Top 10 Benefits of Keeping a Pregnancy Journal
Have you thought of keeping a journal during pregnancy?
For most women, it may seem like just another task at the time they already feel weighed down by stress and challenges.
The physical changes occurring in the body during pregnancy, symptoms like morning sickness, and much more…
Women experience most of these symptoms the first time when they become pregnant.
However, that doesn't mean you HAVE TO bear with the unpleasant symptoms and experience stress and anxiety that pregnancy brings with itself. There are ways that can help you sail through this phase more effortlessly.
And that way passes through keeping a journal!
Believe me… Keeping a journal is not going to be one more task for you. On the contrary, it's going to be a way to enjoy your motherhood with better ease.
Eager to know how? Read on to find out the top 10 benefits you will be able to enjoy by keeping a pregnancy journal.
What Are The Benefits Of Keeping A Journal During Pregnancy?
1. Organize Your Routine
The news of pregnancy will require you to make a few changes in your routine. You will need to take more rest, eat meals at a fixed time, exercise regularly, take medications, and so on.
Having a pregnancy journal will help you stay organized and allow you to adapt to the changes needed in your routine more efficiently.
2. Track Your Symptoms
Pregnancy will be the time you will develop certain symptoms that you have never experienced before. Be it morning sickness or the inability to hold urine! Pregnancy will bring about unique symptoms that will make your routine activities somewhat difficult to breeze through.
Keeping a journal will help you avoid these symptoms more efficiently. You can write in your journal the symptoms you develop, their intensity, and the times they are more severe. You can also mention their severity on a scale of 0 to 5.
Then, you can try different ways or medications to avoid the symptoms as recommended by your physicians. The problem here is not all the ways and medications work the same way when used by different women.
Your journal will help you assess what works for you and what doesn't!
When you note down the symptoms and their severity, you will be able to correlate how certain strategies helped to relieve the symptoms more effectively than others. This will allow you to minimize the discomfort caused due to pregnancy symptoms.
3. Overcome Morning Sickness
Among the common symptoms of pregnancy, morning sickness needs special attention. Keeping a journal could be a way for you to minimize this unpleasant experience.
After about a week or so of keeping a pregnancy journal, you will notice that some foods tend to cause more discomfort than others.
Well… It goes without saying you just need to avoid the foods that worsen your morning sickness!
Doesn't that make it very simple for you to stop feeling sick? Just spending a few minutes every day to write down the details of your food intake would enable you to feel fresh and not-sick at all times of the day.
4. Stay Fit
You may have been a fitness freak or a couch potato so far! Bur now that you are pregnant, I am sure you will have to rethink your physical fitness.
If you work out regularly, you might want to tone down your regime in order to avoid strain and pressure on your tummy. And if you have been a couch potato… uh um… it’s time you put on your tracking pants and sports shoes!
In both cases, you need to monitor how much you exercise. You need to be aware of the best exercises that can help you during pregnancy and labor.
For example; Kegel’s exercises are considered effective for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles to ease labor. You also need to find out the duration, intensity, and repetitions of the exercises that could be the most suitable for you.
What can be a better way to do this than keeping a journal? Once you plan out an exercise program for yourself, it's best to note down your progress every day.
A pregnancy journal will help you keep a check on whether your ability or stamina to exercise is improving or not. If your journal indicates you are able to work out for longer, without getting as much tired as you used to be, that's definitely good!
A journal will also help you stick to your fitness program in a sort of ‘compelling’ way. Once you write in your journal your day-to-day plan of workouts, you will be motivated to perform those exercises as planned. This is how a pregnancy journal will help you track your progress and improve your physical fitness.
5. Note The Medications
For most women, pregnancy turns out to be their first tryst with taking medications regularly. So far, I believe, you must have had to pop a pill occasionally perhaps to relieve simple headaches.
But, during pregnancy, your gynecologist would advise you to take some medications, particularly nutritional supplements regularly.
For someone who had never had to take medicines on a daily basis, it could be a difficult task. You might just forget to take the doses on some days. This may put you on a back-foot as far as your health is concerned.
In this case, you can befriend a pregnancy journal as your personal reminder. You just have to note down the medications you need to take and check/tick them once you have taken the doses.
Isn't that a simpler way than stressing out yourself thinking you might forget to take the supplements? This is particularly useful for women who live a busy and hectic lifestyle that does not permit them the leisure of remembering to take their medicines on time.
6. Manage Doctor's Appointments
During the first few months of pregnancy, you may have to visit your gynecologist occasionally, maybe once in a month or so.
During the later months, the frequency of visits will increase to once in one or two weeks. How do you plan to remember all your appointments? Don't you think there should be a system that reminds you of your appointments in the coming days?
Well… Of course, yes!
And this is one of the reasons why you need to maintain a pregnancy journal. Each time you visit your doctor, note the date of the follow-up in the journal. This will make sure you do not miss any appointments. It will also allow you to adjust your busy schedule to accommodate the doctor's visits.
This will surely reduce your anxiety about juggling between multiple responsibilities allowing you to enjoy this blissful phase without stress.
7. Maintain Lab Reports
Pregnancy is a period of nearly 9 months during which you will need to perform different tests to assess your and your baby’s health. Your gynecologist will recommend blood tests to check your hemoglobin levels, detect any infection, and so on. Some laboratory tests are also needed to detect the disorders that could cause complications during pregnancy such as diabetes.
You will also need to have ultrasonography of the abdomen and pelvis to assess the growth and development of your baby.
Wow! This just reminds me of how divine the baby’s heartbeats sound during the examination. It's the best music for the ears of any pregnant woman.
When you have to do so many blood tests and scans, don't you think you need an efficient way to maintain all these records?
Don’t you think it’s essential to find out whether your hemoglobin levels improved after you started using iron supplements? Don’t you think you need to be sure that your baby’s growth is in-line with the number of weeks of your pregnancy?
If yes, then writing a journal could be a great option for you.
You can maintain a record of all the tests in your journal. You may also write the progress expected in the next tests. You can mention when you need to visit the doctor for laboratory tests or ultrasonography or any other check-ups.
“You can maintain a record of all the tests in your journal. You may also write the progress expected in the next tests. You can mention when you need to visit the doctor for laboratory tests or ultrasonography or any other check-ups.”
— Dr. Shenoy
Keeping a record would make it easier for you to organize your tasks and allow you to be aware of your and your baby’s health.
8. Remember Valuable Tips
Pregnancy lasts about 9 months… Sometimes, I feel this 9-month period is the time given to women so that they can prepare to take better care of themselves and the baby.
There is so much for you to learn during this phase. How to hold the baby? How to nurse your baby? What to do when he or she cries? You surely do not want to be caught unprepared when your baby is born.
So, why not make a start from now? I mean right now, when you are pregnant and there are still a few more months to go before your bundle of joy arrives!
Keeping a journal during pregnancy can be a great way to be a hands-on-mom. I am sure when you are pregnant, you will have your relatives and friends giving you tips on how to take good care of your baby. They will tell you the common reasons why babies cry and what you can do. You will be bombarded with advice, suggestions, and tips.
But, by the time the 9 months pass, you may not remember all of them. You will forget most of the suggestions unless you have maintained a journal!
You can reserve a section in the pregnancy journal to write the tips that you think will be effective and safe to follow. You can refer to your pregnancy journal and follow these tips when the need arises.
9. Cherish The Memories
Pregnancy is the most beautiful phase in the life of women. Ok… Let me say it is the second most beautiful phase because the top position is occupied by motherhood!
I am sure you would love to cherish the memories of your pregnancy and even share it with your kid when he or she grows up. You can pen down your experiences, feelings, and thoughts in the journal. You can also adore it with snaps of your cute baby bump during different months.
That would be a wonderful treasure you will love to share with all for years after years even after your baby has grown into an adult!
10. Future Planning Tool
Your pregnancy journal could come in handy a big way during your second pregnancy. It is not just the first-time moms who experience stress and anxiety during pregnancy. Women who have already borne kids also experience a turmoil of emotions when they are pregnant.
If you have a pregnancy journal written by yourself during your first pregnancy, it will surely offer a great strategy for you to fall back upon during next pregnancy. It will help you remember what worked and what didn’t when you had morning sickness or other symptoms during the first pregnancy. It will help you apply your personal experiences to your second pregnancy. It will be like re-learning based on your past learnings.
You may not be feeling like making any extra efforts to keep a pregnancy journal. But, once you actually start keeping a journal, you will realize how it changes your mindset about the challenges of pregnancy and motherhood. It is only after you start writing a journal that you will gain the confidence to meet the challenges of motherhood.
Writing a journal will also give you insights into why you are experiencing certain symptoms and help you find ways to avoid them. It will work like a guide you can refer to during your next pregnancy.
The benefits are plenty. So, why not?
Think about it. Start writing your pregnancy journal from today so that the journey becomes less stressful and more enjoyable!
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About Dr. Jyothi Shenoy
Dr. Jyothi Shenoy is a health & wellness writer for JournalOwl as well as a practicing homeopathic doctor (B.H.M.S.) with more than 15 years of clinical experience. She believes in treating her patients holistically with a focus on identifying the root cause of their problems, instead of band-aiding the symptoms.
Dr. Shenoy aims at educating her patients about their illness, while also providing common sense tips to overcoming ailments with a better lifestyle, healthier eating habits, and more effective mental coping strategies, such as gratitude journaling. Her aim is to help people identify the root cause of their ailment, treat it accordingly, and prevent reoccurence. Dr. Shenoy has successfully treated mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, while also helping patients with acute and chronic conditions like osteoporosis, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, obesity, asthma, autism, ADHD, hypertension, diabetes, allergies, cancer, and skin diseases.
In addition to writing health & wellness guides for JournalOwl, Dr. Shenoy has instructed medical students at the university level, in addition to helping both children and adults with learning and behavioral disorders like ADHD and autism. Her many years of clinical experience allow her to provide practical tips to patients to help them manage their health issues in a more effective way. The bottom line is that Dr. Shenoy believes in creating awareness about the benefits of journaling as one of many tools in helping people overcome bad habits, establish new patterns, and identify the root cause of existing ailments that continually plague them. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JournalOwl is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, medication, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptoms or conditions. JournalOwl is not authorized to make recommendations about medication or serve as a substitute for professional advice. You should never disregard professional psychological or medical advice, or delay in seeking treatment, based on anything you read on JournalOwl’s website or platform.