Being pregnant can feel good. It is a sacred time of creating. It is everything invisible that is suddenly made visceral and visible.
There are so many metaphors to draw from the human gestational period and I can’t help but to use it in all my creative endeavors. It is one of my favorite topics to speak off and I use it to make sense of the world and how she goes round and keeps growing.
That side note put aside... pregnancy is a personal experience and it feels different for each woman.
There are some universal truths that can make the time we grow a baby inside our bodies feel good and better than we might expect or allow ourselves to feel.
Here is the key ingredients:
Do you love to run, walk, dance or swim?
If you were a runner before you fell pregnant, feel free to continue, once you checked in with your care-provider. You will have to be vigilant with your pace and your breath.
Walking 45 min a day is an ideal and will have you fit and feeling good during labor.
If you can’t get out, put your favorite song on repeat and dance around the house, this will make you laugh, smile, feel good and you will have done three things in one...find joy, laugh, and move.
Find an activity you enjoy
Work out with a friend
Play music to keep you motivated
Remember that exercise makes you feel better!
Are you vegetarian or suddenly can’t imagine meat or eggs in your diet? It might even be the other way around.
Either way you have to make sure you get 100 grams of protein a day. Snacks like nuts and yogurt can be handy and easy to have at hand. Every meal should have mostly protein and vegetable or fruit. This will help with cravings, fatigue and body aches. Once you have checked in with your care-provider, depending on your blood sugar or blood pressure you can adjust your diet accordingly.
But the kind of food and drinks you have will make a significant difference in how you feel. Cravings can be so fun to have and add to many wonderful pregnancy stories, make sure you add what is good for you and baby to those.
Protein smoothies are wonderful and can take care of the amount you need easily. Broccoli and greens are filled with the iron you need. Milk and yogurt and chocolate can help make sure you get the calcium necessary.
Your baby is floating in water that is constantly renewing itself and making sure your baby is safe and nourished is your priority. Make sure you drink enough water to care for both you and baby. Stay fluid.
This may be done frequently throughout the day to ease back discomfort and strengthen abdominal muscles. This is also an excellent exercise to move a posterior baby into an anterior position.
It is a wonderful gift to give yourself before you go to bed. 50 tilts will allow blood flow and give you an opportunity for a good night's rest.
Keeping an eye on your posture, do NOT sit crossed legged. Sit forward and be aware of your spine. You want to allow your baby space to move and grow, and leaning back constricts the space they have in the uterus.
Squat regularly, especially if you are in an office job and at home you love to lounge on the couch.
[There is some concern about assuming a full squatting position (lowering the bottom past the knees) during pregnancy if a baby is in a breech position as it may engage the baby into the pelvis.]
Check the stories you choose to engage. What you hear, see and feel has an impact on your baby and how you feel moving into the parenting space. Take care of the kind of stories you engage with peers, family and friends. If a story is scaring you or making you feel uneasy, use the excuse to go to the bathroom or if you are brave enough, tell them; "little ears are listening and you want them to be excited to come into the world and not be scared".
Watch 'feel-good' shows and listen to happy radio. You are the one steering, so remember to steer clear of fear and spaces, places and people that make you scared, sad or mad.
Probably the most important element or ingredient for a pregnancy to feel good is to find your quiet time, to create space for stillness in your day. Maybe it’s waking yourself that few minutes before everyone else. Or it's a few minutes before bed. Keep a journal close and write all that you are grateful for and about the beauty of the world you want to share with your baby in it. Find your breath and just listen, you might hear your baby.
Pregnancy is not only a time to grow a physical human in your body it is also a time to honor your own transition as a parent. You are not only training to go through labor and birth with ease, but also to create a rhythm and some good feeling habits to help you through the constant change parenting will bring.
So find what feels good for you and make sure it has a long lasting effect. Our children need us to be conscious and open and able to hear them.
May you have a beautiful pregnancy and may you find ease in the transition.