Wednesday Randomness & My Favorite Pregnancy and Motherhood books!

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday! I wanted to share with you a random Wednesday around here in our teeny Dutch apartment. We are planning on moving to the UK soon, and I wanted to share with you a little glimpse of what our life is like here in Holland before we make the big move.

This morning started out pretty lazy (most mornings do). Fé slept for a whole seven hours straight! Isn’t that amazing?! She has been sleeping for longer stretches of time (usually around 6 hours) and last night she surprised us by sleeping a whopping seven hours. We normally put her down for the final time around 11pm (last night was more like 12am) and today she didn’t wake up until 7am! I was shocked, I woke up around 6am surprised that she hadn’t yet woken us up to feed.

Pregnancy Books

Anyway, we ended up dozing a little bit more after she woke up at seven and finally got up again around 9:30 when Fé wanted a second breakfast. Daniël loves cuddling with Fé in the mornings before he starts working on his thesis so he cuddled with her in bed a while, while I made a big pot of coffee. My morning coffee is honestly one of my favorite things in the whole world! I stopped drinking coffee during my pregnancy and while I was breastfeeding, but since I have stopped breastfeeding (read more about that in Fé’s two month update) I have started drinking coffee again and let me tell you, I really missed it. I think I am one of those people who just needs coffee in their life so going back to my morning cup of joe has made me a much more pleasant person!

Pregnancy Books

After I made some coffee we got our day started. I did some housework while Daniël worked on his thesis and Fé played with her new foot finders and wrist rattles!

Pregnancy Books

After getting some housework done I ate a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins and dried apricots (yummy!). I am trying to lose my baby weight (check out my weight loss tips here) so I have been using MyFitnessPal to count calories and it is really working. I have lost a couple of kilograms since I started counting calories just about two weeks ago!

After lunch/breakfast we tried to take Fé on a walk in our Ergobaby baby carrier but when we got about 15 minutes away from our house, the wind really picked up and Fé just wasn’t having it. She started howling and crying so we just decided to come back to the house.

Afterwards, I decided to continue packing up some things for our big move to England in a couple of weeks. As I was going through some old books I found some of the books that got me through my pregnancy and helped prepare me for motherhood (although nothing can truly prep you to be a mother!)

Pregnancy Books

I wanted to share with our my favorite pregnancy and motherhood books that I think every mama-to-be should read 😉

10 Pregnancy and Motherhood Books

1. What to Expect When Your Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

This book was easily one of my favorite books during my pregnancy. It became my go to pregnancy bible. I outlines every single month of your pregnancy and tells you what to expect to feel, doctors visits, how your baby is growing and so much more. It really gives you all the information you need to get you through your pregnancy and labor and delivery!

2. Eating Well When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

Another AMAZING book from the What to Expect series. This books gives you a TON of information about how to stay healthy when you are pregnant. It really shows how the food you consume impacts your baby’s development and encourages you to eat as healthy as possible, not only for you but also for your baby. It shows you how to eat well plus there are a ton of great recipes to try in the back of the book.You cant really see from the picture above but I have filled this book with sticky notes so I can flip to my favorite recipes or other important pages of this book. Check out my pregnancy nutrition post for some insight into what this book has to offer.

3. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

This book is also awesome. From the Mayo Clinic it provides you with great information about your pregnancy and your babies weekly development. It also includes a 40 week pregnancy calendar and outlines some of the important decisions you need to make as expecting parents (like different pre-natal tests and things like that!)

4. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Glaskin

I mentioned this book before in my Guide to a Natural Childbirth. This book is an amazing resource if you are planning a natural childbirth. Ina May, one of the most reputable midwives, provides you with everything you need to know in order to have the best birth experience. My natural birth experience was truly amazing and Ina May shows women how to have their own wonderful birth experience. Whether you are planning on having a natural childbirth or not, I seriously recommend this book!

5. Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricky Lake

Another great book to help you prepare for childbirth (whether natural or not). This book outlines all your options so you can choose the birth that is right for you!

6. When We Became Three Memory Book

This isn’t technically a book for reading but a memory book for you to fill out during your pregnancy. My friend sent me this book and I had so much fun filling it with pictures and memories of my pregnancy!

7. The Shit No one Tells You by Dawn Dais

I LOVE this book! Its hilarious and so true. My friend send me this book and I read it in about two days! Real moms tell real stories of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. This hilariously honest book is a total must have (in my opinion) for any mama to be! It also makes an awesome gift for any pregnant friends you may have 😉

8. What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff

If you couldn’t tell, I am a huge fan of the What to Expect Series! This is another one of their awesome books that provides you with a ton of information about your baby’s first year! As new parents, Daniël and I constantly have questions and this go-to book clears up so many baby confusions! It is truly a life saver!

9. The Wonder Weeks by Frans Plooij

Okay so I don’t actually own this book, but I really really want it! I outlines all of your babies different developmental phases, known as the wonder weeks. It also provides information on how to stimulate your baby and encourage their development. The wonder weeks also has a journal (sold separately) to track your baby’s developmental milestones!

10. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp

This book is an awesome parenting resource for all first-time (and second and third-time) parents. It helps parents understand their crying babies, teaches them soothing techniques, and helps get their babies to sleep. What parent doesn’t want that!

I hope this list helps some of you mamas-to-be prepare for your little bundle of joy to arrive. I know these books helped me so much throughout my pregnancy and they still provide such a great resource for all my parenting questions!

I would love to hear any more of your baby book suggestions if you have any. Feel free to comment below. Until next time, have a happy Wednesday!

Why you NEED to do Kegels during Pregnancy!

Hello Everyone! While Fé, Daniel, and I are enjoying some quality family time I thought I would quickly share with you the importance of doing Kegels during pregnancy! I made sure to do my Kegels everyday and it payed off and helped me tremendously! They are probably the single most important exercise you can do to prepare for Labor and Delivery and help with postpartum recovery.

Pelvic Floor Pregnancy

What Are Kegels?

Kegels are an exercise that strengthens the muscles of the pelvic floor. The Pelvic Floor muscles help support the bladder, bowels, and most importantly, your growing uterus! They also strengthen the muscles of your vaginal canal, which is ever so important for labor and delivery.

Whats up with my pelvic floor?

Your pelvic floor is oh so important, especially since you will be holding a baby inside of your uterus for about 9 (or 10) months. Pelvic Floor muscles also support your bladder and bowels. Having weak muscles can cause incontinence, which is when you leak a little pee every now and then. Having a strong pelvic floor can also help minimize hemorrhoids, another common pregnancy problem!

While it is important to have strong pelvic floor muscles your whole life, it is essential during pregnancy. All the added pressure of your uterus, placenta, and baby, need a lot of support down there.

Having a strong pelvic floor also helps with muscle control making for an easier labor and delivery. Who doesn’t want that!

How Do I do Kegels?

To activate your pelvic floor muscles, try sitting on the toilet, peeing, and stopping your pee. The pelvic floor muscles are the ones you use to stop your flow! Don’t try this too much or it can mess with your bladder and lead to a Urinary Track Infection. Which I am sure no pregnant woman wants!

Once you have located your kegel muscles, you can practice squeezing and holding them for about 5-10 seconds, in sets of 10 or 20. You can go up to as many you want per day! To really get the best use of your kegel muscles, I suggest doing at least 100 kegels a day (although not all in one sitting!)

Where Can I do Kegels?

Anywhere! Thats the beauty of Kegels. You can do them in the car, while you are watching TV, Preparing Dinner, when you are sitting in a waiting room. You can do Kegels anytime, anywhere!

What about After Pregnancy?

After pregnancy, kegels are essential. You just pushed a baby out of your vaginal canal, now its time to get that thing back in shape. Kegels will help strengthen your vaginal walls, heal the perineum, and regain bladder control. You should start doing kegels immediately after delivery to ensure proper recovery. Even though you probably wont be able to feel yourself doing them at first, they will still be beneficial!

More Pelvic Floor Exercises?

In addition to Kegels, there are a ton of other exercises that work your pelvic floor. Try Doing some:

  • Squats- Try doing 100 squats a day in addition to your kegels!
  • Pelvic Bridges- Lay on your back and slowly lift up your pelvis until it aligns with the rest of your torso. Hold for 5 seconds before returning back to the ground. Repeat!

In addition to doing kegels during pregnancy, be sure to keep a healthy diet and eat your dates!

Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian. This information has been gathered by doing extensive research. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any fitness or nutrition routine. Especially during pregnancy consult your doctor.