With a jam-packed to-do list and rising stress levels, a new hobby may be the last thing you want to think about. We get it. You just don’t have the time.
But hear us out: Carving out a little time for a new hobby can have multiple benefits to your physical and mental health—both of which can help your baby. Besides that, you only have a little free time left before you’re officially a family, so you deserve to enjoy it!
In this post, we’re list 14 hobbies perfect to start while you’re expecting.
Why to Start New Hobbies During Pregnancy
There’s a few reasons why starting a hobby during pregnancy can be beneficial.
- Relaxation— Pregnancy can be a stressful time. You’re having to balance your symptoms with work, family life, social life and doctor’s appointments. On top of that, you’re cramming to learn about babies and parenting—and you can’t forget all the baby supplies you need to buy and budget for. While you may think the “go, go, go” mentality helps you get things done, you may actually get things done quicker if your brain has a moment to take a break and regain energy. If you choose relaxing hobbies, it can be a way to take your mind off of the daily stressors so you can return to your to-do list refreshed.
- Less stress—As we mentioned in the first point, hobbies can help reduce stress—but that may also have health benefits for your baby. Although the research isn’t conclusive, stress hormones may cause complications and affect your immune system, leading to a higher risk of a uterus infection. This can cause premature birth. It may also affect your baby’s brain and immune system development. Those effects may extend past pregnancy too. Children who had stressed out pregnant mothers may be more likely to have attention problems. While there’s many ways to destress, focusing on a hobby you enjoy can be one of them.
- Nesting— In the later weeks of pregnancy, you may experience what’s called the nesting instinct. It’s the urge to organize, clean and do things around the home before the baby arrives. Having some nesting-like activities lined up can help you satisfy the urge. For example, picking a room at a time to organize or organizing healthy freezer meals are good hobbies to start during this time.
- Low-energy activities— Although there’s some higher energy hobbies on this list, many are low-energy, at-home activities. When pregnancy fatigue hits, you may not feel like hanging out with friends or going out as much. Having some go-to hobbies can help you pass time and enjoy yourself without over-extending yourself.
Relaxing Hobbies to Start During Pregnancy
Although the research isn’t conclusive, some studies show that chronic stress can lead to pregnancy problems. One way to reduce it is to choose a calming hobby.
Meditation may seem like a boring hobby because it requires you to do nothing. However, with practice, even if you don’t enjoy it at the time, it can help relax you for the rest of the day. Studies have documented the numerous mental health benefits of meditation. It may also improve infant behavior and reduce the risk of pre-term birth. Learn about the different types of meditation here.
Pregnancy is a great time to catch up on your reading. Choose anything that calms you down. For some, it may be a good novel (take this “what should I read” quiz). For others, it may be a self-improvement, spiritual or religious book.
If you can’t get yourself to stop thinking, watching a funny movie or show can be a great way to press pause. Another option is to pick a stand-up comedy. While watching TV isn’t considered the healthiest of hobbies, you should get your couch potato days in now because they’ll be very limited once the baby arrives! Check out Rotten Tomato’s list of 140 Essential Comedy Movies.
You’ve probably seen adult coloring books almost everywhere you go. They’re popular because they help focus the mind, possibly keeping it from wandering to stressful topics. You don’t even need creativity to color—simply pick up a pencil or marker of your choosing and go for it.
Creative Hobbies to Start
Creative hobbies are a great way to relieve stress and increase focus. One study found that those who engaged in 100+ hours of “arts engagement” a year (for entertainment or as a hobby) had significantly better mental well-being.
Knitting isn’t just a hobby for grandmas! It’s a great low-energy activity for moms-to-be that find themselves spending a lot of time at home. Once you get the hang of it, the hand movements can lull you into a calm state. The best part? You can use your creativity to make a hat or blanket for your baby! You can find a free knitting beginner’s tutorial on YouTube.
You don’t need to be Picasso to take up painting. If you don’t have a lot of confidence in your artistic abilities, try an adult paint-by-number. These kits come with everything you need and anyone can do it. Simply following the numbers is a good way to relax your mind. Another option is to pick up a canvas and a few paints and follow a beginner’s YouTube painting tutorial. There’s many tutorials depending on the type of painting you want to make. If you’re happy with your creation, hang it in your nursery!
Depending on the type of journaling you do, it can be a creative expression while also improving your mental health. As opposed to regular journaling, bullet journaling combines to-do lists, mind dumps and habit tracking with colors, illustrations and aesthetically pleasing designs. Get some creative ideas here.
Photography is a good hobby to learn because you can use it to do your own pregnancy or baby photoshoots. If you have a camera, you can look for lessons on YouTube to teach you the basics. Even if all you have is the camera on your phone, you can still learn how to take better photos. Simply Google “take better photos” or “take good photos” and your phone brand and model. Then, go around the house (or outside) and practice!
Head to the craft store and pick up a scrapbook, pens or markers, colorful papers, stickers and anything else you want to use. You can use old photos or use it to document your pregnancy and birth. View ideas on Pinterest.
Productive + Healthy Hobbies to Start
Hobbies don’t just have to be fun, they can also be productive. If you’re looking for activities to improve your health and home, we’ve got you covered.
Pregnancy is a great time to get interested in nutrition and cooking. Not only will it increase your pregnancy health, but it will prepare you to eat well after the baby comes. Try to find the joy in preparing meals by choosing ingredients your family loves and choosing recipes at your skill level. It’s a great idea to find freezer meal recipes that you can make now and simply reheat or throw in the crockpot another day. When the baby comes and you’re pressed for time, this will come in handy.
Studies show that exercising during pregnancy can improve you and your baby’s health. If you’re not big on physical activity, even gentle movement such as yoga can help. You can join a prenatal yoga class or search for a free one on YouTube to do at home. Read: Prenatal Yoga: Your Ultimate Guide.
Walking is another low-energy form of exercise with multiple benefits. It can help improve your physical health and also calm your mind. While you can go for quick walks in your neighborhood, getting out in nature may have additional benefits, such as decreasing anxiety and depression. If you find walking boring, try listening to a podcast or audiobook.
Organizing may sound more like a chore than a hobby, but when you’re in the nesting stage, it’s one of the things many mothers can’t stay away from! Our suggestion is to break it down one room at a time, one section at a time. For example, start in the kitchen, working first on your pantry cupboards, then on the other cupboards and drawers in the room. This blog post has a detailed check-list to follow for every room.
Learn Interior Design Tricks
After you’re done organizing, if you still have nesting urges, consider learning some interior design tricks and then applying them. You can do this for any room that needs a touch-up or just specifically for your nursery. Since your baby will sleep in your room for at least 6 months, this can be a project you can continue post-pregnancy. You can take a free interior design class or watch tips specific to nurseries.
Starting a hobby during pregnancy has many benefits. It can help you relax, which may improve you and your baby’s health. Low-energy activities are also a good way to pass time and have fun when you’re too tired to leave the home. Depending on the benefit you want, use the list above to find a new pregnancy hobby.