Today I’m sharing a bunch of different apps, videos, books and more that have helped me navigate this pregnancy. I just hit 35 weeks and we are getting close. I find myself trying to get a handle on what the necessities will be without overloading myself or triggering any additional anxiety.
It goes without saying, but if you’re pregnant and finding that anything you’re reading/watching/consuming is making you anxious or stressed out, stop looking at it. What’s important is to find what soothes you, while helping you get the information you need and a clear picture of what’s to come. Just because everyone read, ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting‘ and is recommending it, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the book for you–and that’s okay. Everyone is different, but I know for me personally, I’ve had to keep a really positive circle of people and things around me to manage my mindset of this crazy journey thus far.
With that, let’s jump in…
The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy | I had several books given to me, but mostly they felt really overwhelming and I wasn’t enjoying picking them up (basically, they were causing more stress than comfort). However, The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy was excellent! I laughed, I cried, I felt understood. It’s basically written from a girlfriend’s point of view (via a woman who has four children) and speaks to you as such. While there are many raw and real moments in the book, it’s delivered in a way that is easy to digest and comforting. It’s real in the sense that it walks you through the trimesters and stages of your pregnancy, without sugar coating it, but gives examples of real-life women, and how they were during pregnancy (and hint: it wasn’t glowing) in a really relatable way. I took this book with me on our babymoon and was so sad when I finished it! If you’re looking for an informative read that feels more like a fun novel than an encyclopedia, this is it!
The Bump | This app is uber popular, and there’s a reason why–it’s fun, colourful, easy to digest and provides a lot of information if you want it, or just a few pictures for a snapshot glimpse of what’s happening week by week. I always loved seeing which fruit or vegetable our little guy is and checking out the ‘baby in 3D’ & ‘my body is 3D’ feature. You can also get interactive with the community (I didn’t), read interesting articles, check out food safety, connect your registry and when the time comes, time your contractions.
Ovia | This app is similar to The Bump and you can find all the things I’ve listed above, but you can also track appointments via their connected calendar, name your baby and the one thing I always liked was how you can see how big their hands and feet are each week in comparison to what they will be when born via the outline (see above). Again, I used this app really for the basics of quick facts and to see the fruit/veggie of the week.
Online Pre-Natal Course | About a month ago, Marco suggested we go to a prenatal course. While my Doctors were suggesting the same in previous months, I canvassed my friends and the consensus was usual: waste of time, mostly. That said, I understood where he was coming from and figured we should do it. I started looking for courses around our city, and since it was kind of last minute (typically I think you should do this around month 5 or 6), everything was booked or the class schedules didn’t align with us. A little worried, I turned to YouTube and found this fabulous three-part series! The episodes are about 45 minutes long, and put on by a Midwife who practiced for over 30 years; it’s essentially her being filmed in a classroom setting and you’re there for the ride. So far we have watched two of the three and I can honestly say we have both learned many things and it actually holds our interest! They are an easy watch that incorporate information, tools and even exercises to do with your partner to make labour and delivery as smooth as possible.
As far as everything else, I only recently started watching YouTube videos about packing my hospital bag and preparing for labour. Before this time (35 weeks), I was not ready to digest any of this. I still do not watch any birth or labour videos (with the exception of Shay Mitchell’s, because that was such a great series!), but have been in the delivery room once for a friend giving birth.
That said, there have been a few channels that I’m finding helpful as I prepare for the next stage:
Bridget Teyler, Birth Doula | Bridget is a Doula based in San Francisco and what I instantly loved about her is that she is calm and seemingly puts me at ease through her channel. I’ve learned about hypnobirthing/breathing techniques, how to process my pregnancy anxiety, tips to naturally induce labour and more. She has over 50 videos on her channel dedicated to all things pregnancy, birth and recovery.
How To: Perineal Massage | This might be TMI, but my OB suggested perineal massage to prepare for labour in an attempt to prevent tearing. This animated video that is under three minutes shows you exactly how to do it–it’s straight forward and easy to follow, so I thought I would share.
Shannon Tripp, RN | Shannon is a registered pediatric nurse who shares incredible videos on infant CPR, how to save a child when they are choking, and much, much more. I’ve watched several of her videos and shared them with Marco too–it’s amazing how much you can learn in just a few minutes if it’s all you have.
Those are the top things I’ve actually enjoyed using and learning through during this pregnancy. I hope you girls found this useful, and again if something is triggering you or making you feel worse than better, don’t use it. There are so many different resources out there that can help over hindering, it’s just a matter of finding what works for you. xo