There has been a growing, literally budding, trend among some of my brides-to-be of late; a certain swelling in their belly region and many of them are suffering with chronic morning sickness and fatigue so this month’s pits n peaks is all about how to help yourself through the early stages of pregnancy.
The pits of pregnancy include feeling emotional, nauseous often all day, vomiting, swollen and tender breasts, back aches, headaches and constipation, exhaustion, feeling sleepy, food cravings and increased sense of smell.
For me personally with my 2nd pregnancy, it was body breakdown in a major way-inflammatory markers off the charts, all day nauseousness, cravings for beef even though I was, at the time a vegetarian. My highly attuned sense of smell drove everyone crazy and my emotional instability confused even the most level headed of my friends. It was short lived though and passed almost to the day of the 3 month mark.
The peaks include relishing that inside glow and feeling of rapture knowing you are growing a perfect human being, feeling the most overwhelming and intoxicating love developing and pride in that you were chosen above all others to be that little baby’s Mummy even if it is only for a short time like in my 3rd pregnancy that sadly ended in a miscarriage late last year.
The exciting news is that there are a growing number of symptoms which science is coming to recognize as important natural expressions of your body’s inborn wisdom.
Morning sickness is a perfect example. Recent research suggests that nausea and vomiting which many women experience in early pregnancy would be better termed “morning wellness”.
It turns out that this is a protective mechanism where your body avoids or eliminates certain dietary chemicals which are able to damage the foetus during susceptible stages of development. The “embryo-protection hypothesis” reasons that the nausea and vomiting experienced to some degree by two-thirds of pregnant women, serves a beneficial function and is Mother Nature’s way of protecting mothers and fetuses from food-borne illness and also shields the fetus from chemicals that cause defects and deformities.
The researchers state that attempting to alleviate the symptoms of normal morning sickness will not improve the outcome of the pregnancy and could have the exact opposite effect if potentially dangerous foods are not avoided.
Additionally, women are encouraged to avoid anything that they have an aversion to during pregnancy. “In other words, listen to your body,” said one of the researchers.
As uncomfortable as it is for the expectant mother, morning sickness may be nature’s way of ensuring that the developing fetus gets the proper nutrition. The nausea and vomiting so many women experience during the first months of pregnancy may, paradoxically, nourish their babies by keeping certain hormone levels in check.
Some of the strategies that reduce the severity of morning sickness and support our body naturally include chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, exercise and a diet high in raw, organic where possible, leafy fruits and vegetables and low in sugar and grains.
To help keep nausea at bay, eat small, frequent meals and avoid greasy foods. Sucking on a lemon can also help ward off nausea.
Changes in hormones can result in changes in the breasts. Wearing a supportive bra can help ease the discomfort. Back aches are also common during pregnancy as the expanding uterus and weight gain add stress to the back muscles. Frequently changing positions can help ease back pain during bouts of morning sickness.
Hormones and an increase in blood volume can cause headaches. Lying down and staying hydrated can help decrease pregnancy-related headaches.
Constipation can be quite uncomfortable during pregnancy and is a result of increased hormones. Eating a diet high in fibre and drinking plenty of water can help curb constipation.
Exhaustion, or an overall sense of feeling worn out, is a result of all the additional work your body is doing to grow and nurture a baby. This exhaustion often results in an overall feeling of sleepiness. Resting throughout the day and getting a solid night’s sleep can help you stay energized. 20 minutes power naps will be your sanity saviour.
Food cravings are also common during early pregnancy, however you’ll need to make your food choices wisely to help keep your stomach calm.
An increased sense of smell due to an increased level of estrogen can often trigger nausea and vomiting, so if a specific scent bothers you, avoid it as much as possible.
Pregnant brides need special support and camaraderie from their grooms, bridesmaids, family and friends as they ride out the often unpredictable tides of physical, emotional and hormonal waves during pregnancy coupled with the stress or planning a wedding and perhaps the cumulative effects of a surprise pregnancy such as dress alterations, change in the time of your wedding due to fatigue or shoe substitutes for dancing and your reception.
Following are a list of ideas for pregnant brides to consider and suggestions to offer pregnant brides-to-be.
Brides In Waiting / Grooms In Waiting;
Hire a wedding planner-alleviate the stress and have more control by engaging the services of a professional coordinator or at minimum some “day of” assistance.
My pick: Tracy Mans from Soirees is the ultimate wedding planner and she tailors her services to your specific needs so you can employ her for just the jobs you need help with or to oversee the entire process all under your direction. Tracy can be contacted on 0433 696 117
Locate a great wedding dress alterations specialist-someone who is flexible to your needs and changing body. Someone who makes you feel comfortable and is understanding of your desire to look amazing while feeling green.
My pick: Marcella Moreno provides a personal service and with over 25 years experience she is skilled in an expansive array of fabrics. Marcella can be contacted on 0409 153 027.
Keep a gratitude journal and record the peaks of your wedding planning and fill it with fun mementos. You can do this basically in Microsoft word with text and photos, visually in Pinterest through pin inspirations or in my opinion the best way is to get a real book and infuse it with smells, press flowers in its pages, stain it with tears and coffee and make a meaningful legacy of your wedding plans. Only a real book can preserve this much love and memory.
My pick: Larissa from Monkeyfolio hand cuts and binds leather albums and books and can stamp, burn, embellish your custom design into the leather. Larissa can be contacted on 0401 718 951
Jen from Smudge Design creates and prints chalkboard snapshots of your favourite moments and memories. I am currently creating a “My Favourite Things” memory board for my 2 girls for Christmas with Jen. Jen can be contacted on 0433 319 651
Schedule at minimum once a week 30 minutes of “me time”-take a bath, read a book, meditate, dine by candlelight, talk to a friend, go for a walk, sleep, get a massage, give yourself a beauty treatment, try a new herbal tea-anything that replenishes and rejuvenates you.
My pick: Add to your bath water a cup of oats, a cup of full fat milk or cream, a drop or two of your favourite essential oil (ensure its safe for pregnancy) and some grated lemon zest. Sink in to the depths of deliciousness by candlelight and your favourite tunes and just breathe.
Raspberry tea is especially good for an unsettled stomach and nauseousness.
Suggested reading list:
Well Adjusted Babies, And Baby Makes Three, Parenting In A Peaceful World, The Continuum Concept, Sleeping Like A Baby
Love Languages, Goddess, It’s A Guy Thing, Like Chocolate For Women
Meg from Indigo Spirit candles makes essential oil and scented soy wax candles and melts in all shapes, sizes, containers and fragrances. Meg can be reached on 0409 605 676
Bridesmaids/ Family & Friends;
Organise “wedding gift services” instead of material presents such as cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping and babysitting.
Hold a woman’s nurturing party-give each other foot baths, facials and massages, share healthy food and mocktails. Toast your friendship and tell each other why you are so important to each other, what you admire in each other, why you love each other etc. Laugh, cry, dance, be silly together –share your gifts and talents to create a truly memorable time in your lives.
Attend a laughter yoga class together.
Have fun designing and sampling virgin cocktails to feature at the wedding and christen it with your unborn baby’s name or a tribute to the sex if you know it. E.G. Pink little lady, Little boy blue, Jack’s Revenge, Saving Grace etc.
Be a shoulder, lend an ear and put yourself in her shoes literally to help and give as much support as possible.
“My picks” are artisans who are members of “All Tied Up” –a wedding specialists group I founded who hand craft, hand make or offer original home based services and products. I have personally worked with or used their products and services and receive no gratuities for my promotion of their businesses. I just believe in them, love their passion and enjoy using their products and services.