At the end of 2018 we decided we wanted to start growing our family. Little did we know the Covid-19 virus was about to hit and we would be a part of a baby boom. When I found out we were pregnant I wanted to make sure I did everything possible to make my experience the best. I knew things would be different with the unknown of the virus so I wanted to stay as healthy as possible and enjoy each trimester to the fullest. So here is the low down on all of the things I did to prepare my body for giving birth. This post is not to give anyone medical advice, as I am not a health professional. Rather, this is what I did from all of the research (reading blogs, talking to family/friends and my doctors).
The first trimester was the start of the pandemic. I was lucky that during this time I was able to stop traveling for work and could stay home to stay safe. It was the perfect scenario, since I was so tired all the time I was able to start work and take naps mid day or right after I finished at the end of the day. I didn't have to drive anywhere so it was a nice break to focus and be even more productive for the time I was working. The whole first trimester I tried to listen to my body and just rest. My body was doing a lot of extra work so I didn't always feel up to even take the dog for a walk. At this point I knew I needed to provide the best possible nutrients to build a baby so I ate balanced meals to keep up my energy. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I also dove deep into all of the things to avoid during pregnancy (Foods, drinks and types of exercise). This is not the time to increase your calorie intake as your future baby is only the size of a small tadpole. I only ate on occasion when I did have energy an extra 200-300 healthy calories. I stuck to my regular diet of diary free and low sodium foods. I don't typically eat foods high in fat either (nuts, nut butter and avocado don't count as these are considered good fats). In addition, my iron was very low so I had to take an extra supplement on top of my prenatal vitamin.
The second trimester I had a new found bundle of energy. I started the pregnancy program on #studiotoneitup. I was able to jump onto my peloton bike for 15 -30 min rides. I never pushed myself too hard, as I would get light headed very easily if I exerted myself too much. During this time I noticed my appetite growing (this is where you can increase your calorie intake to 300-500 extra per day). Every day I was reading on how much the embryo was developing and growing. This growth was followed by an increased appetite and I started to crave a few things, fruit in particular (watermelon, lemon, strawberries). Since it was summer, popsicles were the perfect way to cool down. I also started to get insomnia frequently and started snoring which is very common (with swelling in your nasal passages when you are resting laying down your airways becoming narrower). The snoring stops after delivery, so don'g worry it won't last. To combat the insomnia I tried to incorporate reading books before bed rather then watching tv (blue light is known to keep you alert), and defuse lavender oil in the bedroom to help get a restful sleep. I also started to meditate on the Peloton and Tone It Up Apps. I found a combination of these helped but not fully solved the problem completely.
Third trimester, I started to slow down a bit again and become very tired as each day went on. I was going to be earlier each night and my workouts got shorter and less intense. For the last two weeks before delivery I was only able to go for walks, I felt too big for any other exercise. As for food, it was winter and that didn't stop my fruit cravings. I wanted mango, kiwi and oranges all the time. I developed a sweet tooth, so every night after dinner I also wanted desert. My extra calorie intake jumped to 500-1000 per day depending on what kind of dessert I was craving. It was usually dairy free ice cream, popcorn, popsicles (even in the winter), and dark chocolate.
For the entire pregnancy I followed a few rules from the research I did. These were personal choices I made and I was pretty strict and stuck to these rules the whole time. Some of these things are ok in moderation but it made me feel better to cut them out for the whole 9 months.
- caffeine (I only drank decaf because regular caffeine was keeping me up awake when I needed to sleep)
- hair dye (This is not recommended by doctors to do during the first trimester but because of covid I decided to avoid salons completely. I have still not put any colour in my hair as I've rediscovered my natural colour again and love it.)
- High mercury fish (I was so sad to not eat tuna poke)
- Undercooked or raw fish (sushi was so hard to give up as it is one of my favourite take out meals)
- Undercooked, raw and processed meat (We made sure everything was cooked medium so no pink in the steak or cold meat sandwiches)
- Raw eggs (I made sure the egg was fully cooked so I would eat hard boiled eggs only just to be safe and check labels of sauces since a lot of them have uncooked egg in them)
- Raw sprouts
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables (with covid we were washing everything anyways so this wasn't an issue to make sure it got done)
- Unpasteurized dairy or fruit juices (I am lactose intolerant so I already only eat dairy free so this wasn't an issue. However, Kambucha and fresh pressed juices are a no no as they are unpasteurized).
- Avoided processed junk food (Obviously I had cravings and ate popsicles, ice cream and popcorn but I did so in moderation as much as possible).
Following these rules I only gained a healthy amount of weight. Even though it was very unlikely, I was nervous about getting gestational diabetes. I tried not to over eat but I always ate whatever I was craving to keep my body happy. The whole pregnancy I let my body tell me what it needed, sleep, food, exercise or more water. So I recommend following whatever makes you happy and stay healthy. I feel like everything I did prepared me for what was to come.... 24 hours of labour then an emergency caesarean. Labour was intense and really put my body through a lot so I was so glad I prepared myself by staying in shape and eating healthy. It gave me the energy to get through it.
I hope this helps if you are just starting your pregnancy journey and if you have any questions on what I did send me a quick note, I would be happy to chat.
Stay tuned for my next post on what I did for my postpartum recovery.
Until next time...