This post is something a bit different, not really food related but more the things I’ve found to be good during my pregnancy so far and things I’m doing to prepare for our little creature coming over earthside.
This is all my own opinion and we’re all different, so what works for me might not work for you. I spend hours reading up on research, listening to podcasts and looking up things that interest me, no judgements here though. Life is hard, I already know motherhood is harder – so just do what works for you. ?
Diet and vitamins/supplements
My first trimester was hell, I hated it. I’ve almost forgotten how bad it was but I was so ill. It was the worst I’ve ever felt in my life and after having a miscarriage back in April this was coupled with horrible anxiety. All I could do was lie still in bed and stomach things like crumpets, cheese on toast and biscuits. It was tiredness and nausea that hit me hard, I think in two weeks I only got out of the house to go to the Drs and some days I couldn’t even say the word ‘food’. Everyone kept saying to me “it’s good, it means the hormones are strong!”, but honestly there were days where I just cried all day from feeling so bad and wished I wasn’t pregnant.
Prior to pregnancy and for the first 5 weeks, I’d been taking Meridian pregnancy vitamins (these are the best I found as I’m so conscious of synthetic crap in pill form), but these made me feel so ill, the smell, the texture uh I just gave up on them.
I did some research on vitamins that would be beneficial and found that vitamins B6 helps with nausea and were what I should be getting more of, especially with my complete 360 in diet. I was also looking for folate and not folic acid. Folate is the natural form of the nutrient found in food and folic acid is synthetic and there are studies that link this to an increase in cancer risks, anemia and recurrence of NTD. Most vitamins you find in shops aren’t even bioavailable, just packed with crap that does absolutely nothing.
I found some complex B vitamins that ticked most of the boxes I was looking for. They contained: Thiamine (B1) required for synthesis of DNA & RNA. Riboflavin (B2) supports antioxidant activity in the body. Niacin (B3). Panthothenic acid (B5) maintains the nervous system and neurotransmitter functions. B6 helps hormone and red blood cell function. Biotin (B7). Folate (B9) most important for pregnancy helps build DNA, formation of the spinal cord and nervous system in the foetus. B12 to help with healthy nervous system function. All water soluble bioavailabile forms rather than synthetic crap that can cause more harm than good. I’ve been taking these since.
I’ve always exercised, since I was about 13. It felt so strange to go so long without exercising but even once the nausea had subsided, I was still so tired after 11 hours out of the house and coming home from work, all I wanted was food then bed. Which is pretty much what I did.
As soon as I could I started eating more fruits and vegetables, it felt so good to eat healthier food again. But don’t get me wrong, I’ve eaten more, what I would class as ‘bad’ food than I ever have. I’ve just not restricted myself and kept it as balanced as possible. Most of my cravings have been sugar though so I’m just listening to my body… within reason!
I stopped drinking caffeine since our first pregnancy, this included green tea. Mainly because it just can’t be good for the baby, there are links to miscarriage, preterm labour and prolonged labour so I just scrapped it altogether. I do occasionally have a decaf tea or coffee though but only every now and then.
One thing I have been thinking about from day 1 is stretch marks. Now I know if you get them you get them but I wanted to do all I could to prevent them as much as possible. So pretty much from day 1 I used a cream I made up of raw organic shea butter, raw unrefined organic coconut oil and organic vitamin E oil. Then as I grew even bigger I added a nightly routine of smothering myself in organic rosehip oil. So far so good, only 1 stretch mark on my hip. I know they could come but I’ve grown pretty big and done well up to now. You could say it’s luck but I say it’s pure oil and cream application dedication!
Ive had hardly any joint pains, again this isn’t now luck but my overuse of magnesium. It’s been my life saver during pregnancy. Any slight niggles and I soak in a magnesium bath for at least an hour, then generously apply magnesium oil to my hips and lower back before bed, by the morning I have no pains!
Waking up for frequent wees in the night means horrible insomnia. I found that tart cherry worked so well for me. It doesn’t help you fall asleep but helps the production of melatonin which helps you stay asleep, it’s quite expensive but for me, 100% worth the cost. I use Cherry Active which is natural montmorency cherries with no additives.
IVe found the best thing that works for me is a couple of tablespoons of unpasteurised Apple Cider Vinegar in a pint of water. Not immediate relief but with patience it works so well. (Super good for you too!)
• Happy Mum, Happy Baby
• Dirty Mother Pukka
• Hannah Maggs
• I love my baby, but…. (Whitney Port)
• Anna Saccone
I’m still taking and using everything above. Trying to walk lots and eat much healthier. I’m also practising prenatal yoga to help with relaxation, strength and stability.
I know that all births are different and unpredictable, but anything I can do to prepare my mind for it I think is valuable. We started hypnobirthing at about week 26, we went to a 1:1 class which was amazing. It taught us both so much and made us excited for the birth. It was so good for Chris too as it completely changed his mindset and got him fully prepared. Since then I’ve been practicing it everyday, I love it and have noticed the huge impact already. If she doesn’t come early the month from my maternity leave will be spent mostly getting into the birthing zone. This is something I 100% recommend to all expecting mothers.
Red raspberry leaf tea
From week 30 I started to drink red raspberry leaf tea, only 1 cup a day which I will gradually increase over time. It’s believed that it can help prepare you for birth by softening the cervix, easing labour and speeding it up – it’s worth a shot!
Prepping cloth nappies
7 million nappies are thrown out each day and most of these can take between 200-500 years to decompose. How crazy is that?! I don’t want to add to that where possible so decided to use reusable. Well, I actually decided this years ago and now I’m putting it in to action. I bought a kit which has pretty much everything you need to get started and also got some from my friend. They’re all prewashed, prepped and ready to go. There are amazing websites and support groups which give you all the info you need, it’s a lot easier than expected and I can’t wait to have a little cloth bum running around! Not only is it environmentally friendly, but they’re so much nicer against skin and will save you thousands (unless you get an addiction to buying them, there are such cute designs)!
Here are some of the things I’m prepping & planning (mostly for Chris to do) for the rest of my pregnancy and the 4th trimester.
• Perineal massage from 34 weeks using evening primrose oil
• Soak maternity pads in aloe and witch hazel to freeze
• Placenta encapsulation
Just as I said before, this is all stuff I’m doing from my own reasearch. We’re all different with different lives and some things that work for others just might not for you. #nomamajudgements ?