Note from Liz: At the time of writing, I am 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant! I am looking forward to being on the other side with a newborn in my arms, but am still in a reflective state about how this pregnancy has gone and trying to enjoy the final days of pregnancy and check a few things off the list since God has given me some borrowed time.
If you haven’t already read my post about “3 new things I’ve done this pregnancy”, make sure you check it out! I enjoyed all the feedback I got from you about which of those things you had tried and what was making a difference. I am tickled that many of you were inspired by the new things I tried.
Because we are creatures of habit, and some habits I have decided to continue in each of my pregnancies, today I want to share 3 things that I have continued to do in each of my pregnancies. And I’m not talking about continuing to indulge my sweet tooth (I never said I was perfect, did I?).
1.Exercise regularly, including prenatal yoga
One of my former colleagues, a wise older woman who is a grandma, really sold me on the importance of exercise in pregnancy. She told me (While I was pregnant with my son Teddy) that of her 4 births, the smoothest were those during which she had remained physically active. This has really stuck with me. I tend to be a pretty active person in general, but having the knowledge that childbirth is a marathon was a good mindset to encourage me to get in my 2-3 workouts each week.
As a busy mom of 2 now, some of those work-outs are active outings we do together (parks, museums, swimming) with my children, but I still aim to have at least 2 of those be exercise classes or work-outs at the YMCA (free childcare= huge bonus!!).
Also, I find time for in-person prenatal yoga classes during the third trimester. This pregnancy I could not make it happen until the third trimester but it has still been valuable to me. I am “that mom” that brings a yoga mat to her birth and pulls out the pigeon and down dog at the most random times. But…if I did not practice and rehearse in advance, my body would not know those are positions that could really give me traction as I aim to birth naturally, letting my body take cues and get baby into position. I have taken prenatal yoga classes at Simply Yoga, City Yoga, and Yoga Garden based on when and where I could fit it in. I notice that when I exercise I have less charley horses (only one this pregnancy!!), more energy, and more stamina for birth.
2.Hire a doula
I love doulas! World Doula Week is taking place right now (3/22-3/28) and I can’t think of a better time to acknowledge the women who have accompanied me in my pregnancies and births. A huge shout out to Julie Pichon, Candice Hughes, and Cara Mehlon….my incredible doulas….and I am friends with many others in our local community. I have interacted with so many doulas through my FertilityCare and now Birth Boot Camp work that now on my website, I have a separate page to share their information because I could not fit them all on my main resource page AND because I know many families would benefit tremendously from hiring a doula. A doula is your cheerleader, your advocate, your lifeline, your labor coach and more during this sacred (& challenging) time.
3.Strive to eat a minimum of 80 grams of protein daily
When my husband and I first took our childbirth education class, we were happily surprised by the nutrition components that were taught. The main take-away for me from it was that 80 grams of protein is critical in order to give my body (and baby) what is needed in pregnancy and prevent pre-eclampsia, unhealthy weight gain, and other complications that are less likely to occur with proper nutrition. Dr. Tom Brewer developed the Brewer’s pregnancy diet which he taught to his OB patients. Over time, he has been able to disseminate this information to pregnant women in many corners of the world, and while protein is not the only component, it is one facet that I have embraced. You can read more about the Brewer’s diet here and how it can be adapted in different situations and for different nutrition needs. I’m grateful that by following it I have been able to maintain a healthy weight in pregnancy and fueled my body with nourishing, whole foods.
Want to have an amazing birth? I offer local classes in Zionsville, Indiana and will be teaching a comprehensive 10-week class Sundays, September 9- November 11, 2018 from 3-5:30 pm.
Having a baby sooner than that or interested in teaching childbirth education to women and couples looking for modern, evidence-based learning? Make sure to check out the virtual class options (and in-person instructor trainings) available through Birth Boot Camp.
(Above)- Here I am in the third trimester with all 3 kids: Teddy (almost 4), Ricky (in the womb), and Jenny (almost 2). What a joy to be their mother!
Just because I’ve been pregnant before or because I’m now a childbirth educator does not mean that I have perfected the art of being pregnant. Quite frankly, I am just as stubborn, clumsy, and forgetful as any pregnant woman. However, I’ve done a few new things this pregnancy that have been worthwhile that I’d like to share with you, my Indy FertilityCare clients, followers, and supporters.
1. I have pursued chiropractic care on a regular basis.
Although I had seen a chiropractor in the past for occasional aches and neck pain, my training to become a Birth Boot Camp Instructor is what opened my eyes to chiropractic care and the advantages for optimal positioning of baby and health in pregnancy (shorter labors, less aches/pains/discomforts) and I wanted to give it a try. Dr. Kristen Hartwell DC of Sacred Spines and Billingsley Chiropractic Center has taken good care of me during my pregnancy and I can report that I feel lighter and more agile. I am also sleeping better than I have in my previous pregnancies. I can keep up (more or less) with my two young toddlers even at 38 weeks pregnant.
2. I finally sought out pelvic floor physical therapy.
Like chiropractic care, I knew pelvic floor therapy helped a lot of women and I refer my clients to it all the time. I knew needing to use the bathroom midway through an intense exercise class or peeing mid-cough or mid-sneeze (having a bad cold was the worst!) was not normal, even for a pregnant woman.
After two vaginal deliveries (and some tearing in each), my pelvic floor was not as strong as it used to be. I finally decided that it was time to get help and I’m so glad I did. Elaine Morrison, PT of Zionsville Physical Therapy has been my physical therapist and through her expertise and my hard work of committing to daily exercises, I’m happy to say I can make it through a Les Mills Body Pump class or prenatal yoga class with no leakage or bathroom breaks! I have a stronger pelvic floor and have a larger toolkit of ways to build strength now and postpartum after my delivery this time around. Let’s just say not all kegels are created equal!
3. I have said NO more often and set better boundaries.
This one was HUGE for me (and I am still a work in progress). I said no to new clients as of a few months ago and no to writing opportunities, speaking gigs, and volunteer opportunities which made me heart excited, but that I knew I couldn’t do justice. I feel more free because of it. Not because these weren’t worthy endeavors (most were things I would have loved to do), but because I could not say yes to them and yes to my other commitments (family, work, personal time) simultaneously. I am only one person, and I have 24 hours in each day just like each of you reading.
I have been choosing to prioritize my emotional, physical, and mental health this pregnancy and I know that also directly impacts my stress levels and helping me sleep and rest appropriately. It is hard and sometimes frustrating to have to say no, but each no has been a little bit easier. Some books that have given me much-needed perspective from other women walking this journey of being recovering “people pleasers” include: The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands and Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living. These books helped me realize that I’m not the only person struggling with this and that it is a struggle worth fighting.
How about you? What are the new things you’re doing in this season of your own life?
Want to have an amazing birth? I offer local classes in Zionsville, Indiana and will be offering a comprehensive 10-week class this Fall 2018. Having a baby sooner than that or interested in teaching childbirth education to women and couples looking for modern, evidence-based learning? Make sure to check out the excellent virtual classes and the instructor and doula training programs offered by Birth Boot Camp.
Certified FertilityCare Practitioner & Birth Boot Camp Instructor
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