Yesterday we talked about the first of my three strategies that vastly improved my fourth pregnancy. Today let’s discuss the remaining two.
During my fourth pregnancy, I tried to stay as limber as possible. In the past, I’ve stayed fairly active, but by 30 weeks, I usually take to the couch! Backaches are my biggest enemy, along with swelling of the legs and feet, and being generally uncomfortable. I have found several things to help combat this tendency toward inactivity.
Regular chiropractic adjustments made a massive difference. I found an incredible chiropractor (a young dad himself) who was diligent to communicate with my midwife about my specific needs. The results were amazing! I’ve had no backaches since seeing him, no nausea, no swelling or round ligament pain (which plagued me non-stop with my last two pregnancies), and I am much more active.
In addition, my chiropractor convinced our little one to flip head down and engage early in the third trimester. He advises that pregnant women find a chiropractor who is familiar with natural medicine and trained and/or certified in the Webster techniques. Find a reputable chiropractor who will work with your midwife or health practitioner to provide the care you need while pregnant.
I had hoped to take a class in the Bradley method (yes, even though it was my fourth time around!), but unfortunately it didn’t fit into our schedules. Instead, I checked several resources out of our local library that offer a few chapters about moderate, appropriate exercise that involved mainly stretching and positioning. (Kegel exercises are very important as well.)
I spent at least half an hour each day relaxing my body and practicing mental relaxation. This helped tremendously to relieve stress and tension pain that often accumulates with pregnancy. Most importantly, this was the first labor and delivery during which I was actually able to maintain relaxation the entire time! My support team and I were all astonished, and we’re convinced that practicing throughout pregnancy made all the difference.
Water retention is usually a sign of dehydration. I’ve known this through all my pregnancies, but have not paid attention to it as closely as I should have and by 30 weeks, I usually look more like a sausage than a person! But thankfully, between the chiropractor helping blood flow through the pelvis with a loose and straight spinal column, the stretching exercises, and increased water consumption, I did not have to battle thick extremities. This was not only beneficial to me but also to the little one, as good hydration for mom helps insure good blood flow to baby.
This last aspect is easier said than done, but it’s so very important. Get enough sleep. Do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Since I am naturally a night owl, I began enforcing an earlier bedtime for myself and thankfully began sleeping for longer stretches. Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable, and that your room is as dark as possible. Turn off electronic devices well before bedtime, and remove them from your room.
Even though I haven’t attained that “perfect” pregnancy yet, I’m excited about the significant progress on my journey of making this process healthier for myself and my future children. I hope it won’t take you as long as it did me to discover the joy of feeling good while pregnant!
Mary Ewing has been with Beeyoutiful for six years (through three pregnancies!). She enjoys exploring life with her husband and five children as they cook, garden, play and dream of homesteading. Her interests include traditional cooking, learning about herbs and essential oils, and traditional art forms such as sewing, crocheting, knitting and smocking.