For some women, those 40 weeks of pregnancy fly by. For others, they slow to a crawl. Either way, once baby is here, the last thing you want is to look back and be filled with regrets about how you spent your precious time and energy. To help you make the most of pregnancy, we asked moms who’ve been through it all what advice they had for first-timers. Here’s what they said.
Fight Off Nausea With Snacks
“Keep a snack, like saltines or pretzels, handy at all times—in your purse, in the car, on your nightstand. Hunger would come over me quickly and unexpectedly, and before I knew it, I was nauseated from being so hungry.” — Rawa1416
Don’t Ask the Internet About Your Symptoms
“Do not consult doctor Google.” — JaymeeLH
Spend Quality Time with Family
“If I could do it all again, I would tell myself to spend more time with my husband. I may have been tired back then, but I’m way more tired now.” — Anna R.
You Don’t Need to Document Every Moment
“Don't beat yourself up if you don't take pictures every week or chronicle every second of your pregnancy, like others do. I only took a picture about once a month in the beginning because it was way more fun to see the BIG differences.” — DEdwards83
Grow a Thick Skin
“Prepare yourself for rude comments from ignorant people.” — Elena L.
Stick to Healthy Eating Habits
“Take the saying ‘you’re eating for two’ a little less seriously the first trimester. LOL” — Molly H.
Map Out a Budget
“Not all jobs have paid maternity leave. You can have too many shoes, but you can’t have enough time off with your baby. Save more money!” — Liz D.
Take a Load Off
“Take time to rest—it's exhausting creating a new life and a whole new organ (placenta)! Let yourself rest, and ask for help if you have someone who could help.” — Lilwatz
Don’t Hesitate to Call Your Doctor
“Never feel like your questions are silly. Call the nurses at your office as often as you need. It’s their job to care for you, no matter how silly it may seem.” — awillis13
Work Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
“Do kegels! My best friend is 38 weeks and said she's the only pregnant person she knows who hasn't accidentally peed herself! She started early and does them everyday. I've also read they really help with delivery and recovery.” — ericalself
Learn About Breastfeeding
“Read up on breastfeeding, because it's a lot harder than it seems. My nurse always told me to do the research for labor and birth, but when it comes down to it, that's one day. Breastfeeding (depending on your goals) is everyday after that, and having a good base knowledge and who to get ahold of if you’re having trouble is not something you want to 'wing' when the time comes.” — MrsN092714
“Move, even when you don't want to. The more fit you are, the easier the whole process is going to be. Squats are your best friend. You wanna be nice and strong and limber down there. Walking, dancing (I like Zumba—it's really fun and gets your happy hormones going), sex, whatever! Just do something every day.” — MissKrisBliss
Freeze Meals Ahead of Time
“To save your sanity—and possibly your marriage—stockpile and freeze some meals that you can make ahead, or gather up some very simple frozen or minimal-prep meals for after the baby arrives. Recovery can be tough, and you’ll appreciate for the first couple weeks just being able to turn the oven on and throw something in.” — Dcwtada
Relax and Enjoy Your Pregnancy
“Stress does you no good, so as hard as it may be, try not to stress over everything and instead enjoy the pregnancy ride.” — Yamrwhite
Updated November 2017