How to Create a Pregnancy Journal

Three Methods:Starting the JournalKnowing What to Write AboutIncluding Things Other Than Writing

Pregnancy is an incredibly important time in a woman's life. It is a time of many changes, from physical changes to mental and lifestyle changes. You may wish to take note of some of these changes in your life, and write them down for later reflection. You can easily start a pregnancy journal with the proper planning and guidance, and have a record of all the incredible feelings and experiences you have during your pregnancy.

Method 1
Starting the Journal

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    Assemble your materials to properly prepare for journaling. To start your pregnancy journal, you will need to gather a variety of supplies. By getting everything you need in advance and making a firm decision to journal, you will be able to stick to your plan and create a beautiful journal. You will need some necessities, and may want to add some materials for fun. Some ideas are:
    • If you plan to keep a journal in written form, get a notebook with a hard cover, preferably with no lines.
    • Get wrapping paper to decorate the notebook, and scissors, glue, pencils, markers and anything else you plan to use to fill in the journal.
    • Get a camera to record images of important events during your pregnancy.
    • Get a computer if you plan to keep a diary in electronic format - in the form of a blog or video blog.
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    Split the journal into 3 parts. An easy way to structure you pregnancy journal is to split it into three parts, one part for each trimester. At the beginning of each trimester, mark your calendar and use it to keep track of important moments such as:
    • When you found out that you are pregnant
    • The first date you felt your baby move
    • When you told your parents
    • When you first saw a doctor
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    Start journaling as soon as you know you're pregnant to capture a full record. To make sure that you are getting all the details of your pregnancy, start writing immediately. If you postpone your writing for later, you may find some of the details fade from your memory.
    • Write about how you found out that you are pregnant. Did you find out from the doctor, a pregnancy test, or your own intuition?
    • Take pictures of the test if you are able to. Were you planning to become pregnant or not? How did you feel when you found out? What was the reaction of your partner? How did your family react?
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    Include your biography to set up a background for your journal. Writing a bit about your biography will help set the stage in your mind for when you read your journal later in life. The background information will help bring you back in time, and allow you to remember how you viewed the world when you started your journal.
    • Refer to important landmarks and important decisions in your life, write about them and explain why you made them.
    • Finally, as the last important piece of your biography, specify your decision to have a child.
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    Set aside the time to write to make sure you journal regularly. Choosing a specific time to journal will allow you to stick to a schedule and consistently add to your journal. It can be hard to journal when your everyday life gets in the way, but you will grow to see your journaling time as a welcome respite from the pressures of the day.
    • If you have a lot of time and a lot of strong emotions, write in your journal every time you feel something noteworthy.
    • If you have a lot of obligations, mark important moments in the calendar at the top of each trimester, but take the time to write at least once a week or more often, when you are most motivated.
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    Write for at least 15-20 minutes to give yourself enough time for detail. Writing for more than 15 minutes will let you take note of things that you wouldn't think about in three minutes. Write about everything you can think of, from how you feel, what happened during your pregnancy to you and others, to any changes you noticed within yourself.
    • When you start writing, the words will flow.

Method 2
Knowing What to Write About

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    Write about your feelings to keep track of your mindset. Your feelings are a practically limitless source of inspiration for journal writing. During pregnancy, you may experience dramatic mood swings. You may become more sensitive and possibly more nervous than usual. Write about these feelings:
    • What made you happy?
    • Why are you crying?
    • What annoys you?
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    Record the changes your body's changes. Your body will definitely go through some changes during pregnancy. You might enjoy some of these changes, or you might be concerned about your body weight. Write about what is happening so you can reflect on it after your pregnancy is over.
    • Has your belly grown?
    • Do you have swollen feet, hands?
    • Does it seem that your nose is bigger?
    • What about your breasts?
    • Do you feel nauseous?
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    Think about the changes in your life. Writing about changes in your life may help you process or prioritize your daily routine. Because getting pregnant directly forces you to alter your schedule for another human being, reflect on how you have accommodated the needs of the baby and your body.
    • How do you balance your work and pregnancy?
    • Have you changed your diet?
    • Have you given up cigarettes?
    • Are you more tired than usual?
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    Jot down your fears. It's quite common to experience some fear when you become pregnant. Write about your fears and thoughts about childbirth, or your child's health. Processing these fears through writing can help you determine whether or not they are valid, or merely irrational thoughts.
    • Are you afraid of how your pregnancy will progress?
    • Are you afraid that your child will be born unhealthy?
    • Do you wonder whether or not you'll be a good parent?
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    Contemplate your expectations in writing. Writing about your expectations will allow you to realize whether or not they are worth holding. Many parents have unspoken expectations of their parenthood, ranging from the gender to the looks of the child.
    • If you do not know the sex of the child, do you expect that you will give birth to a boy or a girl?
    • Which parent will the child look like?
    • Do you expect to have a peaceful or wild child?
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    Take note of your dreams. Dreams can lend powerful insight into your subconscious. Many people believe that dreams accurately reflect the thoughts and feelings that are not readily accessible by your conscious thoughts during the waking hours of the day. Note your subconscious messages and try to interpret them.
    • See if any of your dreams come true or have real bearing on your life.
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    Write a letter to your child. Writing a letter to your child can be a great way to express your feelings about your impending motherhood. This exercise can help you anticipate and feel good about your future child.
    • Be open and honest.
    • Write to them about your thoughts and feelings.
    • Try talking about how much you look forward to their arrival, how much you are afraid, and more.
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    Try to brainstorm your child's name. If you haven't yet decided on a name for your baby, find inspiration for name ideas in your daily life, literature, art, or baby name books. Writing about your baby's name will help you decide on a good name, by letting your reason and feel through the different aspects of each name. If you have already chosen a name, write about that.
    • How did you choose the name? Who chose it?
    • Is the child named after someone and why?

Method 3
Including Things Other Than Writing

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    Take pictures and include them in your journal to provide a visual element. Pictures speak a thousand words, and including many pictures in a pregnancy journal is a great way to capture special moments. It is a great idea for you to keep a camera with you throughout your pregnancy so that you can take pictures of yourself or have someone take pictures of you.
    • Many women include all sorts of pictures in their pregnancy journal, especially ultrasound pictures and pictures of their expanding abdomen as the baby grows inside them.
    • Take pictures of places you have visited while pregnant.
    • Note your progress on your stomach and photograph it once in a week.
    • Take pictures of your baby shower, and make a note of who is involved.
    • If your journal does not have space for physical items, pictures are a great way to add some mixed media to an otherwise text-based journal.
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    Include some physical items to add variety and depth to your journal. Whether the journal is capable of holding physical items or not, there are some items that are definitely worth keeping. Certain items will have deep symbolic significance to you and your family, and are great things to preserve for years to come.
    • These items could include invitations to baby showers, congratulation cards, scraps of paper or napkins with scribbled down lists of possible baby names, and even the baby’s name card from the hospital bassinet after they are born.
    • As stated before, some pregnancy journals have spaces for these items and some do not. If your journal does not have space for physical items, the date and other information can still be written in the journal and a picture can be taken of the object. #*You can also have a keepsake box where you store all of the things that cannot be put in the journal.
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    Bring your family and friends into the journal to provide additional perspectives. Add pictures of family members and create a family tree for your baby. Let family and friends leave messages for the baby. Put them in a special envelope and paste them in the journal.
    • This can be a great way for the baby to come into the world surrounded by loving, supporting people.
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    Add an audio or video component. Shoot video or record audio during your pregnancy to add a realistic element to your journal. Audio and video recordings can be a great way to transport yourself back in time, providing a set of detailed and personal images.
    • You can record them on CD or DVD and show them to the child when they grow up.
    • Record music you like to listen to, or music you "play" the baby while he or she is in your stomach. Put it in an envelope and stick in your diary.
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    Note the birth details. You spent all this time writing and logging the progress of your pregnancy, so don't forget to include the birth! The birth is the culmination of this process and often a life changing experience for a new mother. Include relevant details:
    • Where the child is born and when.
    • Under what circumstances did you feel your first contractions?
    • Who took you to the hospital?
    • How did you give birth, naturally or by cesarean section? With or without an epidural?
    • How long was the labor and what went through your head?
    • How did you feel when you first saw your child?
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    Take pictures of the newborn baby. Take pictures of the newborn and put them at the end of the pregnancy journal for a fulfilling endpoint. Saving all of these precious memories will be priceless when you look back at them later in life.
    • One day, you can show your child and remind yourself what he or she looked like.

Article Info

Categories: Pregnancy | Journal Writing