Have you recently found yourself staring at a positive pregnancy test? First, congratulations! Second, I'm sorry for all the unsolicited advice you just signed yourself up for.
It's very possible by now you've heard or read a lot of popular pregnancy tips, like using a hair elastic to make your jeans a size bigger, or the importance of finding a good body pillow.
I'm here to give you some equally helpful unsolicited advice that you may not have heard already.
- Buy pads. Now. I detest pads and pantyliners, but they are a fact of life during and after pregnancy. For sure, you'll need them postpartum, but we don't talk as much about needing them while pregnant. I spotted for nine weeks with my first pregnancy. It was terrifying ... and gross. The morning I started spotting, I was so scared, and the last thing I wanted to do was drive to the store to get pads. Later, I put them to use to keep from embarrassing myself in public when I sneezed. Or laughed too hard. Or moved too quickly.
- Buy fat clothes. Or "transition clothes," same thing. When you get too bloated for your regular clothes, but are still swimming in maternity clothes, think about what you can use after you have the baby. Buy tops and pants a size or two bigger (or maternity clothes that transition well) that will also work nine months out. Think breastfeeding-friendly, if that's a route you plan to go, and avoid sweaters if your baby is due in July or shorts if your baby is due in January.
- Pack a puke in public kit. You might not even actually puke in public, but just in case, keep a bag with you that's filled with: a toothbrush, toothpaste, facial wipes, hard candy, ponytail wrapper, a small towel, a plastic bag, and extra underwear. And on that underwear note ...
- Always pee before you brush your teeth. Because your gag reflex and pregnant bladder aren't friends.
- Keep a large empty cup in your car cup holder. Back to the puking for just a minute- this was a tip a friend shared with me because traffic will not part if you have to puke.
- Embrace the recliner. Maybe your grandpa has one you can borrow, or you see one for sale on Craigslist, or perhaps one of your previously pregnant friends has one you can borrow. Get yourself a recliner, girl. Because at 7 months pregnant, you will not care what is taking up space in your living room as long as it provides you sweet relief from waking up, gagging on your own stomach acid. (I'm sorry there's so many references to gagging and puking in this post. Pregnancy is gross.)
- Find out where the good ice is sold in bulk. If you are the ice-craving type while pregnant, you know of this ice that I speak of. It's that crumbly, soft but crunchy kind. Once you find it, do not be too proud to ask if you can buy a bag of it. I've heard Sonic will sell it by the pound.
- Have a safe word for when you're an emotional mess. Prepare your partner for the very real possibility that you're going to become an irrational, volatile wreck probably more than once while pregnant (and definitely after you have the baby). Come up with a way to express to them in that moment of emotional chaos that you are not able to convey rational thoughts. In theory, you speak the safe word, perhaps it's "LEAVE" or "ICE CREAM" or "MASSAGE MY FEET AND DO NOT SPEAK" -- you can have a safe phrase, I think. Anyway, you say it and they just know to quit trying to reason with you.
I'm telling you, I wish I'd have done this for my last pregnancy because we nearly got divorced on Christmas Eve over frozen lasagna. True story.
Now, feel free to not listen to any of that advice, as it is your right to do with all unsolicited advice while pregnant. Except I really strongly urge you to at least consider the recliner. And the safe word. Just give it some thought.
Image via Jill Krause