What I Did Differently During My Second Pregnancy
Now that I’ve been through pregnancy twice (hey Jonas & Winston!), I wanted to share what I’ve learned about taking care of yourself during pregnancy, what you should be thinking about, and just some helpful tips. I learned SO MUCH from my first pregnancy and was able to tweak what I did the second time around. I would love if you would share this with your friends who are expecting!
First and foremost, REST. Take all the naps. Sit down all you want. Don’t beat yourself up for how you’re feeling. It’s normal to be emotional and tired. You’re building a human and have all the permission in the freaking world to take a nap. Unless you have a toddler, then learn to sleep with your eyes open…haha. But seriously, don’t be afraid to take people up on their offer to watch your toddler or hire a babysitter for an afternoon if you need help so you can rest.
Drink a TON of water. This bkr Glass Water Bottle really helped keep up with my water consumption plus I get so many compliments about how cute it is. A glass water bottle is much more earth friendly than plastic.
Decide what kind of birth experience you want and find a healthcare provider that fully supports your decisions…whatever that looks like. Scheduled c-section or home birth, there is no right way to have a baby and don’t let anyone tell you there is. Don’t be afraid to interview multiple healthcare providers and ask other parents for recommendations. When you’re in labor, the last thing you need is an OB/GYN that isn’t supportive of your birth plan or a doula in the room you’re not 100% comfortable with. You need the birthing environment to be as peaceful as possible. With Jonas, I had a natural birth in the hospital and did not love the experience. For my second birth, we found a local birthing center where the staff was so amazing and supportive. You can read more about my birth experience at Baby+Co here.
Read The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality by Kimberly Ann Johnson and The First 40 Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother by Heng Ou. After my first birth, the first months postpartum were really difficult for me. I didn’t understand how exhausted I would be and that my body would take a while to heal. It was also a shock to go from a full-time corporate job to maternity leave where my only responsibility was to take care of a baby. Your whole life truly changes. During my second pregnancy, I read Fourth Trimester and First Forty Days and learned all about how to better care for myself and build a support team during those few months after having a baby and it made a world of difference. I’ll share more about what I’ll I did in the fourth trimester in a another post because it’s so important.
Build your tribe of trusted mamas and dads who’ve done this before. Everyone, including strangers in the grocery store, will give you advice. Not all of it is right or is meant for you. Take everything with a grain of salt and don’t let it stress you out. Ultimately, you are the perfect parent for your baby no matter what advice others give you. Having a trusted few people you can turn to for questions and support is INVALUABLE. You can read all the books and go to all the classes, but talking to someone who has first-hand experience is life saving and anxiety decreasing. On this same note, encourage your partner/spouse to talk to other dads/support partners who’ve gone through supporting someone in pregnancy before. This will help them understand that your roller coaster of emotions are completely normal and also give them a support group to lean on and learn from.
Take a birthing class with your partner. I highly recommend Bradley Method classes, especially if you’re wanting a natural birth experience. Our class helped us understand what to expect during labor and mentally prepared us for what to expect. Your partner will appreciate the classes too because it will teach them what to expect and how to support you instead of potentially freaking out because they had no idea what to expect in labor.
My first birth was extra painful because Jonas was sunny-side up which caused me to have back labor. I did not want to go through that again, so I did Spinning Babies excercises to make sure Win stayed in a good position and to alleviate hip pain. Also, chiropractic care!
Fact: The bigger your tummy gets, the itchier your skin gets. Mother’s Special Blend Skin Toning Oil really helped me with the itchiness and dry patches.
Don’t stress out about having the nursery perfect before your baby arrives. In fact, American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies sleep in your room for at least the first 6 months and up to a year to decrease risk of SIDS anyway. So, you won’t be spending much time in the nursery. All you truly need to come home from the hospital is a few outfits, diapers, wipes, aninstalled carseat, and a place for them to sleep. Who cares if you didn’t get around to painting their room?
Buy all the maternity leggings and live in them. This is your time to live your best stretchy pants life. I’m still wearing mine a month post-partum with no shame because my old pants don’t fit yet!
Don’t buy a ton of maternity clothes (aside from leggings) unless you have a million dollars to spend. Buy stretchy pieces you can wear post-pregnancy as well as during pregnancy. Your healing body will continue to look pregnant for a little while after birth and you will be thankful for the stretch for a while. Also, go ahead and invest in pieces you can nurse and pump in. I’m seeing a few brands selling maternity pieces that are also nursing friendly and I’m loving the trend.
Unisom is a life saver if you’re having a hard time sleeping or experiencing nausea. Ask you health care provider if it’s safe for you to take. I only took half a Unisom before bed and it helped so much with morning sickness and sleep. I couldn’t take a whole one because it made me too drowsy the next day. (Note: I’m not a medical professional, so check with your health care provider please!)
Finally, the Mind the Bump app has great, short meditations focused specifically for pregnancy and new motherhood. I used this frequently and it help a ton with mindfulness and anxiety.
This is already a terribly long post and I could keep going. I would love to know if you try any of these things and they work for you or if there’s anything you would add. All the love, mamas! And always remember, you got this.
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