Pregnancy can be an exciting, amazing but sometimes anxiety ridden experience. 40 weeks full of the unknown can really take a toll on you. We have been asked a lot of questions from our clients so we decided to create the top 7 things you need to know about your pregnancy to better prepare you to bring your little bundle of joy into this world.
Eating can be a huge factor when it comes to pregnancy. The first myth that comes to mind is that since you are growing another person inside of you, you need to eat for two. This just isn’t quite true. There is a need for you to eat more food, but it starts off minimally and gradually increases to about 50% more food over the course of your pregnancy. The second factor is the quality of the food you eat, remember you are growing a tiny human and what you eat feeds their development. Eat the best quality food that you can. Load up on your fruits and vegetables, organic when possible.
The best advice is to exercise throughout pregnancy. This will help you stay strong and fit in preparation for labor and delivery, and will help with postpartum recovery. The general rule of thumb is to stick with what you know. If you were active prior to pregnancy then you can continue with your normal exercise regimen, some modifications may be required as you progress through your pregnancy. Make sure to periodically check in with your healthcare professional for their recommendations. If you were not active prior to pregnancy this is a great time to start, its NOT the time to start marathon training or intense weight lifting but you can begin a light exercise routine.
Some of the most obvious changes to your body as your baby develops is your belly growing to accommodate your growing baby. Other areas of your body tend to expand as well especially during your second and third trimester. As your body starts to grow the biggest change is your center of gravity. As it shifts further away from you, the need for balance and support goes up tremendously. As your body changes so will your posture, the way you sit, stand, sleep. Be sure to take the appropriate measures to make your activities of daily life more comfortable. You may want to swap that desk chair for a yoga ball. You may need to widen your stance and more conscious of your low back posture, focusing on not over arching. We highly recommend investing in a good pregnancy pillow, so your every changing body can get a good night sleep. Everyone gains weight during pregnancy (sometimes your significant other packs on a few extra pounds as well), general weight gain for each person will vary but it is in the neighborhood of 20-35 pounds.
Due Dates/Cook Time
One of the largest myths in pregnancy is your due date. A large number of women might become nervous if they go a few days past their expected “due date”. Surprisingly the given due date can be off by days or even weeks. It is important to note that ultrasounds are not an accurate measure of babies size, weight, or exact due date. An easy saying is that “they will come out when they are ready”. The reality is that your OB will not let you go to far beyond two weeks of your due date. The good news is that there are things you can do to prepare your body for a timely delivery; prenatal yoga, massage, chiropractic and acupuncture are great practices to take up at the beginning of pregnancy.
Remember that each person and each pregnancy is 100% unique. It is important not to compare your experience to that of your friend/family member’s. This is your journey with your little one. You will come to see that everyone has an opinion and when you are pregnant they think that gives them free reign to share those opinions with you. In the end you get to choose what advice to listen to and what to throw out the window, because you are the one growing this precious life inside of you. And as the old saying goes, "Mother knows best."
Hormones, oh the hormones! Of course there will be ups and downs emotionally because of the increased and ever changing levels Estrogen and Progesteron. There is another hormone that is less often discussed called relaxin. This is a hormone that does exactly what it sounds like, relax ligaments. This is necessary during pregnancy to allow your body to expand to make room for your growing baby. It becomes even more crucial as delivery approaches allowing the pelvis and birth canal to open up for baby's arrival. The only challenge is that relaxin isn't specific to the birthing process it affects all of your ligaments and joints relax, as you become more mobile it allows for greater chance of injury.
With all the changes that happen to your body most women will experience some sort of pain or discomfort. Some of the most common areas are back (upper, middle, and lower), feet and ankles, and hips. Finding a chiropractor can be a godsend especially if that chiropractor specializes in the Webster Technique. Webster is a technique specifically for pregnant women and has been shown to improve overall well being during pregnancy, yield shorter labor and delivery times, and more rapid and postpartum recovery. It really is a gift for both you and your little one.
We hope that this list has been informative and gives you a little more clarity as to how to tackle these next several months. If you have any questions about any pain/aches you may be experiencing, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 626-365-1380. You can also have an absolutely free phone consultation with one of our specialists by clicking HERE. We want to make sure you stay mobile and active to have the best pregnancy possible!