As I write this, I am in my 30th week of pregnancy and feeling tired, happy and excited. The journey so far has been really blessed in many ways, as we’ve been surrounded by a lot of love and I’ve been very well throughout thus far.
As most of you know, I started my own Naturopathic clinic earlier this year in February. That was very exciting. It just so happened that we conceived our little bub the same week that I opened up my business. That was huge, and very tiring. However I can say that it was all worth it, and I got to nurture 2 babies at once. Perhaps not recommended due to lack of energy reserves, but fulfilling none the less. The first trimester for me passed by really well, with my only symptom being tiredness (okay and a bit of hormonal moodiness). This pregnancy tiredness isn’t like any other that I’ve experienced before, like any mum would know it’s an all consuming lethargy inducing ride that can only be relieved by sleep and time. Luckily my fatigue left pretty much at the third month mark, and I felt somewhat like my old self again. During the first trimester I was also extremely hungry, and as far as cravings went the only one that I really had was for rice bread toast with butter, cheese & tomato with salt & pepper. Savoury all the way.
My second trimester was a sweet time, as my belly started to swell and we became more acquainted with the little being growing inside of me. I first felt some little kicks at 19 weeks, which is around the time that I really started to look pregnant. Leading up to this I pretty much just looked a bit bloated, which was frustrating as all I wanted was that classic ‘baby bump’ to show up. My energy was a lot better and more sustained during this time as well, and I was able to get a lot prepared for both the baby and my business whilst I go on maternity leave. Food wise my appetite steadied, and I did have a few times were I just wanted chocolate! Hello satisfying deliciousness. On the whole though I haven’t had any real cravings or nausea/aversions etc. This baby is definitely a meat eater though, as I have noticed my body definitely enjoying and needing meat more than I did pre.pregnancy. Protein requirements really increase during pregnancy, so that isn’t a surprise really! Sleep has been pretty good too, except for a few nights of tossing and turning. I see this as my body preparing me for the inevitable sleepless nights to come!
Now we are into the third trimester, and I have definitely noticed a drop in energy over the last couple of weeks. I’ve also been a bit breathless at times as the baby is taking up a lot more room in my abdomen and pushing my organs around a bit. It can get uncomfortable at times, but it’s so fun to feel the little one kicking and moving around in there. As bubs gets bigger I have also noticed a pain deep in my butt over the last week or so. This is quite common as the baby can squash nerves around your lower spinal cord and pelvic area. Up until now I’ve been relatively pain free, with just a little bit of discomfort when baby has moved/turned in my abdomen. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor fortnightly and I credit this for my great back and spinal health and relatively pain free pregnancy thus far. I am also considering some acupuncture to relieve the nerve pain if it doesn’t alleviate with chiropractic care.
For the remainder of our pregnancy my focus is on resting as much as I need to, making sure that my nutrition is optimal for both baby and I, and looking after my spiritual health and nervous system with meditation and connection. We are so excited to meet our little one, and are focused on enjoying our remaining time together before our world changes in so many amazing ways.
Things that I’ve found useful during my pregnancy:
1# Chiropractic care – this has been so instrumental for me. Even down to hormonal and mood balancing. Having massages is also wonderful, and helped me a lot during my first and second trimester with relaxation and even energy
2# Resting as much as possible. During the first trimester this included afternoon naps, and now that I’m well on the way at 30 weeks there has been a return of these afternoon siesta’s as needed. I am lucky enough to be able to schedule rest time into my work day, and only work 3 days a week. This has been a real blessing.
3# Queen Bee – an online maternity wear store. This has been amazing for me, especially as most of my pre.pregnancy winter clothes are firm fitting. That means, they no longer fit my much more rotund shape! Shopping for a few pregnancy essentials has been fun. Pregnancy jeans have been my favourite must have item, as well as pregnancy singlets and some wrap dresses for work and play.
4# A pregnancy pillow – about 5 weeks ago (at 25 weeks) I began to get a bit uncomfortable in bed as my belly dragged everything down. I purchased the Denton’s pregnancy pillow, which is like a little wedge that you put underneath your bump. It is Amazing! Not only am I now comfortable in bed, but It reduced my night time bathroom trips from 5 per night to once per night and sometimes none. We refer to it as my ‘pregnancy wedge’. Hehe.
5# Eating regularly – every 2 hours. This has helped me with sustained energy and mood, as well as allowed me to get in enough nutrition for bubs to grow healthy and strong. I didn’t have any reflux (yet), but eating small and regular meals can really help with this if you do experience it.
6# Taking good quality DHA supplements. I noticed a dramatic improvement in my ‘baby brain’ once I started taking these again. I use the Nordic naturals brand, and truly cannot recommend it enough. I also take some other supplements specific to my needs, and an excellent quality prenatal vitamin to ensure that baby and I are getting everything we need during this time.
7# A Doula – we hired a doula as our support person for this pregnancy, and she has been amazing so far. If you are unfamiliar with what a Doula is I encourage you to do some research, as we believe they are really instrumental in having the knowledge you need and creating an experience you will be happy with for your pregnancy and birth.
8# Exercise – movement has been so good for me, as it helps me to remain pain free as I stretch my muscles and release any tension. I regularly walk with our dog Lucy, and also practice some yoga and stretching at home. My walks can be a bit shorter than normal if I’m feeling tired, but just getting outside makes a huge difference in my feeling of wellbeing. I also did a pre-natal yoga class during second trimester, which was more of a time for relaxation and connection with bubs than exercise.
9# Not reading mainstream pregnancy books and magazines – I’ve had a total aversion to them, with no interest whatsoever. I’ve seen so many friends become overwhelmed with fear based information, and I decided early on that this approach wasn’t for me. I’ve been doing a lot of meditation and connecting with baby, whilst also listening to my own internal feminie wisdom. As women we are built for pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing. I trust totally in this, and also in the family and friend support I have around me. Information wise I have selected more holistic information sources, read resources on the Bendigo Positive Birthing Website & similar, and our Doula has loaned me some wonderful books that are based on information and love, not fear. Once I’ve read them I am more than happy to do a review for those who are interested.
There is so much more I could share with you, but this post is now long enough :) I've enjoyed sharing it with you, and would love to hear of your own pregnancy must haves and things you've found useful. Please share in the comments below!
Much Love and Light,
I'm Ally Chick, founder and head Naturopath here at Alysia Chick Health.