What to expect when…

Answering your questions on pregnancy resources, grandparent tips, and more

Good morning, everyone! For maybe the first time ever, going through emails has me smiling from ear to ear. I’m so grateful for the kind words, encouragement, and ideas you’ve been so willing to share since we launched. I love hearing from you, so don’t hold back. Hit respond to this newsletter to say hello or offer some feedback! 😄

Today, let’s head into the long weekend with some fun Q&A. And a programming note: Expect the Monday newsletter to hit your inboxes Tuesday morning next week. I’ll be spending Labor Day celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday, and I hope that whatever your plans, you take some time to enjoy yourself and *not* read emails. See you at the bottom!


Your question: We are just starting our pregnancy journey and are looking for resources on getting pregnant, overall pregnancy/what to expect, and how to help get ready physically and mentally for baby. Got any recommendations?


Our answer: When I asked Shawn her thoughts on preparing for pregnancy and all it brings, she told me this answer would be a doozy. So many ideas, so little time! And if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent years wondering “what will pregnancy be like?”

Lucky for both of us, Shawn offered up her best books, companies, and thought leaders. Here are some of her favorite resources →

  • Modern Fertility. “Andrew and I spent about two years researching this company,” Shawn said. “It’s a great resource with a lot of answers to a lot of different questions, even if you aren’t trying to get pregnant.” Modern Fertility offers at-home fertility testing kits, ovulation and pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins, and more.

  • The Mama Natural. Shawn said this book (and the brand behind it) were super helpful as she navigated the seemingly countless decisions new and expectant mothers are faced with in the early days.

  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting, both the book (it might be a little dated, but it’s become a well-known resource for generations of parents for a reason) and the movie (“I felt so seen watching that when I was pregnant,” Shawn said—you might laugh until you cry).

  • Emily Oster. Shawn said Oster’s data-first approach to covering controversial parenting topics was perfect for her as an analytical thinker. Oster is an economics professor at Brown University whose pregnancy and parenting books are designed to create “a world of more relaxed pregnant women and parents.”

  • Dr. Mae Hughes is a pelvic floor physical therapist, sports specialist, and mother. Shawn said her work was enormously helpful in preparing physically for labor and delivery and staying active while pregnant.

Those are some of the resources that helped the East family prepare for this season of life, but it’s important to keep in mind that there’s only so much you can control.

Don’t overthink everything. Don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t need to have everything ready. Just take it one day at a time and celebrate it. Because it’s such an incredible thing.Shawn Johnson East

Your question: What are your tips for grandparents? So much has changed since we had children and now that our babies are having babies, I think it would be helpful to get insight on how we can help our kids with their kids in the healthiest way possible.


Our answer: First of all, kudos to you for recognizing that things are changing in the first place! Because we all know there’s a common theme with grandparents offering advice (solicited or otherwise) to their kids: Well it worked with you, didn’t it?

Plenty of grandparents are quick to say they know best, which can put pressure on both their new-parent kids and their relationships with them.

I know you raised your children in a way that was successful, but some of those ideas might be outdated now. Not the morals and the values—those don’t have to change. But things like sleep training or baby-led weaning? Those are new developments and grandparents should read up on what’s changed since they raised babies.Shawn Johnson East

Shawn’s advice is two-fold: 

  1. “I would encourage grandparents to act like they’re new parents.” Read, research, and consider what might work best for your family and the role you play within it.

  2. “The best thing a grandparent can do is to be on the same page as their kids when it comes to raising children. Ask, respect the answer, and be open to changing.” That one? Speaks for itself.

Submit a question to be featured in a future Q&A here.

Grandfathered in: In the spirit of today’s Q&A, Slate’s parenting advice column has some fantastic insight for dealing with in-laws who might not care much for minding your family’s routines or parenting choices. Long story short? Pick your battles.

What if their favorite lullaby is All Too Well (10-Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)? Lucky them. This TikTok explains that parents can play music during pregnancy and then use the same songs or albums as soothing devices once baby is born. Pretty neat if you ask me.

Fam win of the week: Avery, who emailed to let us know how much progress she’s made taking her three (3!) toddlers out of the house on her own. “At the beginning of the summer, I was terrified and had so much anxiety leaving the house alone with all 3 kiddos,” Avery said. “But I’ve done it and gained so much confidence not only in myself but in my toddlers’ ability to be in public and stay close while still being toddlers.”

If you have a small (or large) victory, hit reply and tell me everything! I’d love to share your win with the community.

That’s all for today! See you back here Tuesday for the hotly anticipated FamilyMade guide to making parent friends. Got a…friend…who might like that? Smash that forward button and let’s get ‘em to join the party. 🎉