I remember seeing my mom's well-loved copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting on the bookshelf as a young girl and admiring the photo of that cute baby on the cover. Fast-forward 30 years and the latest edition has a special spot on my nightstand as I stumble my way through this pregnancy.

So imagine my delight when I had the opportunity to meet the author, Heidi Murkoff, and pick her brain with all my little pregnancy-related questions (think: when will this nausea end?!?). She gushed over my tiny baby belly and gave me a few fun bits of advice (namely, eat protein every 2.5 hours and go on a babymoon, wear a bikini and flaunt the bump!).

Since the first edition of What To Expect When You're Expecting debuted, lots has changed in Heidi's life. Her 30 year old book (first published in 1984) has developed a strong online community via the website and app WhatToExpect.com, and has met thousands of moms and cuddled hundreds of babies.

She’s also now a grandmother to nearly two-year-old Lennox (the cute baby on the cover of the latest edition!), an experience that has totally changed the way she looks at pregnancy and babies.

"When I had Emma, I was really young,” she told me. “I had never held a baby before and had no clue. I was completely clueless. I pushed for 3.5 hours and the last thing I wanted to do was watch. Then this baby was just sniffing around my breast and I was thinking 'who is this person?' But when Lennox came into the world, I got to hold him almost immediately and it was like the heavens opened up. It was amazing to get to see everything from a different perspective."

Below, our favorite pregnancy and baby sage offers us 5 pieces of valuable advice for our 9-month journey.

1. Take care of yourself. Eat protein every 2.5 hours.

2. Go on a babymoon, wear a bikini and flaunt the bump! Pregnancy is still nine months, babies are still sweet and smell good, but how women experience pregnancy has changed. When I was pregnant with Emma, it was not a celebration like it is now (clothes included!). We didn't own our pregnancies. Someone else owned them. Now women can feel comfortable showing off their curves and embracing their pregnant selves.

3. Kegels, Kegels, Kegels!

4. Motherhood bonds us. At the end of the day, motherhood is the ultimate sisterhood. Despite our different experiences, every mother wants the best for her baby and that is what unites us all."

5. Enjoy it! Relax and savor every moment.

And with that, I'm off to tuck into that next chapter (while doing Kegels, of course!).

Image source.