I’m excited to be sharing the changes I’ve made and how I’m taking care of myself while pregnant with you today! As much as I’d like to say when you’re pregnant, your life stays the same, it simply does not. You’ve got another human taking up occupancy in your body and with that comes lots of changes. For me, I’ve had to focus on making some changes to care for myself during pregnancy, and as a result I am feeling GREAT. This is my fourth pregnancy (had one miscarriage) and I have the advantage in learning what works for me from carrying the other babes.
A few key areas I’ve been making strides in to take proper care of myself this pregnancy ARE:
I started taking Ritual Essential Prenatal Vitamins when we decided we wanted to try for a baby, in July. I freaking LOVE these vitamins so much because they meet all my nutritional needs and don’t make me feel sick.The Essential Prenatal has 12 key nutrients for baby and mom in clean and absorbable forms and does not contain artificial colorants, it’s formulated without GMOs. I take two capsules, once per day, first thing in the AM with my breakfast and they leave no weird taste in my mouth, or regurgitation throughout the day. You can also take them without food! I searched far and wide for my perfect prenatal and found it in Ritual.
Ritual also make other women’s multivitamins, the Essential for Women and the Essential for Women, 50+.
Sleeping during pregnancy is for me, probably the most important piece of the feeling good puzzle. How do I sleep better?
- Go to bed when I’m tired. This usually looks like my eyes not being able to stay open on the couch around 10:15-10:30p. This may sound late to some but that time on the couch at night after the kids are asleep and when it’s just me and Brian is SO important. I love this time to shut my mind down from the craziness of the day and zone out to the TV. Watching TV is actually SO good for me! I have a hard time letting my mind go from what we we’ve got going on with work, the kids, the house, etc… and it’s the most efficient way for me to quickly release those thoughts and get relaxed for the night. Currently looking for good shows so please leave them in the comments!
- Essential oils for sleep. I have a cocktail of essential oils I use right before bed to help me sleep. I always have a couple drops of lavender and cedarwood in my diffuser and it triggers my mind that it’s time to sleep. I also use a blend of oils called Rutavala which comes in a roller. I roll that onto my feet which sounds crazy I know but I think it works for me.
- Chamomile Tea. I love having tea when I’m on the couch! Tea has replaced wine for me since finding out I’m pregnant (wah wah) and it’s that slow sipping on something I miss most. I can get close to that when I make a cup of tea. I add a little honey to it and it’s delicious. I also try and have this in place of a bowl of ice cream!
- Don’t set an alarm. Technically I do have an alarm, my kids, but I don’t get up too early. I wake up around 7:30a to feed them breakfast and get them off to school. I do LOVE waking up extra early for the “me” time but sleep is too important for me right now. I like to get 8 hours and I usually get to sleep some time in the 11’s so 7’s is perfect!
Man do I wish that whole “eating for two” thing was real during pregnancy. I LOVE eating so much, haha. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, GIMME. Not that I didn’t indulge before being pregnant, but I didn’t really care about eating as much as I do now. It’s basically at the forefront of my thoughts 24/7, and I go from 0 to 100 on the hungry scale in seconds.
Keeping it healthy works best for me, not too much processed crap, homemade meals, and balanced portion sizes has been the ticket. I get horrendous stomach aches if I eat too much, have heavier dishes, or eat poorly like a fried chicken sandwich and fries (cough chick-fil-a) so I try and keep it in check. A typical day might look like this:
Breakfast // 2 eggs + 1 piece of toast
Snack // fruit
Lunch // salad with protein
Snack // cheese or yogurt, more fruit
Dinner // pasta!! I eat so much pasta! Or a meat with some sort of carb and veggie
Snack // fruit
Oh, and HOT SAUCE. Hot Sauce on EVERYTHING.
I’ve gained about 10 pounds in 20 weeks and hoping to not gain much more than 35 total by week 40. I know we’re not supposed to focus on numbers and these can of course vary widely with each pregnancy and different body types, but for me personally, that’s how much I gained with Brian and Grace and I’m hopeful this will be the same. Not a big deal either way!
I’ve actually been pretty diligent about getting exercise in which is HUGE for me. I’m the worst and often start on these workout programs and then drop off. What has worked for me is Orange Theory so that’s what I’m sticking with this pregnancy. I go 3-4 times per week and I LOVE it. It makes me feel so good to move my body and challenge myself. What I like about this workout is you wear a heart monitor and it’s best while pregnant not to get your pregnancy heart rate above 160 so I can watch and adjust as I go. I make modifications based on what feels comfortable on the floor and never push myself to the point of being totally wiped. It’s very enjoyable to work out this way!
A main goal for me to keep my mental health in check this pregnancy is NOT TO STRESS. I’m a pretty laid back person but can get overwhelmed when things reach a certain point so making sure that doesn’t happen is huge for me. Examples of when I get overwhelmed are when I’m super behind on work projects, when my house looks like it has been through the civil war, when I plan too many social activities and feel like I haven’t let my body rest, when I compare myself to others that appear to have all their shit together, etc…
So how do I stay on top of these things before they reach this point? Focus on getting the work done in manageable chunks, keep the house clean by picking up and doing a little every day, say NO to most social/work events at night (for some reason these really drain me), not play the comparison game, and the most important, BE GRATEFUL. Focus your mind on all the amazing things you have going on in your life, like this tiny human growing inside you. I wrote a whole post about being grateful and ways to switch your mindset here. Take a peek at that!
Before I get into this one, I understand that throughout our days we are exposed to lots of “stuff” that we have no control over. There are possible toxins and carcinogens in what feels like EVERYTHING these days and I think we’re all doing our best. I think if you think about it too much you can go crazy so I focus on the little changes I can make within my home to lessen our “toxic burden” if you will.
I try and choose natural alternatives to things like cleaning products, personal care products, laundry detergents, etc… that are just effective as the conventional stuff. I figure these are things that have high exposure, i.e. we are constantly breathing them in and using them on our bodies so the best I can do, I do. I try and choose products that have minimal additives like fragrance and chemicals that are known to be toxic to our bodies and with a little research, it’s not so hard!
Sleeping 8 hours, eating healthy, getting exercise, choosing natural in our home, taking my prenatal vitamin, and working on my mental health have made this pregnancy very pleasant for me. I feel like it’s been a really good time to focus on ME for a change, in addition to my loved ones of course, and it’s showing in the way I feel every day. Going to try and keep this up after the baby comes!!
**thank you to Ritual for sponsoring this post**