What is the number one thing that people hear about pregnancy? Usually how bad nausea can be, and how much you’ll throw up. Right?
Hands down, morning sickness, or worse, all day nausea, is one of the most talked about symptoms of pregnancy. You have to admit, there are definitely some unpleasant aspects of growing a baby, and some women certainly have a harder time than others. No matter how you experience your pregnancy, there is great value in doing what you can from day one, or even earlier, to prepare for an amazing pregnancy!
Here are some tips for having a great pregnancy from day one.
Start before pregnancy
Having a great pregnancy can start before pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy, you can begin a regular, healthy exercise routine prior to fertilization. You can begin making small improvements in your nutritional intake, a little bit at a time.
Kristi notes that being pregnant is a huge motivator for her in the exercise and nutrition department.
“Nothing motivates me to exercise and eat healthy like my babies! Even before they are conceived, I take care of my body with them in mind. I usually give myself a year to recover before I start to exercise in earnest. I like to run, and one thing I say to myself to keep me motivated is, “I’m doing this for you Little Baby #1 (or 2 or 3). I want to make a nice comfy home for you!” I’ve done this with all three of my children. I try to prepare my body for birth long before conception occurs because giving birth has been so incredibly life-changing for me. I want to do everything I can to prepare.”
Kristi Keen, doula and childbirth educator
Sometimes a plan and a few easy recipes can help you with ideas for optimal pregnancy nutrition preparation.
For many women, eating well balanced, whole food, meals frequently throughout the day helps them feel better immediately during pregnancy. While pregnancy nausea can feel like a catch 22, eating right and frequently sometimes (but not always) stops the cycle of puking.
“Preventing problems is easier than fixing them, so it’s always best to start out your pregnancy by working towards a healthier mind, body, and spirit. Prenatal yoga, adequate nutrition, and chiropractic care are my top three recommendations I give my early pregnancy class students!”
Shazia Lackey, childbirth educator and yoga instructor
These 10 foods are a great start for eating well during your pregnancy. In fact, eating yummy, nutrient dense food is a great habit to continue after the baby is born and can help with postpartum recovery and breastfeeding!
Eating right and exercise go hand in hand in preparing for and experiencing a fabulous pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Like eating through nausea, exercising during pregnancy can seem like an impossible task.
However, don’t think of pregnancy exercise as similar to the crash, intensive exercise we tend to do when we are starting a new regimen outside of pregnancy.
Basic pregnancy exercises are gentle and help stretch, strengthen, and prepare the body for childbirth. Pregnancy exercises can even make you feel better!
A good birth class will include some pregnancy exercises that are perfect for you.
Emotional self care
Sometimes it can be easier to check off the right foods on your chart than caring for yourself emotionally. But emotional self care during pregnancy is probably equally important!
Maybe emotional self care during pregnancy means you take a yoga class twice a week, or make time for a guilt free nap every day. Maybe your emotional self care means meeting with other pregnant moms in a birth class and being able to talk about your fears, worries, and triumphs.
Whatever it is that you need, take the time to care for yourself. Of course your baby deserves a optimal pregnancy- but so do you!
Laura points out how doing this made her pregnancy wonderful- even better than regular life!
“The best I ever felt in my life, mentally and emotionally, was during pregnancy. I think it’s because I was motivated to take care of myself more than ever. While most women talk about their pregnancy with groaning and mumbling, I remember mine fondly. It was a time of self-care and contentment.”
Laura Simpson, childbirth educator
Take a walk in the sun, call a good friend, do what you need to do to care for your emotional wellbeing during pregnancy.
You deserve it!
Pregnancy, like birth, gets a pretty bad rap among many modern women. As a culture we often focus on the negatives: the swelling feet, the weight gain, the aching back, etc, just like we focus on the pain of childbirth. While the realities are not all roses, birth and pregnancy don’t have to be suffering!
This quote from Sydney is perfect:
“Giving birth is one of the biggest days of your life! It’s so helpful to start early in navigating how to have a healthy pregnancy and the best plans in place for birth and parenthood!”
Sydney Williamson, doula
This unique life event is both precious and everyday. You CAN have an amazing pregnancy- and birth!