Tips For Having Your Best Pregnancy EVER
Alrighty, here I am, exactly 38 weeks pregnant and right in the middle of this pandemic hysteria. I know I could really pull the sympathy card right now seeing how I am part of the “vulnerable” population- but it would be a lie. In all honesty I don’t feel that worried at all. But that’s not what I am here to write about today! Right now I just want to share tips for how I’ve had my absolute best pregnancy ever- and hopefully this post can help you as well!
1. Pregnancy Prep
If you read my blog Preparing for Pregnancy: Nutrition and Beyond you know that I put a TON of effort in before I even got pregnant. To massively simplify- I did a whole renovation on my gut health through fermented foods and colloidal silver and then put myself into ketosis (Keto During Pregnancy?).
I know it sounds extreme- but so does vomiting 15x a day for months on end (my first two pregnancies)- and trust me- the results were SO worth it! I did not feel “good” or even ok the first 22 weeks, but I was medication free (for the first time ever) AND didn’t vomit once (well unless you include the times I puked while brushing my teeth- but I don’t count those- the pregnancy gag reflex is legit).
The first few months of my pregnancy I just kept working out like I normally would aka- HIIT. But once I started grunting while putting on socks- I knew it was time to take it down a notch. At around 5 or 6 months I just started lifting and doing low impact cardio like a brisk walk or uphill treadmill days. By the time the Coronavirus shut everything down, I was 8 month pregnant and already sticking to my 3-4 mile walks. It might sound boring to some but man I look forward to those daily walks.
Moving my body and being in the fresh air has done so much good for me! Not only have I been walking everyday but stretching has also been a big part of this pregnancy. If you are pregnant and have never checked out Spinning Babies stop what you are doing and look through their stuff! They give very detailed ways to stretch and align your body during pregnancy and I try to incorporate their stretches as much as I can!
Another useful tool for movement has been the birthing ball. Birthing balls help to keep the pelvis aligned, maintain a healthy posture, strengthen back muscles and loosen up tight hips. I even used used my birthing ball through out my last two deliveries in the earlier stages of labor to stay relaxed.
3. Chiropractic Care
I do not know how to emphasis this enough! ADJUSTMENTS ARE AWESOME. I spent 7 months of my first pregnancy with a physical therapist and it didn’t help as much as one adjustment with my chiropractor!
Not only does chiropractic care helping with sciatic nerve pain and aching hips- but it also aligns the pelvis! This is so important when it comes to delivery. Your uterus and its shape are influenced by the ligaments and muscles surrounding it. When your pelvis is out of alignment, it could make it difficult for your baby to be in an optimal position to be birthed. If the positioning of the baby is off it could also lead to a longer labor, more painful delivery and deeper tearing. Do I need to give you any more reasons to get yourself a good chiropractor?!
Let me just preface this by saying I am definitely not eating a strict diet at this point in my pregnancy. The first trimester I pretty much ate about 0 carbs a day. It may sound impossible but if all you can get down is scrambled eggs…it’s possible. Anyway, it was difficult, but that blood sugar stabilization was key in keeping my hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) at bay.
The big difference between this pregnancy and my previous ones has actually been my mentality behind my diet. I was SO paranoid about weight gain my first pregnancy it almost drove me mad. For starters, I knew weight gain would be a trigger as it is with most recovered bulimics. To make matters worse, the birthing center I was at constantly brought up my weight and made me keep a food journal. At my 40 week appointment I had gained one more pound then my BMI “allowed” and they told me if I didn’t lose the pound by my next appointment (3 days later) I wouldn’t be able to deliver in their birthing center. ***spoiler alert- I wasn’t allowed to deliver there and was sent to the hospital’s labor and delivery ward- induced, epidural, the whole shebang***
I was kind of traumatic. I don’t want to sound like a baby but being weighed and threatened for 9 months can take a toll on someone. My second pregnancy I chose the home birth route (mainly because of this issue) and although I did gain over the recommended weight, my midwife didn’t hound me and was gentle and supportive.
Fast forward to this pregnancy and I am at my healthiest pregnancy weight (214lb) for sure (44lb gained). This is not because my diet is cleaner, or smaller, but because I am so much less stressed about it! Stress, shame, fear… all of those things affect the way we interact with food. If all you are doing all day long is trying not to eat this or that- or weighing everything and writing everything down- obsessing over each snack and celebration you attend… you are most likely going to have food issues. I am still intentional with fueling my body and my baby well, but I am relaxed and at peace. I don’t know why this has made such an impact- but it has.
I was never consistent with any one supplement but I did take supplements my whole way through each pregnancy. In the beginning I was on a plexus multivitamin but I could not handle burping them up. Sorry for the gross explanation but its true!
Another thing I took as much as I could remember was Calm Magnesium. This kept me regular which is an unfortunate and extremely common problem with pregnant women, and it helped with my restless legs.
My FAVORITE supplements by far however, are from Earthly and are called Nourish Her Naturally. MY main reason for obsession is the fact that it is bioavailable– meaning our bodies can actually absorb it and use it- and its not in mega doses. Who wants to spend a chunk of money on multivitamins that will just end up in the toilet and not in your body?! Plus it is derived from real plants and non synthetic. I also currently use their elderberry tincture and real food vitamin c.
Other supplements I took here and there were vitamin b6 and b12, fish oils, and chlorophyll.
This is something I have been pretty consistent in all 9 months. I might not get it in every single day but I fight for it. Recently, since the weather is warmer, I start each day outside at around 6:30am (or a little after the sun rises) and stick my bare feet in the grass (grounding) . I let my eyes fill up with natural light and start my circadian rhythm off in the best way possible. If you haven’t downloaded my free ebook you should! I go into a lot of detail about how our circadian rhythm and mitochondrial function go hand in hand (please click on the link ^ if you are a science dork like me- its fascinating)!
As I start off my circadian clock- I start practicing deep breath work. Doing this has helped my “pregnancy insomnia” anxiety and so much more. I should also add that unlike “eastern meditation” where you focus on emptying your mind- I practice “biblical meditation” where I usually focus on an aspect of God, or a scripture and filling my mind with those things. One book that has helped me ease into silence and mediation is by Pete Scazzero called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day.
So there you have it! Living my best bump life ever. I know there are a lot of different factors when it comes to pregnancy, but these are just a few I think are worth spending some time on. If you or someone you know has a pregnancy tip or practice they swear by drop it in the comments below!
Photo by- E. Aaron Photography