Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Paleo Pregnancy Diaries: Belly Buttons and Food Aversions

Hey everyone! I thought it was time I updated you all with my Pregnancy Diaries! 

It has been a while but the weeks are flying by and I am now officially 30 weeks and on the count down!

Pregnancy Health 

I have continued to have really great health thankfully, something I am very grateful for and I know my flexible work life (I am a self employed Nutritional Therapist) and the fact I have no small children have really helped with this. The past couple of weeks have seen my energy levels dip slightly on what they were in the second trimester but that is to be expected I think. Afterall I am lugging around more weight than I am used to and making a baby is not an easy task! Apart from this I have been very well with minimal symptoms of pregnancy, something I most definitely attribute to my good diet. If I stray from the plan at all I feel like crap and really pay for it in the days that follow. For me it is therefore not worth it and I keep my diet as clean as I can for this reason. It actually makes me a little sad that women do not realise how much of an impact diet has on the health of their pregnancy and while I know there can be genetic reasons why someone gets bad symptoms, I can't help but feel that alot of these issues could be prevented or made easy through a clean diet rather than feasting on lots of sugar and rubbish comfort food just because you are expecting!

Changing Tastes 
In saying all that I have seen a definite shift in my taste in the past few weeks. I am struggling to eat vegetables! I of course am still eating them, I know the importance of including these antioxidant rich foods in my diet, however it isn't as enjoyable or easy for me to eat them lately! I am really hoping this will pass after the birth and I do remember some of my nutritionist friends saying the same in pregnancy. I am still making that effort to eat lots of greens and colourful vegetables but the shift in my taste has definitely become obvious. In saying that I think my appetite as a whole has decreased overall so perhaps I am just content to eat small meals and snacks more frequently now that I am bigger? I will definitely keep an eye on this in the coming weeks.

Apart from this I am being conscious of including fermented foods, oily fish and healthy fats in my diet as well as including iron rich foods to ensure my iron levels don't drop, a common issue in the third trimester.

My Changing Body
In terms of body changes I feel I have definitely embraced my changing body alot more than I did at the beginning of the 2nd trimester. I am very used to being slim and toned (some call it luck I call it hard work and dedication with my diet!) and initially I found the changes difficult. However now I am just embracing it and I am definitely avoiding that scales! Focusing on a scales is never healthy but for me looking at that number change radically (as it should) in pregnancy was messing with my head! So now I avoid thinking about it! I believe that if you eat healthy food, balance blood sugars (a MAJOR thing for me in this pregnancy) and keep active, your body will only gain what you and your body needs. The only funny thing is my belly button which is definitely looking a little mutant like and popping! I strangely like it though!

Gentle Birth
I think a major part of my outlook at my changing body has been taking on the wonderful principles of Gentle Birth. I have found the whole approach wonderfully empowering and powerful and it has really taught me to not fear birth but to view it as something our body is made to do and that it should not be a medical event unless necessary. My outlook this time around is so different from my first pregnancy 12 years ago where I basically just didn't think about it at all! Instead I have very clear ideas of what I want and don't want (if possible of course) while also keeping an open mind. However I do know I want it to be as natural as possible. Gentle Birth also teaches relaxation and stress prevention practices as well as birth preparation meditation and mindfulness, all of which are so important for both you and your baby. I have been listening to the tracks nightly and I really feel it has helped with stress reduction and also preparing me mentally for birth. It will be interesting to see how it helps in labour! I hear the Duchess of Cambridge Kate used Gentle Birth strategies during her recent birth to baby Charlotte and look how great she looked afterwards!
More details on Gentle Birthing classes and purchasing their tracks can be found on their website here 

I have still to actually sit down and write my birth plan but I know what I want in there now which is the main thing! I am also planning on doing some homeopathy during labour and will be speaking to a homeopathic friend Anne Collins about that in the coming weeks. Anne offers a full labour preparation consultation in her clinic in Naas where she goes through the remedies you need for labour and recovery.

Breastfeeding Preparation
Breastfeeding is something I am really keen to do this time around. I know it is so important for baby health and cannot be replicated in formula so I really want to do this. I have been preparing for it for months now as I feel it is something you need to be properly prepared for and not something you can "just try". They say that the more support you can establish in pregnancy the more likely you are to succeed so I have been busy reading "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" and I plan on attending a La Leche League (LLL) breastfeeding group in the next week or so. Many women don't realise that you can attend these classes in pregnancy and I think it is a great way to get tips and to learn normal newborn behaviour so you can be fully prepared mentally for the journey once it continues. Unfortunately while some hospitals and midwives are super supportive, many women feel they are failed following birth when they are supplied with incorrect information or pressured into formula top-ups. Being prepared increases your confidence and chances of success following birth so prepare now and establish your support network now.

For full details on LLL meetings and groups in your area check out their website https://www.lalecheleagueireland.com/

The so called nesting stage has definitely kicked in with me! I am busy washing and ironing baby clothes and packing my hospital bag and of course all the jobs are in my head now that need to be done before baby arrives. It is so funny what we think we need to do though isn't it! As if the baby gives a crap about whether the kitchen presses are clean, but it is all part of it.

I have continued my walking throughout the pregnancy getting out as much as I can for long walks with my dog. The weather is beautiful at the moment and it is a pleasure to be out in it soaking up that Vitamin D. I am still also doing my prenatal yoga which I am finding really great and hope to continue it up to the end if possible. I have spoke about it before but I think keeping active in pregnancy is extremely important for both labour itself and recovery afterwards. I read recently it is actually even more important in the case of caesarian section so if you have increased chances of having a section birth it is doubly important to stay active.

So that is it! My 30 week update! The end seems so close but also so far! So excited to meet my little one now and have them join our family.

Talk soon

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