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  • Writer's pictureKlara

Pregnancy Journaling - Why & how plus FREE template

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Pregnancy is such a fleeting time in your life. Yet it is time full of changes. Your body goes through such an incredible journey. Each and every week and even day brings something different, new and exciting. It can sometimes feel overwhelming. It might be helpful to put it to a paper to fully process all the changes, and also document them for the future. Afterall, pregnancy will only be 9 months of your whole life, which, in the grand scheme of things, feels like an incredibly short amount of time.

pregnancy journaling

Why start a pregnancy journal?

1. It can help you keep track of your symptoms. Day to day, your pregnancy symptoms will change. Your cravings, morning (for some all day) sickness intensity, your emotions,... these will all change. Some even multiple times a day. Writing down your experience might help you process this time in your life better.

2. It creates a keepsake to cherish forever & pass down to your own child in the future. It has a sentimental value - you can include a letter to your child, short personalized messages and other notes that one day will have such a huge meaning to you and your little one.

3. Reduces stress - if you are finding pregnancy a little overwhelming, writing all facts, thoughts and experiences down can help you ease anxiety and relax, seeing things written down. Instead of carrying all those feelings in you, a pregnancy journal is a great outlet to help you experience pregnancy. It can help you achieve a certain level of mental clarity

4. Bonding with your baby - it can be a wonderful way to bond with your little one, for you and your partner.

Oxfordshire bump photoshoot

How to start a pregnancy journal?

First things first, you need to decide the format of your pregnancy journal. This can either be a traditional, physical book journal, or you may choose to keep one in digital form, on your phone or computer. Deciding which is most suitable for you will depend on your lifestyle and preferences.

Once you choose what form you want to keep your journal in, the next step is to choose if you want to make your own journal completely from scratch, or if you want to purchase a digital journal template or prepared physical journal. You can find an example template later on in this blog post.

You may choose to document your pregnancy daily, weekly or monthly - this is entirely up to you.

Once you have decided on the above, you can start journaling!


Oxfordshire pregnancy photoshoot

Pregnancy journaling - the do’s and don’ts:

DO start as early as possible - or if you started a little bit later on in your pregnancy, try remembering the early stages and write them up in your journal, to create a cohesive journal

DO track your pregnancy - document as much detail as you can, on a weekly basis. This can include anything from belly growth, kick counts, weight & growth, mood, exercise, new symptoms, old symptoms, cravings, sleep, food… anything that comes to mind

DO write from the heart - your pregnancy journal is just that: YOURS. Use language and style of writing that feels authentic to you. There is no right or wrong. Write and document anything that you think might be relevant, or anything that pops in your mind. It might not make sense at the time, but perhaps one day you will read these “random notes” with sentiment and remember this time in life exactly how it felt back then.

DO include a calendar - depending on how you design your journal, you might find it helpful to include a calendar with important appointments, scans, antenatal classes, a countdown to maternity leave etc.

DO keep a TO DO list - there is so much to think about, and to prepare during your pregnancy. It is helpful to keep a list of everything you need to organize, buy or do before your little one arrives. Having a list that you can tick as you go will be extremely helpful and will be a visual reminder of what you have already done, and what is left to do so you can enjoy pregnancy with as little stress as possible

DO include a personal letter to your baby- write a heartfelt letter to your baby. One day, this will be one of the most cherished things your child will have. Write all your hopes and dreams, all your feelings and any messages you may have for your little one.

DO prepare for baby - use your journal to write a list of your favourite baby names, of which parenting books you’d like to read before your little one arrives, or books you’d like to read to your little one once they arrive. Include your birth plan (find tips on how to write your birth plan here), your hospital bag itinerary (useful tips on packing your hospital bag here), details about your maternity photoshoot, newborn photoshoot mood board etc.

DO include your partner in the process - you can create a section for each parent in the pregnancy journey and each write a section of how you experienced a certain event or month. It not only helps you two bond over pregnancy, but also it will once be such a lovely thing to read for your little one.

DO write impromptu moments - anything that pops in your mind is relevant. Write it down if it feels right.

DO include photographs, scans, sketches etc. - you can let your creativity loose and decorate your journal with your bump photos (a great idea would be to photograph your bump monthly and create a timeline to document your bump growth), maternity portraits (learn about my professional maternity portrait sessions here), baby scans, any drawings you might want to create, or you might even feel like creating a visual mood board for the baby’s nursery in your journal. Let your creative side go wild and decorate your journal.

DON’T feel pressure - creating a pregnancy journal should be a pleasant activity you can use for self care, for mental clarity, for relaxing and bonding with your baby. Don’t feel pressured to do anything that doesn’t feel right. Don’t feel like you HAVE TO write into your journal daily, or that you HAVE TO follow any rules. Don’t feel pressured that your pregnancy journal might not look pinterest perfect. It is perfect because it is yours. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another person. Simply figure out what you like to include in your journal, and stick to it. You might even feel like journaling isn't for you, and that is absolutely fine too!

DON’T leave out the small details - oftentimes these little details make such a difference. You will definitely want to remember all these small things that might slip your mind in years to come. Document them all.

Oxfordshire maternity photography

These are just a few tips on how to start and keep your pregnancy journal. As I said earlier, a pregnancy journal can (and should) be personalized to YOU, as every pregnancy, every person’s lifestyle is different. Do what works for you and enjoy the process.

There is a huge variety of prepared journals on offer. I have also created a template you can print out or use to take ideas from for your DIY journal. You can find it in my exclusive The Second Star Photography Group here.

Happy Journaling!

 

The Second Star Photography is a professional mobile studio, providing in home newborn; maternity and lifestyle photography sessions within Oxfordshire and areas of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire. Enjoy the luxury of professional newborn photography session in the comfort of your own home. Klara is first aid trained professional newborn and family photographer covering Bicester, Banbury, Aylesbury, Abingdon, Oxford, Thame, Brackley among other areas of Oxfordshire, Bucks and Northamptonshire.



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