First-time expectant mothers are usually found surveying the maternity rack in the local supermarket or trying to get hold of any online resource that would help them calm down during overwhelming circumstances. Books guide well, but sometimes. Each pregnancy varies from the rest, so you never know what to believe. One piece of information can contradict the next. What worked for one mother may or may not work for the majority.

Filtering through personal and digital maternal advice is exhausting and downright frustrating. In order to make the situation less difficult than it already is for soon to be mothers, here is a list of the important and most basic things they can do to make their nine months easy and productive:

11 Things on an Expectant Mom’s To-Do List

Practice, practice and practice!

1. Get the know-how of pregnancy

The main concern with pregnancy is its unpredictability. You might think you will have a normal birth but end up undergoing C-section. The baby could also be early, could be born en route to the hospital and a number of other complications can occur.

As a mom-to-be, make this stressful experience as comforting as possible by learning everything there is to know about pre-birth, during birth and post-birth processes. Most medical professionals advise future moms to take up birthing classes where instructors answer all kinds of questions the pregnant women may have.

2. Pre-birth practice promises ease

Learning to take care of the baby is another important task for an expecting mother. If it’s your first time, with zero experience on parenting, get yourself enrolled in infant-care classes during the first few months. Yes, changing diapers on a plastic doll baby is going to prepare you for the real deal in the future.

3. Birthing emergency test

Your birthing-practice is bound to be incomplete without this task. Whether you are planning to deliver in a hospital or at home, make sure you and your partner know where to go, to avoid wasting time or getting lost when the time comes. Give a false birthing alarm to test him. Get family and friends involved in the task too, just in case.

The pre-birth relationship

4. Read to your unborn

Form a relationship with your baby before it enters the world. Try reading aloud to familiarize it with your voice. It is never too early to share a story with your child. In fact, early conversation will affect the way your baby thinks about you while it is still developing. Grab your favourite children’s stories and start reading.

Read to your unborn

5. The bonding massage

The art of touch is key to form an initial bond with your baby, while it is still resting inside you. After the 20th week of pregnancy, the baby’s nervous system is mature enough to feel your touch. Get your essential oils and gently massage your belly to your heart’s content.

6. Play some music

Babies respond well to talk and touch but some gentle music and singing may get an even better reaction. Singing to your baby bump will increase the production of serotonin and other happy hormones in the child’s body. You’re free to use instrumental tunes if you think you’re not much of a singer; although a mother’s voice will always matter the most.

A close check on food

7. A healthy, balanced diet

It is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet while you’re pregnant. You might experience severe hunger pangs during the three trimesters, but it is not always necessary to ‘eat for two’. Excess eating leads to gaining of excess fat which can cause problems later on.

Aim to eat healthy with only a third part consisting of starch-based foods such as cereals, bread, potatoes and pasta. Include plenty of fiber in your meals by eating wholegrain bread to elevate the metabolic process. Lean meat such as fish and chicken are good sources of protein; essential for baby’s development. Also add plenty of fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and green tea. If you like more flavourful drinks, you can also try herbal fruit teas such as breathe easy tea.

8. Caffeine is a no

Excessive intake of caffeine can contribute to premature birth or in some cases, miscarriage. Taking under 200 mg of caffeine a day is considered generally safe for pregnant women. Try to calm the untimely coffee/tea cravings with healthier substitutions like fruits and veggies or opt for decaffeinated green tea.

Stay stress-free

9. Light exercise does wonder

While there shouldn’t be any unnecessary strains during the nine-month pregnancy period, it is quite important to stay active as you and your baby both need exercise. Go to the park and take a few rounds in those new pairs of sneakers; keeping track of the movements on your phone app. This will help you establish a routine and keep your motivated.

Prenatal Yoga: Every pregnant woman should try this

10. Yoga and meditation

The moment the doctor breaks news to you about pregnancy, get ready to sweep away stress and worries from the house, along with anybody who becomes a cause for your anxiety. The developing child can feel the slightest bit of stress you may have since it can feel everything you do.

Learn to practice patience through meditation and perhaps some light yoga. Yoga acts as a relief mechanism and tranquilizes restlessness. If you’re still in the early months of the pregnancy, go on a yoga retreat to an exotic location as a treat to yourself. It could turn out to be one of the most amazing and memorable experiences for you and your partner.

11. Get plenty of rest and sleep

Be selfish when it comes to taking care of yourself when expecting a child. Rest as much as you can. Don’t stand if you can sit, don’t sit if you can lie down. Your body is in constant flux throughout the pregnancy and therefore, the more rest and sleep you get, the better.

As an expecting mother, you should remain extra careful while reading or receiving pregnancy advice. Things that suit other women might be unsuitable for you and your child. Take it slowly. Remember to consult your caregiver before making any changes to your routine

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