Pregnancy comes with a variety of emotional and physical changes and experiences that can feel chaotic and joyful all at the same time. It's a hard job. And like starting any new jobs, you're likely to have a million and one questions. It won't be long before mom-to-be needs answers.
We begin asking questions in the middle of the night, that our husbands, partners, and boyfriends won't know the answers to. All they understand is that their love interest has turned into a larger version of herself, and is craving french fries as 5:00 am. As much as our partner loves us, they will never be able to understand all the thoughts and questions running through Mom's head.
From waking up feeling nauseous all the time to trying to figure out what you should be eating or what vitamins you should be taking, to organizing a birth plan and then worrying about whether you'll ever get her belly back to size - it's overwhelming and oftentimes scary and stressful.
With our phones lit, we begin our journey through the web to ask google questions like, " Why am I peeing every hour and a half?" It is here that the answers to pregnancy's greatest mysteries will soon be revealed.
Pregnancy is a nine month roller coaster ride. It is the endless journey to meet the new, and the hardest journey most of us will endure physically. I was grateful every day I was pregnant, that I was not an elephant. I may have looked like one, but at least we are not pregnant for twenty long months. Nine is quite enough thank you.
Will our bodies ever truly look the same? Yes and no. There is no formula for having the same body. Our bodies are constantly changing through our adult lives. Will a sixty year old have the same body, they did as a forty year old? Of course not. My point is, we mothers need to stop worrying about our bodies being the exact same. For the first year of my son's life, I hated my c-section scar. It was a reminder that I will never have my eighteen year old body ever again. And you know what, after that year, I decided I liked my scar. It was a daily reminder how I have changed because of my son. It was my battle scar from nine months of waddling.
Every woman's body is different. Postpartum is the time our bodies choose to bounce back or not. It is a time when some women must accept their stretch marks and embrace that pregnancy has happened to them. Some women have very elastic skin and this can help them their bodies bounce back quickly. If you are worried about stretch marks try using coconut oil on your postpartum skin. It will help the skin heal and recover faster.Another change we must embrace after pregnancy, is the largeness of our breasts. Our bodies prepare us for motherhood, and mother nature blesses us with breast milk. This is the reason our breasts become larger during pregnancy. It is nothing to fear. The bra you buy will protect your breast's soft tissue. Make sure you buy the best and most supportive bra you can for your nursing journey.
I love food and I know all pregnant women's little one loves it to. But with all the tempting sugary foods that we crave and the healthy ones we wish we craved, which are the ones we should be eating
When I was pregnant with my son and daughter, I had a problem. I was addicted to cherry soda in every form. I had never enjoyed it before, but I knew something within my spirit needed that sugary nonsense. And I bought it, and felt a little guilty and feared I wouldn't pass the glucose test. But I did miraculously. I craved healthy things as well like yogurt.As far as dairy products go, yogurt is one of the best. If you are lactose intolerant then of course this isn't something you should be eating. The best thing about yogurt is that it has many good vitamins and minerals. There is lots of calcium and proteins within yogurt. Yogurt is also full of probiotics. Probiotics are believed to help prevent pregnancy related issues.
A few other good food pregnant women should eat are veggies. Lots and lots of dark green veggies. Broccoli, kale and spinach are some of the best choices to consider eating. All these foods contain iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, and calcium just to name a few. Folic acid is very important for our little fetus, so keep eating those green veggies.Fruit, Fruit and more fruit. All pregnant women should eat lots of apples, pears, peaches, pineapple, strawberries and any other berry they can find. Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins to eat while pregnant. It fights infections and keeps our skin looking healthy. Protecting our immune system while pregnant, helps keep the baby within us safe.
I will never forget the first time I experienced morning sickness. I thought I was dying. My husband and I had just gone on a date and ate the best pizza in the world or so I thought. Hours later I was in the fetal position on a bed, holding my stomach. Worshiping the porcelain gods was all I could do. I knew right then and there, that I was pregnant. Surprisingly with my second baby, I didn't know I was pregnant until my second trimester. I just assumed I was ill from various bad meals. I wish I had paid more attention to my body the second time around.
Taking medicine and naturally healing morning sickness is something we all want to know. For those of you who live a natural remedy life, try healing your morning sickness with ginger. Ginger has been known to settle the worst of stomach aches. Obviously buying any brand of ginger ale will have the same affect.
Another basic remedy for morning sickness can be saltines and crackers. The salt in this food works to your benefit, to help calm your tummy down. Try drinking mint tea with your crackers. Mint has been known to cure that nasty after taste that morning sickness leaves behind.
If you are like me, you will surrender to medicine or any natural remedy that comes your way. Go to the doctor's office if you are having extreme morning sickness, they can prescribe medicine to help you feel better. Motion sickness medicine has been known to help with morning sickness as well. Even medicines that treat insomnia can heal the inner storm of a stomach. Relax and remember you are not alone in this morning sickness journey.
Let's talk about peeing and urination because for the next several months that's all you will be doing. During the early morning hours, you and the toilet will become the best of friends. It is important to drink lots of water while pregnant, but the downside is this frequent need to go go go and go. There were times in my own pregnancies where I begged my husband to go out and buy adult diapers. I later learned that pantie liners were the same idea just a whole lot cheaper. One of the most difficult environments to be pregnant in is an airplane. Those eyes gazing up at you cause you just went like five minutes ago. Well I just drank and went and repeated and made it through that flight.
Why do we pee so much? There is weight on our bladders, the baby for one and our uterus. Both have a way of sitting on our bladders and we feel like a balloon that will pop. Since there is less room in your body for your bladder these days, that's another reason your body decided to make you pee again. So get up and go I know you have to.
What is wrong with my nose? Did you just smell that, it smells like a dead animal in here. Have you ever been pregnant and have asked the people around you what that horrible smell is, only to have them tell you you must be smelling things. If you are pregnant, then you most likely are the only one smelling that smell, that is so strong to you.
My mother in law for example, smelled onions a half a mile away. She couldn't stand the smell of onions and when she smelled them she stayed away from the dining commons where she was living. If you find yourself in a pickle and feel a bad scent coming on, then hold your breath and bring something you enjoy smelling with you next time.
Why do we smell aromas so strongly? No one knows for sure, there are e a couple of theories as to why we do. It could be a defense mechanism, so you can keep those toxic fumes away from your growing baby. It could also be because the blow flows faster to our brains which makes the sense of smell superior. Whatever the reason, protect your nose where ever it goes.
Who hasn't had their doctor badger them to take those prenatal vitamins. I congratulate women who do take them. I believe they are important, but I personally could not stomach them. Instead I used a kids vitamin and took two daily, or whenever I remembered. I have even had a doctor tell me, that if you eat a well rounded diet you can forego taking a prenatal vitamin altogether. If you are interested in taking vitamins then here are a few suggestions you could look into.Taking a vitamin with folic acid is the most important. Folic acid protects the baby's brain from birth defects. If you do not want to take a vitamin, then don't forget those green foods I mentioned earlier, they have folic acid in them like spinach and kale.Another important vitamin to remember is calcium. Calcium is good for our bones and helps them grow. This is especially important for our precious developing little ones. You can always eat yogurt, drink milk or eat cheese if you do not want to take a vitamin. Just remember to always keep the health of yourself and your baby in the back of your mind.
It may be embarrassing to address but there is a lot to be said for sex while pregnant and sex postpartum. Most women when they are pregnant, do not want to engage is sex. Fear of crushing the baby is an issue. For others just being a larger version of themselves in front of their partner is an issue. Remember you are not fat, you are pregnant. This was hard for me to get over, I felt like a planet. I knew I had my own gravitational pull, and I might have seen a few objects orbiting me, okay not really but you get the idea of how I was feeling. Why would anyone want to have sex feeling like this?
The truth is our sex lives will never be the same again. Sex before children is different from sex after children. Our bodies have changed and we must accept it. Even sex after pregnancy can take a long time to accomplish. Six weeks of waiting is standard time to wait to have sex after a c-section, and three weeks of waiting after a vaginal birth. But no one talks about the lack of desire to want to have sex. A women's body has just gone from having pregnancy hormones to no longer having a child within her.
The desire to have sex is lacking and the focus is now toward the baby, who needs mother for snuggles and nursing. Don't rush yourself, the average time to want to have sex postpartum is about six months for most women. Just accept that your life has changed and enjoy your little one as well as your man.
Let's talk poop. It is something that happens a lot while we are pregnant. During pregnancy women's body go through many hormonal changes. These changes can upset the stomach and digestive track. It is totally normal to have loose stools during pregnancy. When some women find out they are pregnant, they completely change their diet to help their baby. This can have a negative effect on your digestive system. If you eat something you normally do not eat because you are pregnant, chances are you might be in the bathroom for a long time. Another reason we have diarrhea is because our bodies may be telling us that labor is on the way. During the third trimester, do not ignore those many trips to the bathroom, you may just need to get ready to head to the hospital.
Sleeping is all we do want to do during pregnancy. I remember all I wanted to do was hibernate like a bear. But is the position to put ourselves in as we go into dreamland safe?For you stomach sleepers prepare for a rude awakening. Sleeping on your stomach could hurt your baby, due to you putting your body weight on your growing child. Sleeping on your back could hurt your own back and spine. This also can cause blood to flow slowly, which is bad for the baby. Loss of blood flow has been known to cause dizziness in pregnant women.The best sleeping solution is sleeping on your side. I was a lucky one because I always sleep on my side. Ignore all those rumors you hear about sleeping only on the left side. There is no scientific reason for this, sleep on any side that you prefer. And use all the pillows you need to to support your back and growing belly.
I felt like Buddha. Everyone would come up to me and rub my belly like I was some sort of petting zoo. Was I wearing a shirt that said, "Free Belly Rubs Will Give You Good Luck?" I felt invaded by middle aged women in awe of my body, when I knew they had already experienced the joys of child bearing.
If you want people to stop touching your belly, remember that it is your body. No one has the right to touch your belly without your permission. If you ever feel like saying, "Do you want to loose a hand?" then go for it. If it's not socially acceptable to go and grab someone's butt in public, then belly snatching should be no different. Just like you get to decide who will and who will not get to hold your baby, the same goes for your stomach. So hands off invasive stranger.
When my son Owyn was born, I was ready for a vaginal birth. I took too much pride in my youth and felt like a lady super hero preparing for natural birth. The day my son came, I was induced and hours later was dilated to 8 cm. Then the doctor came and told me something I was not prepared for. "You need an emergency c-section. Your son's heart beat is going down." And just like that they prepped me for surgery.I wasn't prepared for it. I don't think it is something to fear but something to educate yourself about. Talk to your doctors about an emergency c-section, you too could be like me and think you aren't going to have an emergency. With my second child, I had a planned c-section and was more calm about it. I felt like I had been there and done that, and I already knew what my battle scar would look and feel like.
Educating yourself is probably a good thing. Going to a birthing class might be a good idea, if you really are terrified of giving birth. I personally did not go to birthing classes. I figured women have been giving birth for hundreds of years, and I figured my body and the doctors would all know what to do. I did read an online birthing class, which was more like a manual for pregnant women. I felt a little more prepared that I had educated myself on giving birth.There are other ways to educate yourself about child birth. Talk to friends, mothers, and other relatives about their birthing experience. Don't let this experience pass by without some knowledge. Go on YouTube and watch birthing videos. Find an online website that discusses labor. Better yet talk with your doctor and make a birth plan to prepare for your day of delivery.
The last thing on my mind while pregnant was exercise. All I wanted to do was lie down. Staying active however, is the best thing for your pregnant body. Do not over do it. If you are not a person who exercises, now is not the time to become an Olympic gold medalist. Start going on walks and if that is all you can handle, then bravo my friend and good for you. At least you are moving. Going swimming is another practical choice. The water elevates the pressure you feel from the baby. My own mother said the only time she felt normal was when she was swimming in the water. If you do not know how to swim, have no fear there are other options, such as pregnant yoga or a stationary at home cycle. Whatever you choose, check with your midwife or doctor to see if it is safe and right for you.
Sources: FitTobePregnant.com, AuthorityNutrition.com, Parents.com, WhatToExpect.com, MotherAndBaby.co.uk, WebMd.com, GraceForMoms.com, AmericanPregnancy.org, BabyCenter.com, FitPregnancy.com