Some men really think that being pregnant is easy. After all, they don’t see you doing anything; your body is doing all the work. Not all the time, but often, they can be unsympathetic to the fact that you’re tired and sore because they see us taking it easy and can’t understand why we would feel that way. They don’t understand how incredibly exhausting and difficult it is to grow a new person. Here are some ideas on how to work past the bad aspects of pregnancy.
During the first few weeks it may be a good idea to acquaint yourself and your partner to the things that will change immediately. Sometimes if you’ve been trying for a while this will not be an issue, but if it’s a surprise there are steps that need to be taken to ensure mom and baby’s safety.
The list is literally a mile long of the things that you really should not eat or only have if you MUST have it. Cravings are cravings, after all. For starters, lunch meat or and cold cuts (listeria, which can cause miscarriages. Though it’s somewhat rare I wouldn’t risk it but if you must have it, warming the meat up for 10-15 seconds in the microwave will kill any bacteria like listeria, but this is also bad for you because of the high nitrates.), rare burgers and steaks (I hated this…I like to hear a little moo when I cut into my steak so this was particularly hard for me), raw or rare fish, high-mercury fish (these can cause brain damage and developmental disorders), anything with ginseng which is thought to cause birth defects, any excessive sweets (helps to avoid unnecessary weight gain, gestational diabetes, and believe it or not, your baby will eventually be able to taste what you eat in-utero. You may be able to avoid a sweet tooth later if you cut back now. Be sure to avoid dark chocolate especially, as it contains caffeine.), caffeine (can cause low birth weight, dehydration in mom and baby, and high blood pressure, though some doctors will say a little bit is okay if you really need it.), the list goes on but you see where I’m going with this. If you’re anything like me, just this little list cut out most of my favorite foods.
Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about certain aspects of your diet and whether something will have an effect on you baby. Some will be strict about diet especially if they consider you to be high-risk, but others will say that certain things are okay in moderation as with anything.
Tip: Having trouble choking down DHA supplements but are scared to eat too much fish? Try adding chia to a smoothie in the morning or check out Mamma Chia’s line of energy bars, drinks and snack pouches. DHA is crucial to brain development. This will also help keep things (*ahem) regular. Speaking of which:
For this first trimester you will notice you are tired constantly (lack of caffeine will not help one bit), sore, sick to your stomach, possibly having headaches and constipated, and likely be wanting nothing more than a hot bath/shower. Don’t do it. Sitting in a bath with water that is too hot can literally cook your baby. Your body temperature rises and so does theirs. It’s best to keep it cooler for now, or unless your doctor deems it okay. To combat fatigue without caffeine, consider increasing the protein in your diet. Protein shakes and some yogurt with granola. These are very high in protein which can help give you more energy. Sometimes even a little walk can help wake you up. There’s also nothing wrong with a nap if you have time and sleeping in a little. You’re pregnant and growing a little human; you deserve it.
If you are feeling constipated it may because of the diet changes and the somewhat sedentary lifestyle having constant fatigue can do that to you, not to mention your expanding uterus moving everything around. Stay away from laxatives unless your doctor gives it the all clear. Your best bet to gain comfort naturally is high fiber foods. Try artichoke, chia seed, apples and pears, or maybe a little prune juice.
As for morning sickness, which I’m sorry to say doesn’t always end after the first trimester, I was one of the lucky few who had hardly any. For me it was just more nausea and headaches than anything else and it lasted up until the middle of the third trimester. For nausea and morning sickness I found that the best thing to do is keep crackers by your bedside and munch on a few before you even get out of bed. I’m convinced that morning sickness has a lot to do with having an empty stomach and if you keep snacking throughout the day, even a little bit at a time, you can keep it at bay. If you are starting to feel sick, though, eating a few grapes had help take care of it before it gets bad. They have an acid in the skin that will take away the saliva build up that can make you pray to the porcelain gods. If you have a serious case of morning sickness it may be best to tell your doctor about it; very often there are medications that can help, but I would try to control it through other avenues first.
The soreness you will feel is likely from your hips adjusting to make room for your growing baby, your feet flattening under the increasing weight, and your back straining to compensate for the weight up front. Keep in mind that this all happens so fast during pregnancy (even if you think it takes forever) that your body has to adapt so quickly that you feel all that pain. Whereas, if you were to gain weight over the course of a couple years you wouldn’t be so apt to notice any pain until the weight became a big enough issue. Trust me, it will get worse before it gets better but it will get better. Sciatica is often a side effect of quick weight gain during pregnancy, but normally won’t arise until you are in the second or third trimesters and the baby starts gaining more weight. Once you welcome your bundle of joy, it will take a couple weeks for it to go away as you lose the weight and your body starts returning to normal, but nine times out of ten, it will. Have your partner rub where it hurts before bed and it will help you sleep better and loosen you up for the next day. I can’t rave enough about pregnancy pillows. They help keep your knees from grinding together during the night, hip and sciatica pain, and give you something you rest your growing belly on.
Your hormones will also make some wonderful changes. One minute you may feel fine and they next you could either cry or slap someone. It happens to the best of us, and you will get used to it. Keep in mind you may go through this again once the baby is born because your brain is telling your body it no longer needs certain hormones and the easy-to-cry or anxious feeling is a combination of not having those hormones anymore and the new ones introduced once the baby is born. It will even out quite a bit once your uterus is down to its normal size. Breastfeeding is a bonus in this area as it helps it shrink faster and lose weight faster, but you will keep the hormones needed for lactation.
Try your best to stay away from cleaning solutions with heavy fumes, as this is not good for you or the baby. If you can, try to find a more natural solution or one that will give off a less pungent smell. If you want, avoid it entirely. After all, hubby can clean too and you know have a wonderful excuse to kick back!
You can also ask your doctor about a pregnancy workout regimen. This may help with fatigue and pain. Very often if you did not work out before pregnancy the doctor will tell you it’s not good to start now. Women with very active and straining routines may not need to cut back much, but should take it easier with some areas which your doctor can tell you about. Others who exercise every day or moderately may cut back a lot and settle for a relaxing prenatal yoga for the duration of the pregnancy. It’s all about what works for you and keeps your baby healthy.
These are just some tips to endure the first months of pregnancy and know what to expect as time goes on. Your doctor and your partner will help you to find the best ways to cope with the strains of early pregnancy. Don’t sweat it too much, it does get better and soon you will have a little bundle of joy that will make it all worthwhile.
Keep an eye out for other pregnancy & baby tips in future blogs! As always, thank you for visiting Here Comes Baby Boutique!
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