When and What are the Typical Pregnancy Doctor Visits and Checkups?

When are Typical Pregnancy Doctor Visits… and What are They Going to Do To Me???

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Did you just pee on a stick and it turned out positive????

Well, let me be the first to say CONGRATS MAMA!!!! Pregnancy and mom life are the best! I’m so happy for you! 

But, truth be told, you’re entering a whirlwind of new information and questions and experiences. 

Let me help you through one major part of all this.

You know you’re pregnant. Now when do you see the doctor? And how often do you have to see the doctor after that? And what are they going to do to me during those checkups???

man kissing woman's forehead white holding ultrasound photo

Appointment 1: 8-10 weeks

The first time you’ll visit the doctor is around 8-10 weeks pregnant.

How do you find out how long you’ve been pregnant?

It can be tricky, but the best way is to guess based on the first day of your last menstrual period. Just add 8 weeks to that day (or your best guess of when that day was) and viola! Your appointment should be sometime around then.

You might have some paperwork to do during this appointment- you know, stuff like your medical history, the medical history of your family, and insurance stuff.

You’ll probably pee in a cup. Get used to this- you pee in cups a lot during pregnancy. The doctor will get your urine tested to look for common problems like infections, diabetes (although gestational diabetes doesn’t develop until later in pregnancy), dehydration, preeclampsia, etc. Oh yeah, and your pee also confirms pregnancy. That too.

Many doctors take a blood sample to screen for HIV. I always freak out before they poke me, but it really doesn’t hurt that bad.

You’ll get to ask you doctor any questions or bring up any concerns you might have. Come prepared with your thoughts written down because it’s easy to forget what you wanted to say, and it’s tough to get a hold of doctors other than during your scheduled visits! Take advantage of that time!

But the best, most amazing and exciting  and wonderful part of the first visit is by far your first ultrasound!!!!! Yep, you get to see you baby!!!

Because your little one is so tiny at this stage, it’s a vaginal ultrasound. You’ll have to undress from the waist down and put a sheet over your lower half.

You’ll get to watch the baby on a screen as the nurse takes measurements to make sure the baby is healthy and growing as he should. These measurements also give you a more accurate due date, just in case you guessed a little off on your last menstrual period.

Watch closely- sometimes you can see the baby moving!  

Appointment 2: 14 weeks

You get a nice, long break before you have to come back in. At 14 weeks, it’s time to see the doctor for a routine checkup.

It’s all routine stuff- checking your vitals, taking measurements of your growing belly, Q&A with the doctor (come prepared!), and listening for baby’s heartbeat!

Yep- you get to hear the heartbeat today!!!! AAAAHHHHH! So exciting! I can’t keep it in! A baby’s heartbeat doesn’t sound like an adult’s heartbeat. It’s more of a swishing sound. There’s nothing so precious in all the world!

2 tier cake

Appointment 3: 20-22 weeks

This is the magical appointment that we wait and wait for!

It’s the anatomy ultrasound!!! WOOOOO HOOOOO! That means you get to find out if your baby is a boy or a girl today (unless you’d rather keep it a surprise)!!!

This time, the baby has grown enough that the ultrasound can be performed without mom having to take off her pants. I know, SCORE!

Mom lays back, you get a lot of jelly on your tummy, and the nurse shows you your cute baby!! It’s so exciting because you can see the baby’s face, hands, legs, feet, and of course… genitals. 

If you don’t want to find out the baby’s sex, make sure you speak up soon because the nurse might accidentally let it slip!

But the nurse checks a lot more than just the sex of the baby. She’ll also measure the heart, measure how tall baby is, and check out the baby’s organs like kidneys, bladder, stomach, etc. Then the nurse will check your placenta for complications such as placenta previa.

Appointment 4: 26-28 weeks

This check up is all routine.

See the doctor, pee in a cup, take your vitals, check up on baby. 

But pay attention because you’ll receive very specific instructions for that glucose drink you’ll take right before your next appointment!

If you ask, you might get to choose the flavor of the drink too!

drinking glass filled with liquid

Appointment 5: 32 weeks

Besides your regular checkup stuff, you get to take your glucose test today! 

Yippee! Ok, that was a sarcastic yippee.

You’ll hear a lot of negativity about how icky the drink tastes. It’s not very good, but it wasn’t too terrible for me. It is sugary and thick, kind of like drinking a melted otter pop. But it’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine!

Follow the doctor’s instructions carefully when you take this test to ensure accurate results. You might be asked to change your diet or not eat at all for a certain amount of time before you drink the liquid. Make sure you drink it right on time (your doctor will tell you when), because the glucose needs to work its magic for just the right amount of time before the doctor tests your blood.

Yes, that means you’ll get poked this time. Sorry mama!

But it’s worth it- this test checks for gestational diabetes, a common problem in pregnancy.

It is also common to do a Hemoglobin Test at this time, which checks to see if you are anemic (if there is enough iron in your blood). Hey, if they’re already poking you, they might as well check it out!

AND- you’ll start having appointments roughly every two weeks! That means you’re getting close to the end mama! 

Appointment 6: 34 weeks

This week is a normal checkup, with no pokes! That’s awesome!

You’ll get to chat with the doctor, take vitals, check on baby. All that good stuff.

It’s kind of nice to have a boring doctor’s visit after that glucose test!

doctor holding red stethoscope

Appointment 7: 36 weeks

It’s time to pre-register at the hospital, if you haven’t already! Your baby could come any time, although we hope she’ll stay put for a little longer.

There is one exciting test for this appointment. It’s the Group B Strep Screening. For this test, you will swab the skin “down there” to check for the Group B Step bacteria.  About 25% of women carry the bacteria, although most women show no signs or symptoms of having it. 

No need to worry if you are a carrier- you’ll just need antibiotics during labor and delivery to keep your baby from getting sick if the bacteria is passed to him during labor.

Buckle up- starting next week, you’ll be seeing your doctor on a weekly basis! You’re almost ready to have this baby!!!

Appointment 8: 37 weeks

This check up is very routine. Your doctor is keeping a closer eye on you and your baby as you get closer to delivery.

She might check to make sure your baby is in the right position for delivery. She can feel your pelvis to see if the baby has “dropped” (moved away from your abdomen and toward your pelvis) and if the baby’s head is down.

pregnant woman standing near green plants

Appointment 9: 38 weeks

During the weeks before labor, your body may show signs that this baby is on its way. Your doctor checks to see if your cervix is dilated and effaced as your due date approaches.

What in the heck does that mean??

Well, normally your cervix is closed tightly, but that needs to change for this baby to get out. Dilation means your cervix is opening. It will eventually dilate to 10 centimeters right before the baby is born… but that’s in the thick of labor. You might dilate a few centimeters during the weeks before labor.

Effacement measures how thin your cervix is becoming in preparation for labor. Right before the baby is ready to be born, you will be 100% effaced. Effacement can also begin during the weeks before labor.

Appointment 10: 39 weeks

That baby could be here any day! Everyone’s on pins and needles!

Your doctor will keep checking all for all the same signs that labor is near! You’re probably uncomfortable by now, so hang in there mama!

Try out some of the tips to get labor going found at The Bump. 

Appointment 11: 40 weeks

40 weeks! Your due date is here!

If you’re past your due date, your doctor will be in close contact with you about your preferences regarding induction. 

Being “induced” means that the doctor medically intervenes to get labor going. Some moms welcome this help, and some moms prefer to wait for their body to prepare for labor all on its own.

Check out some articles for both sides of the argument here:

Risks of Inducing Labor- 5 Things to Know Before You’re Induced

5 Benefits of Inducing Labor

baby's fac

Appointment 12: Labor!

Ahhh! It finally happened! Whether you were induced or labor started naturally, you’re finally having this baby!

Congratulations mama! 

You made it through all these crazy doctors visits, and now it’s the good part!

You’ll LOVE being a mom- even if it’s not your first baby. It’s always a joy to welcome a new little life to your family!


Mrs. S

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Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

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Steps to Deliver a Baby Alone- Be Prepared for the Crazy Times When Shit Like This Happens

11 Steps to Delivering a Baby Alone- Be Prepared For Those Crazy Times When Sh*# Like That Happens

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Hey Moms,

Do you have crazy pregnancy nightmares?

Comment Below- What is your craziest pregnancy dream or nightmare??

I get those… and a reoccurring one for me is that I’m going into labor in random places.

I’ve dreamed that I went into labor in a grocery store, in an amusement park, traveling to visit family in another state… But by far the worst reoccurring labor dream is when I go into labor in the car in the middle of nowhere.

There’s no hospitals, no doctors or nurses…

Just me and my husband, who is always freaking out even worse than I am.

I usually end up yelling my best guesses of what to do at him as he ignores me and races down the road looking for a hospital. I’m much more profane in my dreams than I am in real life.

I usually have the babies (it’s always twins!!) in the passenger seat, and he finally pulls up at a hospital right after they are both born.

And then he sells our car because he can’t stand looking at it anymore.

Those nightmares are terrifying enough to motivate me to do some research. If something crazy were to happen, I wanted to know what to do! That goes for if I was the one in labor or if another poor mom needed help delivering a baby.

Dads- you should all read this! You can’t just drive and hope you find a hospital!

Moms- you too! For your sake and the sake of other women who might need you in some freak emergency situation, or a zombie raid, or whatever weird reason you might be stuck playing doctor for real.

It never hurts to be prepared, and a little prior knowledge might be just what you need to stay calm.

Let’s dive in!


1. Keep Your Head On

If you ever need to deliver a child, I’m sure it will be terrifying and crazy and freaky! Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Women all over the world have labor at home– without meds, without intervention.
  • Women’s bodies are tailor made for labor and delivery.
  • Most births aren’t complicated.
  • Nature knows its stuff! 

Remember that fact and stay calm! After all, if you’re freaking out, that poor mom is going to be losing it.

and breathe neon sign on tre

A woman once described her labor to me. This isn’t one of the crazy stories where someone delivers a baby in the jungle. She was in a hospital, safe with nurses, but she was having a natural birth.

She told me, “I’ve always been a screamer during labor.”

The nurse was repeatedly coming in and trying to calm her or make her more comfortable or offering her ways to help with the pain. But she wanted a natural labor, the screaming was more of a coping mechanism for her.

Finally, the nurse came in and said, “I’m so sorry, I really need you to stop screaming. There’s a 13-year-old down the hall in labor and you’re scaring her.”

So yeah, keep it relaxing for the poor mother’s sake.

2. Make Sure Help Is On It’s Way

Labor can go fast, and with all the fear and emotions floating around, things might slip your mind.

Above all else, make sure help is coming!

police car at street

Dial 911, call a hospital, call the midwife (love that show!), light signal fires, or whatever- but make sure someone is coming.

(Side note- if you’re pregnant and close to delivery, keep yourself safely near cell phone service. Save long hikes into the backwoods for you until after baby comes. Who would want to do that with swollen feet anyways?? 😊)

This step is the part that might save you from having to deliver a baby at all. Cross your fingers for that! But just in case, let’s continue so that you know what to do in all cases.

3. Make Sure Help Can Find You

You might not think about small things that will slow down the help that’s coming.

Are your doors locked?? Then they can’t get in! Unlock everything!

Are you still driving?? Then they don’t know where to go to find you! Anyways, I can’t imagine delivering a baby without meds while strapped in a seat belt. If it were me, that seat-belt would have to come off, and that means it’s not safe to be flying down the road anyways.

Are you on a main road or trail? What landmarks are around? How can you make yourself more visible?

It’s natural to try to hide away, after all, labor isn’t pretty and it’s a private event. But make sure that you can be found so that you can get help.

4. Sanitize

Find the cleanest space possible. Best case scenario, you have a bed with clean sheets and blankets. For easier cleanup, put a shower curtain down on the bed. You might want to put towels over the curtain to make it more comfortable and absorbent.

In the best case scenario, sanitize means not just clean but disinfected too. Do the best with what you have.

The floor is a good choice because the baby won’t fall or get dropped accidentally. Babies are slimy and slippery after all.

Or maybe the cleanest area around is in the car or maybe it’s a patch of grass… Or just a zombie free warehouse, I don’t know.

Wherever you are, wash your hands or use sanitizer if you have it.

person washing hands over sink

Other Great Reads: 

5 Tips to Reach Optimal Health Before a New Baby (For People Who Don’t Like to Exercise or Diet)

What is a “Good Parent”?

25 Best Mom Hacks that Save Time, Energy, and Money

Over 35 Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I’m NOT ABOUT to Stop!


5. Listen to the Mother

From here, follow mom’s direction.

What position is comfortable for her? Lying down, sitting, squatting, standing, walking, whatever.

Do that.

She might want you to push her knees towards her chest (this can relieve pain) or help her breathe or say calming words of encouragement or just shut up.

Whatever she needs, do it.

And by all means, don’t cry about the mess in your car, in your house, wherever. You’re going to need new stuff. Accept that fact and help the poor woman.

man wiping his tears

Pray that the medics get there before you have to actually deliver. It’s normal for labor to go on for several hours, so hopefully you made it to the hospital before then or someone can come help you before then.

But labor can also be very fast in some cases… Again, just in case, let’s chat about what to do if you don’t.

6. Support Baby’s Head

You’ll see the baby’s head first.

Things often move slow in labor- so don’t try to rush it. Don’t pull or force anything. Just be patient.

Keep the head and neck supported by putting your hand under the baby’s head. It’s normal for the baby to turn as he is born.

7. Breathing

Even before the baby fully emerges, you can help make sure he is breathing.

Use a clean towel to wipe the baby’s face clean. Just wipe the towel downwards across the baby’s mouth and nose to open the airways.

Don’t mess with the umbilical cord. You won’t be cutting it or messing with it at all unless it’s tangled around the baby’s neck. Don’t freak out, just hold the baby with its head closer to mom to avoid pulling on the cord. Then untangle it from the baby as the baby is born.

8. Catch!

Watch out- once the shoulders come out, the whole baby’s comin. No more slow and steady wins the race- It’s fast and easy to drop the baby.

This is no time for selfies or a quick snack or a 5-minute break.

Just focus and be ready to catch. Expect slippery. It’s best to catch the baby in something- like a towel, a shirt, a coat, or whatever you have around- so that you don’t drop her.

Softly dab the baby to dry them, make sure they are breathing (if they are making any sound, they are breathing so no need to hit their butt. That’s a thing anymore.), and lay baby skin-to-skin on mom to warm up.

woman holding baby

Don’t be worried if there is blood. Blood and fluid is part of this process.

9. Afterbirth

Yes, there’s more.

I know, where does it end??

Soon… ish…

We can really really hope that help has arrived by now. In most cases it would have.

But AGAIN… Just in case… Let’s chat about the placenta.

This is the organ that a woman’s body creates when she’s pregnant to keep the baby alive. It’s not needed after the baby is born, so it comes out after delivery.

This usually happens about 10-15 minutes after baby comes. It’s important to let the afterbirth come at its own time. Don’t pull on it because it can tear and it’s important for the whole thing to be delivered. Any pieces that break off could cause problems for mom later.

Wrap the placenta up in a towel or something. The doctor might want to check to make sure that there are no broken off pieces on the placenta, just to be safe, so keep it around.

10. Keep Mom and Baby Warm and Comfortable

You can sit back and relax now!

baby covered with white blanket

If you’re in a safe place, just wait for help to come and they can handle it from here.

Pat yourself on the back and make a plan for a big reward/treat for yourself. You earned it.

11. Turn Things Over to the Professionals

Finally, they’re here! Just listen and do whatever they ask you to do. They know what they’re talking about.


Now you’re ready moms, and dads.

Knowing all this has stopped the nightmares and helped me sleep easy. If there were some crazy situation, I could handle it, and so could you!

The biggest thing is to trust nature. Trust a woman’s body to know what it’s doing. Don’t assume you know more and try to intervene more than you should.

Just support what’s naturally happening.

And get ready to tell all your friends, cause this is going to be the story of the century!

Have you ever had to deliver a baby on your own… Or known someone who did? Tell us about it in the comments below! And please share any additional advice!


For more resources on how to deliver a baby, check out theartofmanliness.com. 

If you’re worried about complications during delivery, check this doctor approved resource. 


Mrs. S

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Mrs. S

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Tips to Reach Optimal Health Before a New Baby- For People who Don't Like to Diet

5 Tips to Reach Optimal Health Before a New Baby (For People Who Don’t Like to Exercise or Diet)

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Photo by Angelos Michalopoulos on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated: 2/12/2019

Every mom goes through a unique phase before she gets pregnant. It’s a time of preparation…

Time to start thinking about what kind of health I should be in before my pregnancy.

This is always a tough time for me. I typically make much better choices eating and exercising when I am pregnant or nursing than I do normally.

I’ve got to reign in all the emotions that come with eating, not just the eating itself. It’s an entire lifestyle change, a whole new mindset. More than just eating your veggies. 

I just like tasty food. And I’m not a dieter. And I hate exercising.

burger beside fried potatoes with drinking glass

But I also don’t want to be unhealthy or overweight, especially when there’s another little human who depends on me.

If only chips and cookies were nutritious… But they’re not.

So, I go through this terrible process before every pregnancy where I try to prepare my body for building another person- and that means being in good physical condition.

Nothing crazy, mind you.

Again, I am no dieter and I hate to exercise. All I’m aiming for here is being healthy in general.

No counting calories, or cutting out carbs altogether, or cayenne detoxing.

How do I get prepare my body for having a child- without going crazy?

1) Healthier Choices

Ok, we all know about this.

  • We know that refined sugars and carbs are bad.
  • We know that veggies are good.
  • We know that we should have a balanced diet with lots of colors.

So the first (Unavoidable!) step is to make a few healthier choices.

When I’m thinking about getting pregnant, I try to change my diet a few months in advance. Here’s some of the changes I make:

  • Take a prenatal vitamin. Ok, so I usually do this all the time, but it is especially vital now! (Click the image below!)

Nature Made Prenatal + DHA 200 mg Softgels – Rich in Folic Acid, Iron, Iodine & Zinc Value Size 90 Ct

  • Buy whole wheat everything. Tortillas, bread, buns, you name it. I can’t seem to function without carbs, so I at least try to make them a little better for me by choosing whole wheat.
  • Increase fresh veggies. I eat at least one veggie with each meal. No exceptions. Buy a variety of colors. This ensures that I’m getting a balance of nutrients from my food.
  • Drink water. Pregnancy requires a ton of water, even more than normal. Before pregnancy, I start getting used to that by increasing my water intake. There are great resources out there, like water bottles that help you track your water intake

Use this great water bottles that track your water intake! Perfect!! Click image below!

BELLYBOTTLE Original Pregnancy Water Bottle Intake Tracker with Time Marker and Weekly Calendar Stickers – Voted top Pregnancy Gifts must haves Essentials (PINK)

This also means giving up other drinks- especially those with high sugars (like soda) or high caffeine (like coffee and energy drinks- read here for more information on how to keep your energy up without the caffeine!).

And we all know that pregnancy means limiting or cutting out alcohol, so this is a good time to get started.

  • Just stop buying unhealthy snacks that I can’t resist. Chips, chocolate, ice cream, and cookie dough are a few of my weaknesses. I can’t have them in my house if I am going to make a change to being healthy. So I just don’t let them in the house.
  • Get through the cravings. It helps me to know that cravings for my favorite carbs and sugars should go away after a week or two of the new, healthier lifestyle. I just have to make it til then!

But that is only the first step!

2) Sweat and Stuff

Ok, seriously, who has time to exercise?


And who wants to exercise?


So how on earth does anyone ever get it done?

The only times in my life where I have been successful at keeping a consistent workout routine is if I am working out with a group. That way, they know if I am missing my workouts and they hold me accountable.

Effective. But I hate it.

My favorite way to get in some good physical activity is to play with my kids for 30 minutes to 1 hour every day.

group of children pulling brown rope

I love this, especially right before another pregnancy, because I just want to soak up my little ones before I have a baby that needs most of my attention.

It helps my kids cope with a new sibling because they get lots of mommy’s attention beforehand and it helps me feel connected with each child. AND I get my workout in. Let me tell you, it’s an intense workout.

Win, win, win.

Click the image below for some great family fun!
Backyard Discovery Oakmont All Cedar Wood Playset Swing Set

3) Use Water to Control Portion Sizes

Here’s a simple trick that I use to make sure I am drinking enough water and also monitoring my portions at meal times.

About 30 minutes before the meal (usually right as I am starting to cook dinner or lunch), I drink a BIG glass of water. Not your average 8 fluid ounce cup. A BIG cup of water.

That’s 3 glasses of water (one at breakfast, one at lunch, and one at dinner). Not the entire day’s worth of water, but a good start!

Again, if you would like some extra help keeping track, try these water bottles that keep you updated on how much water you need! Click the image below.
babyneü Pregnancy Gift Time Marked Water Bottle with Motivational Quote, weekly timeline stickers. Designed to help you reach your Daily Water Intake. BPA-Free, straw, sip top, carry loop(BABST Aqua)

The water fills up my belly so that I eat a more appropriate portion of food rather than helping myself to a heaping plate.

This trick alone is responsible for a significant amount of my pre-pregnancy weight loss.

4) Time Limits

Another pitfall of my everyday eating habits is that I allow myself to eat whenever I want.

  • That means if I want a snack between meals, I can have one.
  • If I want a midnight snack, I can have one.
  • If I want all the hobbit meals- breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper- there’s no stopping me.

If I’m working on being more healthy, I cut out some of these extra meals by setting rules for myself.

And, I don’t just mean lines in the sand, but firm, for reals, no joke rules.

grayscale photography of clock

  • For example, I don’t eat past 6pm.
  • I don’t let myself snack between meals.
  • I make my mealtimes consistent every day, such as breakfast between 9-10am, lunch between 12-1pm, and dinner between 5-6pm. And that’s the only 3 hours in the day when I am allowed to consume food of any kind.

I know, I know, it’s healthier to eat small snacks often rather than big meals. If I had enough self-control to do that, I would. But when I try to eat 6 small snacks in a day, I just end up with 6 big meals.

In that case, it is more healthy to limit myself to meals rather than trying to snack.

Please note that this is one habit that I give up after pregnancy. I find that snacks are a helpful way to keep morning sickness away, and you need more calories during pregnancy anyways.

5) Feeling Zen About Food

Emotions about food are difficult.

It is a tough topic for a lot of people. Media portrays a perfect body type that many people aspire to obtain. This brings up feelings of self-doubt, self-esteem, being in control, feeling accepted by others, health and wellness, confidence, and mortality to name a few.

Click below for a great resource on emotional eating!

When Food Is Comfort: Nurture Yourself Mindfully, Rewire Your Brain, and End Emotional Eating

Lots of big emotions are tied to food.

Success at changing a lifestyle takes more than just grudgingly following steps that you don’t want to do.

That’s where I went wrong for a long time.

As I have said many times, I’m no dieter. I’m no exerciser. I’m no good at counting calories.

These few tricks I have identified are the prefect mix (for me) of small and simple changes that I can handle. They are things that work for me BECAUSE they don’t send me into big emotions of frustration, regret for foods I have eaten, wishing for foods I can’t have, or self-punishment when I mess up.

At the same time, I find new ways to reward myself, to rejuvenate myself, instead of eating (many ideas are mentioned in this blog post). 

I can feel happy about my food choices without putting myself under intense stress for giving up a major part of my life.

In doing so, I control my feelings and my food.

Need some resourced for during pregnancy? Got you covered!

The Whole 9 Months: A Week-By-Week Pregnancy Nutrition Guide with Recipes for a Healthy Start

Motherwell Maternity Fitness Plan


Mrs. S

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