You may have heard that some of the most popular internet searches are about pregnancy. I know I have contributed to the growing number of searches myself. When I had morning sickness, hearing others' stories made it more bearable. When I feared I sometimes gained too much or too little, I wanted to hear that others were just like me.
While I am grateful that I could rely on virtual nurses, pregnancy experts, and expectant mothers, I will probably most remember hearing from my real life friends, family and medical professionals. Their advice is not likely something I would google or read much about and above all, these tidbits come from those I trust.
Advice from my mom:
Do squats. She believes these were the best exercises to prepare for labor.
During the last few weeks, don't worry too much about your cervical dilation and effacement. She doesn't think I should be too excited to go from 1 centimeter dilated and 40% effaced to 2 centimeters and 50% effaced. She reminded me that I could easily stay at 2 centimeters for weeks, like my sister did.
Advice from my sister:
Don't get a fancy diaper bag. This surprised me coming from someone who works for a beauty and fashion magazine and has a handbag collection that includes Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Fendi and Celine. She preferred to not feel guilty about getting her $50 Skip Hop bag a little gross.
Advice from my mother in law:
Be prepared for playtime. She reminded me to register for an activity mat. And while I thought my basket full of small toys, rattles and animals seemed abundant, she believes a big toy stockpile is your friend. My husband and I also learned about Tupperware from our mother and father's friends. Who knew that plastic food were also designed to keep babies and toddlers entertained?
Advice from a birthing nurse:
Whenever you have a free moment, make and freeze a casserole. I thought her advice would be more about birthing, but she really wanted to let me know how little free time I am about to have and a freezer full of healthy home cooked food will be invaluable in the first few weeks.
Advice from my cousin:
Have a cleaning professional on call (or a very good friend). Has any one else been worried that you will go into labor and meanwhile there are dirty dishes in the sink, garbage that needs to be taken out or floors that need to be vacuumed? My cousin recommended that I have someone handy so I don't worry about bringing my newborn home to a chaotic house.
Advice from my doula: Perineum massage. This is something you may want to Google.
Advice from an aunt:
Don't shy away from the camera while pregnant. Your little one will want to see your pregnant belly and what you were up to during this time.
Advice from my traditional (and healthy) Italian aunt:
Eat your lentils. I've been sick of eating meat and fish but know it is important to keep up my protein intake. For the iron, minerals, non-animal protein and fiber, she believes lentils are a must for expectant moms.
Advice from the fellow shopper at Buy Buy Baby:
Get the Mamaroo. I laughed when I saw the futuristic baby swing at the store, but they cared enough to talk to me about it for 10 minutes and convinced me this is a modern day miracle worker. My mother in law graciously got us one (though I am thinking my BabyPlus baby may not need it!).
My favorite advice? Probably from my 90 year old grandmother who has raised 8 kids. It wasn't to me exactly. She rubbed my belly and gave her Italian blessing, "Grow, little one!"