Whether this is your first or, um, fifth, those two little lines can come as quite a shock. A happy surprise, a much-prayed for addition, or an Are Your Kidding Me?! aside, it’s time to grow a baby. So now what?
One of the amazing, miracle aspects of pregnancy is that there’s a lot we can do to keep mama and baby healthy, and yet there is so much way beyond our control. No amount of eating the right diet or doing the right exercises is going to keep baby in there. The unexpected and devastating does sometimes happen. That doesn’t mean we don’t do our best, though!
In those first early weeks and throughout pregnancy, I do feel better if I control what I can control, pray fervently for that new life, and do my very best to let go of the rest.
As early as possible, (because let’s face it, sometimes morning sickness will dictate your diet, and if you have to get 90% of your calories from cheese for a time, then do it!) I try to start planning my meals and snacks based on the principles of The Brewer Diet, which I first learned about in my Bradley Method Natural Birthing classes with our first pregnancy.
This high-protein, nutrient-loaded diet supports what mom and baby need most. I remember specifically my Bradley Method instructor encouraging a quality diet to develop a “juicy, curly cord.” Again, there is so very much out of our control, but if what I eat can help my baby’s umbilical cord become stronger and my pregnancy go smoother, I’m sure gonna try!
I must be the world’s worst about taking nutritional supplements. I just never can get a good habit going with that! During pregnancy I do try harder, though, and this time around I’m taking Garden of Life Vitamin Raw Prenatalwith fair regularity! I like the small, easy to swallow capsules. Choking down horse pills, especially in the first trimester, is near impossible for me! I also appreciate the addition of ginger to the ingredients, which is supposed to suppress morning sickness and aid in digestion. (My doctor never recommended or encouraged a certain brand, so I’m simply taking what works for me.)
At one of my first appointments, I asked my doctor if there is anything I can do to prevent the premature rupture of my bag of waters. I’m way over average with that miserable condition (trust me, you do not want to go through a long labor with no water cushion!) since mine has broken 3 out of 4 times. He said there isn’t, but several friends have suggested an Herbal Pregnancy Tea and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. (Mamas know!) I’ve also been told that extra vitamin C is shown to keep that bag of water intact, so I’ll be adding that to my “daily takes” as well. Maybe it won’t work for me, but I can’t not try!
Babies like blood. I’m trying desperately to remember that, especially as our days get busier and it starts to heat up out there. Yes, there are times when life takes hold and I don’t move as much as I should, but exercising throughout pregnancy is truly one of the best things I can do for myself and my baby.
Growing a baby and giving birth is a marathon, so incredibly taxing to the body. Regardless of how you plan your delivery (and how it actually happens — because it’s not always how you plan it!) your body will be better prepared for labor, delivery, and recovery if you’re moving now.
I don’t have access to a gym or special classes, but I can move! A few weeks ago I took to wearing a Pedometerto track my steps, aiming for 10,000 each day. My little dude loves to ride in the stroller, so I can knock out a few thousand steps simply by wheeling him around for a while.
Because I have a history of back labor (2 out of my 4 pregnancies, yuck!) I’m also trying some of the Spinning Babies stretches and techniques this go around. I’m willing to try anything to encourage this little one into the right position and keep him/her there!
The miracle of a baby forming in my body is definitely God’s design, and so much of it is completely out of my control. That’s a good thing! It’s also a good thing, though, to care for my body and my baby’s home as best as I know how. I never perfectly follow any diet, supplement, or exercise routine. (Is there a perfect one?! Doubtful.) However, doing the best we can with the information we have… that’s a good start.
What works for you to get your pregnancy going in the right direction?