This is my first pregnancy and I have already learned that everyone’s pregnancy is different. But, there are some things that I have found that have made this trimester considerably easier. (Some of these things I also used in my second, but the benefits are much more noticeable now as I and baby Amelia grow.)
32 oz. Mason Jars – In our home, we mainly drink out of these mason jars. They are huge – 32 ounces – and we drink several of them during the day. In my pregnancy readings, one of the most important things for pregnant mamas to do is hydrate. A lot! Our bodies are doing some amazing things and we need water to create more blood, amniotic fluid, and keep us running. Many of us are dehydrated all the time, and this is a huge health concern especially when you are pregnant. My pregnancy has been relatively easy (and wonderfully boring and normal, according to my doc); I attribute much of that to staying hydrated, and much of that is because I don’t have to get up several times a day to refill my glass. I’ve got this honkin’ thing to ensure that I am drink plentifully!
Essential Oils – I’ve used essential oils throughout my pregnancy as stress relief and perfume. (I have tried my best to have a natural, non-chemically-reliant pregnancy, which meant that my beauty routine was refined even further to take out anything that did not fit this.) During my first trimester, I depended on orange and lavender oils during the day as almost everything else made me nauseous. In my third trimester, I’ve been drawn to using lemon oil and rosemary oil almost exclusively (though I will start adding lavender back at nighttime). I dab the oils on pressure points and use them in my hair and find that the scents help me focus and relax.
Yoga – In my first trimester, if I was in any position besides laying down, I was nauseous. Sitting, walking, standing – it all made me want to puke. I only threw up once or twice, but it was a pretty miserable few weeks. My second trimester, I never felt the jolt of energy that everyone talks about. (Maybe I had it, but it was sucked out of me with teaching, grad school, and house buying.) However, I’m trying to prepare during this third trimester for giving birth. I want to have a natural, drug-free, vaginal birth and want to do everything I can to prepare myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. A big part of this is that I’ve started a regular yoga practice. Three to five days a week, I either practice yoga at home or in my favorite studio. There is a lot of modifying, but this is the most consistent activity that I have committed to and I love it. The breathing, the focus: I feel so much better now than I did before. The nights that I do yoga before bed, I often sleep through the night (instead of the 2-4 trips to the bathroom). I also find that moments when I feel stress (like when my car didn’t start today!), I am starting to fall back on some deep breathing – the same breathing that I use in yoga.
The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth – Research! I am a super stubborn, fiercely independent, do-it-my-own way lady. This is both good and bad, but I find that it means I often have difficulty taking people’s advice…ESPECIALLY now in pregnancy! I love hearing everyone’s pregnancy story, but when people try to apply their situations to me, I have a hard time. There are so many factors: your genetics, your health prior to pregnancy, your health during pregnancy, your past experiences with hospitals, etc. (This has been me all my life – even when someone told me I HAD to read a book, I often found myself reluctant to…I would rather have found the book myself! Silly, I know.) I love Genevieve Howland’s book because it is very pro-natural, but it takes into account that this will not be everyone’s path. There are recipes, information on hospital interventions and how to self-advocate, how to have a “gentle cesarean,” and ways to be as healthy as possible during the pregnancy. There are several books I’ve read (from Ina May Garten to blogs and articles), and I’ve found the tone and message of this book to be one of my favorites.
Maternity Underwear – this is a thing! I had no idea that this was a real thing until my second trimester. Somewhere near the end of my second trimester, I decided to try it out and I’ve linked to my favorites – the Intimate Portal “Under the Bump” underwear. They are SO comfortable! I imagine that during my post-pregnancy weeks, these will also be my go-to.