Let’s be honest with each other, shall we?
We read the books, the blog posts and the trendy articles in the preggo magazine at the OB/GYN’s office about how to have a “natural” pregnancy. We decide, as soon as that double pink line appears, that we are going to do this right – drink our water, eat our salads, exercise (though we haven’t done crunches since, oh…ever.), do our Kegels (you want me to squeeze where?), and swear off caffeine.
And then morning sickness hits. And once that ends, the uncontrollable sweating starts. Then that unrelenting urge to pee that kicks in at 2 am. Somewhere between losing our breath while putting on our shoes, and gaining “kankles” (if you don’t know what those are, you soon will) we realize that this “natural pregnancy” stuff is for the birds and all we want is a Venti latte with 2 extra shots thankyouverymuch.
Mamas, you are not alone, and you’re doing just fine. If you have chosen this glorious time, known as gestation, to begin your journey towards all things natural, then you are most definitely on the right path, but you’ve chosen the toughest climate for your journey.
Our still-forming child’s health is paramount and as our mommy instincts begin to grow with our girth, we simultaneously feel protective and ready to throw in the towel. And thanks to the changing hormones, we’ll cry over both extremes.
If you are pregnant and trying to make some major life and health changes all at the same time, take baby steps, my friend. Baby steps. Make the choices that really matter and that will give you the biggest health-bang for your buck, so to speak. You can’t expect to do a complete health overhaul when you are so tired you can’t make it through the day. You’ll end up exhausted and burnt-out and you’ll be tempted to quit.
Start small, and start with these simple tips
Splurge on high quality pre-natal vitamins. Yes, you can get something akin to a prenatal vitamin at the grocery store for less than $5. You get what you pay for. The majority of the vitamins contained in a generic bottle of prenatal vitamins are NOT bio-available supplements. Meaning that the 7,830% of the Daily Recommended Dose of vitamin C that you are consuming was all made in a science lab, so approximately 7,825% of it is going down the drain at that 2am bathroom break. Look for a prenatal that contains whole foods. This means that the vitamin and minerals that you are taking were originally plant-based, so your body recognizes it as a food, and it’s more readily absorbed into your system. Plus, many generic pre-natals can actually make you nauseous (because you’ve just thrown a bunch of synthetic vitamins into your fragile tummy), whereas food-based vitamins are simply that: food.
Muscle your way past that initial gag-reflex and take your fish oil. Trust me. During that first trimester, I would have preferred to eat my shoes. However, thankfully, you can often find fish or cod liver oil in pill form, so don’t torture yourself with the liquid version. Cod liver oil is an incredible superfood for both pregnant mommies and their growing babies, supplying a natural dose of Vitamins A and D, among others. It will boost your immune system while pregnant and can give you a natural source of energy when your body is working over-time to, you know, make an entire human being.
Watch your posture. Silly, I know, but your pregnancy posture will have a major impact on what kind of birth experience you will have, as well as what kind of recovery you’ll have. Watch those stretching abdominal muscles and learn to sit, stand, and yes, even roll over in bed, the right way, so that you are protecting and strengthening your back and ab muscles (yes, they’re still there, believe it or not!) There are a lot of pregnancy exercise programs out there, but again, start small if this is all new to you. I love Lorraine’s gentle and easy to follow approach – for those seasoned athletes and those who can’t walk up the stairs.
Eat your butter. I know. You vegans are cringing and those of you who think eating fat makes you fat are all rolling your eyes at me. Hear me out on this one, and then do your own research – don’t take my word for it. Fat is the building block for our cells and this is the BEST time to be eating that olive oil and coconut oil.
Plan for postpartum NOW. Yes, we need to be thinking about our baby’s health and well-being, don’t get me wrong. However, D-Day will be here before you know it and all of the sudden, you’re sent home and it’s as if those doctors and nurses think that you know what you’re doing with that loud, pink wrinkly thing! Stock up on electrolyte drinks for your delivery – both during and after. Your body will be going through the equivalent of a marathon, so stay hydrated and mineralized and have some on hand when you start breast-feeding. This will dramatically replenish your energy during those first few days as you rebuild your iron supply and your muscles begin to heal after delivery.
And ya know what? If that’s as far as you get in this whole “natural” experience, then you’re ahead of the curve! We can get so lost and overwhelmed by that immense amount of information on pregnancy that we go into a hormone-riddled information-overdose, which is more often than not, only remedied with chocolate.
And that’s ok. Eat that chocolate. Just do it with good posture, after you take your pre-natals, ‘k?
CheekyBums is the hybrid of vintage and modern – we wanted to create both a marketplace and a resource blog for parents that want to raise their kids the vintage way – not just in style (although we have some a.maz.ing vintage duds in our market!) – but in a way that reflects the “vintage” values that we seem to have lost in our fast-paced-plastic-laden-techno-savvy world. We want to create a place that brings us back to morality, wholesome values, modest clothes, Biblical parenting, and natural living, realizing that it’s possible to be completely vintage and totally modern, all at the same time.
A note from Aubrey: I wanted to do a little bit of the legwork for you, so if you’re interested in purchasing anything mentioned in the article here are some brands that you may enjoy to kind of point you in the right direction. Always talk to your doctor.
- Multivitamins: Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal Multivitamins
- Fish Oil: Nordic Naturals – Ultimate Omega D3 or Green Pasture’s Blue Ice Fermented COD Liver Oil
- Grass fed butter: Grass Fed Traditions
- Raw coconut oil: Tropical Traditions
Have your own favorite brands that you love to use? Leave us a comment and let us know!