Just when you’re starting to feel like you couldn’t possibly stretch your belly any further, you need to think about some of the perks you’ve experienced during your pregnancy—or even as you begin your pregnancy journey. My pregnant years are behind me these days, but I can fondly look back on all three of my pregnancies. I actually did enjoy being pregnant—for the most part at least!
Some of my favorite things included feeling Baby move within me like a special secret, seeing people smile knowingly at the excitement a new baby can bring, preparing a nursery, coming up with a name for a whole new person, enjoying eating for two, and not having to suck my belly in! Here’s a Top Nine list in no particular order that fellow mothers have helped me put together.
1. The Kindness of Strangers
It can be challenging to see the good in our world today, but as Mr. Rogers once said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Lendy Bix, mother of six from Bloomington, IL, says, “You never realize how many people will hold the door for you or carry something heavy for you until you are no longer pregnant and have to do it yourself!” Allyce Trusheim, mother of two from Cedar Falls, IA, says,“I liked all of the smiles I would get from older ladies and moms past the baby stage that would just smile at you encouragingly. I always thought that was super sweet.”
2. Parking Perks!
Even some businesses offer perks for expectant and new moms. “Front row parking at some stores!” exclaims Carly Rickard, mother of two from Bloomington. But nowadays, curbside pickup is hard to beat!
If you know who to ask, you could be eligible for some free products, and who doesn’t love free things? “Receiving a free breast pump through our insurance and a baby gift box from Amazon for using them for our registry was a perk for me,” says Kim Rauscher, mother of three from Overland Park.
“When I was pregnant with my twins, I was given a list of companies with addresses that had ‘parents with multiples’ programs. I sent about 20 letters with a copy of the twins’ birth certificates and received all kinds of freebies! I received Halo sleep sacks, cases of formula, free diaper coupons, Dr. Brown bottles, pacifiers and a ton of sample products. I also wrote to the White House after each of my kids were born so they all have letters from President Obama,” says Jennifer Willis, mother of four from Blue Springs.
4. Beauty Benefits
We have heard of some beauty benefits from those extra hormones, and these moms share their experiences. Jennifer Gentry, mother of four from Overland Park, says, “The hair on my legs and armpits barely grew when I was pregnant with any of my four babies. I barely had to shave!” Heather Miller, mother of three from Bloomington, says, “Gotta love the luxurious locks!” Terri Demarest, a mother of three from Correctionville, IA, says she enjoyed having “a reason to get some new clothes and being able to eat random cravings.”
“Not having to suck in!” says Bradey Turner, mother of two from Parker, CO. Trusheim says, “Being pregnant gave me grace for my body, and if I worked out or ate healthy, it wasn’t just for me but also for another little human being.”
5. A Chance to Put Your Feet Up
Growing an entire new human is tough work! It can cause extreme fatigue, so take this time to cash in! I remember reading to my older preschoolers while pregnant with my third baby and almost always nodding off while reading. If you have littles at home with you while you’re pregnant, take advantage of their nap or rest time while you can. “Unlimited naps and help with chores were perks for me!” exclaims Joellyn Nauman, Bloomington, mother of three.
6. Fun facts!
Drea Fecht, mother of one from Normal, IL says, “Emails comparing my baby’s size to fruit and vegetables was a perk.” Nowadays, there are fun apps as well as the informative What to Expect When You’re Expecting book that helps you understand just what you and your baby are accomplishing during this time. It’s amazing!
7. Feeling the Baby
I always felt like it was a special secret that I was able to feel that baby move around inside me. It’s fun for others to be able to feel Baby eventually too, but it’s not the same. “Getting to feel the baby move and being able to bond with the baby was definitely a perk,” says Demarest.
8. A Reason to Celebrate!
“A huge baby shower at work with cake and presents was a fun perk!” shares Danielle O’Kelley, mother of three from Bloomington.
We need all the reasons to celebrate this year, and even if the pandemic doesn’t allow for a typical baby shower, people are so creative with celebrations during this time. Start scouring Pinterest or put someone else in charge of making this a celebration you won’t forget. Besides a party, a pregnancy can be worth privately celebrating too. Trusheim explains, “As an art teacher it was just the coolest thing ever! I had made paintings before and had done all kinds of crafty things, but a baby was by far the coolest thing I’ve made!”
9. Something to Look Forward to
We could all use a little joy to look forward to these days, and what’s more joyful than a new baby? It can give us hope for the future and something to look forward to—as well as having an opportunity to create a new nursery or a big kid room for any older children if you keep the same nursery. It just keeps us moving forward. As well as looking forward to that new baby smell, warm snuggles, seeing what the baby will look like, what his name will be, and all the firsts that come with a new member of the family.
There is definitely a lot to be grateful for during these nine months of growing another whole human, but it’s not always rainbows and sunshine for every mother-to-be. Some women really do have a hard time during pregnancy, and we don’t want to discredit that. When asked what her perks of being pregnant were, Rachel D’Ardenne, mother of three from Parker, CO, simply says, “None.” So enjoy what you can while you can but know that you’re not alone if you’re looking forward to it all being over with either.
Stephanie Loux is the mother of Layla, 10, Mason, 9, and Slade, 6, and remembers her pregnancies fondly—except for the worsening of her heartburn for all three of her bald babies.