What has worked, what I would do differently 1-9.5 months, and funny tips you don’t need to think about until it happens to you
(not in any certain order)
1. Pre-natal yoga. Do it! As soon as you feel up to moving around either find practices online, check netflix, borrow from the library or friend, whatever you have to do to get your hands on a practice or class, do it!
2. Start raspberry leaf tea in your second trimester! Uterine muscles will be nice and toned and it’s supposed to help with contractions! (2 cups a day brewed for 10-15 minutes in 2nd trimester, 3 cups a day in 3rd trimester. I’ve used the Traditional Medicine brand.) I plan on drinking this tea post-pardom as well to help with my menstrual cycle. It can also help with breast milk. On the note of tea, once my milk supply is in, I may drink Mother’s Milk tea also by Traditional Medicine to keep supply going.
3. As your belly grows outward, suddenly objects become strangely closer to you… watch how close you stand to the stove, belly burns aren’t cool. (am i the only one who had to figure this out through experience?)
4. You don’t need maternity underwear, maternity underwear is stupid. I love hanes hipsters, one size bigger than pre-pregnancy size.
5. When boobies start blossoming, do yourself a favor, get a sleep bra. Even if its a cheapy bralett.
6. Cocoa butter, or any stretch mark cream of choice, get it and start using it as early as 8 weeks. Palmers concentrate formula worked wonderfully for me. I just got my first stretch marks at 37 weeks, not as dramatic as what I’ve heard they can be, and I think they would get better quicker if I hadn’t switched to the milkier massage lotion.
7. Definitely pay attention to what you’re eating! I have had an interest in the foods I put in my body for years, but my knowledge about nutrition increased the more pregnancy literature I obtained. You can have fulfilling, delicious foods that are perfect for building a healthy baby and keeping you from over-gaining. Unfortunately, around 28 weeks, maybe? I started taking it easy on myself and over-indulged. Once you start, it’s hard to get back on track. Now close to the end, the bulk of my weight gain is happening all at once. Make good choices, develop good habits!
8. Find ways to keep wearing clothes you already have. Towards the end I’m certainly finding fewer options, but all the way through there were definitely non-maternity options that stuck it out with me. Before getting married I decided I would buy some pieces that seemed would go the distance at least in early pregnancy (just in case we started a family). Full skirts, Tops that were longer and full, dresses with empire waist with tucks/gathers through the skirt… also, tank tops have the amazing power to stretch! Dots and Old Navy ribbed tanks have really stood by me. If you have time to plan your pregnancy, I would recommend picking up some similar pieces for your wardrobe. I would encourage anyone to get maternity leggings, however. Very helpful when skirts and dresses get a little shorter. When regular sizes get snug, go up a size and look for flattering tops, dresses, and skirts at consignment stores, or places like Old Navy that have great prices on items you can wear pregnancy-post-pardom.
9. Heartburn is going to happen. The scientific reason: Uterus pushes stomach up, way up, just like it pushes the heart to the side and moves your lungs out of the way. With your stomach getting higher up, the acids are closer to your esophagus. Also, the pregnant body is full of relaxin which helps the joints, pelvis, and back loosen up to prepare for the baby to descend. Relaxin slows down the process of digestion so food doesn’t break down as quickly, which is why at night (and any other time throughout the day) it can be an extremely painful time for mamma’s to be. Just like we’ve all been told all the time, several small meals throughout the day can make a difference. It will be easier on your system to digest than one or so big binge session. Also, sleeping with your head slightly elevated, two pillows under your head, and on your left side, can make it difficult for the acids to come after you, acid doesn’t want to travel uphill. Sometimes all the preventive actions still don’t totally eradicate the problem, chug the milk! Be careful of taking too many tums, you can have a build up of calcium which will block absorption of iron. I’m not a doctor, but I bet it’s easier for our bodies to break down natural milk.
10. Whatever you do, and I’m not perfect at it, try and enjoy the experience. At the very least, appreciate/respect the amazing abilities of your body and the blessing of growing a whole new life.