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Pregnancy Calendar Review by Donna Campos

Designed by Wendy Shaw
Shaw Family Media

The Pregnancy Calendar is a personal Birth-day countdown designed to focus on God, expectant Mom, and baby. An 8" x 11" calendar with stapled/fold binding, opens to a full 11 x 17 inch size. The cover is currently a matte finish with pastel colors, but is being revised to a glossy cover. The calendar includes ten "months" divided in four week increments and intentionally left blank for the user to fill in dates according to her due date. The calendar itself should begin with the user adding dates from the first day of their last normal menstrual cycle, the 280 days of pregnancy begin from that point. It may also be used by working the calendar backwards from an expected delivery due date. One sheet of stickers is included with a variety of pertinent information for use on the calendar. Stickers include "Dr./Midwife Appt.," four blank stickers, "First kick," "First time your dad felt you kick," "Ultrasound today," "A food I definitely did not like," "I daily thank God for you," "I told your dad," "Ouch, heartburn," "You are so loved," and more, for 108 stickers in all. The calendar includes scripture for meditation, attributes of God, labor ideas, tips for various pregnancy related situations, and various checklists. It is user friendly for hospital delivery and home birthing situations, as well as physician or midwife assisted deliveries. The inside back cover of the calendar includes an "Announcing the arrival of" certificate to record baby's facts upon his or her arrival.

Each "month" includes four weeks with a weekly description of baby's development just to the right of the calendar. In the space where many two page calendars have a picture, you will find a beautiful page each month with helpful and encouraging information for Mom, appropriate to the particular point in the pregnancy. A sheet of Labor Ideas includes tips For You, For Your Children, For Your Husband, and For Your Friends to do. The tips include memorizing scripture, making a birth-day cake with your children to freeze and later thaw to celebrate, planning favorite snacks for your husband, and having a friend start a prayer chain. A Check list for Birth-day includes supplies for your hospital bag, for a bag for the baby, along with a list for a Home birth (Including everything from clean gowns, disinfecting soap, a cord clamp, and disposable gloves, to a heat source for a baby warmer, hydrogen peroxide, and diapers.) The Pregnancy Petitions page includes scripture and prayers of relevance for accepting God's blessings and guiding children to His Love. Scripture for Meditation is included each month, as is a focus on an attribute of God. Information included within the months includes help for morning sickness, a breakdown for weight gain during pregnancy, exercise and dental care advice, as well as tips for aching legs and feet. The final months of the calendar include breastfeeding pointers and handy information about true and false labor. Designed for pregnant mothers regardless of whether they home school or not, the calendar was created by a mother of eight for other mothers in an effort to encourage them in the experience of child bearing.

I look forward to an additional pregnancy and the opportunity to use this Pregnancy Calendar, what a huge blessing in such a small package. This is an ideal gift to give to a friend or family member as early as possible in their pregnancy. The calendar itself is beautiful and should be displayed prominently so that others will keep the focus on God and realize the recognition of children as blessings. It lacks the standard "fluff" and pretty pictures often found in calendars, but supplies much needed information and encouragement at one of the most important times in the life of a woman. I don't imagine anyone will miss the space often used for extensive graphics or pictures of puppies and other cute items as they read the excellent information supplied in this calendar. The colorful graphics that are included are general in theme; flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, and an occasional baby carriage provide a beautiful framework for the much more important text of the calendar. I admit we missed the convenient punched hole usually found in calendars to make mounting the calendar easier, but as it is designed for a bit of note taking and personal encouragement, many users will never display the calendar at all. I believe it should be displayed in honor of God's blessings and as an opportunity to allow others to encourage mothers and appreciate the much anticipated new additions to our families. The four week per month design will make it impossible to consistently present traditional months during a pregnancy, but the week by week focus and breakdown of the pregnancy allow the design to work sufficiently. It will also keep expectant moms on track as friends and family ask, "What week are you in now?" or "How many more weeks until baby arrives?" A pregnancy calendar doesn't have to include the traditional month by month breakdown when it provides all important weekly facts about your baby's growth.

The Pregnancy Calendar is a beautiful and timely gift for expectant mothers and will become a cherished heirloom to pass on to each child. I truly wish I had a similar calendar to give to each of my children that recorded the months prior to their day of birth. So many wonderful blessings are enjoyed during that time, from first kicks to false labor; much should be shared with our children as they grow up. If you have searched for a God honoring gift for an expectant mother in your life, this is it! If you plan to have more children, you will be glad you planned ahead and ordered this calendar for those very early days of amazement, excitement, and anticipation of your little blessing. Share and record the moments with The Pregnancy Calendar, designed by Wendy Shaw.

Product Review by Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2008