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July 31, 2015

9 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Although I called myself taking good notes during the time I was pregnant with A and B, I look back now and wish I’d written down so much more. 

I'm taking a trip down Memory Lane today to record some tidbits about what I did to support a healthy pregnancy.  (I’m no doctor, mind you!  This is what worked for me…and if this might spur some inspiration for someone else, all the better.)

1)      Eat often.  I was incredibly lucky not to have “morning sickness”, but that didn’t mean my stomach felt peachy all the time.  I cite the trick to my success as twofold – finding the foods that worked for me, and eating them often.

Cold cereal in the mornings did the trick to get me going.  Frosted Mini Wheats were my friend…to the point that I traveled with a box of them if I ever was away from home.  For lunch, I most often ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat (with two glasses of milk).  And I should have bought stock in cheese and almonds.  That was my failsafe snack a couple of times a day.  I felt like as long as I could keep something in my system, I could keep from feeling too nauseated.

Between breakfast and lunch, I ate 2-3 bananas a day, too.  I think that kept the leg cramps at bay.

2)      Drink a lot.  My doctor recommended I drink Gatorade when I first got pregnant.  Now I can’t remember the exact reason for that recommendation, but that quickly became my morning ritual.  I couldn’t have coffee…but I looked forward to kick starting my day with some Gatorade.

Outside of my Gatorade routine, I drank WATER…lots and lots and lots of water.  I remember reading that the uterus is a muscle.  It’s important to keep it hydrated, just like the muscles throughout your body.  I credit all the water I drank with me carrying my girls as long as I did (to 34 weeks).

3)      Get a pregnancy pillow.  I was always a tummy sleeper, and I was so afraid (before I got HUGE) that I would roll over onto my stomach while I slept.  I bought the most awesome pregnancy pillow, one that went between my legs and I was able to snuggle into.  It made a huge difference in my comfort at night.  (And I am still hanging onto it for sentimental reasons!)

4)      Embrace your body.  It’s a common joke that husbands “accidentally” tell their pregnant wives they’re “big”…pregnant wife gets mad…husband is never allowed to forget it.  “Being big” was the last thing I worried about…I loved my pregnant self!  I was so in awe of my body and the amazing things it was doing…so incredibly proud to see my babies growing and prospering, as evidenced by my growing belly.  And I had such a fun time buying maternity clothes! 

5)      And on a related note, take pictures and make notes!  This is one regret I have, that I don’t have that many pictures of my adorably HUGE pregnant belly.  One day you’ll want to remember what you looked like at 6 months along, how big you were at 8 or 9 months.  I’m not sure I would want to see pictures of my swollen feet…but maybe I should have taken a picture or two, just in case.

6)      Listen to your body.  YOU are the only one who knows how you feel.  YOU are charged with being your own advocate…and therefore the advocate for your baby/ies.  Another regret I have (although I remind myself it’s a moot point…I have two healthy kiddos now) is that I put too much stock into “mind over matter”.  I thought I could will myself into making it to my 37-week due date.  I was wrong.  I can’t help but wonder if I’d listened to my body more…if I’d not dismissed the contractions I now realize I’d been having pretty regularly…if I could have carried the girls longer.  I’ll never know that (and again, I remind myself it’s a moot point…otherwise I’d drive myself crazy thinking about it).  This experience has taught me to listen to my body, though.  It’s a lot smarter than I sometimes give it credit for. 

7)      If you have questions, call your doctor.  I’ve come to realize that what I’m afraid may be a silly question, has likely been asked hundreds of times.  There’s no such thing as a “silly” question.  If you have something on your mind, call your doctor!  It’s better to be safe than sorry, and better to ease your mind than to sit and worry.  (And it’s good practice for all the “silly” questions you’ll have for your pediatrician!)

8)      Connect with those around you.  My husband was by my side my entire pregnancy.  He went to every doctor visit, every shopping trip for baby stuffs, and lifted everything down to a gallon of milk.  I had some amazing friends (mom friends and not) who cheered me along in such an awesome way.  They were so happy for our impending bundles.  Being surrounded by such a great support system just amplified my joy.

9)   SAVOR THE ANTICIPATION!  Pregnancy was truly the most amazing time in my life.  Hubby and I were elated at becoming parents.  There were so many new things happening, every day.  We couldn’t wait for our girls to be born…we would sit and dream and imagine what it might be like.  I’ve never wanted anything so badly…and having months of anticipation was nothing short of awesome.

I am very fortunate not to have taken any medications during my pregnancy.  (I remember when I got to the hospital, the nurse was taking down my history.  "You didn't take anything???  I'm talking aspirin and TUMS, even???"  She was incredulous.  I was able to power through, and I'm very thankful.)

Zofran, a drug that has been used to subdue morning sickness, and has recently been reported to have terrible side effects.  Again, I'm no doctor, and I'm not going to weigh in on the topic, other than to say...what would perhaps be my 10th tip...research, research, research.  Know your options and weigh the risks with whatever you do.

Thanks for joining me on this little trip down Memory Lane!  It's bittersweet...I'm so thankful for who my girls are today...but I kinda miss the journey that got them here!

Taken at my work shower...I was about 7 months along.  Sniff, sniff!!!


Sadia said...

I think you included every tip that I would have shared. I genuinely enjoyed being pregnant. I just wish it had lasted a little longer.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I also loved being pregnant - apparently it suited me :)

Did I ever tell you I somehow made low-res pics of all my preggy pics and somehow SAVED them and it did an override over the hi-res pics. So that's all I have....

Sadia said...

Oh, Marcia, that's TERRIBLE!

Sadia said...

So, Mandy, I'm going to have to be means Sadia and ask you to please add the #TwinklyTuesday badge to your post, sidebar, or a linky page.