Pregnancy is one of the greatest experiences in the world and also a very difficult one at times. For me, this is probably a more challenging pregnancy as I am nearing the end of my second trimester and still struggling with nausea and fatigue.
So, what to do when you are trying to go about your day, watching over kids or maybe out in the workforce, while trying to balance having a healthy pregnancy? There are a few tips I’ve learned over my 4 pregnancies that helped me a great deal and I hope they help you too.
Not in any particular order of importance (and, as always, consult with your health professional for your personal needs. I’m no doctor. Just a mom who has learned a thing or two ;):
- Rest is just as important now as it was in your first trimester. Even if you are one of the lucky ones and feel super energetic, listen to your body. Your body knows exactly how to manage a pregnancy and we have to learn to listen to the signals it sends. Try not to stay up too late in the evenings so you can sleep as long at night as possible (let’s face it, if you are a stay at home parent like me, there isn’t much of a chance to rest or nap during the day)
- Eat frequently! Breakfast, lunch and dinner and a few snacks in between. Like constantly! I eat all day long. Also, eat before bed! You will have a better night sleep if you go to bed satisfied rather than hungry. I’m sure you’ve heard being pregnant is not a time to count calories. It’s true. If you are hungry, eat. Try to make wise choices (but hey, we all have cravings!) and avoid the sugary fattening foods when you can. Gain your weight on healthy choices, homemade desserts when possible, vegetables and fruit, organic and whole grain breads, eggs, cheese, milk, dark chocolate… There are a lot of good choices out there that will fill you up rather than those oh so tempting donuts and fries. Listen to your body and eat what brings you the most fullness and satisfaction. Eating frequently will keep your blood sugar levels stable- which means, it will keep you feeling consistent energy levels rather than going through highs and lows.
- Excerise! It’s super important. It will keep you healthy, help you to manage your weight gain and get you in good shape for labour. Let’s face it, giving birth is a marathon, not a sprint, so you need physical endurance for what might be the most exhaustingly exuciating hours of your life. Do whatever type of excerise you enjoy (and your midwife or doctor approve of). Walking and swimming are probably some of the top choices, but yoga and pilates specially designed for pregnancy are also enjoyable. Again, listen to your body. If it hurts or strains you in an uncomfortable way, don’t do it. Your body’s joints are extra loose and it’s easier to injure yourself or lose your balance when you are pregnant. When you feel like you need to stop and sit, do just that, don’t push harder. You have a baby growing inside that needs to come first.
So it’s really quite simple: rest, eat and excerise. Try to build a routine for yourself so that you have a plan to follow. Keeping organized with your life now will help you even more when that newborn is demanding your attention.
And lastly, enjoy the second trimester! It’s absolutely great. This trimester you will feel your baby move! (and your partner will probably be able to feel the kicks too once the baby gets big enough). That’s one of my favourite parts, all those kicks and wiggles. If you are like me, you might literally be able to watch your growing belly shake and protrude with the kicks and punches. You may also get the chance to find out the gender when you have your anatomy ultrasound. Just a tip but ask lots of questions during it and get the technician to talk as much as possible, explaining to you all you can see of your new baby. It’s fascinating! Enjoy the extra roundness that you grow (and try to ignore that scale, you will fix all the extra poundage once that baby is born and growing up). It’s very addictive rubbing a baby belly!
So here’s to you mums and dads out there embarking on the exciting second trimester!