Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Surviving pregnancy unscathed

I've said before that I was blessed to have an incredibly pleasant pregnancy.  There are a thousand things to worry about during pregnancy, and somehow I was lucky enough to avoid them all.  A few matters, though, I took into my own hands.  I'm no expert, but the following saved me from some of the unpleasantries of pregnancy:

1.  I worked out 4-6 days per week (**do so only under the guidance of your physician**).  I'd been doing so for a few years prior to my pregnancy, and I continued with my workout regimen for several months into my pregnancy.  Around week 28 I reduced my weight lifting (I had been taking BodyPump, with some adapted forms for pregnant women) because one knee started bothering me and replaced it with additional cardio (often an elliptical trainer since my center of gravity changed and I felt most stable on the elliptical).  I also quit playing tennis (BB had been teaching me) right away and stopped riding my bike after about 4 months.
2.  I ate only organic produce and dairy products, mostly organic meats, and mostly wild seafood to protect my baby.  You'll hear a lot of naysayers when you mention organics, but no one can make a solid argument FOR consuming chemicals/pesticides/etc.
3.  I used Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Balm daily.  I can't prove that this did anything other than reduce the itching many women feel when their skin starts stretching, but I ended up with only two small stretch marks that showed up during the last few weeks when the baby dropped.  My belly rarely itched.
4.  I ate Kashi Go Lean cereals every day.  I'm positive that this saved me from some uncomfortable and sort of embarassing problems.  You know the ones I mean.  The taste and texture were fine for me, but could take some getting used to if you normally eat sugary cereals.  I also liked to carry either an apple or Fiber One bar in my bag when we were out and about.
5.  I paid close attention to the ingredient list on everything I ate.  Common sense.  There were a few exceptions, like the fiber bars (I didn't suffer from cravings, but I did have a week or so where I wanted Cheetos.  I had them.)
6.  I went to every doctor's appointment without exception. 
7.  I never let myself think that I shouldn't be accountable for everything I did or ate because of my "condition."  I often hear people blame irrational or irresponsible behaviors on pregnancy horomones.  BS.  Of course pregnancy horomones will come into play, but it's no excuse for lashing out, eating uncontrollably, or otherwise behaving in ways that could hurt the baby or mother. 
8.  I read pregnancy blogs and books and took classes.  Preparation breeds empowerment.
9.  I was easy on myself.  I let myself worry in short doses about the future and untold numbers of terribly possibilities (IN SHORT DOSES, then I moved on). 

All of this, plus some good genes and good fortune led to an enjoyable pregnancy.  Obviously these things won't work for everyone, and yes, bad thing happen to good people, but it worked for me.

There are a few ways in which I could've made my pregnancy easier and more fun.  In retrospect, we shouldn't have been shopping for and buying a house at that time - it was stressful.  I also should've asked BB to help me (he would've been glad to, but I never asked and ended up doing the cooking and cleaning and errand running I always did throught my pregnancy) and should've babied myself a bit with a few massages, etc.  Still, no complaints.

Any tips I missed?

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