As mentioned in my previous blog post, I said I would talk about my pregnancy in detail as well as share all the things I did and took to help me have the best possible pregnancy. I do want to say that all women are different and these suggestions may not work for everyone but they definitely helped me. Now before I get into this, I do also want to add that even though I had a great pregnancy there were still days that I felt gross, heavy and exhausted BUT I would say about 95% of the time I was preggers I thoroughly enjoyed it. That isn’t too bad, right?!?
One of the first things they say you encounter when you find out your preggers is the dreaded morning sickness. Now for a lot of women the morning part is a joke because that s%#! is all day. I fortunately enough did not experience much morning sickness. It only happened for maybe about a week and it was only in the morning and mainly because I wasn’t eating breakfast. Which brings me to my first recommendation…
1. Eat a hardy healthy breakfast
I learned quickly that breakfast was my best friend throughout all my pregnancy but it really made a difference during the first trimester. I realized that If I didn’t eat right away I would feel even worse. I’ve never been a huge breakfast person (unless it was breakfast for dinner 😉) so it was very odd to think that I had to wake up and eat a big meal. Typically, when I wasn’t preggers, I wouldn’t eat until lunch and only have a banana and tea (or something light) in the morning. Let me just say that all changed with pregnancy. Eggs became mandatory for breakfast every morning. I (meaning my amazing hubby lol) would make a breakfast scramble with spinach and chicken apple sausage, breakfast burritos, or just plain scrambled eggs with fruit and toast. He definitely tried to make it as interesting as possible. One thing to note, your pregnant and your baby eats what you eat, I would recommend good quality eggs. My preference is pasture raised organic local eggs. You can totally see the difference in the shell an especially the yolk. Whatever you choose to eat maker sure it is nutrient rich, free of GMOs, preservatives and make sure it is satiating .
2. Raspberry leaf tea
One thing that I read about a lot when I first got pregnant was this push to drink lots of raspberry leaf tea. I don’t have anything to compare this to as this was my first pregnancy but I feel it definitely helped. Since most of pregnancy my husband would make me breakfast, he was very diligent in ensuring that my “uterus tea” (as he loved to call it lol) was consumed daily. Had it not been for him I don’t think I would have been consistent. Towards the end I was so over it. I would let it get cold than chug it really fast haha. It didn’t taste bad but I was just tired of drinking it. All in all I would definitely do this one again. I have heard too many amazing things about this tea from other mamas who have had multiple children not to make this part of my pregnancy strategy in the future.
3. Prenatal Vitamins and probiotics
So one of the first things you hear from your doctor or midwife when you get pregnant is to begin taking prenatal vitamins. This is sometimes even recommended if you are trying to get pregnant. We weren’t necessarily trying but we were not trying either so I began taking mine right when I found out (which BTW was super early…like 4 weeks). I remember going to Whole Foods to get them, I was so excited LOL.
I read up on the best vitamins to take and of course there is a lot of information out there and it can be confusing but I finally made my decision to go with the best choice for me. The one I went with is called MyKind Organics Prenatal Multi, by the brand Garden of life There are a few reasons why I went with this brand.
- It is made entirely out of organic fruits and veggies
- It is Vegan
- Contains folate as opposed to folic acid (folic acid is the synthetic version of folate)
- No fillers
I can write a whole post just about vitamins for someone who is preggers but I will spare you. Bottom line is that these are great and I highly recommend them.
I also took an additional vitamin D and probiotic (both from Garden of Life), and green papaya. The extra vitamin D was mainly because when you are preggers your immune system is suppressed. The probiotic is also for good gut health, which basically is your immune system. I did not start taking the green papaya until about week 28 which was when I was starting to get bigger and feeling less room in my stomach. I would eat something small and feel full super quick. That whole eating for two did not work for me as I was running out of room. I would also notice that I would get stomach aches after my meals. The papaya helped a lot with this uncomfortable feeling.
4. Magnesium Calm
As you know magnesium is super important for pregnant women. It works simultaneously with calcium to help relax and contract muscles. Research shows that having enough magnesium during pregnancy can minimize the chances of the uterus contracting prematurely. Magnesium is also important for building babies teeth and bones. You can find Natural Vitality at Whole Foods, Sprouts or on Amazon.
I have to attribute my very easy and smooth pregnancy mostly to exercise. I did prenatal yoga two to three times a week. In conjunction I also did personal training two to three times a week. My last four weeks were hard because I couldn’t even tie my shoes, my amazing hubby had the wonderful job of putting my socks and shoes on LOL. So the last four weeks I only did prenatal yoga. Don’t get me wrong there were days prior to the last four weeks that I missed because I was tired or just didn’t feel well but for the most part I was active everyday. Even if you can walk for 20 minutes a day, that would make pregnancy and labor that much easier.
6. Chiropractor and Massages
My chiropractor was a life saver during my pregnancy and I highly recommend going to one if you are preggers. Even if you aren’t I recommend going to one. The health benefits are endless and you feel so good after. During pregnancy your body is changing in ways that are hard to imagine and with all those changes comes discomfort and in a lot of cases pain. You want to be playing with a full deck of cards especially during pregnancy and seeing a chiro can help with that. Although I did not personally experience pain I did however experience a lot of discomfort my last 4 weeks. Going to the chiro helped me feel aligned and my muscles not as tight. I also noticed that I stood up taller and my lower back was not tight.
The other thing that was amazing and I kinda throw in the same category as a chiropractor is a prenatal massage. I did not get them as much as I should have but when I did, it was AMAZE! Make sure you do your research because the first place I went to was horrible and didn’t really give me a massage, it was more like a soft rub down LOL. Bottom line is, GET A MASSAGE as often as possible.
7. Sleep at least 8 hours a night
Ok before all the moms who have children start feel their blood boil as they read this, this one is more for the first time moms as I know how laughable it is for a mom with a toddler who is pregnant to get that much sleep. With that being said if you are first time mom, milk it honey! Rest, put your feet up, nap as many times a day as you feel like, watch that Netflix series you have been wanting to catch up on. Do all the things that your little heart desires because this will be the first and last time you are able to enjoy your pregnancy like this. That is if you are planning on having more kids. It will never just be you and your husband/partner alone like this. Alright alright I’m going off topic here, the point is, please get as much rest as possible and avoid stressing yourself out. If you can’t do it for you, do it for the little babes. Your baby needs you to sleep an adequate amount of time to grow and have healthy brain development so it is very important.
8. Take a Baby Moon
So I know that it is not possible for everyone to go on some big trip across the world but set some time aside for you and your significant other to decompress and have quality time. Whether it is a tropical retreat, a spa day, or a staycation, plan something. That quality time makes a world of difference and will give you some time to reflect on what matters and also enjoy your partner. My husband and I had booked a trip to Spain for my BFFs wedding well before I was pregnant so we had no choice but to go (poor us, I know haha). It worked out perfectly because I was in my second trimester and I felt great and full of energy. I do have to say that the only time I swelled was when we spent 10 hours in a plane but I took the magnesium calm (which I spoke about in the fourth recommendation) and it helped immensely. We spent 4 days in New York and the next two weeks in Granada, Mallorca, Barcelona and Morocco. It was lovely and one of the best trips we have taken. That is saying a lot because of course there was no alcohol involved. In all seriousness, we had an amazing time and it brought us so much closer together.
9. Take a newborn/birthing/CPR class
I am not sure about all of you but I am a planner and when I don’t plan especially for a huge life changing events, I get major anxiety. Now I know being a mom is supposed to be instinctual and come so naturally but for some that is not the case. I feel like for me it has come naturally for the most part but regardless of what people say I still think it is good to get some knowledge on at least what to expect especially if you have never been around babies. There is no such thing as too much information, so please inform yourself. My hubby and I took birthing classes, a newborn class and an infant CPR class. The birthing classes and the newborn class we took were taught by our midwife but if you aren’t doing a home birth the hospital should offer similar classes too. We felt like we knew a lot of the information but there were some things we had never heard of. Most importantly we learned what to expect, which eased a lot of my fears and anxieties. I do want to say that nothing prepared us for exactly what was to come. Having to take care of a little precious life versus learning about it in a class is night and day BUT when there are moments of stress we always try to use what we learned in our class to help our little princess.
10. Take unsolicited advise with a grain of salt
This one is super important for your sanity and to prevent from getting frustrated or annoyed with the lovely people around you. I cannot tell you the amount of unsolicited advise I got the second I announced I was preggers. Sure some of it was useful information I never heard of before but most of it was advice from moms who thought the way they did it was the right way. Now I’m sure it was the right way for their family but it is insane to think that everything that worked for one baby is going to work for another. Everyone is different and has different preferences so as a first time mom it is mostly about trial and error. The way I got through the intense amount of unsolicited advise was to set my expectations properly. I knew it was gonna come and I knew that the word vomit from many moms and others as well was not going to stop. So, I would laugh it off or politely nod my head and smile. At the end of the day I knew they all meant well so I just thought of it in a positive way. It is easy for you to lose your patience when your hormones are all out of whack so just know that all the moms around you just want to help. I do want to add that some of the old wives tales and old school remedies were down right hilarious and flat out entertaining. Laughing was a much better way to cope with all of it.
Pregnancy is going to be different for each individual and there are going to be things that help you get through it that aren’t going to work for others. My unsolicited advice is, trust your instinct because only you know what is right for you!
Until next time my fellow hippies 😉