Basically the minute I found out I was pregnant, I started asking friends who had already been pregnant for advice. I consider it a right of passage to get pregnant, freak out, and ask a million questions of anybody and everybody you can (including strangers on the internet to help you name your baby). I was lucky enough to have a relatively easy and painless pregnancy and lots of women asked me how I did it. So, though I’m certainly no expert on pregnancy, I can tell you the top 3 things that helped me BIG TIME and would highly recommend for any other pregnant woman to do.

Tip 1: Don’t eat for two. 
I know it sounds awesome that you’re finally supposed to gain a lot of weight and you don’t have to pretend to diet anymre… I mean, you’re eating for two now, right? Except don’t. Eat exactly like you did before and maybe add a snack or two more. Be honest for a second. Is there really any woman out there who doesn’t eat more calories than she absolutely needs?  Dinner out with friends? Chips while watching TV? Cookies at book club?

If you eat more, you will regret it!!! Ask a woman who gained 25 pounds vs. a woman who gained 45 pounds how she feels during her 9th month of pregnancy. Think about it – carrying an extra 45 pounds around?!?!? Or 50!?! or 60 pounds!?!? How could your poor feet, ankles, or legs handle all that added pressure so quickly? You can’t. You WILL be miserable. And then you have to worry about trying to lose all that extra weight afterwards. Just say no. It’s not worth it.

Tip 2: Stay active (and do yoga!).
You’re pregnant, you’re not ill. Always remember that. Don’t act like you can’t walk, bend, take the stairs, or run errands. You can. Don’t have everyone carry your bags or treat you like you’re injured. You’re not. Also, keep a regular active routine (but don’t go crazy and start training for a marathon obviously). Even if you never did anything before, start now. The littlest exercises will add up big time later. Example: do squats every day. I know that sounds terrible but here’s a little trick – do 10 squats every time you brush your teeth. Easy-peasy, not time.consuming, no excuses why you couldn’t go to the gym. Even that is enough to get your leg muscles prepped for the weight that will come and the birthing process. I walk at least 30 minutes every day with my dog and try to do over an hour on weekends. Borrow a friend’s dog or baby for motivation if you hate to walk without purpose.

The best activity I did throughout pregnancy was yoga. Stretching every day and building stability made it so I virtually never had back pain, leg cramps, or any other problems most preggo women have. As soon as something felt a little stiff, I worked on it before it could get any worse. That’s why at 9 months pregnant I could still go for hikes for over an hour with no problems whatsoever.

Tip 3: Drink Water. 
A million bad things happen when you don’t drink enough water and most people don’t drink enough water. Drink enough water. I drink 1-2 glasses of water just with breakfast to start the day hydrated. If you think you’ve had enough, drink an extra glass just to be sure. And then another one. Carry a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go.  Seriously, drink water.

I know many women who got contractions months early because they were dehydrated. I know women who were so swollen that by 7 months they could no longer wear their wedding rings. And have you ever seen sausage toes? You won’t be able to wear any shoes and you will look like Kim Kardashian. Oh, and fun fact I didn’t know until I was pregnant but those horrifyingly debilitating charlie horse cramps in your calf? Very common during pregnancy! How do you avoid getting them? Yep. Drink water!

Do you have any other tips you think really made your pregnancy easier?