Sweet Memories: The Benefits of a Pregnancy Journal

A pregnancy journal is a great way to remember what it felt like the moment you announced your pregnancy, picking a name, the first kick and everything in between.
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Shortly after I told my mother that I was pregnant with her first grandchild, she gave me a journal. She hoped I would fill it with reflections on this special period in my life. But by the time my daughter started kindergarten, the book was still blank; I never wrote a single entry and I regret it to this day.

Not only will documenting this time allow you to capture fleeting observations about pregnancy, it can make for a happier, healthier journey. Preparing for motherhood is often an emotional roller coaster, but expressing your feelings can ease stress, and in turn boost your physical resilience and immunity, says psychologist Diane Sanford, Ph.D., coauthor of Life Will Never Be the Same: The Real Mom's Postpartum Survival Guide.

"Logging your thoughts can help you to begin developing an attachment to your baby," adds Lara Honos-Webb, Ph.D., a psychologist in San Francisco. And once your child is older, giving her the details can reinforce the special bond you share.

The first step: Decide how you'll do it. You can use a book to jot down memories and store mementos such as your ultrasound printout, swap stories with other moms-to-be in an online journal at parents.com/community, or upload everything onto a blog. But if staring at a blank page (or screen) is daunting, try sharing the responsibility with your husband, using a camcorder to interview each other once a month.

Not sure what to write or talk about? Read on for smart suggestions about which aspects of pregnancy to highlight.

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