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  • Making a Pregnancy Journal: The Why's, What's and How's

    Most mothers think about chronicling baby’s life only upon giving birth, but just as valuable would be documenting the months before.
    by Ana P. Santos .
Making a Pregnancy Journal: The Why's, What's and How's
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  • Every expecting mother goes through a 10-month (yes, pregnancy is 10 months) journey that deserves to be chronicled in a pregnancy journal.

    Most mothers think about chronicling baby’s life only upon giving birth, but just as valuable would be documenting the months before, when you and baby were growing together (quite literally!) as one.

    But if you’re still unsure about why you should start one, how to start or even what to put in, here is a list of why’s and how’s for making a pregnancy journal.

    Why make a pregnancy journal

    Why #1: For memories’ sake

    Dr. Marge dela Rosa, a OB-GYNE at the Makati Medical Center strongly recommends starting a pregnancy journal. “With this, you can document everything that happened and all the memories the pregnancy brought about.”

    Dr. dela Rosa, who now has a 10 year old son, adds, “We didn’t have that (pregnancy journals) before so all we do is re-collect events of the the past. Thoughts and memories fade away, but events documented will forever be there.”

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    Why #2: For medical purposes and future reference

     Dr. dela Rosa adds that you could also use a journal to chronicle your pregnancy condition which would be valuable reference for your succeeding pregnancies.

    While each pregnancy is different, certain things like weight gain per trimester, how long your last pregnancy was and if you had any difficult conditions at a certain stage of the pregnancy will be noteworthy.

    Why #3: To re-live the pregnancy with your child after he / she is born

    A pregnancy journal will serve as a memory book for yourself and your child--and this doesn’t go for just firstborns.

    At some point, your child is going to ask you things about what it was like when you were carrying them in your tummy, what you and her father (or your choice co-parents) were like and what your life was like B.C. (before Child).  A pregnancy journal would serve as a nice memory book / story book to look back on together.

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    Some moms like Joanne used her pregnancy journal as a bedtime story. “My son, Javi, was always curious about what it was like in Mommy’s tummy. I couldn’t explain that in specifics, but I could tell him what it was like for me and for our doctor to track his growth. The pictures and keepsakes in my pregnancy journal served as a good story for bedtime,” said Joanne.

    How to start a pregnancy journal

    How #1: Buy a ready made one

     There are a number of pregnancy journals that are available in bookstores and on-line, and at a wide range of prices. You can simply check on the ones that you like most and what will best fit your budget.

    There are also specialty journals like Happy Even After: A Solo Mom’s Journal. The reality of today is that not every expecting mom will have a partner who will go along the journey with her. But that does not mean you will not have a “co-parent” which is simply anyone who can stand by you and hold your hand through your pregnancy. Happy Even After can serve as your ally where you can write down your thoughts and random items about going through a pregnancy on your own. Available at happyevenafter.com or at Fully Booked branches.

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    How #2: Make one yourself

    Yes, you can make your own pregnancy journal, one that is tailor-fit to how you are most comfortable writing down your thoughts and collecting keepsakes.

    If writing down entries like a diary suit you, why not splurge on a nice hardbound notebook? If you like making doodles, buy a blank sketchpad and a set of colorful pens. If you are a scrapbook afficianado, by all means, make a scrapbook which will serve as your pregnancy journal. Aspiring scrapbookers can start now, by buying a scrapbook and trying it out themselves.

    Scour the craft stores and scrapbook stores for ideas and for a choice of one-of-a-kind notebooks.

    How #3: Make it online

    Those women with relatives abroad, or even those whose partners are abroad would certainly benefit from an on-line pregnancy journal. It would be their own way of sharing the journey with their loved ones who are far away.

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    Donee’s husband, Charlie had to go back to Canada a few months after they were married. Donee, while waiting for her papers, had to stay behind in Manila. “It was hard to have Charlie far away during the pregnancy. Making an on-line journal went a long way in not making me feel alone in what I was going through,” said Donnee.

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    What to include in your journal

    What to put in # 1: Details, details, details

    Mompreneur and founder of Mommy Mundo Janice Crisostomo – Villanueva suggests, “Jot down food cravings and document your growing belly size. Make notes about your doctor’s check ups and paste pictures of ultrasounds.”

    As a growing trend is to now have pregnancy photos taken, be sure to include this in your pregnancy journal as well.

    What to put in #2: Notes from the Family

    In our culture of extended families, it is natural that one’s pregnancy is a source of joy not just for the couple but for Lolo and Lola and Ninong and Ninang as well.

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    Ask them to make notes for your baby, paste their pictures to make a family tree or make photo albums during memorable events with other members of your family. It will be a great way to show your child that his/her arrival was anticipated by many. It also shows that a family and the circle of love from it goes way beyond Mommy and Daddy.

    What to put in #3: Letter to baby

    Whichever format you chose, don’t forget to put down a note from you to baby. A personal letter of what it was like to be pregnant with them, how you loved them instantly and what your hopes and dreams are for them will be a great addition to your journal.  

    More than the format you chose, it is the personal elements that will make your pregnancy journal a concrete representation of memories that you want to preserve and look back on time.

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