn more about early pregnancy.

Choosing a healthcare provider

When it comes to prenatal care, you have choices. These health care providers are experts in caring for pregnant women and their unborn babies, but each type of specialist has a different skill set.

Certified nurse-midwife Certified nurse-midwives or CNMs are registered nurses who have advanced training in women’s health and maternity care. Along with female reproductive care, such as annual exams and Pap tests, CNMs offer prenatal, labor and postpartum care.

CNMs usually treat women with uncomplicated pregnancies but, if they consult with an OB-GYN, they can treat women who have high-risk pregnancies. If you choose a CNM as your prenatal care provider, you may be able to deliver your baby at home, at a birth center or in a hospital. Ask your CNM where she delivers babies and tell her if you have a preference.

Family medicine / Family practice doctors Family practitioners are doctors who specialize in preventive health and medical care for people of all ages. Some family physicians deliver babies, but many do not. If you have a family physician, be sure to ask if he or she delivers babies. Also, they are not surgeons, so if a mother needs to deliver her baby by cesarean section, the family physician will call a surgeon to deliver the baby.

If you select a certified nurse-midwife or an OB-GYN for your prenatal care, you can transfer to a family practitioner after your baby is born. The family practitioner can provide all primary care you and your family, including your new baby, need now and in the future.

OB-GYNs The abbreviation, OB-GYN, stands for obstetrics and gynecology. An obstetrician is a doctor who delivers babies. A gynecologist is a doctor who treats diseases of the female reproductive organs. OB-GYNs offer prenatal care, manage labor and delivery, and provide postpartum care for mothers. Roughly 85 percent of women receive prenatal care from OB-GYNs,  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

If an OB-GYN delivers your baby, you will need to select a pediatrician, a family practitioner or a nurse practitioner to be your baby’s primary care provider after he or she is born.

Doulas A doula is a woman trained to provide physical comfort and emotional support to expectant moms before, during and after childbirth. Doulas are not medical personnel, but they can provide information, help during labor and advocate for the mother.

Some women hire doulas months before their babies are born. If you do this, you can expect the doula to spend time getting to know you, answering your questions about pregnancy and labor, and helping you create a birth plan. If you have a doula, she will stay with you during labor. She will help you change positions and use relaxation techniques to ease labor pains. Doulas may also support the new family at home during the postpartum period.

Many doulas undergo training and complete certification programs in order to provide support to patients during labor and delivery. Research studies show that having a doula present during labor can be associated with health benefits, such as shorter deliveries, fewer c-sections, less use of medications, increased breastfeeding and more satisfying birth experiences for mothers. The benefits vary, however, based on the doula’s training and skills, the cultural setting, and family support available to the mother among other factors.

7 bodily changes to expect during pregnancy

Everyone knows the main sign of pregnancy: an expanding waistline. Some of the other physical and emotional changes that occur during pregnancy take mothers-to-be by surprise. Pregnancy actually affects every part of a woman’s body, from head to toe. Here are seven of those changes you might expect when you’re expecting.

Women undergo a range of dramatic changes when pregnancy hormones are released into the body. Led by estrogen and progesterone, this potent cocktail of hormones is responsible for mood changes, the skin “glow” of pregnancy, nausea, fatigue, blemishes and a host of other side effects. Of course, these hormones are also critical for the development of a healthy baby, from the moment of conception to birth. If you’re planning to become pregnant, it’s important to learn how hormonal changes might affect you before they kick in. If your mood seems out of balance, consult your doctor for advice.

Hair and nails

It is not uncommon for women to experience changes in their hair and nails during pregnancy. Hormonal changes can cause both hair loss and hair thickening. You may even see hair start to grow where it doesn’t belong. Most of these changes return to normal after the baby is born, but excess hair on the face, for example, can be removed cosmetically. Nails often grow faster during pregnancy. While this may be a welcome change, they may also become more brittle or misshapen. Changing your diet to include foods that boost nail strength, such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables, can help prevent nail breakage without resorting to chemical nail strengtheners.

During pregnancy, some women experience vision changes, such as increased blurriness, nearsightedness, dryness or eye sensitivity. The specific causes of these changes aren’t entirely understood, but it is thought that hormones, fluid retention and blood circulation all play a role. Vision typically returns to its pre-pregnancy state after the baby is born, but some pre-existing vision conditions can worsen – or improve! Be sure to see an ophthalmologist during and after your pregnancy if you have any concerns about pre-existing conditions or have unusual symptoms.

Mouth and teeth

Here, again we can thank hormones for pregnancy-related changes, in this case affecting the mouth and teeth. Some women experience gum disease or tooth decay because increased hormones can affect resistance to bacteria in the mouth. And, if the mom doesn’t get enough calcium in her diet, the growing baby may “steal” the calcium it needs from the mom’s bones and teeth. If you’re pregnant, get your teeth and gums checked regularly and observe good dental hygiene by flossing and brushing at least twice a day.

Breasts go through a series of changes during pregnancy. As breasts grow larger in preparation for feeding the baby, they typically feel tender and may leak an early form of milk called colostrum. The areola may enlarge and darken. Veins may darken. Stretch marks may develop, and the nipples may protrude more than they did before pregnancy. Be sure to wear a well-fitting bra to support your breasts. If you develop small, painful lumps in your breasts, they may be caused by blocked milk ducts. Massage and warm compresses (applying a warm washcloth) may help clear the ducts. If the lumps don’t go away after a few days, have them examined during your next doctor visit.

Weight gain and fluid retention

As the unborn baby grows and the pregnant woman gains weight, she tends to move less. This leads to fluid retention, which can account for 25 percent of pregnancy weight gain. This additional weight slows down the circulation of blood and other bodily fluids, especially in the lower limbs. Swelling of the legs, feet, hands and even face can result. To ease the discomfort of fluid retention and swelling, avoid standing for long periods, eat more potassium, and reduce the amount of caffeine and sodium in your diet.

Many women experience changes in the appearance of their skin during pregnancy. Most of these changes are temporary although some, like stretch marks, can be permanent. Stretch marks are caused by the physical stretching of the skin combined with the effects of hormonal changes on the skin’s elasticity. They may appear on the breasts and abdomen during the third trimester. Another change is called hyperpigmentation. It occurs when areas of the body or face develop a deeper color. Sun exposure worsens the discoloration, so be sure to use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen daily during pregnancy. Also, the color of moles and freckles can darken, and you might develop pregnancy-specific rashes or boils. While these are generally harmless, it’s a good idea to have your skin checked if you see something unusual.

Learn more about bodily changes during pregnancy .

During pregnancy

You might have a lot of questions when it comes to exercising during pregnancy. Is it safe? Do I have to? The truth is, exercise is important during pregnancy — it can help with some common discomforts and even prepare your body for childbirth.

According to the American Pregnancy Association , exercising for 30 minutes on most or all days can benefit your health during pregnancy. In fact, exercising for just 20 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week is still beneficial. All you need to do is be active and get your blood flowing. Benefits include:

  • Reducing backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
  • Helping prevent or treat gestational diabetes
  • Increasing your energy
  • Improving your mood
  • Helping you sleep better
  • Keeping you fit during pregnancy

If you are doing a certain type of exercise regularly before becoming pregnant, it’s probably fine to continue to participate during your pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. But it’s important to avoid high-impact exercise and not to overdo it.

Your baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac, which is nestled in the uterus and surrounded by organs, muscles and your physical body. This creates a safe environment for your developing baby.

Health and nutrition

During pregnancy, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the nutrients both you and your baby need. Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to your baby’s growth and development, which is why it’s important to eat from a variety of food groups. According to the American Pregnancy society, you should consume an extra 300 calories a day.

Make sure you’re getting enough foods from the following food groups:

  • Fruits and vegetables: These contain important nutrients like Vitamin C and Folic Acid. You should have at least 2-4 servings of fruit and 4 or more servings of vegetables daily.
  • Bread and grains: These are the body’s main source of energy. These contain nutrients like iron, B Vitamins, fiber and some protein. You should consumer between 6-11 servings of bread and grains daily.
  • Protein: Things like meat, poultry, fish, eggs and beans contain protein, B vitamins and iron. However, fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided. You should consume three servings of protein daily.
  • Dairy: Calcium is found in dairy products and is essential for building strong teeth and bones, normal blood clotting, and muscle and nerve function. You should aim to consume at least 1,000 mg daily to support a pregnancy. This equals about four servings of dairy products daily.

While your main source of vitamins and nutrients should come from your diet, a daily prenatal vitamin can help fill small gaps. Prenatal vitamins should be taken up to three months before conception, if possible.

The 5 most common misconceptions about pregnancy

“As an expectant mother, you need to learn what truly is and isn’t safe for you and your developing baby, based on the best available medical evidence,” says  Lina Wong, DO , a board-certified OB/GYN at  St. Jude Heritage Medical Group . “With all of the frequently poor advice and even misleading material about pregnancy found online and in popular books, it's important that you ask questions and listen to your OB/GYN or perinatologist, your primary care physician and other trusted, medically-trained experts you may have on your care team, such as a laborist, certified nurse midwife or obstetrical nurse.”

Dr. Wong dispels some common misconceptions about pregnancy:

Don't get vaccinated when pregnant

Centers for Disease Control  guidelines generally recommend certain vaccines, like Tdap and inactivated flu vaccine, for use in pregnant women. In fact, many vaccinations you get while pregnant help  protect your baby  until he or she can be vaccinated after being born. Other "live vaccines" for human papillomavirus (HPV) and measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) are not generally given to women known to be pregnant. Dr. Wong says, "It's imperative that you to talk to your doctors to see which vaccines you should receive to safeguard your health and the health of your baby from serious diseases like hepatitis A, hepatitis B and influenza."

Be sure to talk to your doctor about the COVID-19 vaccine and what is safe for you during your pregnancy .

Expectant mothers don't have to worry about drinking alcohol during pregnancy, as long they drink in moderation.

A recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that  pregnant women avoid alcohol  completely. Aside from potentially measuring low on the growth curve for height and weight, babies who have mothers who abuse alcohol during pregnancy are at risk of damage in their speech, learning and neurological development, or any other number of extremely serious conditions on the spectrum of fetal alcohol disorders.

Exercise during pregnancy will send you into premature labor

You may have heard that exercise during pregnancy could harm your baby or cause premature birth. However, regular daily exercise can help you manage the common discomforts of pregnancy and increase your chances of having a vaginal delivery free of complications. Exercise can also aid in postpartum recovery.

You can't eat any fish and cheese until after the baby is born

Many pregnant women have been told that they should avoid fish and cheese altogether, but there are some safe options. Salmon and other fish rich in  omega-3 fatty acids  like DHA help your baby’s mental and visual development. Avoid larger fish that tend to be  higher in mercury , like swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tuna steaks. Cheese is a terrific source of calcium, and hard cheeses like cheddar, Gouda and Parmesan are generally considered safe for pregnant women to eat. It’s best to avoid soft cheeses like Gorgonzola, Brie and goat cheese because they are more likely to contain  listeria , a type of germ. If you become infected with listeria while pregnant, your baby could become infected as well, and you could be at increased risk of miscarriage or premature delivery.

When you're pregnant, you need to eat for two

Carrying a baby does not require you to double your caloric intake. "There are certain nutrients you need more of, like folic acid, but overeating isn't good for either of you," says Dr. Wong. "If you  gain too much weight while pregnant , you are at increased risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. You may also be more likely to need a C-section due to having a larger baby."

Learn more about misconceptions about pregnancy .

Stay tuned for additional information that we will add regarding childbirth and the postpartum period.

Find a doctor.

If you have questions about your pregnancy, talk to your OB/GYN or another member of your care team. If you’re thinking about starting a family and want to speak to a professional, you can find a compassionate expert through our  provider directory  or search for one in your area:

Related resources

Early pregnancy: So many choices

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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Health coverage, dental, vision and supplemental, member support, the health guide, additional resources, infographic: your pregnancy health care journey.

my pregnancy journey is not easy

For first-time moms, pregnancy is chock full of surprises. Like powerful cravings for oddball food combinations or the strange feeling of being kicked from the inside. Other things that catch moms-to-be off guard are the many doctor appointments and prenatal tests that are a normal part of pregnancy. And then there are all the unfamiliar bills and explanation of benefits statements you receive from your health insurance provider.

Our health care guide to pregnancy will arm you with the information you need to make sense of the paperwork. So you can focus on other things, like enjoying those first kicks.

my pregnancy journey is not easy

Transcript: Your healthy road through pregnancy

Understanding major health care milestones.

It’s one of the very best reasons to visit a doctor: You’re pregnant. And you’re taking the right steps to monitor your health and the health of your growing baby. Check out the major health care milestones along your pregnancy journey below.

Deciding you want to conceive

Congratulations! You’ve decided you want to have a baby.  Now’s a great time to visit your Ob/Gyn.  Find out whether any medications you’re taking are safe during pregnancy. Ask for help with health challenges, such as giving up smoking or managing diabetes. Your doctor may also recommend prenatal vitamins or booster vaccinations.

If you or your partner is at risk of passing on certain disorders, such as Cystic Fibrosis or Tay-Sachs disease, you should pursue genetic counseling before getting pregnant. Families can prevent transmission of some disorders by using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

First trimester

Your first prenatal visit.

Once you believe you’re pregnant, make an appointment with your Ob/Gyn to confirm the happy news. Your first visit will include a  physical and pelvic exam, Pap test, blood/urine labs, and maybe a flu shot.  Your doctor can also answer questions about weight and nutrition.

How many visits?

Your prenatal care provider will likely request that you schedule monthly check-ups until your 28th week of pregnancy, then bi-monthly check-ups until week 36. In the last month, you’ll be visiting your doctor every week.

11-14 weeks

Your Ob/Gyn will typically perform a  first-trimester screening : This includes a blood test and an ultrasound exam called a nuchal translucency scan. It assesses risks for chromosomal disorders and other problems. Women at higher risk of passing on genetic disorders may be offered a “cell-free DNA test” and a chorionic villus sampling (CVS), in which a small sample of cells is removed from the placenta for testing.

Second trimester

15-20 weeks.

You may undergo a blood test called a  maternal serum screen — also known as a quad screen or multiple market screen—to check for chromosomal disorders and neural tube defects like spina bifida.

18-20 weeks

The most famous and common second-trimester test is the  18- to 20-week ultrasound appointment . This checks the health of your baby’s organs and may also reveal the baby’s gender.

Amniocentesis test

Between weeks 14 and 20, mothers age 35 and older and those with genetic risks may undergo an amnio. In this procedure, a thin needle is inserted into the mother’s uterus to withdraw amniotic fluid. Genetic testing is performed on the fluid.

Third trimester

26-28 weeks.

You’ll likely be  checked for gestational diabetes . If your pregnancy is considered high-risk, you might need additional tests such as a biophysical profile (BPP) or another ultrasound. Your doctor may also discuss birth classes and delivery planning.

Near the very end

At about week 36 or 37, your Ob/Gyn may perform a Group B streptococcus test. This entails collecting cells through vaginal and rectal swabs to test for the presence of bacteria that can cause infection in the newborn. Mothers who test positive are treated with antibiotics during childbirth to protect the baby.

Labor and delivery

Congratulations: It’s time for your baby to enter the world! While most women have vaginal deliveries, some need to deliver through Cesarean section. Anesthesia is the norm for Cesareans, but more than half of women who deliver vaginally also receive epidural or spinal anesthesia. If your due date passes and you haven’t delivered (39 weeks is full-term), your doctor may talk to you about inducing labor.

Baby’s turn for testing

After delivery, your newborn will undergo a round of  blood, hearing and heart screenings . Your pregnancy journey has come to an end, but your baby’s journey is just getting started!

Sources: Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, March of Dimes.

Your out-of-pocket costs for maternity care and childbirth will vary widely depending on where you live, which services you require and your insurance plan. The best way to save on your care is to choose providers and hospitals in your insurance plan's network. If you’re an Aetna member, you may also be able to get an estimate of your costs through the Member Payment Estimator .

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For Aetna Members

Our Maternity Support Center can help. Log into your member portal at Aetna.com/maternity.

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10 Early Signs The Pregnancy Will Be Easy (And 10 Signs It'll Be Hard)

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Every woman experiences pregnancy differently. Some ladies are lucky enough to sail through all nine months, while others find pregnancy uncomfortable and gruelling. Most women have good and bad phases during the three trimesters. This list is designed to help women figure out if they're going to have rough pregnancies or not.

Even the roughest pregnancy may get easier when a woman gets proper medical care and practices appropriate self-care. For example, a woman who's plagued with severe morning sickness may want to talk to her ob-gyn about what she should eat to ease morning sickness (dry toast, crackers), or experiment with the Sea-Band wristband, or other medication-free therapies that are proven to soothe nausea.

Pregnancy is a journey. It brings significant changes. It's all worth it. Women who've really had it rough during pregnancy often forget their aches, pains and illnesses when they see their beautiful babies for the first time. Women often forget their labor pains, too. Motherhood is the greatest, but getting there is sometimes tough. Pregnancy takes its toll. Now, let's look at ten signs that women are going to have an easy time of it while they're expecting...and ten signs that things may be harder for them.

20 No Morning Sickness: Pregnancy Will Be Easy

If you're pregnant and you're not having any morning sickness, and your ob-gyn is happy with the way that your pregnancy is going...you're lucky! I know from personal experience that morning sickness can be intense. It really sucks, especially if you need to get yourself to work in the a.m.

So, what causes morning sickness, anyway? Well, it's triggered by higher-than-average hormone levels during the initial weeks of pregnancy. Some women, such as Salma Hayek, had to deal with morning sickness the whole time that they were pregnant.

If you're not getting sick in the morning, you may be one of those fortunate women who is going to be blessed with an easy pregnancy.

19 Normal Growth: Pregnancy Will Be Easy

If you're pregnant and gaining weight just as you should be, that's a good sign. When you're in the normal range, it bodes well for an easy (or relatively easy) pregnancy. Women who gain too much or too little may be in line for more problems.

Of course, there are plenty of other variables which play a role in whether a pregnancy is easy or not. That being said, weight gain is one thing that ob-gyns do keep an eye on.

To boost the odds of a smooth pregnancy, figure out how much weight you're supposed to gain. Most women gain between 25 and 35 pounds during their pregnancies.

18 Good Energy Levels: Pregnancy Will Be Easy

Pregnant ladies who feel energetic, just like they did before they became pregnant, have a high likelihood of enjoying easy pregnancies. It's quite common to get exhausted during pregnancy. Growing a baby is a big job and it's hard on a woman's body. If you're not falling asleep all of the time, or wishing that you could get away from your everyday responsibilities and just lie on the couch with the remote control for a few days, you're one of the lucky ones.

Even if you have lots of energy, remember to rest. Conserve this precious energy. Don't do too much.

17 No Swelling and Bloating: Pregnancy Will Be Easy

Water retention is not uncommon in pregnancy and it can make pregnant women feel mighty uncomfortable. If you're not experiencing this type of swelling and bloating, which is also known as edema, congratulations. Maybe you're drinking lots of pure water and other healthy fluids, and flushing out sodium and/or impurities that contribute to bloating. Your healthy hydration habits may be paying off.

2.3 litres of fluid per day is the recommended amount of hydration for a pregnant women. That equates to ten cups of fluid. Drinking a lot of water is definitely the best way to avoid bloating. It's also a good way to keep energy levels high.

16 Very Few Mood Swings: Pregnancy Will Be Easy

Pregnancy hormones tend to trigger some wild mood swings. Women who aren't moody during pregnancy, at least sometimes, are few and far between. If your mood isn't going up and down like a Yo-Yo, it may be sign that your pregnancy isn't going to be too stressful.

Emotional equilibrium during pregnancy makes it easier to handle the other challenges that pregnancy brings, from swollen ankles to lower back pain to heartburn. When a pregnant woman is moody, it's tougher for her to handle discomfort and other pregnancy issues. Whatever you're doing to keep your mood on an even keel, keep doing it.

15 No Cramps: Pregnancy Will Be Easy

Pregnancy sometimes triggers cramps. These cramps are generally caused by the expansion of the uterus. When the uterus does expand, muscles and ligaments that support it start to stretch out. This is something that many women feel, and it doesn't feel particularly good.

While cramping is possible anytime, it's actually most common during the second trimester, so it may strike later, even if you don't experience cramps during trimester one. However, some women don't get cramps, and you may be one of the lucky ones. No cramps early on is a good sign. Every woman knows that cramps are the worst.

14 No Lower Back Pain: Pregnancy Will Be Easy

When the front of the body gets heavier, the lower back has to carry more weight and this can lead to lower back pain. Normal, non-pregnancy weight gain may cause a woman to develop back problems, even if they are minor back problems. This is why exercise experts and doctors advise non-pregnant woman to stay in the normal weight range and strengthen their cores through exercise.

During pregnancy, weight gain is inevitable, but keeping it within normal ranges may shield you from lower back pain. If you're not feeling it yet, maybe you won't get hit with this common pregnancy symptom.

13 No Weird Pregnancy Food Cravings: Pregnancy Will Be Easy

Some women develop some bizarre food cravings during pregnancy. There are pregnant women who feel compelled to eat dirt or paper or very odd food combinations. Obviously, a woman should never eat non-food items, even if her pregnant brain is telling her to do it. Also, a woman shouldn't gorge on weird food combos a lot while she's pregnant, or she might get sick.

If you don't have any strange food cravings, it's possible that you're going to be one of those fortunate ladies who has the easiest pregnancy ever. One tip is to avoid eating a lot of high-sugar fruit during pregnancy, as eating too much fruit may boost the odds of gestational diabetes.

12 You’re Not Getting Headaches: Pregnancy Will Be Easy

Headaches can sometimes be a bad sign during pregnancy. Usually, they are caused by hormone shifts, and hormone-related headaches are typically harmless, if extremely annoying. Women who get a lot of headaches during pregnancy may be dealing with pre-eclampsia, which is quite serious. Pre-eclampsia happens when blood pressure rises and a lot of protein is found in urine.

So, it's a good sign if you're headache-free.

Any woman who is concerned about headaches during pregnancy should definitely talk to her ob-gyn. Frequent headaches while expecting a baby are something that a doctor should know about. A doctor will be able to help.

11 No bathroom Problems: Pregnancy Will Be Easy

Constipation is one of the irritating side effects of being pregnant, but you may escape this tiresome symptoms. Eating a diet that's high in soluble fiber is a good way to stay regular while you're expecting a baby.

If you have healthy eating habits, and do get fiber from whole grains and other sources, you may find that your good eating habits help you to enjoy an easy pregnancy.

Some pregnant women get hit with constipation even when they do all of the right things, such as drinking lots of water and getting enough fiber. It usually happens because hormones which relax the muscle in the intestine are affected by hormones.

10 You’re Feeling Really Nauseous: Pregnancy Will Be Hard

Nausea isn't a small thing. When pregnant women feel nauseated every morning, or all day long, it saps their strength and makes them feel miserable. Hormones in pregnancy trigger nausea and it can be extreme. If you don't have nausea, you're missing out on morning sickness and this means that you're missing out on one of the very worst pregnancy symptoms. If you're lucky, you'll sail through pregnancy, from trimester one to labor.

Women who do have severe morning sickness should definitely talk to their docs. They should never have to deal with it in silence. A Sea-Band wristband or change in diet may help.

9 Your Chest Is Very Tender: Pregnancy Will Be Hard

When we're pregnant, we all get a lot more...voluptuous. Changes to the size of our chests tends to trigger a lot of tenderness. When parts of the body change so much, we're going to feel it. If this is happening to you, you will find that wearing a bra that's more supportive is very helpful. Also, go for clothes that aren't too snug in the chest area.

Some women benefit from putting cold compresses on their chests, or find relief when they take warm baths or showers. If these tips don't help, talk to your ob-gyn about pregnancy-safe pain relief.

8 You Have Aversions To Certain Foods: Pregnancy Will Be Hard

Aversions to certain foods during pregnancy is a sign that you have a sensitive system. It doesn't mean that anything is wrong. It's just one more thing that you'll need to worry about while you're expecting. It's another layer of stress, because it may make it harder to eat a balanced diet.

In general, pungent foods cause the most intense aversions. For example, I personally found that strong-smelling cheeses, such as Romano and Parmesan, were truly yucky while I was expecting. I could not stomach them and still can't, because my aversion during pregnancy was so intense. It's wild how those cheeses grossed me out so badly while I was expecting.

7 Some Odours Make You Feel Sick: Pregnancy Will Be Hard

I couldn't eat Romano or Parmesan cheeses while pregnant, and the mere smell of them was enough to make me feel sick. You may find that certain odors make you feel ill, too. Usually, it's food odors that make pregnant women feel ill, but they may be sensitive to other scents, too, such as perfumes or body lotions. Even cleaning products or air fresheners may make you react.

It's a good time to shield yourself from gross-out odors, as much as you can. Turn your home into a safe space where you can escape from strong odors. Consider using green cleaning products and fragrance-free personal care products.

6 Your Back Hurts A Lot: Pregnancy Will Be Hard

If your back is killing you while you're pregnant, it's likely to get worse, because you are going to continue putting on weight as your unborn baby gets bigger. It's unfortunate that you're dealing with back pain, but it's not uncommon. Women who are carrying big babies may get hit with the worst back pain, just because their bellies are bigger.

To deal with back pain, try to get healthy exercise. It should be pregnancy-safe exercise, such as prenatal yoga or swimming. It should be exercise that isn't too aggressive or intense. Talk to your ob-gyn to find out which forms of exercise will be best for your back.

5 You Have Zero Energy: Pregnancy Will Be Hard

Pregnancy often brings intense fatigue. It's often very difficult for pregnant woman to stay awake. Their bodies are crying out for sleep. It's natural to need more sleep at this time. It's restorative. It gives the body a chance to recover from all of the changes that it is going through. Unfortunately, some women really don't have time to rest as much as they should.

For example, a woman who's pregnant and has a toddler to care for, as well as a job, may feel stretched way too thin during pregnancy, and feel very burnt out. Pregnant women who are exhausted need to reach out for help from their support networks. This is so important.

4 You’re Feeling Really Moody: Pregnancy Will Be Hard

If you're feeling moody while you're pregnant, you're not alone. Those hormones are wreaking havoc. Don't feel bad if you have the urge to cry once in a while, or feel angrier than usual over little things that irritate you. Try to stay calm. Let the people around you know that you're dealing with mood swings. Ask them to be patient with you.

Of course, being pregnant isn't an excuse to take out your bad moods on everyone else. You'll have to dig deep to remain mature as your moods ebb and flow. Meditation will be really helpful. Also, giving yourself space to rest and just be alone for a while is a good idea.

3 Your Food Cravings Are Out Of Control: Pregnancy Will Be Hard

If you have the urge to eat weird things while you're pregnant, which don't even classify as food, talk to your ob-gyn. Also, obviously, don't eat the weird things. There is a disorder that some pregnant women have that compels them to eat non-food items. It's called Pica. This disorder is not a good sign, and it's something that you should seek out medical attention for. A doctor will help you to handle it. In terms of food cravings, indulge, as long as the food isn't too bad for you. I wanted McChickens and other chicken sandwiches. I craved chicken. Maybe my baby wanted the heme iron in the meat.

2 You’re Getting bigger: Pregnancy Will Be Hard

If you're gaining a lot of weight rapidly, you may want to talk to your ob-gyn. Of course, we will gain weight in pregnancy, but it shouldn't be too excessive. We're supposed to gain between 25 and 35 pounds over the course of our pregnancies. Lots of women gain more.

If you're eating for three or four, rather than two, you may need to set limits. Eating too much may cause weight gain that makes you feel very uncomfortable. Here is a general guideline to follow: during trimester one, eat 1800 calories. During trimester two, eat 2,200 calories. During the final trimester, eat 2400.

1 You’re Not getting big enough: Pregnancy Will Be Hard

Gaining too much can be bad. Gaining too little can be worrisome. We're all built differently and our pregnancies differ, too. This is why an ob-gyn is the best resource when it comes to assessing your weight gain and whether it's normal or not. Our tips are helpful, but they aren't designed to be a substitute for medical advice from a licensed ob-gyn. If you're worried that your baby bump is too small, talk to your doc. He or she has years of training and education and will be able to let you know if your pregnancy is going well, or whether you need to eat more calories, or whatever.

References: Parenting.com, Webmd.com, Fitpregnancy.com

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Your first trimester guide, tips for the first 13 weeks of your pregnancy..

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Pregnancy Milestones: First trimester

Congratulations – you’re about to be a mother! Becoming a parent is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also feel overwhelming at times and you likely have lots of questions. That’s to be expected and we hope this guide will be a useful companion throughout your pregnancy. During the first 13 week of pregnancy, your body is growing and changing, and so is your baby’s. Here’s what to know as you start this amazing journey together.

Test your knowledge

True or false.

How you're feeling header

How you're feeling

Your body is about to undergo some major changes as it prepares to grow a new life.

You may start to experience symptoms such as nausea or fatigue – or you may find that you have an increased level of energy! Listen to your body and make adjustments to your routines as needed. Every woman is different, and so is each pregnancy.

Early signs and symptoms of pregnancy

The earliest sign of pregnancy is a missed period for women who have a regular monthly menstrual cycle. Sometimes, implantation bleeding can occur. This is a bleed very similar to a light period or spotting. Though this is completely normal, you should check with your health-care provider if you experience any bleeding during your pregnancy.

You may also begin experiencing a handful of the symptoms below early on in your pregnancy such as fatigue, nausea or more frequent urination.

Common symptoms

The changes in your hormones during your first weeks of pregnancy affect your whole body. While no two pregnancies are the same, some symptoms you may experience during your first trimester include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Extreme changes in mood
  • Nausea or vomiting (morning sickness)
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lower back and pelvic pain
  • Cravings for certain foods
  • New dislike of certain foods
  • Constipation

Symptoms in early pregnancy can be uncomfortable to say the least. For some relief, give these tips a try after checking with your health care provider first. Remember, choices should always be made based on your preferences and what is available to you.

  • For nausea or vomiting , try ginger, chamomile, vitamin B6 and/or acupuncture.
  • For leg cramps , try magnesium or calcium.
  • For constipation , if dietary modifications suggested by your health-care provider are not working, wheat bran or other fibre supplements can be used for relief.

Healthy foods and regular exercise are important for your entire pregnancy. Continue your daily physical activity for as long as you feel comfortable doing so. The more active you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing body. Make sure to nourish your and your baby’s growing bodies with nutritious food. Make sure you are getting adequate energy, protein, vitamins and minerals by eating a variety of healthy foods, including vegetables, meat, beans, nuts, pasteurized dairy and fruit.

>Read What to eat when pregnant

How is your baby growing header.

How your baby is growing

This period is the most crucial to your baby’s development. During the first trimester, your baby’s internal systems and body are beginning to take shape. These early organ and bodily developments include:  

  • Brain and spine
  • Cardiac tissue
  • Fingernails
  • Cartilage for the hands, feet and limbs
  • Muscles of the mouth, eyes and nose
  • Webbed fingers and toes

Fetal growth can vary significantly for a number of reasons, but during the first trimester, your baby will grow from about 0.64 cm (.25 in) at the end of the first month (smaller than a grain of rice) to around 10 cm (4 in) by the end of week 12 and will weigh around 28 g (1 oz) [Figures from the Cleveland Clinic ]. For information for your country, please refer to your ministry of health.

When should I meet with my health-care provider?

You should schedule at least one appointment with your health-care provider during your first 12 weeks of pregnancy, ideally as early as possible. For recommendations in your country, please check with your ministry of health or health provider.

Things to look out for header

Things to look out for

While all women experience pregnancy differently, you should speak to your health-care provider if you experience:

  • Severe cramping
  • A fever over 38° C (100° F)
  • Odorous vaginal discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Severe vomiting

Explore stages of pregnancy  

First trimester   |  Second trimester  |  Third trimester

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Home » Planning & Creating » How to make a pregnancy journal

my pregnancy journey is not easy

Deciding which pregnancy journal fits your personality

Journaling comes in many different formats. Choose one that most appeals to you and suits your personality. Here are a few options:

Traditional journal

Opt for a traditional journal if you are looking for a more personal way to record your private thoughts and experiences throughout your pregnancy. Writing in a book will give you a place to relax your mind, step away from daily stressors, and reflect on your own pregnancy journey.

Tip: If you write on loose lined paper, you can scan your letters onto your computer and put them in a hardcover photo book , preserving your words for even longer.

Digital journal

This is a great option for families who want to be able to share their pregnancy experience with other parents-to-be in an online journal or create a blog to share with loved ones who don’t live close by. Digital journals are free, and some online websites even give you the option to download a PDF or ebook as a keepsake memory when you are finished.

Pregnancy photo book

Perfect for those who want their pregnancy memories to last a lifetime. You can start with a free, customizable template or create your own page layouts in Blurb’s free desktop software, BookWright . The best pregnancy photo books combine images of yourself and your loved ones, as well as scanned images of mementos, letters, and notes. You can add as many details, experiences, and keepsakes as you want to each page—and one day share the photo book with your child.

Video diary

If you want your partner to be a part of the process, consider recording a pregnancy video diary using your phone or a camcorder. Once a month (or however often you would like), interview each other and ask questions about what each person is expecting when the baby is born, how you are feeling about being a new parent, and what you are most excited about once the baby has arrived.

Getting started

Each trimester has moments that you will want to capture, so getting started can feel a bit overwhelming at first. You have enough on your mind as a parent-to-be, so don’t put any added pressure on yourself to keep a strict journaling schedule. Some people find that journaling at a specific time helps them to keep to a schedule throughout their pregnancy, while others prefer to update their journals when the mood hits them. This journey is all about you and what fits your needs.

If you want to keep yourself on track, consider marking your calendar with a set time each week or bi-weekly to sit down and add to your pregnancy journal. You can also make a note to journal after every doctor’s appointment or at the end of each trimester.

Include ultrasound images in your pregnancy journal

What to include in your pregnancy journal

There really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to what your pregnancy journal or diary should have in it. No milestone is too big or too small, but here are some important ones you might want to keep track of:

  • When and how you first found out that you are pregnant
  • When and how you told your family and friends
  • The first time you heard the baby’s heartbeat
  • The first time you felt your baby kick
  • Your list of potential baby names
  • Your baby shower or sprinkle

Your pregnancy diary after the baby has arrived

As most new parents can attest, there isn’t time for much once your baby has arrived. That said, many people like to continue their journal to document the first year of their baby’s life. This is a great time to start a personalized baby keepsake book to record your baby’s first food, first steps, first tooth, and the hundreds of other incredible firsts that will happen along the way.

Ready to get started on your pregnancy journal? Our free desktop software, BookWright can help. Learn more today !

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The Best Pregnancy Journals For Recording Your Bump-To-Baby Journey (And Even Beyond!)

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

best pregnancy journals

Pregnancy journals — or planners, diaries, or scrapbooks — are a wonderful way to document and reflect on this momentous time in your (or a loved one’s) life. From the time you crunch numbers on a due date calculator to the development of the “third-trimester waddle,” pregnancy can feel like it goes on forever — especially if you’re dealing with some uncomfortable symptoms . But here’s the thing: It’s not forever. In fact, it will be over before you know it and the whole experience can feel like a blur amid the excitement and anxiety. That’s why having a journal to keep track of all the memories and milestones is a pregnancy essential , because one day, you’ll look back and cherish them. And if it’s not you who’s pregnant but someone special in your life is, keep in mind that the best pregnancy journal would make a fantastic present for expecting moms .

Keep the memories and mementos from these precious months organized and preserved forever with one of these great pregnancy journals , pregnancy diaries, and pregnancy scrapbooks. You’ll end up with a keepsake you (and your future baby) will treasure forever. Open it to relive your journey from bump to baby whenever you like — minus the back pain and acid reflux!

Pregnancy Planners

Bloom Daily New Pregnancy and Baby's First Year Calendar Planner & Keepsake Journal

This keepsake journal would be a beautiful gift for either an expecting friend or yourself. Jot down all of your memories in separate segments, which include “We're Pregnant,” “Medical Log,” First Trimester, Second Trimester and Third Trimester,” and “Baby's First Year.” This would make a great keepsake to look back on, especially if you’re enjoying pregnancy.

One Reviewer Says: “This book is amazing! It has everything, I was looking at different journals they had one for pregnancy, then another book for baby then another book for keeping on track with exercise. This book has everything. It has nice tabs to jump to different sections. They have a list to fill out to keep on track of baby shower gifts, what to pack in the hospital bag, what to avoid eating, it has so much information. Spots for pictures. You really just fill in the blanks”

The First-Time Mom's Pregnancy Journal

Every pregnancy is different — but the first one is extra special. Consider this book to be your pregnancy pal — it has trimester checklists, a section to help brainstorm the perfect baby name, and even a scrapbook section to help you save those incredible ultrasound photos.

One Reviewer Says: “I took a chance because this was one of the more affordable journals, and I hit the jackpot! This journal is extremely thorough and has room for pictures, includes [a] checklist and information from week to week, and has lots of journaling information and even activities each month! I recommend this to anybody who is expecting a baby! And it's much thicker and sturdier than I ever expected. It is perfect for documenting all of the important events along the way during my pregnancy.”

Pregnancy Journal Books

Pearhead My Pregnancy Journal

If you’ve been thinking about writing an actual book about your pregnancy, this Pearhead journal makes it even more simple. Starting with a table of contents, you can easily page through special moments of your pregnancy that you want to look back on. Available in seven different designs, you can even choose a similar-yet-different book for each pregnancy.

One Reviewer Says: “I bought this for my daughter who is expecting her first child. This journal is so well done and laid out. It is not a huge-sized journal like she had found at some of the big box bookstores its perfect for her to take with her and write her thoughts and feelings about her pregnancy and [a] great spot to add pictures and keepsakes. She loves that it starts from the time of taking your first pregnancy test all the way until delivery. What a great memory keepsake.”

As You Grow: A Modern Memory Book for Baby

If you want a pregnancy journal that’s incredibly well designed, then As You Grow might be the right match for you. This journal is also special since it goes all the way up to year five. There’s also ample space to write letters to your child.

One Reviewer Says: “ I’ve seriously never seen a more sweet baby book. This book goes all the way from a family tree, to finding out about the pregnancy, milestones, first holidays and seasons up to five years old!! It has pockets every so often and little spots for pictures. I am obsessed. The calligraphy and modern pictures are beautiful on the pages.”

Pregnancy Diaries

Expecting You — A Keepsake Pregnancy Journal

This keepsake journal is meant to be carried with you. You can throw it in a purse or bag, and take it out whenever a thought strikes. Since baby kicks (and nausea) can happen anywhere, who knows when you’ll be inspired to jot things down?

One Reviewer Says: “My sister is expecting her [first] baby and the dad is not involved. I decided to find her a journal since she likes writing. She is 3 months in and really enjoys writing to her baby in the journal. She cried when I gave it to her and still talks about how helpful it has been to document the milestones. The greatest thing about this journal compared to others I looked at is that it is inclusive. A single mom can use it and not be reminded that the father isn't involved because it doesn't include "Mommy and Daddy" titles. What a great concept!”

Expecting: The Black Woman's Pregnancy Diary

This book is a must-have if you’re looking for some inspiration for how to plan your pregnancy. It includes trackers, a hospital bag checklist, a doctors appointment tracker, and even gives some guidance on what to eat during your pregnancy.

One Reviewer Says: “My daughter loves her journal. It has helped her keep track of belly size , maternity pictures, and journal weekly. She is truly excited.”

Pregnancy Scrapbooks

Unconditional Rosie How Big Is My Baby

Sometimes, the hardest thing about getting journals is remembering to fill them up. Luckily, this one from Unconditional Rosie has bright colorful pages that’ll inspire you to keep writing. Prompts help you remember when you learned you were expecting, and will help guide you as to how big your baby is month by month.

One Reviewer Says: “Wonderful gift for my daughter and our first grandchild! Love the detailed pages.”

Vienrose Photo Album

This one’s for the parent-to-be who’s always colored outside the lines. Create your own pregnancy scrapbook without the constraints of prefab prompts using this blank album — which is popular, highly-reviewed, and accessibly priced. Acid-free pages protect from oxidation, and a linen cover (available in 12 colors) makes it look as important and fancy as its contents deserve.

One Reviewer Says: “This is a great quality photo album for the price! I bought it keep sentimental notes in, and it serves its purpose very well. The pages are easy to use and have a good amount of adhesive, but I'm still able to easily reposition even thin papers without damage. There's room to add more pages, but I have yet to try that feature, myself. Overall, it's very well designed and exceeded my expectations in both appearance and functionality. I'd definitely purchase this again!”

Studio Oh! Guided Pregnancy Journal

One of the coolest parts of this pregnancy journal is the “Namestorm” page, where you can see what names your partner preferred, and which ones you liked. For a child, that’ll be fun to look at down the road. There are plenty of prompts for either you or your partner, and the book itself is so well done that you’ll want to check out the company for other milestone journals down the road.

One Reviewer Says: “I purchased this book as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I wanted to be able to capture all that I was feeling throughout my pregnancy. This book could not be more perfect! It provides prompts relevant to both mom and dad from prepregnancy to delivery, family history/tree, calendars, what to expect, some advice, and it even has space for a few pics and memorabilia. My husband and I would definately buy this again for a friend's first pregnancy. It helps to relieve any jitters, and it's very gender neutral. Love!”

The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly

Pregnancy is a wonderful thing, but it can also be scary at times. Use the humor in this book title to try and remember that the whole process can be... strange. With this book, you can bookmark what your bump looked like throughout the pregnancy.

One Reviewer Says: “The prompts/questions were by far the best of all the books I saw. I also like that the book is organized by weeks, not months, and has space for belly bump pictures and ultrasound photos. There is a page for each prenatal visit and for each week. There are also other pages regarding how we told family, etc. I feel like this book covers all the essentials in a fun yet diplomatic way.”

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This article was originally published on April 13, 2021

my pregnancy journey is not easy

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