Sweet Memories: The Benefits of a Pregnancy Journal
If there’s ever a time in your life where you change and evolve drastically, it’s during the pregnancy and postpartum periods.
Each week and each month bring about so many unique thoughts, feelings, emotions, and physical evolutions that it can feel almost overwhelming to keep everything bottled up inside.
That’s why so many expecting parents choose to keep a journal throughout pregnancy. Journaling can be a wonderful way to keep a record of all the experiences you’re going through (both the amazing and anxiety-inducing) and your hopes and dreams for life with your child.
What is a pregnancy journal?
A pregnancy journal is a diary that you keep during the course of your pregnancy to detail your experiences, emotions, milestones, and memories. From the excitement leading up to your first ultrasound to the nervousness you feel as you inch closer to your due date, it’s a place for you to share everything you’re feeling. Not only can a pregnancy journal become a keepsake for you and your family to look back on for years to come, it can also be a wonderful way for you to manage the plethora of emotions you may feel over the course of your pregnancy.
Do you need a pregnancy journal?
It’s completely up to you whether you choose to keep a pregnancy journal. The decision is a personal one. However, it’s always easier to start a journal and stop along the way than look back at your 9-month journey and wish you had!
"Shortly after I told my mother that I was pregnant with her first grandchild, she gave me a journal. She hoped I would fill it with reflections on this special period in my life. But by the time my daughter started kindergarten, the book was still blank; I never wrote a single entry and I regret it to this day."Not only will documenting this time allow you to capture fleeting observations about pregnancy, it can make for a happier, healthier journey. Preparing for motherhood is often an emotional roller coaster, but expressing your feelings can ease stress, and in turn boost your physical resilience and immunity, says psychologist Diane Sanford, Ph.D., coauthor of Life Will Never Be the Same: The Real Mom's Postpartum Survival Guide.
"Logging your thoughts can help you to begin developing an attachment to your baby," adds Lara Honos-Webb, Ph.D., a psychologist in San Francisco. And once your child is older, giving her the details can reinforce the special bond you share.
The first step: Decide how you'll do it. You can use a book to jot down memories and store mementos such as your ultrasound printout, swap stories with other moms-to-be in an online journal, or upload everything onto a blog. But if staring at a blank page (or screen) is daunting, try sharing the responsibility with your husband, using a camcorder to interview each other once a month.
Not sure what to write or talk about? Read on for smart suggestions about which aspects of pregnancy to highlight.
What to Write About
- Breaking the News
- Your Changing Body
- Picking a Name
- The Emotional You
- Round-Two Firsts
- Your Pre-Mom Life