1. Get off your butt and exercise
You can probably think of a hundred different excuses not to exercise, but look at the advantages: fewer aches and pains, boosted mood, healthy weight gain (meaning less general sense of yuck in the third trimester), and an easier and faster labor. They’re all totally worth the effort. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day (of course you can take a couple days off here and there) to really reap the benefits, and choose the types of workouts that make you happy.
2. Give in and get the body pillow
Partners hate them, but you’ll love yours. Especially once you pass the midway point of pregnancy, it will get harder and harder to find a sleeping position that’s actually restful (especially if you’re a former back or stomach sleeper). A body pillow bends and flexes to support you where you need it most — like your back or between your thighs — and makes sleeping on your side much more bearable.
3. Splurge on a pedicure
There’s nothing like a massage and elevation to ease tired feet. And it won’t bother you quite so much that they’re swollen if your toenails are freshly painted. (And yes, as long as you’re sitting somewhere ventilated, a pedicure is fine.)
4. Get your om on
Not only is yoga a proven stress-reducer, its breathing and relaxation techniques may help you manage pain if you use them during labor. Plus, if you take a prenatal class, there’s a whole room full of mom-to-be friends to make. (Avoid hot yoga and potentially dangerous poses, like the upward bow, inverting your body or anything on one leg — because your center of gravity changes during pregnancy, you risk falling.)
5. Do the birth class
The mere thought of having to get baby out can bring on stress, but if you know what’s likely to happen — and have some tools to get through it — you won’t near your due date with a ton of anxiety. Tack on a newborn care class and a tour of the maternity ward and you’ll have even more confidence.
6. Go clothes shopping
There’s something to be said for retail therapy — and not having to wear leggings and oversize tees every day for the next few months. Use your changing body as a free pass to your own mini shopping spree. And don’t be afraid to splurge a little. A few high-quality pieces that make you feel good (and will grow with your bump) are worth the extra investment.
7. Explore the snack world
You should get a bonus 300 to 500 calories during the second and third trimesters, and while they should come from two or three healthy snacks per day (skip the Doritos), there’s no reason they shouldn’t be delicious. We recommend Nutella and strawberries on toast or Greek yogurt with honey and cinnamon. Healthy snacking will keep your energy level up, your mood swings down and pack an extra punch of nutrition for baby.
8. Stop complaining you’re tired and take naps
We’re willing to bet a midday snooze hasn’t really been part of your schedule since your college days. But now you have a good reason to slip back under the covers. Your rising progesterone levels can lead to more daytime sleepiness, and sometimes the only way to feel less tired is to get more sleep (and enjoy it while you can).
9. Have a gender reveal party
If you’re having a baby shower, you probably don’t have much say in the agenda. But a gender reveal is a simpler shindig you get to plan. Whether you want your friends to vote on baby’s gender, shower them with pink or blue confetti, or cut into a pink or blue cake, it’s a fun bash without the pressure of presents — and no cheesy party games (unless you want them).
10. Photograph it
Especially if you don’t like being in the spotlight, your gut reaction might be to hide from the cameras as your belly grows. But take a few selfies at each stage. We’re willing to bet you’ll like seeing your new curves on camera (and experimenting with props and photo filters) — and may get mildly addicted to scrolling through them to really see how you’ve changed from month to month. (Use our app to keep track of all the pics you take on your phone!) This is a time you’re definitely going to want to look back on after baby arrives.
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