Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Pregnancy Essentials

I thought I'd take a moment - while it's all still fresh in my memory - to share a few things that I think are pregnancy essentials. I'm not just talking products, but things you need to plan for if you're 'up the duff'! 

 
1. Nutrition
I believe that good food choices are the most important thing we can do for our health. I've had Feeding the Bump for all of my pregnancies and just love it. It's a cookbook arranged in trimesters as the recipes feature particular nutrients that are essential for that particular stage of pregnancy. And they're delicious - we've used this book non-stop for ten years - especially the Spice-crusted Salmon with White Bean Puree. Plan your meals and make sure you have everything on hand to prepare yourself lots of healthy snacks too.
 

2. Sleep
This gets harder as time progresses and your belly increases but the best way to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep is to be comfortable. Now, this will vary from person to person and, I've found, from pregnancy to pregnancy. With one baby I liked a body pillow, another a Belly Bean and this time around very flat regular pillows (on each side for if I rolled over) and one between my legs helped take the pressure off. Plus another pillow under my head to help ease the indigestion! Experiment and see.  


3.  Exercise
Keep it gentle and don't increase the intensity of your current workout. If you don't exercise regularly try adding in gentle walks in the fresh air or try a prenatal yoga class (led by an expert!) 

Sadly, due to sacro-illiac joint disfunction, I wasn't allowed to exercise this time around and it was really awful! Mentally, as well as physically, gentle exercise helps a lot.

4. Skin Care
Moisturising the bump every day can help prevent stretch marks and help your skin bounce back. All of my stretch marks are from puberty and I wish I'd moisturised regularly then! For this pregnancy I used Vanessa Megan's Mumma's Bubba Bump Oil. It felt and smelt just divine and I'm even using the little bit I have left on Evie's dry skin too. 

Also, exposing your skin to gentle morning or afternoon sun is a great way of getting the Vitamin D you need too.


5. Knowledge
Knowledge is power. Read as much as you can about childbirth, recovery, baby care and breastfeeding. I think this book about birth skills is amazing and would have made my first, natural birth - and therefore further births - very different had it been around before hand. 

If you know someone with a baby - or someone who has successfully breastfed their bub - talk to them or watch them feed if you can. It's a skill that takes a lot of practice and the more you know about correct attachment the more chance you have of succeeding. 

6. Photos!
Take lots of bump pics - even if they're dodgy bathroom selfies and even if they're just for you. You'll regret not having documented this special time if you don't. This was my biggest belly yet...

So, tell me! What are your expert tips? Are you currently expecting?

2 comments:

  1. Great tips, Sarah! Number 5 was a big one for me, and one I tell first-time preggos whenever I get the chance. The fear you feel will be lessened by knowing exactly what is happening to you and your baby, rather than having no idea. And yes, Birth Skills! I recommend it for anyone who is pregnant, whether it's their first or fifth. It was recommended to me by my pre-natal yoga instructor when I was pregnant with my first baby and I truly believe it's what really got me through my terrifying transition stage. Second time around it helped with a prolonged, induced labour.

    My number one tip though is to employ the services of a doula. We had one second time round and she was a god-send. She provided amazing emotional support in the lead up to the delivery, she was there every step of the way supporting Dave and I through an almost 2 day induction, and the after-care and support once baby arrived was second-to-none. People think hiring a doula is a bit of a hippy thing to do, but I honestly wish it was something that was recommended by the hospital or birth professionals we see. I don't know anyone who has used a doula and regretted it.

    Congratulations on your baby girl, she is just perfect (and I love her name!).

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  2. Consult your health care provider about how to manage any medical conditions you might have during your pregnancy and how your health might affect labor and delivery.
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