I’m at the tail end of my pregnancy, and reflecting on it I have to say I’ve really enjoyed being pregnant. It certainly has presented challenges to me – first trimester nausea (and some of the second!), anxieties (both rational and irrational), uncomfortable light sleeps, being diagnosed with gestational diabetes and now back pain and exhaustion! But, there were plenty of symptoms I missed out on (reflux, constipation, discomfort/fatigue earlier on etc.), so I tend to look at the positives! Why I say this is that everyone’s journey is their’s, no two are truly the same. You have to take the good with the less good, and just embrace it for what it is… a seriously miraculous time in our lives where we bring new life into the world. My awe and admiration of the female body has never been greater!
With this in mind, I thought I would share some helpful tips I have for pregnant mumma’s to get them through any difficult patches along the way.
Nausea/Morning (ALL DAY) Sickness:
This one my loves, we just have to ride out. It’s truly part of it, except for those lucky mums who really don’t experience it. Things that helped me:
Sleep – sleep through the discomfort if you can! The more tired I was, the worse it was too, so definitely don’t skimp here;
Ginger tea or lollies – I found the lollies probably helped more, but some people love the tea;
Plain foods, a beige diet! This couldn’t be more true. As a nutritionist, I thought it might be harder for me to accept but you really do just need to listen to your body;
Acupuncture – I found relief in weekly acupuncture visits, and also loved that this was another opportunity to sleep!
The storm of hormones, coupled with a deep innate love for this little child growing inside of you and feeling somewhat out of control in knowing how he or she is doing, can be challenging. I found myself worried about a lot of things that deep down I knew I was blowing out of proportion… but it doesn’t feel that way in the moment and it can really tear you apart. My best advice:
Voice it to your partner, let them be the voice of reason you so need. It’s their baby too and they can give an honest opinion;
Call your OB, midwife, doula, GP… whoever you are seeing as your healthcare provider and ask them for feedback or to check on the baby if they can. They tend to always understand and help bring you down a notch with some perspective;
Relaxation techniques – Whatever works for you. Give yourself space to wind down and then reassess how you are feeling. Some of my favourite were short guided connection meditations to bub, a barefoot beach walk, and writing to her (somehow that made me more rational and tap into my gut instincts more).
Make your life as easy as possible! This might seem ridiculously out of the question with work and perhaps other children, but seriously sit down and decide on some areas that you can cut back on. Maybe it’s your partner walking the dog, cooking/cleaning more, or perhaps its outsourcing these things to a dog walker or meal delivery service if possible. Especially as you progress toward the end of your pregnancy, rest and freeing up time for yourself and the things you can’t get help with, is paramount. I found the following particularly helpful:
Weekly luxuries – a massage, facial, acupuncture or osteo session… make sure to look after your body in a way that serves you if you can. If financially this is not an option, do a face mask, self or partner massage, bath, a day in the sun etc.;
Pregnancy chef – at 38 weeks I got to try these chef-made, accredited practising dietician approved frozen meals and I can’t tell you how relieving it was to have meals ready to go in 15 mins! With no clean up! The convenience factor cannot be overlooked, but what also felt really good was knowing the nutritional information of what I was eating at a glance and feeling great that baby and I were being properly and safely fueled. There are so many “can’t have’s” in pregnancy, it can be a bit overwhelming, so it really is reassuring to have someone prepare food for you that you know is pregnancy appropriate. Pregnancy Chef have four vegan options, and I found them incredibly tasty and satiating! You can try it using my code bloom15 for 15% off 🙂
Relying more on my husband – COVID and work from home policies made this much easier than I am sure it would have otherwise been, but Mike really stepped up during this time. This isn’t a time to resent our partners, often they don’t know what to do to help so don’t feel cheated if they haven’t offered! Just ask them if they can take on a specific chore from now on because you feel that physically it is too much for you. Some examples might be dog walking, bathtime for other children, helping clean, doing the heavy shopping etc.
I hope these ideas have inspired you to prioritise yourselves and really work out areas that you can cut back on. It isn’t indulgent, it is necessary. To carry on like nothing has changed is so unrealistic and doesn’t give you the time you need to prepare for this monumental life shift that is about to happen. We need extra time to rest, sleep, relax and nourish to be the best versions of ourselves, as well as read birth/parenting books and prepare for baby around the house.
Best of luck on your pregnancy and motherhood journey!