I am now a week into the third trimester. I can feel my body starting to slow down. My mental clarity and creativity are downshifting. Daily I have more aches and pains, and general discomforts. I am trying to work *with* my body. The show must go on in our family and in work. I can not just pack it up and nap for 9 more weeks. Life is actually busier than ever too. Chasing a 2 year old is no joke, my teen is wrapping up his final weeks of 8th grade, and we have work plans on the schedule until birth-day.
Pregnancy brain is REAL! The physiological hormone changes reduce the amount of gray matter in a woman’s brain. I’ve left car doors open while taking yoga classes, put groceries in the wrong spot, forgotten to trim one toenail, and the list goes on. Clumsiness is also possible as weight is distributed differently in the body, and again HORMONES.
- Utilize your phone to keep your brain going- Take notes on a note taking app. When you feel creative or have a brilliant moment, record it as soon as it occurs. Set alarms as reminders to do things (ahem, pick kid up from school).
- Prioritize and Focus- For me, I have several goals that I would like to achieve before May 20th. I have my day plotted out on multiple calendars so that I know exactly what steps to take daily and I can check it off as I go. It is a structure and a discipline, and it keeps me accountable for my to-do lists.
- Rest- This is tough for me. What I have done is know that I am in my peak performance hours when I wake up until between 12-2. I am now giving myself permission to relax, nap, or just prop up my feet for a few when I feel the slump. Often, during the third trimester night time sleep is disturbed as well, so a rest may be necessary to take you into the evening.
- Minerals- Minerals are an important supplement for every stage of life. Our soil is deficient, our food travels a long way to get to our plate, which reduces it’s natural vitamin/mineral content.
Aches and Pains
- Chiropractic care-This pregnancy and my last I utilized chiropractic care to rid myself of many aches and pains. It is incredibly useful to keep yourself aligned as body weight and posture shifts and changes. I look for a chiropractor that uses torque release or activator methods of adjustment.
- Massage- So, my husband is my current massage therapist and I have been so incredibly pleased with his work! During my last pregnancy I had prenatal massages pretty frequently. This time, it isn’t in our budget or schedule so he is doing the work. It really helps keep tightness at bay and promotes relaxation.
- Collagen- Again, I sing praises of my collagen. I feel much better in general, and collagen is a wonderful support for skin, hair, nails, and joints.
- Essential Oils- There are many, many oils for physical discomforts. I could write an entire blog on just recommendations for that. I will narrow the list down to my two personal go-to’s. I love the blend Deep Relief and the single oil Copaiba. I use roller balls on the bottles and apply directly to where I feel the discomfort. If you have not purchased oils before, understand how to get them here for 24% off.
- Again, the beloved minerals. A friend of mine reminded me of this yesterday. She recently had her baby girl and said her cramps disappeared when she added minerals to her regimen. I did it myself last night and viola! A night charley-horse free!
- Magnesium + Calcium is also known to be helpful. Finding magnesium in the citramalate form seems to work the best for me.
- Hydrate drinking 3-4 quarts of water per day during pregnancy means you are adequately hydrated. This is probably the first pregnancy that I have actually managed to do it. Hydration is important for every single bodily function!
- Foot Soak. I like to do this with about a half cup of Himalayan pink salt with a few drops each of geranium, lavender and cypress essential oil.
During pregnancy these are related maladies, and are often linked to constipation. Heredity also plays a role in this issue.
- A diet high in fiber– and an adequately hydrated body can help relieve some of the pressure that is intensified by a sluggish colon and extra uterine weight.
- Essential oils- Diluted lavender or helichrysum is wonderful for hemorrhoids. And a blend that is known to help with varicose veins: 30 drops of cypress, 20 drops of lavender, 10 drops of lemon and 20 drops of lemongrass with 60ml of fractionated coconut oíl.
- Compression stockings- these can be helpful, as long as they are not cutting off circulation. The compression from the stockings will help recirculate blood flow so that it is moving toward the heart, and moving out of the lower extremities. Some insurance companies will cover the cost too, and can be ordered through sites like aeroflowbreastpumps.com.
- Change your position frequently- avoid sitting or standing in the same postion too long. Take breaks, shift your position and avoid sitting with crossed legs, or with legs tucked under you.
- Elevation- elevating legs periodically throughout the day can also help with circulation.
Argh, this is one of my biggest complaints. I have tried all of the remedies during my 3 pregnancies. The things I have found the most useful are:
- A natural alkalinizing supplement- I can drink this and immediately feel relief.
- Eating smaller, more frequent meals- I have to be very mindful of my eating patterns, and what I am consuming. I avoid acidic or spicy foods and make sure I have digested before lying down.
- Essential oil- Peppermint oil is helpful as well. I will apply on my esophagus where I feel the burn, and sometimes will ingest a drop or two of peppermint vitality.
- Digestive enzymes- these are also a nice supplement to add in to aid in the digestion and assimilation of your food.
Pubic Bone Discomfort
The hormone relaxin is something women naturally produce during pregnancy to aid in pelvic joint mobility, so that the baby can fit through the pelvis at birth. Sometimes the joints become misaligned and the pelvis too loose which can cause tremendous discomfort. This pregnancy is the only one where I have experienced this and my go-to remedies are.
- A yoga therapy ball-. I can put this where I feel the discomfort a few minutes per day. This will relieve some of the pressure.
- A SI belt– this is designed to support the sacroiliac joints and will relieve instability in the hips.
- A chiropractic adjustment- again a chiropractor can adjust the pubic bone or any of the surrounding areas that are misaligned and causing discomfort. Just look for someone who is well versed in prenatal adjustments.
- Ice therapy- icing can be a great relief. My husband suggests it all the time, and often I ignore him. However, when I actually listen, I feel relief for quite some time. It is also nice to ice after a chiropractic adjustment or using the yoga therapy ball.
- PT- Some women need to see a Physical Therapist, and finding one that is well versed in pelvic floor therapies is ideal.
- Homeopathic Remedies- I have heard several midwives suggest the homeopathic remedy of Rhus Toxicodendron 30C from Boiron. This can be found in health food stores, or online. I have never actually tried this myself, it is just something I have heard from multiple people in the birthing community.
Pregnancy is a time of tremendous change, and the female body is amazingly adaptable. Many of the typical complaints rebound very shortly after delivery. In my opinion, it is lovely there are so many natural remedies out there to help us along the way. I always opt for natural choices over medications and synthetics, and I’m even more hypervigilent about this during pregnancy.