Yay! I’m pregnant!!! Let the fun times begin… wait… I can’t do this? I can’t drink that? I can’t eat that? But… I can be the designated driver? Sheesh, these are going to some very long months, ugh!
Nope, none of that is true, sure the sushi and wine are put on hold. The stilettos get shoved to the back of the closet. No moving heavy objects or cleaning kitty litter. Hmm… things are already looking up! You may not of known when your doctor told you were pregnant you really just got handed a ‘I’m pregnant card!’
All kidding aside, pregnancy definitely limits some freedoms you may have enjoyed, even if they weren’t that great for you. Being pregnant can be a great opportunity to switch things up develop new habits that are beneficial, or try some things you may not have thought about previously.
Before I get into this, lets just put this out there… A man and a woman make a baby, but a man’s lifestyle carries on while a woman’s lifestyle turns into creating an angelic vessel to birth the healthiest baby possible!
So Many Things…
- Coffee: Since this is how we like to start out the day, lets start with this. On a good day, a cup of coffee in the morning can heighten your senses and leave sluggishness in the dust. But now pregnant… Good news! The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend less than 200 mg per day, a moderate amount. That’s about 2 8oz cups. Keep in mind coffee is a diuretic, so make sure you drink plenty of water to stay adequately hydrated.
- Chocolate: Lets keeps the good news rolling! A US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health study indicates ‘that regular intake of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, has beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease risk by lowering blood pressure, insulin resistance, serum triglycerides, vascular reactivity, endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, indicators of inflammation, and anti-platelet activity’. Who knows what half of those things are but I don’t mind eating a little chocolate to find out.
- Document your pregnancy: What a great way to look back and remember the milestones. You can take pictures of your bump (or lack of) on a certain day of each month.
- Henna your bump! Henna or Mehndi is an integral part of many Indian cultures and traditions. Make sure the henna is plant based and not chemical. There are some precautions so read this excellent blog beforehand.
- Paint your bump! Get some non-toxic paint and get creative and go crazy! ProudBody.com has some great ideas and kits.
- Exercise: That pregnancy card you received also allows you to go to the gym. Infact, exercise helps reduce some of the most unwanted pregnancy symptoms, like back aches, constipation, bloating, and swelling. It also improves posture, muscle tone, and endurance (which will serve you well during labor and delivery). Keep it low intensity eg walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga or dance classes to name a few. Remember, when you lose water (sweat) you need water, drink plenty of healthy fluids.
- Spa day: Anything that raises the body temperature is a no go, like body wraps and saunas. Talk to the representative, working on pregnant women can make some spas uneasy. Make sure to say you’re pregnant and ask what services are available. Avoid chemicals unless of course you’re getting your nails done.
- Say yes to sex: You may be craving it or not at all, maybe you’re right in the middle, all these ranges are normal. Sex when expecting is unusually and especially enjoyable. It can be liberating to experience sex without the worry of getting pregnant for some. If you’re worried about harming the baby don’t worry, the amniotic sac provides all the protection you need.
- Download an app to follow along: There are apps that will give you daily, weekly and monthly tips and milestone updates. Some will tell the size of your baby compared to a fruit or vegetable. Some have discussion boards of expecting mothers at the same stage you are. At a touch of the finger it’s so easy to engage, and if your not a big reader there’s lot of small easily digestible pieces of information to help you learn.
- Read: There are countless books on all stages of pregnancy and infancy. There are also excellent blogs (like this one), which can give a mothers perspective through all the stages. There’s nothing wrong with the scientific version of bringing a baby into this world, but the down to earth unique experiences different individuals have can give unique learning experiences that are hard to find.
- Prenatal Yoga: Prenatal yoga addresses the physical challenges common to pregnancy, such as a shifted center of gravity as well as lower back pain. These moves will help alleviate aches and build strength in your back, legs and abdomen to prepare you for giving birth. Yoga also can ease labor and delivery. Take a class or watch some YouTube videos.
- Make your nest: The nursery has to be done at some point. The earlier you start the easier it will be. Go onto sites like Pintrest and design the nursery of your dreams. Do it as a couple, it will be a great bonding experience. Remember if your going to painting where a mask, or skip it all together (hubby duty), you don’t want to be ingesting nasty materials and fumes.
- Take cooking classes: Not in the first 6 months, but eventually you will be preparing food for a baby. Granted it will be pretty easy in the beginning, but down the road you will want to provide full healthy meals for your family. Whatever cooking abilities you have, they can be upgraded. Take classes with your other half so you can work together as a team to get meals on the table quickly and efficiently.
- Take a Baby Moon: Just because they make up silly new events doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage. It goes without saying this will be the last opportunity to go on a vacation as a couple if it’s your first baby. You are currently growing that third wheel in your belly. It may not be the same without the margaritas but it’s a great excuse to get away all the same.
Like it or not your pregnancy has changed your life from the moment you found out. Whether it’s your first or your third, you have extra responsibilities. Take advantage of this life altering moment to try new things and form some new positive habits.
Enjoy this time and make the most of it! If you have any questions or would like to share your experiences leave a comment below.