If you’re a creative type, or someone who finds journaling relaxing, you’ve probably come across bullet journaling. It’s a very trendy way to organise and plan your life used by millennials near and far. Although it’s totally analogue, ideas, inspiration and peoples’ proudest pages are everywhere across social media (particularly Pinterest). And now lots of data driven mums-to-be are using bullet journaling to track things throughout their pregnancy, while giving it a creative edge.
The dotted pages of a bullet journal make it easy for even the most amateur artists to draw out boxes, trackers, titles, etc. to log things like mood, habits, goals, savings, exercise and so on. It also doubles as a planner, so you can stay on track with doctors’ appointments and coffee dates! You can basically track and plan anything you want in a ‘BuJo’, but we’ve taken a look at some pregnancy specific ideas to keep you organised through those nine months.
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Tracking your pregnancy
You’ve probably heard about tracking your baby’s kick counts in the third trimester to monitor how they’re doing. You do this simply by counting a specific number of movements (any jab, swish or roll) at a specific time each day. E.g. at 3pm each day you see how long it takes for them to move 10 times. This can be logged in table form in your BuJo. You’ll start to notice a pattern over time, and if this pattern changes, you’ll know when to contact your healthcare professional.
Art can definitely be therapeutic, and may help you relax during pregnancy. Try drawing or painting your baby’s size in fruits and vegetables to see roughly how big they are at any time.
Weight and growth
You can use a chart to keep track of your own weight and bump size. It’s important to gain weight during pregnancy, although gaining too much can have a negative impact. Use your chart to stay on track.
And on the next page, you could take a look at exercise. Gentle exercise throughout pregnancy has so many benefits for you and your little one. Use your BuJo to make a list of exercises you can do (and ones that should be avoided). You could also record things like step count, distance travelled, lengths swam, etc. Check out our post on exercising while pregnant for some inspiration on this.
Mood tracking is big in the world of BuJo. Assign a feeling to a colour (e.g. happy = purple, stressed = orange, etc.) and mark it off each day. Overtime you might be able to spot trends; certain feelings caused by certain events.
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Did you know, over ¾ of pregnant women experience sleep problems during pregnancy – that’s huge! Keeping track of how much you’re sleeping along with other habits around it (what time are you putting your phone down? Are you eating anything specific late at night?) may help you find out what’s messing with your sleep and may help you improve it a little bit. See our post on sleep during pregnancy for more tips on this.
This can range from a simple list of what you should and shouldn’t eat while pregnant, to in depth meal planning and calorie and macro tracking. What you put into your body while pregnant is pretty important, plus if you already have an interest in nutrition, this could be one for you.
We all know how important it is to keep hydrated. Try tracking your water to make sure you’re getting enough. And it may even encourage you to drink more!
Planning for you
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The pregnancy period can be hectic, and it’s so easy to forget those (very important) appointments. Instead of jotting them down on a post-it note on the fridge door, why not keep an old-school style planner in your bullet journal? You draw out the days, weeks and months as you like for an easy to follow schedule.
Similar to appointments, you can jot down when you’ve got your antenatal classes. You might also want to keep a log of what you learn in each one to reflect on when baby arrives.
Maternity leave, paternity leave and shared parental leave can all get quite complicated. There are dates to remember, forms to fill in and lots of planning to be done. And this can be done in your bullet journal! This way it’s all in one place. Check out our posts on leave for all the rules and plenty of tips on this.
Planning for baby’s arrival
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You may have a name firmly set in your mind but, if not, you could always create a BuJo page to jot down name ideas (for both you and your partner!).
Whether you’re having a home birth, a C-section, a water birth, etc. You could use your BuJo to plan how you would like your baby’s birth to go. Of course, this doesn’t always go to plan, but it’s good to have something set in place.
So you don’t forget anything, it might help to make a list of what you want to take with you to the hospital (toothbrush, phone charger, snacks, etc.). It definitely helps to have this packed early – then that’s one less thing to worry about!
There are so many parenting books out there to give you a head start and a little bit of confidence. Use your BuJo to make a list of the ones you want to read, and tick them off as you go. There’s also an abundance of info on the web, for example, on the Bluebell blog!
Things to buy
You’ll have loads of things you’ll need to buy for baby – from nappies to muslins to a crib and a baby monitor. Many of these can be bought during the pregnancy period, to ease the pressure once baby comes. Leave a page (or a few pages) to create a list, and plenty of space to add things as you think of them.
Things to prepare
You may also want to leave a few pages to keep adding to a list of what you need to prepare for baby’s arrival. Things such as painting the nursery and baby proofing, right down to preparing and freezing meals so that you don’t have to worry about cooking when they first arrive.
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Although planning and tracking like this isn’t for everybody, it’s a nice way of having everything together in one place, while giving yourself some art therapy.
Bullet journaling can be a totally fun and relaxing hobby, but it can be time consuming. Once your little one arrives, you might want to switch to an easier way of keeping on top of things. The Bluebell Smart monitoring system does the hard work for you. It isn't just a baby monitor - it will track your baby’s sleep, and your sleep, steps and mood. You can also get into a great routine by tracking and getting reminders for things like nappy changes, pumping, feeds, etc. It does a load of other cool stuff too – visit Bluebell for more!