5 Ways to Enjoy Your Pregnancy (Even When You’re Miserable)

Image courtesy JJBrusiePhotography
Image courtesy JJBrusiePhotography

By now, it's no secret that I am not the biggest fan of being pregnant

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And although my body doesn't exactly seem to agree with  me, insisting on playing the pregnancy card every chance it gets (every 1.25 years to be exact), there are still quite a few things to dread about the preggo state, such as:

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Waddling
  • Feeling like you can't breathe
  • Uncontrollable weight gain
  • Embarrassing gas
  • Discharge?!
  • Internal kicks to the ribs
  • Swelling

But really, who's keeping track? 

In all seriousness, 40+ weeks of pregnancy is a long time, and I do believe that it's important to keep positive during pregnancy, if not for the sake of the baby, then for a mother's mental health. I know from experience that a turbulent pregnancy can lead to a somewhat tumultuous post-partum period as well. This time around, I know I have to work a little bit harder at keeping a positive attitude during my pregnancy (four kids in five years might do that to you …), so here is my working list on keeping a healthy and happy attitude, even when you're miserable.

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Image via j&j brusie photography
Image via j&j brusie photography

1. Focus on the good of the pregnancy. Yes, this advice may seem of the simpleton variety, but I include it only because it really does help me focus on the good things that are to come: an adorable baby to cuddle, a full family, the joy and fun of siblings, and the bond between partners that really only a newborn baby can bring. Plus, think of all the cute Instagram pictures you can take! 

Image via healthiermi/Flickr
Image via healthiermi/Flickr

2. Exercise. Honestly, one of the hardest parts about pregnancy for me is the weight gain. I'm not a small pregnant woman, let's put it that way. I've seen full-term women look like I do at about five months, which is nice for them, unfortunate for me. Staying active not only releases those happy chemicals to keep me positive, but it helps me feel like I'm not letting pregnancy weight get the best of me.  

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Image via Chaunie Brusie/j&j brusie photography
Image via Chaunie Brusie/j&j brusie photography

3. Ignore and don't compare. And by this, I don't mean  ignore those annoying people who insist on asking you if you're carrying twins or “when are you going to pop that kid out already?” but those pregnant women who insist on documenting every minute of their blissful, glowing, beautiful pregnancies. Yes, some women have the good fortune to sail through their pregnancies without so much as a whiff of morning sickness, but meanwhile, some of us have a harder time. And that's OK! Don't compare pregnancies; it will be a good lesson to learn now before the parenthood games begin. 

Image viaYutaka Tsutano/Flickr
Image via Yutaka Tsutano/Flickr

4. Use a pregnancy app. I've never been one of those “what size of fruit is my baby this month?” women, but after downloading my first-ever fetal development app (because I happened to write it, ahem), I have to admit, it's actually making a world of difference in upping the excitement factor. It's just so much fun to follow along every week and watch the baby change before my eyes. My girls know to check my phone every Saturday to see how big the baby is, and their enthusiasm is catching. If you don't have a smartphone (or even if you do!), try EverydayFamily's week-by-week pregnancy guide for videos and emails that will  keep you informed along the way. 

Image via Flickr/beta_rockker
Image via Flickr/beta_rockker

5. Invest in some cute maternity clothes. Nothing will make you feel worse than schlepping around the town in sweatpants and your husband's ratty old t-shirt. Seriously, buy some maternity clothes that make you feel good. Knowing that I will spend a good majority of this pregnancy in the hot summer months, I just bought a really cute green maternity bathing suit on clearance that I know will be put to good use when I'm floating my baby bump in the pool. And I already know that lots of flowy, maxi dresses are on my shopping to-buy list. This is one pregnancy I'm determined not to make myself even more miserable. 

{ MORE: You Can Have a Baby and Exercise, Too. Here's How. }

Do you love being pregnant or struggle to enjoy it? What do you do to bring positivity to your pregnancy in those less-than-stellar moments?

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5 Ways to Enjoy Your Pregnancy (Even When You’re Miserable)

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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8 comments

  1. S says:

    I am 33 weeks pregnant (1st pregnancy). Ladies please do not hate me but I am having a wonderful time being pregnant! I was nauseous the first month (no puking) but after that I have been good. Most of the weight gain is from the baby. I walk a lot and surprisingly I do not have very strong cravings. My husband and I are not finding out the sex of the baby until I go into labor. To sum up everything, I would say walk a lot and try not to pay attention to the side effects of pregnancy. 🙂

  2. Mariely says:

    This is my 3rd pregnancy, By far has been the hardest. I’ve tried to enjoy the good days I’ve had which were very few. I’ve had more bad days over good days. I’m about less then a week away from my due date. Having contractions for almost 2 weeks. Staying positive has been very hard. But I know soon as I hold my daughter, it will all be worth it. Dressing up, treating yourself helps a long ways. My kids have helped me on those bad days. Made the pregnancy not so bad. 🙂

  3. Casey says:

    This is my first pregnancy and i keep asking myself how anyone would purposely get pregnant more then once. Its very difficult at times to always think of the positives. One thing that did help a lot was just doing simple things for myself like doing my nails. Although I couldn’t afford to get them done professionally even doing them myself seemed to make a difference. It seemed like such a simple thing but it made me feel like I was still attractive even when my ankles and feet were so swollen i couldn’t even wear shoes, (plus its nice to hear people comment on something other than how big your belly looks.)

  4. Jessica says:

    The advice about investing in cute maternity clothes is spot-on. Also, get your hair and nails done regularly, even though it doesn’t feel like it, when you are pregnant you are the most beautiful you will ever be in your whole life. Take full advantage of it.

  5. Jessica says:

    You mean heartburn didn’t make your list? That, and having to pee constantly were the only things I didn’t like about being pregnant. Otherwise, I loved every minute of it.

  6. Mary-Hope says:

    I’m definitely far from the glowing happy pregnant mom to be. I do not enjoy being pregnant but am excited about the baby that will soon be here. My daughter excitement over being a big sister and talking to my belly has helped me to be less grumpy about the growing belly and “fun” systoms lol

  7. LIZ says:

    i did enjoy my pregnancy so much because i thought this one could be the only one, and it was now im so happy that i did enjoy it 🙂

    • Lauren says:

      Liz, I know how you feel back in November I lost my first baby now I’m pregnant again I have round ligament pain, nausea the whole works but I love every moment cause I feel blessed to finally after all these years of trying to experience every moment of my baby growing. The good as well as the not so good.

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