pregnancy | women's health | yoga

5 Must-Haves for a Comfortable Pregnancy

By on February 12, 2019

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It is so easy to get caught in the consumerism trap of pregnancy. My Instagram is constantly bombarding me with products that I “need” to make this season of life “better”. In our family, we are working to earn, budget, save and invest our money for the long-term, rather than buy many items on a whim. This blog is going to be the top 5 items that have not brought buyers remorse, and have really added a value to my quality of life since being pregnant.

  1. A good maternity/nursing bra. This is a place where I have spent and wasted money time and time again. I will buy a bra on sale and find that it pokes and pulls, or won’t hold me in all the right places. I am on child #3 and have spent about 5 years of my life breastfeeding, so I have definitely had time for trial and error! My breasts are the first things to start changing during my pregnancy and become quite sore, so adequate support is definitely welcomed. The most comfortable bra I have found that actually gives appropriate shape and support is from Kindred Bravely. This bra¬†has been a godsend, and is doing well holding up with wash and wear. I also really like the story behind the founders of this company, so that is a plus!
  2. Maternity Jeans. I have purchased several pairs of maternity jeans throughout my pregnancies. Having at least one pair that feels classic, versatile, and comfortable can make you feel somewhat human. Even when you have another human residing in your abdomen making nearly all clothes uncomfortable! My favorite pair are from H&M, and luckily I found them for under $20 on clearance! I am also partial to a full maternity panel in my jeans as soon as the bump pops. I CAN NOT keep the lower belly panel up to save my life– so I would much rather have comfort than hiking up my pants all day!
  3. Body Pillow. Oh my goodness! Buying a maternity pillow has drastically improved my quality of sleep. It has been difficult to find a comfortable position with my growing belly, and the U-Shaped pillow has helped keep my hips, legs, shoulders, and neck comfortable for a good nights sleep. I like this pillow because it has a detachable extension that I can use to minimize the barrier between my husband and me in bed.
  4. Essential Oils— I truly don’t know how I survived life pre-essential oils. I use oils for everything. Soothing stretching skin, pregnancy discomfort, mood swings, insomnia… just to name a few. The book Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern was the best resource throughout all of my pregnancies.
  5. Prenatal Yoga. I started on my yoga journey during my first pregnancy 14 years ago. I came across a book and started practicing a few postures in my living room with a DVD. Yoga really helps with calmness of mind, breath awareness, and body mechanics. I always leave my classes feeling better than when I started, so I recommend all mama’s try to get to a regular class!

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diet | health research | success

Mind over Mama-Brain

By on November 13, 2018

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I have to admit, I went quite a bit off the wagon with my health habits during the first few weeks of knowing I’m pregnant. Something clicked inside of me that wanted comfort, I did not want to cook, and I was emotional. Like I mentioned in my previous post– I had the “what the hell are we thinkings?” going on for several weeks. I am not a good pregnant person. I worry, I obsess, I become a ball of anxious stress. That is; until I get the all clear from the doctor that the pregnancy looks viable and is on track. As soon as we had our first ultrasound and I heard the heartbeat, my anxiety levels bottomed out.

Also, planning with my doctor to manage my risk of preeclampsia alleviated a lot of my stress. My doctor praised me for my diet and body changes over the course of this year, so I regained hope and had to revisit my relationship with the lectin-free diet. Why is the lectin-free diet such an important factor? My entire physiology changed after getting in a groove with my diet. Anxiety and postpartum depression ceased, I lost over 20 pounds, and the shape of my body changed. I have lost weight many times, but never actually lost the puffiness in my upper abdomen and actually been able to keep it off. My hormones regulated, I stopped having digestive issues, and my moods stabilized. As you can see, I received many benefits from these dietary changes.

I felt off the rails for a bit– eating what I wanted, eating emotionally, and feeling I deserved the junk because I was carrying a baby. My logical mind knows much better. I know that it is a slippery slope moving from something that obviously works very well (and probably a key factor as to why we conceived so easily) to something that was known to cause many issues! I had to readjust my mind and diligence to keep myself on the program. Being pregnant, working, raising 2 other children and being a wife is a lot of work. Healthy eating is also a lot of work, and a lot of money. However it is something that will prevent many problems down the road, so the investment of time and money is worth it.

To be successful with a plan I have to find my belief. I research, study, make plans, do a lot of trial and error. Once the parameters were¬†established and I figured out the websites to visit, cookbooks to use, and where to buy the food I was set. We rotate a few of our favorites and occasionally try something new. When I think of something I am choosing to do for health and wellness, or habit changing I always put my kids first. What am I modeling for them? My choices are often reflected in their behavior and attitudes. We have proven time and time again that if my teen overeats sugar or carbs, his attitude is much worse. If I am choosing a fast food meal over a nourishing meal of protein and vegetables and allowing my toddler to have those tastes, his tastes will develop around what he is fed. And now I am the keeper and incubator of another wee one, and this baby’s well-being is also going to be determined by my choices.

When I take a step in the wrong direction, it just takes some strength of mind to dust myself off and get back on track. Remembering the pain of the past often makes it easier to face the discomfort of a green smoothie over Chick-Fil-A. The “pleasure” I receive from eating something that does not nourish my body is not worth the damage it does. I can take this lesson and apply it to many aspects of my life. How often am I reaching for something that feels pleasurable that ultimately does not line up with my goals? Am I talking to and about others in a constructive manner? Am I spending my money wisely? Am I working my business effectively? You get the idea. Keeping on track will make things feel much better in the long run.

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