You found out that you’re pregnant; you’re glowing with health and vitality and looking forward to the next nine months. Then the morning sickness kicks in, along with fatigue, constipation and twinges of pain as your ligaments start to relax in preparation for the birth of your little one. You start to show and everyone thinks they are entitled to an opinion on what you’re eating, drinking and doing. Sound familiar? While there are certain things which take a toll on you physically and emotionally, there are still some fabulous things about being pregnant. Apart from knowing you’re bringing a new life into the world that is….
1. First things First … Coffee
It is with a very happy heart I tell you that current research by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists indicates that moderate caffeine intake is considered safe. With the exhaustion of pregnancy dogging my heels, coffee was one of the things I thought I would have to forgo; however, it would appear that the specialists have given it the green light. You can read more about it here, but the gist of it is you can consume moderate amounts of caffeine, that’s less than 200mg per day. What does that mean for mom’s to be? In an average brewed cup of coffee there is about 135mg of caffeine. In a cup of tea there is about 50mg, soft drinks have about 37mg and cocoa can be anywhere between 8-12mg. While we mom’s to be can’t go and sip lattes all day long, there is no need to skip your morning coffee or your 3pm pick me up. Stick with the guidelines, be sensible and you can still enjoy your favorite hot beverage.
2. Chocolate … It’s good for you…
A thousand thank you’s to the team at Yale University led by Elizabeth Triche of the Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology. Their studies indicate that women who eat chocolate are at decreased risk of developing pre-eclampsia. Chocolate consumption creates a by-product in our bodies, theobromine, which is linked to lower risks of developing pre-eclampsia. While the article does mention that it is not a license to eat as much chocolate as desired, regularly eating a square or two throughout your pregnancy is not going to harm you.
Remember that chocolate does contain caffeine, about 30mg in an average dark chocolate bar and 11mg in an average milk chocolate bar.
3. You Can Keep Doing Yoga
Pregnancy is a great time to become more in tune with your body and exercise. If you have been a bit of a couch potato before falling pregnant work out a plan with your doctor, but if you were regularly pounding the pavement, swimming laps or taking time on your mat you can usually safely keep exercising moderately under the supervision of your medical professional.
There are a few unpleasant side effects of pregnancy … backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling. Exercise can help reduce these symptoms as well as improve your muscle tone and endurance. Once labor starts you’re going to need plenty of both to see you through. When you’re exercising listen to your body – if you feel pain, overheated, dizzy or nauseous – stop. Mild to moderate regular exercise is an important part of your pregnancy, stay hydrated, wear a comfortable and supportive bra and talk to your doctor about your routine.
4. Get Jiggy With It… One of the great things about pregnancy
Sex while you’re pregnant can be fantastic, all that extra blood making your pelvic region feel ready to go, but not all women feel like a roll in the hay. It’s ok to feel like having sex all the time and it’s also ok to not feel like it at all – both pregnancy responses are normal. Many women find that sex while pregnant is relaxing – you aren’t worried about prevention or conception and you can simply relax and enjoy the moment.
If you’re worried about your little jellybean being damaged when you’re having sex, you can relax. Your baby is protected by amniotic fluid, so you can carry on doing the horizontal limbo!
5. The Babymoon …
You’ve got a bump on board but you can still handle carry on! Use this time to take a small trip – you are soon going to be busier than ever before so a babymoon is a lovely time to reconnect with your partner, take some time out to relax and simply enjoy being pregnant. You’re special, you’re glowing and you should enjoy it.
Usually women are feeling quite nauseous in their first trimester and the second trimester can have you feeling a bit unwieldy. The middle three months are a popular time to get away – even a short road trip can help you unwind and enjoy quality time with your loved one.
6. Treat yourself to a spa day
There are many day spas that accommodate pregnant women and their special needs. While being pregnant means you need to avoid heat, no seaweed wraps till baby is born, there are still many treatments available to make you feel fabulous. Mani’s and Pedi’s are a lovely treat and a facial can be just the thing when you’re feeling awful about the toll those hormones are taking on your skin. If a massage is what you’re after these are ok too, but make sure the you are on your side not your back and that your therapist is trained in prenatal massage.
Just a note, if you’ve never waxed before, while you’re pregnant is not the time to experiment. Thanks to all those pregnancy hormones your skin is more sensitive so waxing is not for the faint hearted.
7. Shopping Spree For You
No doubt you have been buying plenty of cute little baby outfits for your little one and dressing up your nursery, but what about you? Make a list of what you want for yourself, because looking after you is especially important right now. Do you need comfortable new shoes as your pregnancy progresses? What about some comfortable lingerie or some beautiful maternity clothes? If you’re on a budget like so many of us are, write your list and then break it down buying yourself something lovely each month.
8. Pregnancy Photos
Pregnant women are radiant. While you may look at your growing thighs, hips and belly and worry over weight gain, people everywhere look at you and smile at how beautiful you are. If you have the opportunity, getting photos taken while you are pregnant can be a lasting memory of this truly special time in your life. Enjoy it, take lots of photographs of yourself and your partner and remember that your baby bump is beautiful.
9. Making Memories
Keep a scrapbook or diary of your pregnancy journey. Keep snippets of everything that was memorable from your first ultrasound scan to holiday snap shots of your babymoon. If you don’t like the idea of scrap booking, open up an email account for your little one and email pictures, thoughts, progress, feelings and any other keepsake you want for your memories. No matter what method you use, keeping a record of your memories is a fun thing to do and beautiful to look back on.
10. Spend Time with your Partner
Shortly sleep is going to be in short supply, stress is going to be in abundance and the time you used to have for each other is going to be limited. This is all natural, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy quality time with your loved one in the lead up to your baby arriving. Make sure to spend one night or lunch time per week just being together. This doesn’t mean going over the budget, it means watching DVD’s on the couch, seeing a movie, going for a picnic, cooking a meal together, having a date night or doing anything else that you enjoy together.