Monday, March 11, 2013

Surviving Pregnancy

When I was pregnant I did a lot of research and received a lot of advice from friends who had been 'there' before. Some of the stuff is really insightful, and not too common knowledge, so I thought I would pay-it-forward by sharing.

Early Signs 
(your first trimester)

Sore and/or Tender Breasts
Warmth! Warmth! Warmth! Run a common rag under water as hot as you can stand, ring it out thoroughly and apply it to your aching ladies. Alternatively you can use a hot water bottle or a heating pad.

Morning Sickness
Ginger will save your life. Candied, crystallized, freshly ground into your tea, baked into cookies or breads -- any way you can take it. I swear by ginger!

Should the inevitable happen, drinking a glass of coconut water will have you well on your way to feeling better. It contains oodles of potassium (way more than bananas, though those are good to keep handy too). Potassium also keeps cramps at bay, which you'll appreciate once you start gaining pregnancy weight and your muscles want to complain about it.

Excessive Hunger
Eat. That's really the only way to solve this one. Sorry!

As above, the only sure way I know of to cure cravings is to give into them. You will probably crave similar things often though, so once you figure that out, just keep those sorts of food stocked so when you wake up at 2am wanting halva, it's only a walk to the kitchen away.

Food Avoidance
Also as above, the only way to solve this one is to learn what foods trigger your gag reflex and avoid them at all costs. Sometimes the mere smell of these foods will have you queasy.

The Midterm
(welcome to your second trimester)

Drink lots of water! Make sure you are getting all the vitamins you and baby need. If push comes to shove you can take some Tylenol (regular strength).

Get as much rest as physically possible. If this means several daytime naps and a full night's rest, so be it! You're creating a human, you're totally entitled.

Hot Flashes
Grab a piece of paper out of your printer and fold it into the shape of a fan. Keep this on hand at all times. Alternatively a small water bottle to mist yourself with, if you don't mind being a little damp.

(it's almost over, I promise)

Back Pain
Luckily the same thing you used on your poor boobs can also be used on your poor back! Gentle massage also helps, though it's kind of awkward to get a back massage while laying on your side.

Swollen Feet
Elevation helps, but as soon as you put your feet back down they'll start swelling again. Get a pair of mens socks, fold the part that goes around the ankle down over the part that goes around your foot, so that it creates a pocket of fabric. Put your foot into the sock where it goes and then in the pocket of fabric created by folding the sock, insert an ice pack! Now you can walk around or even sleep while easing the discomfort of your poor edema feet.

Pelvic/Hip Pain
Sleep with a pillow between your knees. By now you can't sleep on your back anyway; not only is it bad for baby, it's just uncomfortable. You don't need to buy specialty pillows that cost tons of money for this, or even body pillows which tend to be kind of costly. Just go to any store and pick yourself up a pillow for a king sized bed. This way you can tuck it both between your knees and under your tummy! This is as close to comfortable as you're going to get for a while.

Tums. You can't take Pepto anymore but you can take as many Tums as needed. If it isn't enough relief talk to your doctor about Prilosec. Mine let me continue taking two pills per day for the duration of my pregnancy as it doesn't cross the placental barrier.

Let's face it, that's the story of your life right now. Drink lots of water, make sure you're eating well and getting enough sleep and failing all of that, Tylenol! You can't take Advil in your third trimester.

You'll notice there are a lot more symptoms than their are solutions, that's because some things simply don't have reliable solutions. Especially while pregnant. But if you've got any tips or tricks to help cope with creating a human inside of your body, let me know -- I'll add them to the list.

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