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.