Pregnancy Journal: 6 Benefits For Your Physical And Mental Health

Have you ever heard about pregnancy journals? If you did, you probably thought of them as a fun way to record your journey of becoming a mom or welcoming a new baby. And that’s true; they are a great way to record this special moment. But they are also so much more. A pregnancy journal is a valuable tool for monitoring your health and ensuring a smooth pregnancy. 

If this is your first pregnancy, you will soon find out how overwhelming it can be to keep track of every little detail. From the baby’s size to doctor’s appointments and pregnancy symptoms, there is so much to keep up with. A journal makes keeping track of everything much more manageable. If you are facing a high-risk pregnancy, the information you keep in a journal becomes even more crucial and can help you spot potential complications in advance.

Are you considering writing a pregnancy journal? In this article, our women’s health and abortion clinic in Fort Lauderdale will share the highlights of recording your pregnancy journey and tips to start your first pregnancy diary.

How Does A Pregnancy Journal Work?

The image shows a pregnant woman writing on her pregnancy journal.

Pregnancy can be a rewarding experience filled with new beginnings and happiness. But it can also be a series of changes accompanied by ups and downs that overwhelm the mother. Writing a journal is a way of self-expression that can contribute to the new mom’s physical and mental health. Individuals have collected their thoughts and experiences for centuries and put them down into words. Most people call it “keeping a diary,” and its benefits are well known—from giving our feelings a proper outlet and keeping our thoughts organized to reducing stress and anxiety. Pregnant women can take advantage of such benefits in this new season of their lives.

But a pregnancy journal is a little more complete than a daily diary. It involves keeping a detailed record of your feelings, symptoms, states, changes, and experiences from conception to birth. The journal becomes a valuable tool for recording the baby’s growth and development and your physical and emotional changes.

6 Benefits of Keeping a Pregnancy Journal

There are many highlights of keeping a pregnancy diary, including benefits for both your physical and mental health. Besides, it can be a fun process that will help you be more aware of your state and feelings, making you more present during this journey. 

Track Your Baby’s Growth and Development

The first benefit of keeping a diary from early pregnancy is having a thorough record of your baby’s development.

Not only will you have an accurate track of your baby’s size, but you will also have detailed information about its growth at each step of the pregnancy. By pairing this with information about heart rate, fetal movement, and organ development, you can follow your baby’s progress as it grows. 

You can use all that data to plan ahead for important doctor’s check-ups, when to visit your midwife, and create an accurate timeline for pregnancy events, such as symptoms and the due date. 

Keep An Eye On and Learn to Manage Your Pregnancy Symptoms

During pregnancy, you are expected to experience a series of physical changes—such as putting on some weight and swollen feet—and symptoms—like pregnancy bloating and nausea. As the baby grows, those symptoms can intensify, increasing your levels of discomfort. 

Tracking your pregnancy symptoms is an excellent way to know when they tend to show up and if something external triggers them. While there is not much to do about some physical symptoms, some you can manage by learning more about them. 

For instance, by keeping a record of your symptoms, you may notice you didn’t feel bloated during the past week, during which you engaged in physical activity. That could be a sign that staying active helps alleviate that pregnancy symptom.

Recording your physical side effects can become a guide if you plan to have more children in the future. While no two pregnancies look the same—not even for the same woman—it can serve as a guidebook for knowing what to expect and when, how to manage the symptoms, and which maternity care products and practices work best for you.

Be Aware Of Your Emotional Side Effects

Along with physical changes, pregnancy comes with an emotional charge that can lead to different mental symptoms. Feelings of tiredness, anxiety, fear, and stress are common among pregnant women. Your fluctuating hormones may cause you to travel through mood swings, making you feel glowing one day and not so great the next one. 

Keeping a journey that includes your mental changes will help you better understand your emotions during pregnancy. It will also provide an outlet to express every feeling you are experiencing. That will enable you to clear your thoughts, reconnect with yourself, and be aware of your mental state during this process. 

Notice Potential Complications Promptly

Keeping a journal of your physical changes during the pregnancy will help you spot potential complications promptly.

If you attend every doctor’s appointment and read all the pregnancy books, you probably know what to expect. Therefore, if something unusual happens, you can identify that change and act by calling your healthcare provider or scheduling a consultation. 

Women who periodically measure and record their body vitals, such as heart rate and blood pressure, have better chances of avoiding pregnancy complications. If you notice a significant change in your vital signals at any stage of your pregnancy, contact your primary healthcare provider or midwife to inform them about this change. 

Check Your Pregnancy Progress If You Had an Abortion or Miscarriage Before

After having an abortion or miscarriage, most women experience a normal pregnancy. Still, your doctor may recommend you commit to special care, such as more thorough controls and prenatal care. 

Thanks to today’s medical advances, pregnancy after abortion or miscarriage is not an issue. Then why would most healthcare providers advise extra care? Like with any medical procedure or health problems, if you had a miscarriage or pregnancy termination close to your current pregnancy, it’s best to keep track of your pregnancy development to ensure your and the baby’s well-being. 

In your pregnancy journal, you can keep a record of your physical changes and communicate them to your doctor during your antenatal appointments. 

The journal can also be a channel to express and deal with any fear, anxiety, or other feelings you have regarding your previous miscarriage and your current pregnancy journey. 

Monitor A Pre-existing Health Condition

Some health conditions, such as diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure, can present a risk factor for your pregnancy. Having a pre-existing health condition doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an uncomplicated, healthy pregnancy. However, you must take special care to ensure a safe pregnancy. 

Pregnancy special care with a pre-existing condition may involve more regular evaluations, fetal testing, and enhanced prenatal care. High-risk pregnancy education and lifestyle changes during pregnancy are also encouraged. Including a pregnancy journal in that list could be a good idea. Through the journal, you can give your doctor insightful information and exhaustive details about your progress and health status during each consultation. 

How To Start Keeping a Record of Your Pregnancy Journey

After reading about the many benefits of journaling your pregnancy progress, you may be excited about starting your own diary. But where should you start? What are you supposed to write in a pregnancy diary?

A pregnancy journal is supposed to record your daily feelings, symptoms, and physical changes while pregnant. You should also add information your doctor gives you at each appointment, such as your and the baby’s vital signs, weight, and size, as well as other relevant information. 

Here are some tips to start your own pregnancy journal:

  • You can use pen and paper or keep a digital journal, whatever suits you best. 
  • Ask yourself, “What is my intention for this journal?” Do you want to use it exclusively to track the baby’s development? Or do you want it to be an outlet for your emotions and thoughts during this journey? Or perhaps both?
  • Always keep the journal near and take it everywhere with you to ensure you write regularly. 
  • You can write a daily or weekly entrance, whatever feels more comfortable to you. 
  • Set a time or day of the week to write in your journal. Setting an alarm may also help you stay consistent. 
  • Let go of perfection, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself; journaling should be a fun, recreative activity. 
  • Use this space as a self-care time to connect with your emotions and reflect on this journey. 
  • Give it a chance. Journaling can be awkward at first, especially if you never kept a diary before; it’ll become easier over time and with a bit of practice. 

Ready To Start Your Pregnancy Journal?

Writing a pregnancy journal can be a fulfilling experience that helps soon-to-be moms understand their emotions and manage the physical and mental changes this process entails. It can also become a valuable tool for recording the baby’s development, the mother’s symptoms, and other relevant information regarding the pregnancy. 

Use your pregnancy journal as you prefer. It can be a moment of reflection and exploration of your feelings. Or a tool to have a detailed record of how your body changes and your baby grows. Or do both! What matters is that this activity makes your journey more organized and memorable.