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By: Michelle Horton

Now that my sister is pregnant (see below), it’s given me a chance to reflect on what I discovered during pregnancy that no one told me. Things that my sister never would have thought of without a little well-meaning advice.

Here are three things that pregnant women should consider doing, but many don’t:

1. Take a prenatal breastfeeding class. You already know about Lamaze or The Bradley Method or any other kind of labor prep class, but I’d suggest taking a specific prenatal breastfeeding class — preferably taught by a certified lactation consultant. The amount of information you need to breastfeed — the physiological facts, baby positioning, feeding frequencies, complication troubleshooting — is much more involved than labor. And it’s also nice to have a lactation consultant on hand that you’re already comfortable with. Your body instinctually takes care of the labor (although a labor prep class can help ease anxiety of the unknown, and also help you to know your options and rights), but the breastfeeding? That doesn’t quite feel instinctual.

2. Prenatal yoga. I found yoga to be one of the most important preparations for my non-medicated labor, but I imagine it to be beneficial for any kind of labor: learning how to center yourself, to meditate, to get in tune with your body. And, let’s not forget, the breathing. See more about how prenatal yoga translates to labor.

3. Get properly fitted for a bra. Of course all women should probably get fitted for a bra by an actual expert — because apparently most of us wear the wrong bra size — but it’s especially important during pregnancy. Your heavier ever-growing breasts need proper support (pregnancy is a danger-zone for future sagging) and some relief from the incessant soreness. I swear: getting properly fitted will change your life. In fact, I’m taking my sister to get fitted for a new bra this weekend.

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