Nine months seems like a blip in time, but while pregnant you may feel like you’re experiencing a lifetime’s worth of emotions. Things move so quickly while you’re growing a tiny human inside of you, and it’s likely that you’ll want to look back and remember your journey. Many women opt to start a pregnancy journal both for their own wellbeing as well as a keepsake for their new baby.
Nine months seems like a blip in time, but while pregnant you may feel like you’re experiencing a lifetime’s worth of emotions. Things move so quickly while you’re growing a tiny human inside of you, and it’s likely that you’ll want to look back and remember your journey. Many women opt to start a pregnancy journal both for their own wellbeing as well as a keepsake for their new baby. There are a million ways to go about this process, and the journal’s contents are entirely up to the individual.
Some moms-to-be are meticulous in recording every detail, right from the moment they find out they’re pregnant up to the delivery day itself. Other women choose to write down significant updates or milestones throughout the pregnancy, pasting in photos of their ultrasounds and updates from the doctor. Whichever direction you choose, your journal will prove to be an integral part of your pregnancy and something your child will love to review one day. If you’re blanking on how to start your own pregnancy journal, check out some of these suggestions below. If you’re unsure of how this added task will help you during such a busy time in life, we’re willing to bet you’ll find some benefits for you and baby alike.
As time goes on, we tend to lose a grip on even the most important memories. A lot of the details are still in place, but the story gets hazy. Haven’t you ever wondered what your mom and dad were feeling when they found out they were having you? What names were they thinking of? What foods did your mom crave? One day, your little boy or girl is going to have tons of questions that might feel unanswerable – but not with your pregnancy journal in tow! Write down fleeting moments you never want to forget, ones that could turn into stories your future child will want to hear one day. Having a baby opens up our world in an entirely new way, and it’s more than likely that you’ll be looking at everything with a completely fresh perspective.
It’s also fun for your future child to get to see who you were before they came into this world. Write down a short bio of yourself, how you and your partner met, and what life looked like pre-baby. When we enter into parenthood, we shift our priorities and have a new lease on life. It’s important for your child to know who you are and what you stand for, and to not let your identity get brushed away once the baby comes along. The bond your form with your baby starts immediately, maybe even before you actually find out you are pregnant. The hormonal changes that your body undergoes can send you into a whirlwind, and you begin connecting on an intimate level with the being growing inside of you.
Don’t overthink what you write down and try to picture your future child. If you were having a conversation with them a decade from now, what do you think they would want to know? What songs did you sing them or what music did you listen to? What made them kick? How was dad acting during the pregnancy? Big, small, and everything in between – write it down! People love hearing about where they came from, even before they made it earth-side. Many women experience a feeling of loss or sadness once they have their child, not because they aren’t elated with their brand new addition, but because having a baby in the womb is such a special experience. By writing all about this part of your bond with your child, you’ll be able to revisit the experience whenever you’d like.
Regular journaling is proven to help with mental health and stress relief, but during pregnancy it is even more beneficial. Your body is enduring a completely new way of life (and responsible for another life) and you will experience an influx of unfamiliar physical sensations and heavy emotions. It’s normal to have extreme mood swings and uncomfortability during your pregnancy, and you might have questions regarding certain symptoms. By writing everything down, you will be able to track patterns, release emotions, and bring any concerns before your doctor. Getting everything out will allow you to observe things from a different lens and help you make sense of all of the changes.
Maybe certain foods are making you sick, you can’t partake in some activities, or you’re having trouble sleeping. Whatever your perceived issues may be, journaling about them will remind you to do further research or at the very least, assist you in processing everything. You can also use your pregnancy journal to write down tips from other moms or advice from your doctor. You already have so much to remember, it’s not crazy to think that even the most important tidbits of information could go in one ear and out the other. Carry your pregnancy journal with you in your purse or backpack to make sure you always have it on hand. Give yourself comfort in knowing you’re paying attention to your body and listening to what your baby is trying to tell you.
Sometimes checking an online forum dedicated to expecting mothers or new moms can be an added resource. Post any questions you may have floating around in your journal and ask for advice. These resources are perfect for things you might be too nervous to bring to a doctor or your partner. Take comfort in knowing even the most absurd symptoms or sensations have probably been experienced by another mom-to-be, and your secrets are safe there. Another reason to track your well-being in your pregnancy journal is in case you plan on having another child. It’s an excellent tool to rely on in your next pregnancy as you can reference what you previously felt. Maybe your second pregnancy will be completely different than the first, but it’s always good to have every resource possible at your disposal.
Were you an unorganized person pre-baby? Well, get ready for another level of hectic. There is SO much you’ll want to hold on to from your pregnancy journey, and having a journal is somewhat like having a scrapbook for your little one. It’s also great practice to begin keeping track of things for someone else (for at least the next 18 years) so you’ll get a head start on your skills. You can choose what is deemed “important”, but a lot of new moms include everything from helpful articles, ultrasound pictures, lists of baby names, and “firsts” like kicks or hiccups. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll be thankful everything can be found in one place.
If you’re more of a digital person, there are tons of online platforms dedicated to recording your pregnancy. Many women opt for this strategy as they can access their journal from anywhere and not worry about losing it. It’s also much easier to link to other articles, plug in multimedia, and reduce clutter. Using an online journal platform also gives you the opportunity to customize your posts based on your mood. If you’re feeling particularly creative and joyous that day, reflect your state with different colors or even add music. The same goes for days of anger or despair – match your mood and get an extra boost of satisfaction using the platform’s various plugins.
If you’re not very tech-savvy, it’s good to know there is something uniquely sentimental about having a physical pregnancy journal. The extra effort is most definitely worth the final result. Your future child will have the chance to hold this keepsake in their hands and understand your journey on a more personal level. There’s something intimate about someone’s handwriting and the way it looks on a page. Don’t put pressure on yourself or get intimidated by writer’s block, just pull up a pre-made list of prompts and get writing.
Not EVERYTHING needs to be shared, and some of your pregnancy journal can be just for you to get things out. If you’re using a digital platform, delete the posts later. If you’re going for a physical diary, rip out the pages you don’t want anyone to see. It’s essential to be kind to yourself during this pivotal time in life, and part of that is letting every emotion flow. Some things you experience might be hard to bring before a doctor, partner, or friend, so use this space to unload every fear and worry you might have. Nothing is off the table and you don’t need to criticize yourself whatsoever.
With everything happening all at once, it can be challenging for even you to understand your emotions. When you get them out with a keyboard or a pen, you can look at them from a new angle. Some things you are feeling may be too heavy to carry with you every day. Other emotions may make you laugh days later. Every pregnancy is different and each mom-to-be deals with their emotions in a unique way. It is unhealthy to keep things in and extremely cathartic to get them out. Whether you know it or not, unnecessary levels of emotional or mental stress can actually affect your baby, so if you feel selfish taking this time – perhaps thinking of your child will motivate you.
The fears that live inside our heads are usually much scarier than when we face them or say them out loud. You’re probably worried about becoming a mother, and if you’re going to be a good parent. Word-vomit every little insecurity you have and then look at them and reflect. You’ll probably find that so many expecting moms have the very same fears – and that’s because they care so deeply about their baby. Once you have a record of all of your feelings and fears, you can do some research to debunk your own myths. Search online for relevant blogs or specific communities that have question and answer sections. Unload everything you don’t need in your brain and make space for the beautiful life you’re creating.
You’re bonding with your baby from the very moment they’re conceived. Communication may look a little different while they’re still in your belly, but it is no less important. Think of your pregnancy journal as your first project together. You’ll grow and change as you document your journey and one day your baby can see how lovingly you prepared for their arrival. You may feel like you’re losing the “you” you’ve always been, so having an archive of this precious time will help you remember you’re still that same person. Your pregnancy journal will become so many things: a beautiful past time, a secret keeper, a memory maker, and the beginning of your greatest love story yet. Who knows, maybe one day your child’s favorite bedtime story will come straight from your pregnancy journal. It’s the story of you, baby, and how a life full of love and happiness came to be.