This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SSM Health St. Mary’s. The opinions and text are all mine.
We always hear that pregnancy is very different from woman to woman. But even your own pregnancies can be very different from one to the other. And with these new experiences come different opportunities to learn how to best manage that pregnancy. After 4 pregnancies, I’ve had some very different experiences and wanted to share a few of my best learned ways to deal with the ups and downs of pregnancy.
It’s so exciting to learn that you’re pregnant! And then shortly after you’re hit with morning sickness. Or for some it’s night sickness or even all day sickness! And of course it happens when people typically don’t share with others that they’re pregnant. So there’s no one to commiserate with. Through my pregnancies I haven’t really found anything to relieve morning sickness. But a wise tip from my mother-in-law was: to eat. Even if the sound of food is revolting, eat anyway! And sometimes you’ll have to choke it down, but eating helps! At least for a short time. I always felt better after I ate, at least for a little while.
I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest pregnancy symptoms is exhaustion. I just don’t have the energy I had when I’m not pregnant. So I try to take naps when I can. That’s a lot harder when you have kids at home that aren’t napping anymore. But I’ll even take a little nap on the couch next to my kids while they watch a show and I know they’re in a safe area. And going to bed earlier helps me a lot too. As well as just knowing my limits and not planning as much during the day. I try to cut myself some slack!
Pregnancy can bring on some strong cravings. And I’m sure you’ve heard of the weird ones like pickles and ice cream. I remember with my first pregnancy, only junk food like chips and cookies sounded good. Which was actually awful because it made me feel sicker. Other pregnancies I’ve craved meat or chocolate or fruit or burritos. According to Web MD, researchers don’t really know why we get these weird cravings, but the food you’re craving may represent a nutrient that your body needs. As long as what you’re craving is actual food, then go for it ladies! That’s always my excuse to treat myself a little bit more.
Some of my pregnancies have had complications while others have been completely textbook normal from start to finish. When you have a complication, you’re always going to feel worry during that pregnancy. It just doesn’t go away until that baby is in your arms. If you do have a complication, I hope you can find the silver lining. With my first pregnancy I had to go on bed rest for a few weeks. But that allowed me to watch some movies and shows I had wanted to see, do some reading, and allow me to rest before my baby came. And with my 4th baby I had some complications and needed to check on my baby’s growth. So I needed to do ultrasounds often. This allowed me to see my sweet baby way more than routine pregnancies. Complications can be so scary, but I hope you can find happiness through your experience. It’s good for you and the baby.
Just don’t do it. Just kidding! I HAVE to clean. I can’t think straight when my house is a disaster. So when I’m pregnant, my cleaning schedule changes a little bit. I don’t ever try to clean the whole house in one day. I just physically can’t. So I break up the cleaning throughout the week. I also enlist my husband more and have him do some extra chores so I don’t have to do as much. And if your kids are old enough, have them help too! It’s a great time to learn to do some bigger chores. And I allow myself to skip things here and there. I like to clean the kitchen every week, but if I was too tired I switched my cleaning day or just skipped the week all together. The kitchen was going to be a little stickier and the floors a little dirtier, but pregnancy is temporary and it’s ok to give yourself some wiggle room.
When you’re at the end of your pregnancy and very large from that baby about ready to come, I like to spend a little time pampering myself to help me feel a little better. I usually get a pedicure so I have cute toes before the baby comes. And honestly, I can’t reach my toes myself at that point anyway. I also like to get my hair cut especially because I know it’s going to be a while before I can get back to the salon after my baby comes. Then finally, prenatal massages. By the end, you are so uncomfortable and everything aches, a nice prenatal massage is just what you need to relax.
The Birthing Experience
Although I’ve had complications with pregnancies, I’ve been very lucky to have 4 routine vaginal deliveries. I know this isn’t what everyone experiences. Whether your baby comes on their own, you have an induction, or a c-section, or a natural birth, it’s important to choose a hospital that you trust. One that allows you to choose how your baby is delivered. One that wants to help you reach your goals. And one that has an amazing staff that will work with you. St. Mary’s Family Birth Suites is that hospital. I loved having my 4th baby there. I actually met a lady today (my son’s new preschool teacher) who had 3 children at St. Mary’s Family Birth Suites and she agreed that it’s a great hospital! They have one-to-one expert nursing care, patient-controlled nitrous oxide and aromatherapy to provide just the right amount of calming relief when it is needed, hospital relationships with doulas, lactation consultants, and the assurance of a Level III NICU. Any way you plan to have your baby or if things don’t quite go as planned, St. Mary’s Family Birth Suites has everything you need so that you and your baby (and even dad!) are taken care of.