15 Ways to Have a Great Pregnancy
1. Edit your "to do" list.
The often overwhelming pressure to manage pregnancy and do it right -- eat well, exercise, kick butt at work, be attentive to your family and friends -- can wreak havoc on your emotions, says Diane Sanford, Ph.D., president of the Women's Healthcare Partnership in St. Louis. Sanford advises letting go of everything on your to-do list that isn't urgent: "Choose your top priority. Get that done, then put the list away for the day."
2. Spread the joy.
The more loved ones involved in your pregnancy, the more rewarding it will be, says Shari E. Brasner, M.D., the New York City author of Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician: An Insider's Guide. "Have your partner, or someone else who's close to you, come to doctor visits with you. A lot of women now come in with their mothers." If your partner or mother is away, don't feel shy about bringing anyone else who helps you feel at ease, like a sister or an old friend. Creating a welcoming atmosphere now, and letting the important people in your life enjoy the anticipation too, will form the support structure that will get you through the rougher moments of parenting to come.
3. Take pictures.
Though your pregnancy may feel eternal, in the scheme of things, it lasts a relatively short time. Memories of it will fade fast, eclipsed by the drama of childbirth and intensity of motherhood. Even if you don't think you'll be interested in revisiting your pregnancy in photos, trust us, your kids will. Have your partner document each month's changes to your body with a photo, taken in the same location, wearing something that shows your shape, like a unitard. You'll delight your kids, their kids, and even yourself. And it's nice to have a friend snap a few candids of you and your partner together now and then so that your children can see how much you've always loved each other -- and them -- before they were even born.