For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a mom so when I found out that I was pregnant I was overjoyed! For the first couple of weeks I was completely in the clouds, just imagining what our life would look like after having a baby. My family, friends and co-workers were all so excited for our upcoming arrival.
After the initial excitement wore off it was time to plan. Now this is where many soon-to-be-moms will tell you, it gets sticky. SO MANY CHOICES!
1st Trimester Focus:
With advent of the internet you can just google any question and find an answer in a flash. Well I'm here to tell you, if you're having a baby don't even torture yourself with endless searches. I decided I would focus on four main things during my first trimester.
- Who is going to be my guide through this journey? As a first-time mom and a self-proclaimed naturalist I yearned for a woman who had similar beliefs but also lots knowledge about natural childbirth. Wonderfully I was introduced, through a good friend of my partner's, to Michelle Gabriel-Caldwell who, along with her husband, offer childbirth services. This in itself changed the course of my pregnancy.
- What supplements should I be taking? This is one area where I did do a bit of googling to find some recommendations as well as the insight of my OGBYN. I decided upon Garden of Life plant based prenatal daily vitamins as well as their Oceans Mom DHA daily supplement plus I started taking a probiotic, liquid vitamin D-3 and spirulina.
- How can I optimize the food I'm eating to ensure a healthy baby? Prior to getting pregnant I felt like overall I ate pretty healthy with treat meal every so often. I figured I'm doing great. Well, I learned quickly that I needed to up my protein intake. One of the most challenging things for me to wrap my head around was increasing my daily carbohydrate intake but knowing the importance of complex carbs during pregnancy I changed my mind QUICKLY!
- What should I apply to my skin to manage stretch marks? I found this amazing book The Mindful Mom-to-Be by Lori Bregman, which among many wonderful recipes and tips for making the most of out my experience, I learned about a recipe for an amazing body butter that includes organic coconut oil, organic cocoa butter, organic shea butter and vitamin E oil. I mixed this concoction together and have been using all over my body ever since. It's pretty much the best thing ever.
2nd Trimester Focus:
Making it through the first trimester was such a challenge for me due to the morning sickness but literally at thirteen weeks I felt brand new. My energy was back and I was ready to tackle the next round of choices. This trimester I decided to focus on these four main aspects.
- How do I create a useful baby registry list? Again this is one other area that I did do some google searches. Mostly I looked for registry lists that weren't over the top. I only wanted to select things that we'd really use. Also I needed something that was digital as both of our families are in states other than NY. By this time Pinterest had really become a great friend of mine. That is where I came across Babyli.st which is digital platform that allows you to select items from any online retailer or brick and mortar location so it was ideal for our friends and families.
- Staying positive: From the negative images in movies to the horror stories that some women like to share, it can be a challenge to stay positive about the childbirth experience so I was overjoyed to find the podcast Fear Free Childbirth, which highlights women with uplifting and positive birth experiences. After listening to these podcasts I always come away feeling empowered.
- What exercises are best for me during pregnancy? Working out four to fives times weekly was just a habit for me prior to getting pregnant, but after a couple of trial and error weeks I came to realize that three solid workouts was perfect. These include pilates, barre, swimming and prenatal yoga. I also came across the Bloom Method which helps train the TA (transverse abdominis) therefore building core strength perfect for labor as well it can help decrease the chance of diastasis recti or the separating of the abdominal muscles.
- A meditation a day: With all of the choices and decisions that must be made during pregnancy you can quickly become a ball of nerves. While scrolling Instagram I found this wonderful digital meditation platform Expectful that provides guided meditations for expectant and new moms. From connecting with your baby to relaxing the body, these meditations truly provide a sense of calm. Event if it's only for ten minutes a day, I try to not miss out on this bliss.
3rd Trimester Focus:
Two thirds of the way through my pregnancy journey and I'm feeling even more empowered to have an amazing birth experience. Since I'm in the home stretch now I've decided to focus on these four aspects.
- Planning the baby party: I'm all about breaking the mold and when it came to planning our baby party I decided rather than a shower filled with silly games that most don't enjoy, why not invite my child's father along with my father and brothers plus uncles and make it a family affair. For the invites I also chose to go digital with Paperless Post which allowed me to create my own invite and send without buying one stamp. One great feature of Paperless Post is the tracking capability. Along with really tasty food, we're having a signature cocktail and a onesie design station. It feels so good to step outside of the box.
- Time to pack the hospital bag: As the date gets closer and closer many have recommended that I pack my hospital bag. Here again is a time where I did google the best list and found tons of resources. The Bump has an all encompassing list that I've referred to when packing our bags.
Prenatal massage anyone? Now that I'm further along and starting to feel some of the changes in my body it's great time to have a massage to help relieve some of the unavoidable tension. If you're in the NY area, I totally recommend Soho Sanctuary as I've had the most amazing experiences at this spa.
- Pregnancy photo shoot? Yes, please! Now is the perfect time to document this amazing journey with beautiful photos. I have my photo shoot scheduled in the upcoming weeks and I'm so excited. There's something special about honoring your body for the amazing work it's able to complete. So I'm going to show off this baby belly.