Now that my pregnancy is over and motherhood has begun, I would like to share some of my favorite resources that I turned to and learned from during the past 9 months. Best part, each resource is completely free!
Ovia Pregnancy App – This is an app (both for iPhone and Android) that walks you week by week through your pregnancy. There are weekly videos and articles for you to read, a calendar for you to track pregnancy milestones and doctor’s appointments, an extensive list of pregnancy symptoms that you can look up, a food and medication safely lookup list and a social community where people pose pregnancy questions for other users to respond to. And of course the app also tells you what size fruit or vegetable your baby is that week, which has become a must-know these days. (I have seriously had men at work ask me what fruit my baby is the size of this week!). I did download a couple other apps, but this one had the most user-friendly interface and the most interesting content in my opinion.
The Birth Hour Podcast – I LOVE this podcast. I started listening to it before Marcus and I were even talking about getting pregnant and was instantly hooked. Each episode the podcast host interviews a mom about her birth story or birth stories. Each woman’s experience is so different, and I learned most of what I now know about birth and the different options we have as expectant mothers by listening to this podcast. I also learned about some unique pregnancy and baby products by hearing from her sponsors, which I have been thankful for.
ThinkBaby.org – This website has lots of great information for expecting mothers. They review a lot of big ticket baby gear – everything from cribs to high chairs to baby swings – you we all don’t have to! They also have a blog where they post content specifically geared to expecting and new mamas. I personally love the articles like this one about ways to save money when you are expecting and this one about self care tips for new moms.
Babylist.com – Babylist is a website that allows you to register for baby items from all over the interwebs. Instead of being limited to only one retailer, Babylist allows you to pull items from wherever the item can be found, and also where it can be found the cheapest (which was high priority for me). If an item could be found for the lowest price on Amazon, that’s what would show up first. I also liked being able to add items from Etsy, the Land of Nod and Lily Jade (where I got my awesome diaper bag)! Another perk was being able to add custom gifts. For example, Marcus and I created a “nursery fund” as we knew the furniture for Adeline’s room was going to be a significant investment.
There are a couple disadvantages to taking this route, one being that the big box retailers (Buy Buy Baby, Target, Babies R Us) that do registries usually give a welcome gift of baby items, which can be somewhat substantial. Another perk is the completion discount which can save you quite a bit of money if you are planning to buy some larger items from that retailer, such as nursery furniture or a car seat/stroller. Just something to think about!
Pregnant Chicken – Need a laugh in the midst of pregnancy aches and pains? Check out the PregnantChicken.com. This website has articles about almost every single pregnancy topic you can think of, and the way it is written is really entertaining. You can sign up for a weekly pregnancy email, based on your baby’s gestational age, which I guarantee you’ll look forward to seeing in your inbox once a week.
Lucie’s List (A Survival Guide for New Moms) – This is another weekly email I signed up for during my pregnancy. This one is more informational/educational in nature, but has some really great content. They do reviews on the best baby products, share the low-down on pregnancy symptoms/what to expect in the different trimesters, provide unbiased pros and cons of different parenting decisions, and so much more. There was a really great article on car seat installation that I thought was so good, I forwarded it along to Marcus to read and get informed on.
Full Term Contraction Timer – Last but not least, this is the free contraction timer app we used to track contractions when the big day finally arrived. Being able to distract myself with timing my contractions was a useful coping mechanism for me and gave me something to focus on during our lengthy car ride to the hospital. The app shows the stats from the last contraction, the averages from the last hour and the averages from the last 6 hours. I recommend having this (or something like it) on both you and your partner’s phones prior to going into labor! You can pay for a version of the app that doesn’t have ads, but for how short of a time you will (hopefully) be using this, I don’t see any need to pay.
Below is a screen shot of the app’s interface. These are my last contractions I timed as we were checking into the hospital.
Postpartum Depression Research and Relief – Knowing the signs of postpartum depression (and the difference between it and the “baby blues”) is a great thing to read up on while still pregnant. It is also smart to have your partner or other loved ones watch you for any signs or symptoms, so you can take action as early as possible if needed. Here is a great, easy to understand article on what to be looking for.
Hope you find these resources as helpful as I did!
Interested in what to put in your hospital bag? Check out my blog post here.