Pregnant woman walking with her friend.

8 Things Every Pregnant Woman Should Do At Least Once

As your due date gets progressively closer, time seems like it’s flying by. With all of the essential to-do list items getting scheduled, it can seem like there’s no time for anything else. However, before you know it, you’ll be adjusting to life with a newborn and free time will be a thing of the past. Between making sure that your car seat is properly installed, attending prenatal visits with your doctor, and preparing for your delivery, try to make some time to enjoy your pregnancy. At the very least, do something that helps you relax or marvel at the beauty of bringing a new life into the world. To give you some ideas, here are eight things that every pregnant woman should do at least once.


1. Attend a Prenatal Class

While prenatal classes are a great way to prepare you for birth while enjoying the pregnancy experience, a lot of new moms are hesitant to join. Birthing classes take up a large portion of your schedule and are helpful in learning about the delivery process, but prenatal classes are additional options for you to develop new friendships, stay active, and help keep your mindset in a positive place.

There are great options for prenatal exercise classes at local community centers and even some gyms. Do a little research and attend at least one class. You might surprise yourself and discover a new hobby or, at the very least, a fun way to boost your endorphins. As an added bonus, you’ll help your baby’s social circle grow, as you’ll be surrounded by other women progressing through their pregnancy with you.

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2. Go on a Shopping Spree

During the early months of your pregnancy when you’re still feeling active and full of energy, show yourself some love with a shopping spree. Go to your favorite stores and head to the maternity section to find clothes that you’ll be able to grow into. This can help boost your confidence when your belly bump extends, and you no longer fit into your favorite blouse or pair of jeans. There are some extremely fashionable items in the maternity department, so don’t be afraid to express yourself and develop your pregnancy style. If you want, start picking up things for your baby now as well. Avoid buying anything you plan to put on your baby shower list to avoid getting duplicates.


3. Splurge on a Prenatal Massage

Prenatal massages can help promote circulation, encourage relaxation, and provide you with some much-needed stress relief during your pregnancy. Find a licensed massage therapist who is experienced in prenatal massages to ensure that your spa trip is safe, and pregnancy approved. If you’re unsure about getting a full body massage, make an appointment for a foot massage, get your nails done, or spend an hour or two in a warm—never too hot—bubble bath. Always make sure that your massage therapist has the proper certifications to ensure that your undergoing safe relaxation and try to avoid any added chemicals or perfumes.


4. Experience a Babymoon with Your Partner

Babymoons are growing in popularity, and for good reason. Your pregnancy marks the last few months that you and your partner will be completely alone. Once you deliver—even after your children turn 18—you’ll always be thinking about them in some capacity. If it’s feasible, go away for a full week or a weekend with your partner and enjoy yourselves. Similar to your honeymoon, your babymoon should be all about spending quality time with each other and reinvigorating the connection that you have. If you’re not able to go away for a full week or weekend, schedule date nights regularly throughout your pregnancy. Date nights don’t have to be an elaborate dinner at a fancy restaurant somewhere, a night where you both unplug your phones and binge watch your favorite television show or movie can have the same effect.

For those that do decide to plan a trip, make sure that your destination is somewhere safe for your pregnancy. Look at CDC travel advisories and avoid destinations where Zika outbreaks are active, as it can affect fetal development. Schedule your trip for a time when it’s still safe to travel—between 18 to 24 weeks is considered the safest according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Avoid long haul flights and always make sure that you discuss your plans with your OB/GYN or doctor before leaving and while you’re away. Enjoying yourself is important, but safety should always come first.


5. Take a Girls Trip

Once the baby comes, you’re not going to have much of a social life. While your friends and families will be eager to meet your little one, girl’s nights won’t be the same as they once were. Talk to your close friends about setting up a weekend getaway in a nearby city or planning an extravagant dinner or social event nearby. You don’t have to do something completely adventurous or out of the box but spending some time with your friends can help alleviate stress, promote relaxation, and help you balance hormones when you’re feeling a little out of it.


6. Have a Photo Shoot

Professional maternity shoots are growing in popularity and provide you with memories that you’ll cherish forever. Photographers who are experienced in maternity pictures have a knack for highlighting all of your best angles, even when you don’t feel like you’re radiating beauty. Even if you’ve never considered it, ask around for some recommendations and make some inquiries. You can schedule a solo photo shoot where it’s just you and your growing belly or invite your significant other to join in on the fun. You’d be amazed at the results, and you’ll continue to look back at the pictures for years. Plus, once your baby is a little older, you can share these pictures and continue reliving the memories.


7. Indulge in Your Cravings

It’s well known that pregnancy brings about a slew of different cravings and while it’s important to stay healthy, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while. From time to time, listen to what your body wants and take the time to enjoy these snacks but avoid eating or drinking anything that could harm your baby’s development. Since it’s unlikely that you’ll be eating in peace for a while, set up a snack station and plant yourself on the couch to really enjoy your treats.

However, don’t give in to your cravings all the time. It can be easy to justify eating more when you’re pregnant, but your body only needs an extra 300 calories a day. These calories should come from nutrient dense foods that are filled with healthy fats, lean protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Junk food can quickly add caloric count, but will bring you no additional nutritional value, which is necessary for healthy fetal development. If you’re worried about your diet, or are having a hard time with your cravings, talk to your doctor.


8. Take Some Time for Yourself

Regardless of your schedule, try to carve out some time where you can be alone and enjoy a quiet moment. Engage in your favorite hobbies, spend the day reading a new book, or explore nearby neighborhoods. When the baby comes, your alone time is going to be severely limited, which can be a difficult adjustment. By prioritizing your time alone now, you’ll be able to adapt more easily after delivery.

While enjoying your alone time, don’t feel like you always have to be moving or doing something productive. Taking some time to sit back and do nothing is completely acceptable and even encouraged. Doing so will soon become a rare luxury, so never feel like you’re doing something wrong if you find yourself on the couch for hours binge watching your favorite documentaries.

It doesn’t matter whether you accomplish every item on this list or just a few, taking time to do things that bring you joy during your pregnancy can help you prepare for your journey into motherhood. During all of your preparations, don’t forget to educate yourself on all of the breastfeeding basics so you’ll be ready to start nursing after delivery. To help you supplement your feedings, breast pumping is a great option. That’s why Byram Healthcare carries a wide range of insurance covered breast pumps that are available to new and expecting moms with zero out of pocket costs. To learn more about your options and get started with the ordering process, check out our breast pump comparison guide today.