A pregnant woman's brain becomes extra-active on the creative side, so get your creative juices flowing with some DIY projects for you and for baby, says Annabelle Short.
Pregnancy can be a really trying time, from the early stage nausea and inexplicable pains to mushy brain and that pregnancy waddle you get toward the end. One thing I’ve found that makes it all a little bit better is to focus on other things, in my case DIY projects. Not only do these take your mind off the pregnancy symptoms, they can save you money on some maternity and baby essentials. Plus, it's been scientifically proven that pregnant women's brains become more active on the right (creative) side. Here are seven DIY projects you can try during pregnancy (and some you should stay away from!)
A baby blanket
✂️ Whether it’s sewn, tied, knitted or crocheted, a blanket for your baby is a great project to work on. It’s really easy, and you get the joy of knowing you’re giving your baby something they’d probably cherish forever. You don’t need a lot of expertise to make one, and the only real work here is choosing the fabric because they’re all so cute.
✂️ This is another easy one even for a sewing novice. Women tend to get too big for their regular clothes during pregnancy and are generally more comfortable in those huge unshapely dresses we wouldn’t be caught dead wearing any other time. All you need is some fabric and a sewing kit, and you’re on your way to comfort town.
✂️ There’s nothing cuter than tiny baby feet in those tiny shoes we stick their feet in just for aesthetics. You can whip up some stylish shoes your baby is sure to love right at home and with minimal skill and effort. I recommend simple crocheted shoes for newborns, but there are several beautiful styles, patterns and fabrics to choose from, to make your kid the fashion icon they were born to be.
Maternity band/belly band
✂️ Carrying a baby can have adverse effects on your lower abdomen and back, it’s been known to cause and worsen existing back pains and the change in your center of gravity is known to change your posture. Maternity bands are a way to avoid these effects. Make one for yourself with some jersey or other stretchy fabric the same length as your hips.
✂️ Cardigans are always in style, make this wardrobe staple a lot more personal by making one for your little one yourself. Crochet cardigans are especially cute, but you can give your baby optimal style points by making one out of cashmere. Attach a label with their name on it to make it even more special (nothing screams “mine” quite like having their name on it).
✂️ Nausea is one of the most discomfiting symptoms of pregnancy, and nausea pops are a sweet and nourishing way to help tone down your morning sickness. You can make a batch of these beauties right in your kitchen. You’ll need popsicle moulds or an ice cube tray, yoghurt, fruits and fresh ginger (very important). Keep these refrigerated and eat one whenever you feel nausea coming on.
✂️ Keeping a pregnancy journal is something even doctors recommend. It helps track your symptoms and whatever developments happen during the pregnancy. It is especially useful during consultation with your doctor –you can always refer to it if you’re unsure about something– and so you know what to expect for future pregnancies. Instead of just using some book off a store shelf, personalise this process entirely by making your own journal. Maybe not from scratch, but you can redesign any old book. You’ll need some fabric and a hot glue gun.
What’s more, you can write down your thoughts about the pregnancy and your child and gift it to them later in life. A good time to give this gift is when they’re expecting their own child and freaking out. Your gift is sure to help them relax.
Projects to avoid while pregnant 🛑
Spray painting, heavy gardening projects, lifting heavy objects, HVAC maintenance, and mould remediation. These projects are harmful to you and your little one, and it’s best to let someone else (or a professional) do them.
Pregnancy can be hard, and a lot of women will simply not have the time or energy for any of these things, but if you do, these projects are a good way to kill time and break the boredom, and as an added advantage, you get to save money.
Annabelle Carter Short is a freelance writer/editor and seamstress. She also works with different organisations to provide families with the best resources for raising and educating a special needs child. When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. Annabelle likes to make DIY and crafty projects in her free time with her two kids.