Many couples walk into my prenatal classes with their journals.
And I love it when they do.
Journalling through pregnancy is both useful and beneficial and I recommend journalling to all pregnant couples. I especially encourage expecting moms to journal, because they are going through massive changes and transforming physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. And journalling can make them feel like they have a best friend holding their hand.
Why should you journal during pregnancy?
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Helps in practicing mindfulness
- Builds your connection with your baby
- Makes you efficient
- Serves as a record of your pregnancy
How should you journal?
There are many ways to journal and all of them work. So, choose what you find comfortable.
- You can use paper and pen, or you can use a digital diary.
- You can write what comes to mind in a random order or you can respond to prompts.
- You can use a regular notebook, or you can use a specially designed journal with stickers and pockets.
What should you write in your journal?
- To reduce anxiety and stress:
- Write morning pages as soon as you wake up. Write random words that come to mind. The sentences do not have to be coherent if what you are feeling and thinking moves through the pen to the paper. This exercise makes you less anxious, more creative, and more productive.
- You can repeat this exercise at night.
- To practice mindfulness:
Write responses (any time during the day) to prompts like the following –
- I am grateful for
- A sound that made me feel good
- A sight that made me happy today
- One thing that I did to help someone today
- To build your connection with your baby:
Write a letter to your baby about your hopes, fears, and dreams at night before you sleep.
- Write about your plans.
- Sift through your thoughts and make decisions based on what will be best for both you and your baby.
4. To become more efficient:
Keep a log of your daily activities (this can be done through the day).
- Write about tasks you need to do, appointments you need to keep, things you need to buy and so on.
- Analyse and reflect on things that happened through the week or the month when you need to make decisions or plan.
5. Record your pregnancy:
This nine-month journey is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so write about it, so that you can come back to relish the memories later in life.
Write this every day as a couple. Write about the difficulties, joys, surprises, and discoveries that come your way as you journey into parenthood.
- Write about the morning sickness, the food aversions, the cravings and so on.
- Preserve the first ultrasound, the first strip of vitamins that you empty, pics of your maternity shoot and pics of your baby moon.
Keep your journal at a place where you spend most of your time. Or carry your journal with you if you are on the move.
Dr. Debmita Dutta MBBS, MD
Dr. Debmita Dutta MBBS, MD is a doctor, a parenting consultant, and the founder of WPA whatparentsask.com She conducts online and offline workshops on parenting for schools and corporate organisations. She also conducts online and offline prenatal and infant care classes. She is a well-known thought-leader in parenting and an expert on play, learning and eating habits. She is the author of 7 books on parenting published by Juggernaut Books and her books are among their most read books. She is frequently quoted in national and international publications of repute for her empathetic and compassionate approach and her application of physiology and neuroscience to parenting.