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14 pregnancy tips from women who’ve been there

Pregnant, or planning to be? Check out this advice from the real experts’Canadian moms who’ve been through it, too

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couple

1. Make the most of it

“Enjoy the attention that is focused on just YOU with your first, because by the time you become pregnant with the second, not only will you be running after the first, but no one really seems to care!”
– Nanci, 39

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almonds

2. Be prepared

“Keep a stash of healthy snacks on hand for when you’re queasy. Not eating makes the queasiness worse!”
-Anne, 40

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ultrasound

3. You can’t plan it all

“Prepare for the fact that your birthing experience may not match your birthing plan. Anticipating this can help lessen the grief that some women feel when the birth didn’t go the way they planned. It might sound ‘silly’ to those who don’t experience this, but many women feel traumatized and very sad after giving birth. If, for example, they planned natural childbirth but wound up with a cesarean, this can be difficult to deal with for some women.”
-Ruth, 42

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pregnant woman with child

4. Keep a record

“Document the pregnancy. From the physical to the emotional roller coaster, I found that as my children grew older (and I had more pregnancies), it was nice to have a record of how I was feeling during this period for future comparison and as a way to give my children a piece of their history. This also includes writing letters to the baby in utero-whether she was my first or fourth, it was a nice way to introduce her to myself formally and something to keep for the future.”
-Rozanne, 34

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eggs benedict with salmon

5. Watch what you eat

“There’s a lot more things you CAN’T eat rather than what you can eat… I thought that when I got pregnant I could eat whatever I wanted to, but I ended up having to give up a lot of my favourite foods: raw fish, steak medium rare, eggs Benedict (no runny eggs!), Brie cheese (or any soft cheeses).”
-Stephanie, 28

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pregnant friends

6. Trust your friends

“Don’t listen to strangers’ advice-they’re lying. Just listen to your closest girlfriend-she knows best. And save more money before going on mat leave. Babies are expensive!”
-Rachel, 37

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woman with child shopping

7. Don’t overspend

“You don’t need half the stuff you have the urge to buy. For example, I bought a water temperature thermometer shaped like a boat. That’s in a landfill somewhere, because no plastic product can work better than my elbow!”
-Dana, 41

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midwife

8. Find the right care

“Consider going to a midwife.  Even though I wasn’t able to continue my care with the midwife, the initial experience was fabulous. They had more time and interest than my OB ever did.”
-Anja, 30

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pregnant woman at laptop

9. Take a break

“Don’t work right to the end. I left on a Friday, had the baby on Monday. I don’t recommend it. You can’t be sure you’ll have the baby a week late, as you are usually told. I was exhausted, from schlepping myself to working and then from the baby. Nine months later and I’m still running a sleep debt.”
-Helen, 32

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pregnant woman

10. Take advantage

“Get as much done as you possibly can before you have your first baby. I wish I had done my wedding scrapbook when I was pregnant!”
-Nic, 32

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bio-oil

11. Prevent stretch marks

“Use Bio-Oil every day on the areas that are growing. Not just your bump, but your thighs, breasts, etc… This really helps reduce stretch marks.”
-Kate, 32

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pregnant sex

12. Make time for quality time

“Have sex. LOTS of it. Post-partum sex is almost non-existent because either you are too tired, you have zero libido, or your kid knows exactly when you are about to get it on with your hubby (who has been desperately awaiting the green light) and interrupts with a piercing wail. Pregnancy sex requires more creativity but is way worth it.”
-Jeannine, 31

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pregnant exercise

13. Exercise

“Exercise more. I wasn’t prepared for the extreme zombie-like fatigue of early pregnancy and let it keep me out of the gym. By the time the second trimester rolled around I felt too huge to exercise. And then, in the third trimester, I learned I had gestational diabetes and had to watch everything I ate and boost my activity level to avoid going on insulin (lots of waddling, er, walking). Now I can’t help but wonder if I’d exercised all along if I could have avoided diabetes, the huge (but healthy!) baby it gave me and the C-section he required, and the abdominal diastasis I’m still struggling to repair eight months post-partum. If there’s a next baby, I’m sure going to try it to find out.”
-Jennifer, 34

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pregnant woman with cat

14. Enjoy yourself!

“Take some time to pamper yourself because god knows you won’t have time after the baby comes. I highly recommend fitting in as many massages, pedicures, book store browsing sessions as possible before your baby arrives.”
-Rosalind, 33

What tips do you wish you’d known when you were pregnant? Share them in the comments.

Related:
How to avoid gaining excess pregnancy weight
8 steps to a healthier pregnancy
4 ways to relieve stress during pregnancy