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Pregnancy is a miraculous journey. There aren’t enough words to describe all the mental and physical alterations your body goes through carrying your child inside of you. It’s one I will forever be grateful for and it’s been more than I ever anticipated. Preparing for my second baby to make her entrance into the word has given me even more to think about, and a little edge on how to handle pregnancy the second time around.
I hope these tips to use during your pregnancy will give you comfort and take some of the guesswork out of all the (wonderful) craziness!
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First, if you are facing a subsequent pregnancy, know there can be huge disparities between your pregnancies and some similarities.
Morning sickness >> it can vary, the best thing I used was sucking on hard candy or ice. I used these candies a lot in the beginning of both pregnancies. Some woman need medication, if you do, don’t fret…TAKE IT! Other than avoiding greasy or sugary food, you’re going to have to muddle through with it. It typically eases up after the first trimester (but not always).
Stretch Marks >> from everything I read and researched, stretch marks are inherently genetic. There isn’t too much we can do about whether we get them or not. HOWEVER, there are methods to use that will help them not appear so severe and can minimize the amount.
- DRINK A LOT OF WATER – I know this may seem hard especially with the pressure of a baby pushing on your bladder constantly, AHH! But TRUST ME, drinking a lot of water is KEY! The rule of thumb is to drink AT LEAST (even more if you can) half your weight in ounces everyday. I started doing this the year before getting pregnant, so I was conditioned to drinking this much and it makes A WHOLE HECK OF A LOT OF DIFFERENCE IN YOUR HEALTH! Your skin being a huge one. I single-handily attribute drinking water to my lack of stretch marks. You heard me right, through two pregnancies, I don’t have a single stretch mark. My mother did get stretch marks through each of her three pregnancies, albeit hers are not bad. So I truly believe drinking ALL THE WATER really helped my skin stretch.
- USE LOTIONS/OILS – From the day I found out I was pregnant, I started to oil up 🙂 . My focus in finding the right lotion started with organic ingredients only. If I was going to use something everyday on my skin (my largest organ), I wanted to ensure it was toxin free. After reading TONS of reviews, I settled on this lotion and oil. I rub the lotion on twice a day, after my shower in the morning AND before bed. I used it for my first pregnancy and had great results, so got it for the second. I use the oil for perinea massage prior to labor and around my belly button, where my skin gets extra taught.
3. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR WEIGHT GAIN – This is more obvious, but the truth is the truth. Technically, you are not eating for two. Your “normal” diet can support your growing babe. You are not advised to eat more calories than normal until the final weeks of pregnancy, and even then it’s only advised to eat 300 more calories, so uhh that’s like two pieces of bread. SO, don’t go crazy and you will be fine. If you don’t grow extraordinarily, your skin can manage the stretch much better.
Mental State >> It’s no secret, your mind will be playing tricks on you the entire time. Make sure to take any advice given to you with a grain of salt. Every single person has an opinion, but you can have your own too, even if it is your first time. I didn’t hold anyone’s opinion above my own. I know it seems cliche, but your intuition will be much stronger, so if something doesn’t seem right, do what will put your mind at ease.
With all the good exciting moments, you will inevitably be plagued with scary ones too. Ignorance truly is bliss the first time around. Just know that every bad outcome, condition, or disorder are extremely rare and the only thing you can do is stay as healthy as you can and trust in God’s provision.
I know it’s easier said than done, and it’s completely normal to have worry and fears, even the really far fetched ones like “I’m going to die during child birth.” Yep, that’s been one of mine for both pregnancies. Let the craziness come in, and then let it go out. Don’t harp on the “what if’s”, allow yourself to let those go so you can just be present and relish in the excitement.
My biggest defense against the scary thought is PRAYER. Any and every time I would have those thoughts, I would pray out loud for Christ to calm my mind and give me peace. My second defense is knowledge. I love to learn and there is honestly nothing more interesting than learning how your baby is growing each week and how your body is making it all happen, it’s FASCINATING! Being armed with knowledge is an enormous comfort! It helps you ask the right questions and gives you peace of mind when things are really changing and you wonder if it’s normal. I do suggest NOT You Tubing births, which I did the first time > YIKES!!!!!!! Just read about it and let your imagination take over. In reality, each labor and delivery is unique too, so let’s not watch others’ experiences, PROMISE ME!
I loved this book because it has all the medical components, illustrations, pictures, and understandable verbiage.
Physical State >> I touched on this above when talking about stretch marks. Basically, three things will help you most:
- Keep hydrated
- Be mindful of your diet
If you normally exercise, keep it up and make alterations as advised by your doctor. If you don’t normally exercise, don’t start something crazy BUT do try and work in walking. Walking is great for helping your body manage all the hormones racing through your veins, keeping your mind clear, and helping your baby get into good positions throughout pregnancy. ALWAYS take the advice of your doctor, and don’t push yourself past your limits. Also, use support items like belly bands and support wear.
These are some of the items I use during pregnancy.
Another MUST DO is to take your prenatal vitamins! I mentioned them in my Things I’m Loving list, but I will post here for convenience! Side note: make sure your vitamin contains DHA, it’s AMAZING for your baby’s mental health development!
These are organic and full of natural nutrients that are easily absorbed by our bodies 🙂 SCORE!
To prevent absolute overwhelm, I’m going to break these tips into two parts. Go ahead and get working on these. I encourage everyone to do their own research on products they may want to try. Be sure to leave comments or questions below and I will do my best to help!
Pregnancy is a whirlwind that is slow and fast at the same time, all consuming and a beautiful adventure!
IF you’re ready to take on THE WHOLE LIST, CHECKOUT PART TWO NOW!