How to Have a Stress-Free Pregnancy


Since there are (fortuitously) seven steps to follow, I’m linking up with This Ain’t the Lyceum for Seven Quick Takes!

Can you believe my baby is already almost five months old? He’s getting big so fast! So in honor of being the mother of an almost five-month-year-old (how Jared says it and it’s so funny I have to include it here. Do tell if you know anyone else who says that!), let me give you some advice on how to make your pregnancy really easy and stress free.

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(Cute baby picture so you’re reminded what the end result will be).

First, start your pregnancy in a country where no one speaks your language.  Prenatal visits are that much more exciting when you have to listen to the nurses practicing how to say “gynecological” from Google translate. And you’re never quite sure if they’ve understood any questions you have. As a bonus, when you come back to English-speaking parts all your doctors will be really annoyed because your medical records are all in Chinese and they don’t teach them that in medical school.

Second, get rid of nearly everything you own and prepare to move halfway around the world when you’re about five months along. Things like couches can really weigh you down with their couch-sitting needs, so it’s better for all involved if you just get rid of them now. You’ll be thankful later when you’re so huge you can’t pry yourself off a couch with a crowbar!

Third,  leave the country you started in and spend a few months with family. You’d be amazed how packing in the visits and seeing as many people as possible in a couple months’ time makes everything easier. But don’t get your heart set on staying here with people you know–these are just quick visits!

Fourth, when you’ve traveled the entire length of the country and seen everyone, get ready to move! Thankfully this will be an easy process since you will have already done step two. It just involves packing your entire life back into the two suitcases you’re allowed and you’re off again.

Fifth, once you’ve flown for around seven hours and have a serious case of jet lag and swollen ankles, start looking for a place to live. This will involve lots and lots of googling and walking everywhere, so be sure to give yourself at least a few weeks before the baby’s supposed to come. Remember, you still have to find a doctor reasonably close to where you’ll be living as well.

Sixth, you finally find a place to live and your baby’s due in a month! Perfect timing. Now you can relax. . . except there’s no furniture. Time to go shopping so when that baby does make its appearance it doesn’t have to wear your clothes. Oh, and having somewhere comfortable to sleep is a plus too.

Seven, buy that waterproof mattress cover you know you should have just in case you’re one of the few people whose water actually breaks before you’re in labor. Then let it sit in the other room because there’s no way your water is actually going to break in the middle of the night–at least not two weeks before the baby’s expected!

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(Not-so-cute pregnancy picture so you can see what the last two weeks of pregnancy were like.)

Once you’ve done all that, you can kick back (I’ll let you have a couch again) and wait for that baby to arrive. You’ll probably have about two days before he decides it’s time. But at least you weren’t just sitting around worrying about when he was going to come.

So in brief: to have the easiest, least stressful pregnancy possible, all you have to do is get rid of all your stuff , pack some suitcases, and fly (four or more flights is best)! And for maximum stress reduction, plan on having a baby a few weeks after you arrive. It’s completely foolproof.

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11 thoughts on “How to Have a Stress-Free Pregnancy

  1. Pingback: 2016: Year in Pictures – Milk and Pickles

  2. Annika, this is great 🙂 #1 made me smile really big-that is so hilarious to think about! I like hearing your perspective and stories, though is it bad that this just makes me want to slack off more? I’m currently 27 weeks with Baby #1, and my husband and I are being super chill about everything (and our midwife is crazy chill, which only causes us to be more chill!). I know women (who are as far along as I am) who already have outfits, diapers, freezer meals, etc. etc. and I’m over here like, “Eh, I have a couple outfits people gave us. I have a couple carriers from Goodwill. I have a blanket. We’ll be good” 😛 (though last week, we did realize that some things we need to actually start talking about, like carseats and vaccinations, in case baby comes early)

    1. Slacking off sounds great to me! After all that, I didn’t have the energy to think about diapers and outfits and freezer meals. Which did result in the people in the hospital looking at me strangely (because I also didn’t know British hospitals don’t provide diapers or little shirts for the baby) because I didn’t even have a diaper for him! But everything turned out okay in spite of that.

      1. Haha! That’s great. And somewhat strange that British hospitals don’t provide that kind of stuff. Yes, in the end, everything works out, and it all makes a good story, too 🙂

  3. Sounds familiar 🙂 I’m going to a foreigner hospital here though and they actually can say gynecological! I hope to be able to avoid all of that moving and flying around by staying put here all summer, but we were just informed last week that there will be no hot water in our apartment building from May until the end of August, so maybe moving wouldn’t be such a bad thing?

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