18 Actually Helpful Pregnancy Tips From Moms Who've Been There

Wendy Robinson | Sep 15, 2017 Pregnancy

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iStock.com/Dean Mitchell

We all know that there is nothing that attracts unwanted advice more than the sight of a pregnant belly. I know I got my fair share of outdated, rude, or even dangerous advice throughout my pregnancy. Strangers mean well, but they aren't always the most "in the know" when it comes to the latest in safe pregnancy practices. Luckily, I also got some really helpful tips too, usually from my close friends who were already moms.

When you're struggling through the hardest parts of pregnancy, there's nothing better than knowing your loved ones have your back. I'll always be grateful for the friends who gave me good advice, supported me, and showed me that everything was going to turn out okay, no matter what I was going through. Pregnancy can be an exhausting and emotional time for any woman, but it's important to know you're truly never alone.

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In the spirit of sharing thoughtful advice and helpful tips, I rounded up the very best advice given to pregnant moms by their family and friends. Their tips, from everyone from grandmas-to-be to lifelong besties, are so useful that I just had to share. Click through for 18 brilliant pieces of advice that helped real moms get through pregnancy.

  • Say Yes

    1

    "My sister-in-law gave me both good advice AND a massage gift card! She said that you should always say yes if you get the chance to get a prenatal massage. Self-care is important!" -- Mallory E., Hermantown, Minnesota

  • You Do You

    2

    "The best advice I ever heard was in an email from an experienced mom friend. She told me: 'Don't let other women's idea of a 'good' pregnancy or a 'good' birth make you feel like you're a failure in any way. You are doing what is best for you, your baby, and your family. Whatever that process looks like is right. Wrongness in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is a ridiculous construct that just harms people. You do you and be proud of yourself for it.'" -- Larkin D., Mendota Heights, Minnesota

  • Keep It on the Down-Low

    3

    "The best advice I ever got was to keep our baby name private until the baby was born. People have so many dang opinions about names and they are less likely to say something rude once the baby is actually born." -- Helena S., Santa Fe, New Mexico

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  • The No-Plan Birth Plan

    4

    "Here's my best advice from my mom friends regarding birth: Don't stress the whole birth plan thing. I didn't like being asked to write a birth plan as it seemed like the least predictable thing I'd yet to experience. I called it my birth preferences and felt more true to that. If you keep yourself open to the experience, you can have a 'good birth' in a million different ways." -- Jessica W., Tucson, Arizona

  • Take a Babymoon

    5

    "I thought the whole idea of a 'babymoon' trip was kind of dumb but my older sister totally sold me on the idea. We ended up going away for a really great trip a few weeks before the baby came and it was so nice to go into that crazy time feeling like we were extra connected." -- Cheryl R., Macon, Georgia

  • Fit for Baby

    6

    "Fitness is really important to me but I worried a lot about how to stay fit and not hurt the baby. Thankfully, I work out at a CrossFit box with lots of moms and I got great advice about how to modify my workouts in a safe way. The best advice was to listen to my body and trust my own instincts when it comes to when to slow down." -- Sarah T., Denver, Colorado

  • Just Buy It

    7

    "I was shopping when I was pregnant and fell in love with the cutest outfit but wasn't going to get it because it was kind of pricey and not at all practical. An older lady in the store told me that I should buy at least one totally impractical outfit that I just loved because being a mom is hard and one of the bright spots is getting to chose tiny, cute, and ridiculous outfits. I think she's right!" -- Martha D., Bloomington, Indiana

  • Do Tell -- If You Want To

    8

    "I was so excited to be pregnant that I wanted to shout it from the rooftops but I also felt like I had to follow the whole 12-week rule. My best friend was like 'Dude, there are no rules. Tell if you want to. This is your experience.' I felt like that was freeing!" -- Zoey D., Duluth, Minnesota

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  • Smile!

    9

    "Everyone, EVERYONE, told me to do a maternity photo shoot and I didn't for my first pregnancy. I ended up having such regret about that because I only have two pictures from that whole experience. When I found out that I was pregnant with my second, I booked a shoot right away. I love those photos." -- Heidi R., Manhattan, Kansas

  • All the Love

    10

    "It sounds so cliché, but I totally worried that I wouldn't love my second baby as much as I loved my first. But my cousin, who has seven (!) kids, told me to not to worry about it and to just enjoy the last of my one-on-one time with my daughter. She was totally right; when my son arrived, the love came too." -- Annie N., Edina, Minnesota 

  • What a Pain

    11

    "My sister-in-law was my pregnancy guru. She was such a chill pregnant lady and is a great mom. Her best advice was to stop working a few weeks before the baby was due. She was totally right that I'd be too uncomfortable sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day and that the extra time to nest would be good for my mental health." -- Jordan S., Los Angeles, California

  • Don't Compare

    12

    "My best friend's advice was to chill on [using] social media. She reminded me that each mom's journey is her own, so really try to resist comparison. Take a social media break when you need to. Sometimes I felt like when things get hard the array of adorably perfect stories and pictures all over Facebook just made me harder on myself." -- Ruthie D., Spokane, Washington

  • Horror Stories

    13

    "Let me tell you some good advice that my mom told me: Everyone will want to tell you their horror stories. Don't listen to them. This is your pregnancy and your body and your baby; it's going to be unique to you. Be gentle and loving. Hard doesn't even begin to describe what your journey will be, but I do mean that in the best way possible. All the feels. Rest and give your body time to heal. Get lots of help." -- Alba V., Austin, Texas

  • Brutal Truth

    14

    "I'm gonna say what my doctor (who is also my friend) told me: There is no way to prevent stretch marks. If you can't prevent them, it isn't your fault, it's just genetics. So don't buy the expensive creams and stuff." -- Jillian D., Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • All the Pillows

    15

    "My friend clued me into the wonder that is the pregnancy body pillow. Get it. Get all the pillows. Sleep during your pregnancy is so key." -- Desi L., Lyndon, Washington

  • Just Add Water

    16

    "My aunt told me to get a pool membership and a bikini and screw anyone who gives you a side eye for rocking your belly. Being in water feels sooo good when you are pregnant." -- Pattie D., Des Moines, Iowa

  • We're All Winging It

    17

    "Are you ready? This is the big secret. The one no one tells you: 

    NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING. EVERYONE IS WINGING IT. 

    It might SEEM like other people are prepared and organized and have their sh*t together. They don't. They're just guessing and trying their best, like you. And sighing with relief when they made it through another day.

    My best friend told me all this when I was having a pregnancy meltdown. Game-changing advice for someone who is anxious like me." -- Laurie T., Phoenix, Arizona

  • Eat Up

    18

    "My mother-in-law told me to embrace the pregnancy cravings and food aversions and just to eat what sounded good. She is a super health-nut person, and it made me feel better knowing she wasn't judging me for my nightly bowls of ice cream." -- Bonnie D., Saint Paul, Minnesota

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