Diez, Zehn, Ten Things

Ten Things Every Pregnant Woman Should Know

…Now won’t you please share yours with me?

1. SmartWater is a lifesaver. I remember, just months ago, asking my dearest Brooke “OK, so what’s really up with electrolytes? Are they really necessary”? She elaborated, I pondered, I chugged and voila – my pregnant life has been changed! I buy the liter bottles and drink two of them throughout my day at work.

2. That stocking up on good protein really does help curb those cravings for sweets (not in an Adkins sense, though, of forgoing all of the other important areas of nutrition including carbs). While I knew this within my core, I hadn’t been practicing it. A new leaf has been turned and I’ve discovered the glory of those amazing, multi-faceted proteins. I began meal planning and tracking my protein grams and I already have resurrected my energy levels and contained my chocoholic tendencies (note that I didn’t say “eradicated” those tendencies). As a vegetarian, I get my protein sources through dairy (gotta love Naked Juice Protein Smoothie), eggs, cheese, lots of beans, nuts, and even carbs, and an occasional slice of Tofurkey deli slices. As an added benefit, meal planning (three meals a day + a snack in between each meal) has helped keep my blood sugar and metabolism stabilized and optimized. On that note, the Brewer Diet for Pregnancy (I hate the word diet) has been my eating lifestyle of choice with both of my pregnancies.

3. Daily Kegel exercises are your best friend. Really. I do them at stop lights, in meetings, and in bed before drifting off. It’s kinda fun to be like (eye-brows raised and head cocked sexy) “Hey, I’m doing my Kegels at this very moment…”. LOL.

4. Herbs and supplements make a tremendous difference; to you and to your baby. I can tell when I’ve accidentally missed my daily dose of supplements and I’m dragging and groggy. As I doula, I’ve been able to witness what really healthy placentas and cords look like, from women who have eaten healthy and taken awesome supplements like Red Raspberry Leaf, Chlorophyll, Kelp, etc. I always look forward to my cup o’ Red Raspberry Leaf tea in the morning and sometimes at night to help wind me down. The steamy, earthy warmth coursing through my body, and the knowledge it is toning my uterus, melts my entire body and cozies me up! And, oh yah…my Rescue Remedy has a permanent home in my purse.

5. You can never have enough pillows around to support your back, your knees, your stomach, your neck, your head, your legs…Right now, I sleep with one between my knees. During the last trimester, I’ll likely stash one under my belly and behind my back. Poor Jason has about 6 inches of sleeping space left on the bed during those last few months.

6. A birth ball is a wonder. Not only do they align your spine, but they take that pressure off of your back and bottom and yoni and help maintain a healthy positioning for baby. They are a goddess-send in labor. Plus, newborns (and 19 months olds!) love to rock and gently bounce on them…I’m getting ready to be a dork and bring one into my work office to replace my uncomfortable chair.

7. Your boobs will continue to get bigger. And bigger. And when you breastfeed (as every mama should…ya’ll know I’m a lactivist…) they will get even bigger. And then, slowly but surely, they will probably get smaller and longer. And it will all be totally worth it.

8. A healthy dose of Henci Goer’s A Thinking Women’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth”, coupled with a dash of Ina May Gaskin’s “Spiritual Midwifery” and a sprinkle of anything by Michel Odent never hurt anyone…

9. As pregnancy progresses, if there is one item in the middle of your floor, you will inevitably trip, stumble, or falter on it. If you have toddler toys strewn throughout the house, the chances of this triple. Especially in the middle of the night. The same goes for full cups of liquid (particularly if nested by sensitive electronic equipment) and anything on countertops.

10. Your baby intuits your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and overall sense of being. Pregnancy it a wondrous circle of connectedness and oneness. Take this sacred time to be with them, to surround them with love and warm light, to ensure they know they are loved. Surround yourself in a bubble of peace, be good to yourself. Trust your body. Trust your baby. Trust the magical journey of pregnancy and birth. And breathe deeply.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Heather says:

    Just when my boobs finally stopped expanding, my ribcage expanded by 2 inches…

    As for protein, the TJ’s soy protein powder (23ish grams per 2 scoops) is my godsend. Any time I have a glass of juice I throw some in there. Cheaper than Naked Juice. But how I do love those Nakes Juices…all coconutty and such.

    I have a pillow for my head, 3 on one side and 2 on the other, so that I don’t have to go dragging them all with me when I roll over.

    I notice it when I have neglected to take DHA. I get moody.

    I hadn’t thought about electrolytes, hmm, maybe I have been missing something. Hence my juice fetish. But damn, there is this Dixie Peach juice from TJ’s, and I swear they must put crack in it. I have to physically restrain myself from it.

    They also have a green foods juice, and I am terrible at getting my leafy greens, so I’ve been cheating that way…

    One other thing a pregnant woman should know…right about the time that you can’t see your yoni without a mirror, you probably don’t want to…

    AND, I have no idea if perineum massage will actually help with birth, but it has brought my partner and I to a new level of frankness, openness, and trust.

  2. amygeekgrl says:

    wonderful list.
    i, too, discovered rescue remedy during my pregnancy. it was a godsend.
    we’ve had the birthing ball around since i was pregnant with ava. she was bounced on it a lot as a baby (and still is some days) and julian loves it as well. every home with a pregnant woman or small children should have one. 🙂
    i never heard of smartwater though. interesting.

  3. mb says:

    i love your list. Here are this moments top 10 things for my pregnancies:

    1. Recharge. SmartWater is good and fine but there is a time during those summer months when the taste of water just doesn’t cut it. Orange Recharge. I drank so much of Bill started buying it by the case at Sunflower Market.

    2. Herbs: Nettle (oh so good for the constipation), Red Raspberry Leaf and Chamomile.

    3. Chlorophyl. (how the heck is it spelled?) I drank it every day and I still have Sula’s placenta and it;s still ruby red. That stuff rocks.

    4. Pedicures. OKay, I know the smell in those places are baaaad, but nothing like pretty feet and it’s too hard to reach on your own.

    5. Yoga and meditation. I could never have gotten into labor so deeply without my practices.

    6. Frozen berries mashed together with plain yogurt. I pretended it was like a real desert for both my pregnancies. It worked. Sorta.

    7. Walking. Walking. Walking. I don’t think I would have survived without walking the hills in LA with Mia in belly or walking the greenbelt here (with Sula in belly).

    8. Sex. From months 7-9 it’s all I ever wanted every night.

    9. Prana stretchy black yoga pants that I wore so much a huge hole developed in the crotch and I still wore them with black underware because I can’t sew and could care less.

    10. Dancing. Nothing like hitting a club with serious bass and being the ONLY pregnant woman on the dance floor. I loved it. Men stayed away, women came closer to protect and love. My babies moved and rocked and got the riddim in their bloos before they even had sex organs.

  4. leighsteele says:

    I love you girls and I love your lists!
    Heather – no worries, I’m a maniac for Naked Green Machine for the same reason you mentioned. Gotta get those greens in! And LOL about the yoni in the mirror comment.
    Amy – you just rock for even reading and commenting, seeing as thought you just added a new little one to your life a few months ago! 🙂 And hey, perineum massage will definately be great for you in birth. Right on!
    MB – You are sooo right. How could I have forgotten yoga and walking? Dammit! And yes, Recharge is also a great thing, I agree. Between yoga, dancing, walking and sex…girl, you were in ship shape, you naughty goddess you!

  5. leighsteele says:

    Umm, in my comment above I meant to place the one about the perineum massage in the sentence above (for Heather, not Amy). LOL.

  6. mb says:

    ps. how cute are those 2 girls kissing??? they are angels….

    oh, can you tell me if you can see my photos that i posted on my latest entry?

  7. Heather says:

    Yes, yoga. That has been so important. A big thing is that it has helped me learn to lighten up and laugh at myself (which every great instructor should help foster…). I didn’t have a practice before pregnancy, and I’m so glad I started early. And, there’s a handful of stretches that have been a godsend when I wake up with back pain or just feel stiff and/or restless. Mainly that downward doggish thing against the wall. And the partner stretches are fantastic.

  8. Brooke says:

    Let’s see, 10 things that were on my pregnancy list?

    1. Full-fat dairy and citrus fruit.
    2. A tennis ball on the floor becomes a great self-massage tool when you have random aches and pains.
    3. Yes, pedicures.
    4. And yes, lots of sex.
    5. Naps. Sleep never felt so good. (But I’m not sure how this works with a toddler in the house.)
    6. Handing over the cat litter chore to someone else.
    7. Watermelon. In chunks to snack on, juiced, frozen and blended into smoothies. A great way to get even MORE water and also good for constipation.
    8. Fish oils and good fats. Obviously they should be pure and metal-free but they are so essential to brain and spinal development in babies. Plus, they help prevent mood disruptions in mom. I use Nordic Naturals. Peach-flavored in smoothies or lemon flavored as part of a ‘salad dressing.’
    9. Good, girlie movies.
    10. Lots of music and dancing.
    One more –
    11. Laughter. It is the best medicine.

    p.s. I have a song for your voodoo child and it is morphing into a cd for the little priest/ess. Keep your eyes out.

  9. Ninotchka says:

    I love this! I will have to ponder any contributions I might have. It seems so long ago for me, already! Three kids will do that to you. Turn your brain (and heart!) to mush, I mean. 🙂

  10. mb says:

    Here is my new list now that i am really looking back. This is too much fun, sorry to be a list hog, but oh well:

    1. Peanut butter and bananas
    2. Aussie black licorice nibs
    3. Grapefruits
    4. Exfoliating scrub of any kind for my butt and thighs.
    5. A blend of cocoa butter, shea butter, and hemp oil mixed with herbs to slather all over belly. still got a few stretch marks, but hell, gaining and losing 90 pounds total in 3 years…whatever.
    6. Croissants filled with almond paste and chocolate and drizzled with orange flavored chocolate from Back Door Backery in Cali.
    7. Water with lavender essential oil and a splash of witch hazel in a atomizer bottle. I sprayed it on me all the time. Balances crazy hormones.
    8. Ugly ass Earth brand sandals. my feet were so fat i couldn’t where anything else with Sula those last few months.
    9. Grilled cheese
    10. Wearing moonstones.

  11. I love item 10 on your list. I am hoping to get pregnant sometime late this summer … I will be back to stock up on these recommendations ;).

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