9 Tips for 9 Months

 

I was asked to participate in this project called “9 Tips for 9 Months” by The American Recall Center. They’re compiling tips for a healthy pregnancy from bloggers around the world. I figured it would be fun to participate. Enjoy!

 

These tips are primarily for mothers pregnant for the first time. I’ve found that most mothers on their second [or additional] pregnancies rarely need advice. That’s probably because they’re too exhausted caring for their other children to even read tips, let alone process them…

1. Don’t weigh yourself: if you eat healthy meals and maintain a moderate exercise schedule, your weight gain will be the perfect amount for your baby and your body. I suggest getting rid of your bathroom scale. Forget it. Your body is doing what it is meant to do to grow a baby and that includes changing shape.

2. Eat bananas: in later stage pregnancy, leg cramps at night can be an issue. Bananas are helpful for this because they contain magnesium and potassium. Contemporary wisdom says bananas may help prevent them altogether.

3. Sleep when you’re tired: If you have the chance to take a nap, definitely take one. When the baby is in your life, your sleep will be severely compromised. Fatigue in a pregnant mother’s body is (besides evidence that building a life is exhausting!) nature’s way of helping us stockpile some rest prior to imminent sleep deprivation.

4. Admire your belly: Take pictures, walk around the house in just your bra, rub your belly with admiring oils and creams, make a belly mold. Celebrate this wonder of a mountain on your midriff because one day you’ll miss it.

5. Don’t stress about doctor’s visits: Sometimes the continuous doctor’s visits can become more of a stress inducer than a stress reliever. The baby will just keep on growing with or without being monitored for its heart rate and fetal size, etc., especially after you can already feel it moving and kicking in there. Listen to your body first, your exploding appointment book second.

6. Ignore the Pushy Strangers: People may mean well, but they can become very accusatory to pregnant women, especially if they perceive you to be doing something dangerous for the baby. A non-adversarial approach is to smile, wave, and stagger this sentence in their direction: “I no speak-ah English.”  Shuts them up every time.  * Note: this works in other foreign countries too, especially if you’re not in the mood to defend yourself. Just say you don’t speak their language and the exchange is magically over. This is especially useful when cultural traditions are different from your home country’s.

7. Stretch: Your body is shifting daily with the growth of the baby. Your tendons, muscles and bones are being strained and could use some TLC. Take time to stretch, do a little yoga, and just be gentle with your body. This will go a long way to keeping you limber and prepared for the wild ride of child birth.

8. Read but don’t obsess: Some pregnant women gather every piece of recognized literature they can find on pregnancy and birthing, read voraciously, take notes, write a million blogs about it and then wonder why the process of childbirth is so foreign once it actually arrives! (ac-hem: a little self criticism here). Expanding your knowledge is not a bad thing, but obsessing over the acquisition of this knowledge is not going to make the whole experience easier. In fact, it may make it harder. The thing is, no matter how much you “study” for birthing, it is going to happen anyway. Your body knows what to do. Trust it.

9. Let yourself be loved: Many pregnant women are awkward and embarrassed by the growing globes of their bodies. They may also have huge dips in their libido. Nevertheless, if you’re in a relationship, then let your partner love you. Allow yourself to be touched and massaged, pleasured and pampered. You may not feel like having sex, but that doesn’t mean that your pregnant body can’t turn your partner on. And while sex might be the last thing you want, there are other ways to have intimacy during pregnancy that may satisfy both parties.

Parenting Season 1: Spring
   

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