Being that I am well into my fourth pregnancy, I thought I would share some of my favorite things for pregnancy. I am definitely a creature of habit and partake in the same foods, activities (for the most part), rituals, and reading material each time around.
1. Raspberry leaf tea: This is good for anyone with a uterus, whether it contains a baby or not. I only drink one cup a day. I have used both tea bags and loose leaf tea. The tea bags can be pricey but are more convenient because you can just toss the bags in the trash when you are done steeping them. The loose leaf is great if you are serious about drinking a cup a day because you can get a lot for super cheap but you do need your own tea strainer.
Here are a couple articles I found: This one is pro-raspberry leaf tea but also shows some controversy. (Its good to always know both sides). This article is aimed at fertility issues but also lists traditional uses for the tea.
2. Stonyfield Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt: This is my ultimate favorite snack. I load it up with unsalted peanuts and a spoonful of whatever kind of jelly we have (no high fructose, of course) and giggle while I consume every bite of it. Delicious. My Walmart does not carry the Stonyfield with whole milk but my Brookshires does. Go Brookshires!
3. Eggs!: Through two of my pregnancies, we have had our own chickens to provide as many eggs as I could possibly consume. They are the perfect protein. I will eat anywhere from 3-6 a day. On days when I do not eat eggs, I feel weak and starving come lunch time. And my family suffers for my poor choice as well.
4. Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: All of my children thus far have been born naturally at home. But I don’t follow “The Bradely Way” necessarily. I have never been to a class and I have only skimmed the chapters in this book that actually go over the Bradley method. Breathing naturally during contractions versus La Maz breathing is a big thing. But I use this book mostly to mentally prepare myself for labor. It has a great, detailed description of every phase of labor and how labors can vary. I definitely recommend it to new mommas-to-be!
5. Dr. Christopher’s Birth Prep: This is kind of like raspberry leaf tea but has several other great things in these capsules. My midwives past and present have recommended I take this the last 6 weeks of pregnancy. Its a boost of minerals and helps your body gear up for labor. It is suppose to give you less intense and shorter labors. I have always taken it and my longest labor was eleven hours from the first feeling to the birth. My shortest labor was six hours from start to finish. I also consider labor to be so much easier than being pregnant. So I am guessing I don’t have super intense labors. I always notice much more Braxton Hick contractions when I start taking it. This is suppose to indicate that your uterus muscle is being exercised and strengthened thus aiding with easier labors. But I am also a fairly skeptical person and sometimes doubt if this does anything significant. I just don’t want to take the risk and find out by not taking it!
6. Walks around the neighborhood: It is important to get out and move when you are pregnant. But my walks are so much more than exercise. I have only started and finished a pregnancy at the same address once, and then we moved when he was nine days old. My other pregnancies have included a move right in the middle somewhere. My walks give me a chance to think through the new changes coming while breathing in the outdoors. I take in all the details of our neighborhoods because I know I will be saying good bye to it soon. As I think and pray for my little one on the way, I can give thanks to God for bringing us to this place in life. This is the first pregnancy that I am not anticipating a move anytime soon, which makes it all the sweeter.
7. A great show to binge watch: As much as eating right and getting good exercise are important during pregnancy, rest is equally a must. I seem to always latch on to some show during my pregnancies that gets me to take a load off as I hammer through each episode (Thank you, Netflix). Shows like Pushing Daisies (it was so whimsical), Ally McBeal, Grey’s Anatomy (a little ashamed), Desperate Housewives (very ashamed), Call the Midwife, Survivor (always a good choice), Downton Abbey (went into labor right after the season finale!), anything that can make me cry, make me laugh, and make me forget about my nesting urges.
8. Maternity Fit Splint: This is actually a new one for me this time around. The Fit Splint is a band that wraps around my belly or just below it and Velcros in the back, giving me some much needed support as I carry this little one around. After four pregnancies back to back, my abs are pretty stretched out and separated. My midwife said that I need to be careful when sitting up from a laying down position. Apparently, the worse my abs separate, the chances of my little one getting cozy in a breech position is more likely. I have never done any exercises to repair my abs when I am not pregnant. This band makes me feel well supported when I am on my feet and is very adjustable. It also is helpful when exercising and can help lift a little one who sits on your bladder (win win). I have been very satisfied with the Fit Splint.
9. Crunch Yoga Mama: My old faithful work out video. The cheese is over-flowing in this video as you work out all the tight muscles and pregnancy worries. I am not a yoga fanatic and I can still do this video. Its perfect for pregnant women in any trimester. Some of the corny phrases make me cringe and laugh at the same time but it still is a good work out. If you want to try it, definitely look for the mom-to-be who tries to see if the camera is on her when she is suppose to be keeping her eyes shut! Hysterical.
10. My husband: This is one that I am NOT recommending to you because he is all mine, folks. I love this man. Through all the changes and moves we have been through, I am always at home with him. He is the most precious dad and is so creative when thinking of gifts and activities for the kids. He is helpful and understanding of all my ups and downs. He is not the one to drop everything to run out and get me ice-cream or Wingstop, unless he really wants some as well. But he listens to all my irrational thoughts and dreams. He laughs with me when I am really needing a laugh. He laughs at me when
I am being silly, which helps me to not take myself so seriously. He loves me so well and I can feel it with everything he says and does. He is always excited and tearfully happy about each new life that comes into our home. He is my best friend and I wouldn’t want to raise kids with anyone else.
God bless and thanks for reading!