Here are 5 enjoyable pregnancy and birth
1) Find a preggo/mama community (Like This Forum). Besides chatting everyday with my pregnant work friends, I also went to prenatal yoga every week and met some great people through that. It's how my (invaluable) mama's group was formed, too. Definitely find as many people now as possible because you'll be happier if you have an automatic post-partum group of friends since it's harder to meet people right after baby arrives.
·2) Stretch a lot, especially starting in mid-second trimester to the end. I would stretch every night before bed, at every bathroom break at work, and towards the end I took stretch-specific breaks at work. My favorite stretches were cat-cow and L-shape with hands against the wall, flat back, and legs perpendicular to floor. Also, I'd spend 5 minutes a day on my knees and elbows (so my back was sloping down toward my head). All of these help get baby in the right position and the knees-elbow position gets baby to float up out of your hip area (felt great for me). Also, sitting posture is key for baby position. Similarly, remember to do both kegels and squats-- for the squats just hold at the bottom. The idea is to get the pelvic floor to be like a trampoline (kegels tighten it and squats stretch it).
3) Drink lots of water. And at night if you want to get fancy, add magnesium to it because it will help you sleep better and lessen leg cramping. I used a product called Natural Calm.
4) Look into your birthing options. I'm not trying to advocate for any path, just that you make it your own. The most disappointing birth stories I've heard are from people who went into things blind and felt disempowered at the end. Research whether you want hospital, birth center, or home and dont't just go with the "norm" because everyone else is doing it. Whichever option you choose, find out what to expect and voice your opinions. If you're aiming for a med-free birth (or even if you're not),
I recommend reading Ina May's "Guide to Childbirth." It's skewed towards birthing in a non-medical setting, but has really great advice and inspiring birth stories that won't scare you. Also, you may want to watch "The Business of Being Born," which is also slightly skewed, but brings up interesting points to consider.
5) Hire a doula. They are amazing. It's been shown that having a doula at a birth betters the potential outcomes. Even though we thought we were prepared and even though I had a "quick" 7-hour labor, my doula made things so so much easier.
Good luck to everyone!!!