To read part one, and the first five tips click here

Focus Energy Into Healthy Relationship Building

Before you even begin planning a pregnancy, you need to make sure you and your spouse or partner are on a healthy wavelength. Work together to develop a relationship that is free from stress and excessive arguments, develop a bond that is unbreakable, and become each other's best friend - because taking on the responsibility of a new life is so much more than glitz and glamour. You are both going to need to be each other's rock when things get tough. Having a baby will mean a lot less time for your partner and a heck of a lot less sleep, something you both need to be prepared for. It will likely also make you both fall in love all over again with your precious little creation.

Find Ways to Be and Stay Calm and Stress Free

Becoming and maintaining a mostly stress-free lifestyle (as stress-free as possible) will enable your pregnancy to be as healthy and calm as possible. Stress can have a major impact on both our mentality and our physical well being. Try participating in things such as meditation, relaxing bubble baths, calming music or yoga to calm and re-center yourself. Perhaps some lifestyle changes may need to happen before pregnancy to ensure this, such as a career change, or even ridding your life of people that aren't any good for you! Heck, you do you mama and do whats best for you and future baby!

Stop Drinking Alcohol 

Alcohol use before and during pregnancy is a big no-no. Wine, beer, and other alcohol forms are capable of producing an infant born with FAS, or Fetal Alchohol Syndrome, which is a type of birth defect. Granted, a lot of people don’t find out they are pregnant for a few weeks and have the odd drink which is normally nothing to worry about. However, it heightens the chance of birth defects and miscarriage so if you are planning a pregnancy, steer clear. Using alcohol during the months where you are trying to conceive can cause a negative impact on your body, and your baby. Since nobody can be sure of the exact moment of conception, it's best to avoid it altogether.

Take a Couples Vacation 

Taking a fun couples-only vacation to enjoy time together will help you to connect with one another, get you both out of your element, rid your mind from work stress, and give you special time together enjoying life and doing things you love. This will be a fond memory to look back on once baby is here and vacations are a bit more difficult to come by. Also take this time to ask each other those hard questions such as ‘Will we co-sleep? Will we send our child to a public or private school? Will we raise the baby religious? Will we raise the baby vegan? Will we share the load equally?’. Having these conversations now gets you both on the same page!

Educate Yourself on Everything Pregnancy

Spend as much time as you can educating yourself on pregnancy, and all of it's many possibilities. You might have a plan in mind of how you expect your birth to go, but with pregnancy, nothing is ever set in stone and things sometimes go a different way than we expect them to. Be sure to read up on c-sections, potential complications, and even the scarier things such as preeclampsia so you know what to look out for. A great resource to look into is What To Expect While Expecting, which is sort of the guidebook to pregnancy and all of the different things you might experience along the way. Taking antenatal classes when you are pregnant is an awesome (and I think essential) part of becoming parents. Learn about everything you can because education is power and theres nothing more powerful then raising a human the best way you know how.

As a midwife I also LOVE Ina May Gaskin and all of her pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding books. Get reading mama’s and papa’s!

By readying your body, mind, and relationship for what's to come, you will have the best pregnancy experience and birth possible. Education is key, and getting the facts about everything you should expect is essential! Let us know what other tips you would recommend!

Gorgeous picture of mama @fatmasaltwater