This article was first posted on 12th & Broad, but I got so much feedback on it that I wanted to make sure it was posted here on the blog as well.
One of the things I keep thinking during this second pregnancy is “I’m so glad that I’m not a first timer again.”
Don’t get me wrong, being a first time preggie is amazing, exhilarating, and one of the most exciting things that can happen to someone if they go the parent route. It’s also nerve wracking, full of unknowns and questions, and frankly a little terrifying. I had a pretty good first pregnancy in that I was able to stay mobile throughout and morning sickness was at a tolerable level most of the time. That being said, by the third trimester I was enormously uncomfortable. I was also exhausted. This time around, I am feeling much better and more confident. Here are some of the things I’m doing differently this second pregnancy than I did (or didn’t do) the first time.
I'm doing regular (but light) core and strength exercises.
I should stress that I am not a super fit pregnant woman. That being said, this is seriously one of the top two things that has made the biggest difference for me in being more comfortable during round two. I gain weight like a normal person, starting with my bottom half. I honestly don’t really have the time or discipline to eat perfectly or work out constantly. But I have made a point to exercise twenty to thirty minutes for four to five days a week. Classes don’t really fit into my schedule, so I get up in the morning and do a Youtube video before getting ready for work. Yes, that means 5:00am Monday through Friday. My favorites are Bodyfit by Amy’s prenatal videos as she incorporates a lot of preggo-safe core exercises. Last time, by about 25 weeks my abdominal muscles had gotten so weak that it felt like they were going to fall out from the weight of my belly. My ribs ached constantly. This time I have more core strength to support the weight and I’m 34 weeks with little discomfort (in that area). I also gained over 60 pounds last time, and this time I’ve cut that in half to date. Chasing a toddler helps this, too.
I’m going to a chiropractor.
This one rivals the core exercises for number one difference-maker. I started going to a chiropractor a few months before I got pregnant again because my neck and shoulder hurt so badly that I couldn’t sleep. I had such great results that when I found out that I was expecting, I kept going. Now that I’m well over halfway there, holy cow can I tell a difference! Last time, I simply accepted the fact that my back and hips would intensely ache from all the pressure and changes happening in my body. This time, with the help of a chiropractor, I now know that there is such a thing as relief. Not only do my neck and shoulders still feel good, but my back and hips feel much better than last time. Added bonus that my chiropractor’s table adjusts so that I can lay on my stomach. I never knew how much I’d miss that. Shout out to Dr. Harris at Berry Farms!
I’m wearing comfortable shoes.
I love cute shoes just like the next girl. However, my job demands that I’m on my feet quite a bit and in closed toe shoes (restaurants and toes don’t mix). My position allows more flexibility in footwear than it used to when I was running the restaurant floor, but we just opened two new concepts (shout out to Scout’s Pub and Hattie Jane’s Creamery!) which means that I’m on my feet even more than usual. We seem to like opening restaurants when I’m pregnant as we opened Puckett’s in Columbia when I was about eight months pregnant last time. The difference this time is that I’m taking better care of my feet. My feet hurt so badly back in 2013 that I finally caved and ordered Croc ballet flats. Yes, that’s right. Crocs. It was too little too late then and my feet were so swollen. This time, if I know I have a long day then it’s either those Crocs or my Nikes, and I keep one of them in my car at all times in case I need to switch.
I pack healthy snacks.
As I mentioned earlier, I gained quite a bit of weight last time. The thing is, I thought that I was eating healthy. But in reality, my cravings had me chowing on Jell-O chocolate pudding cups and cereal, every day all day. This time, I pack healthy snacks for in between meals. It’s really important not to let yourself get hungry because that’s when you start feeling sick and dizzy. My go-tos are apples and peanut or almond butter, peaches and cottage cheese, and hummus with cucumbers.
Bubble baths and stretching.
I hardly ever take baths because we have a tiny bathtub of the plastic insert variety. It’s not sexy or particularly spa-like, but the aforementioned backaches need to be tended to so I move Hattie's bath toys out of the way, pour in a generous amount epsom salt and lavender bubble bath, and pretend. I’m also stretching constantly. Just doing regular stretches in the morning and before bed is great (focus on those hips and hamstrings!), but above is my favorite 10-minute yoga video that seems to hit all my pain points. Bonus: it’s all seated and she has a lovely accent.
My favorite Preggie Products
- A good moisturizer for your belly - I love Nashville-made Thistle Farm’s Body Balm. It's so yummy, and bonus points for supporting a great organization. Shea butter is supposed to be amazing for stretch marks, but I missed the boat on that one the first time around...
- This body pillow or similar - I’m sleeping so much better since I started using it.
- Coobie bra - Buy just one bra for your ever-changing chest. No wires, no clasps, and no smushing a la the sports bra. And they're only $20-30. Also, apparently great for nursing because of its flexibility. Best purchase hands-down.
- Icon Undies - enough said. I’ll be adding sister company Thinx undies after the baby. I advise you only click these links if you are a woman..
- A heating pad for your lower back. You can get them anywhere with a pharmacy, but this is what I'm talking about.