Reflecting back on pregnancy makes me flinch sometimes. I had a relatively easy pregnancy without major complications or issues. At 30 years, I wasn’t too old and not very young during pregnancy with my daughter. Despite this, I found pregnancy to be tough on my body.
Yes, God made our bodies beautifully and wonderfully and amazingly capable of carrying life inside! But with this work come aches and pains and sleeping trouble and difficulty breathing and many other stressors. I didn’t feel that my body was close to normal until at least 6 months after daughter’s arrival!
Looking back there are many things I did to help care for my body well during pregnancy. These helped so much in labor and recovery as well. In no particular order, but rather in combination, four things to help your body during pregnancy:
- Using an Exercise Ball. As much as possible. Get a comfortable ball at the right height; your knees should be able to be slightly below your hips when you’re sitting on it–you might need to go bigger than you think! Sit on this ball when you’re folding laundry or watching TV. You can even bring it to the dinner table! If you start using it earlier in pregnancy you’ll be more likely to continue even later in the third trimester when all you want to do is collapse onto the sofa.
- Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. Drink this. Some people recommend not drinking this tea during the first trimester as it has been known to cause contractions, so chat with your doctor or midwife first. I started drinking about one cup a day during second trimester and then moved up to two cups partway through the third trimester. The last couple weeks I was drinking as much as I could! You can drink it cold or hot depending on what months your pregnancy falls in: summer I’d like it iced! Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it’s also known to help tone your uterus, so you have more powerful/helpful contractions. Go tea!
- Walking. All the walking. I was fortunate to get into a walking habit shortly after the fatigue of the first trimester subsided, but then midwestern winter descended! I walked outdoors until ice on the sidewalks made this challenging, and then I tried to go the mall or gym or just walking more at work. The more walking, the more in shape your body will be!
- Spinning Babies exercises. These exercise are the best! And their website just got a facelift, so it’s much easier to navigate. These exercises made all the difference; daily exercise and weekly exercise to help get your baby in the optimal position AND to get you in the optimal condition to do the hard work of labor! I attribute daughter’s great position despite to these exercises; so even though I had to be medically induced my Bishop score was in a great place to have a successful induction without epidural or Caesarean.
So grateful to have discovered these resources during my daughter’s pregnancy. God-willing we are blessed with another pregnancy these will be my go-to activities to promote care of my body and easier labor!
Whether you are newly expecting or farther along in your pregnancy, start today; care for your body during pregnancy as best you can! Please share: what things have you found helpful during pregnancy?
All the love and support to you in your pregnancy journey!