Sorry guys, got super-busy holidaying and celebrating Christmas and New Year’s so doing this 36 and 37 weeks together post now. By the way Happy New Year everyone!!!
What shall I say? The suspense is definitely growing, so is the inconvenience of sleep and the back pain when sitting. Note to self: NEVER again decide you want to work until week 39. 37 is the maximum I can manage in my body with my tummy.
I thought I’d share some of the supplements I started taking last week to prepare my body for birth:
- Evening primrose oil supposedly to ripen the cervix
- Nature’s Sunshine 5W (roots, roots, and more roots in ingredients) – claims to “contain herbs which promote the overall toning of uterine tissues in preparation for childbirth and the calming of false contractions. 5-W may also relieve pain, relax uterine muscle spasm, and reduce the anxiety and irritability often associated with childbirth”.
- Raspberry leaf tea whis is supposed to help tone the uterus in readiness for labour.
I am also still taking my iodine supplement, magnesium, and iron tablets (as the blood test came back low again).
Have you taken any of these or any others during pregnancy?
Off to eat my pills now (never ever had so many in my entire life)
I really really like to throw in a yoga session or a few into my training week. I have trialed a few yoga pregnancy workouts available on DVDs (or sometimes YouTube – make sure you check it out before buying) available out there and here what I think about them:
Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga
Loved it: beautiful setting, very good technique tips (some of them I’ve never heard before and I’ve done a few yoga classes), HURRAY a challenging class, you feel like you work out! Cant wait to try the Postnatal part once I have my baby.
BuddhaBellies – Yoga for Pregnancy
Good thing is that it has three different practices: short (for those busy days when you just want to throw in minimum exercise to feel excused for a burger later), medium and long (when it happens to rain all Sunday) ranging in time from 20 to 40 minutes. The main drawback form me was the robot-like voice and the overall presentation. I really like a little bit more of a human touch to my exercise (even if that human touch is screaming at the top of trainer’s lungs to make you work harder) but this monotonous soulless voice just didn’t do it for me personally. A little too slow and not challenging enough to my taste (and I have strange one – still want a challenging workout at 6 months pregnant).
Lindsay Brin’s yoga workout
A good basic 25-minute yoga workout with two women demonstrating a more challenging option and one an easier one. Did make me feel like I was working my body out, good tempo, not too slow not too fast.
Lesley Fightmaster pregnancy yoga (Available on YouTube for free!).
Hope this post might be useful to those of you looking for that perfect yoga pregnancy workout. Please, let me know if you’ve come across a really good yoga session yourself!
This week’s post is going to be on books about babies/early development/bringing up children that I read (not many so far) or was recommended to read on my Instagram (if you are not following me , please feel free to do so – lots of discussions about babies and not only @babylexiblog. I am making this list for me in the first place so that I don’t forget what books other people said were good (hello, baby brain).
Here we go, so far I’ve only read:
- “Kindergarten is too late” by Masaru Ibuka. It’s quite an old book (1977) but is still widely popular. It’s very Japanese and more of general thoughts about early development rather than practical advice, lots of examples he gives are about playing the violin (hmmmm) but still a good read. The quote I liked most of all goes like this (and I think takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders as a parent): “It is not particularly necessary to do any special thing to promote early development for your child. To create a harmonious relationship between man and wife and a pleasant home atmosphere, is the best start you can make”.
- The one I’m reading at the moment is “French children don’t throw food” by
- The one I’m going to read after that is “The wonder weeks” by Frans X. Plooij.
And now these are all recommended reads by my followers on Instagram:
- “French kids eat everything” by Karen Le Billon (on how the French manage to feed children without endless battles and struggles with pickiness)
- “Permission to Parent: How to Raise Your Child with Love and Limits” by Robin Berman
- “Kiss Me!: How to Raise Your Child with Love” by Carlos Gonzalez (supposedly written with great humour!)
- “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby” by Tracy Hogg
- “The happiest baby on the block” by Harvey Karp
- And to finish it off nicely “Sh**tty Mom: The parenting guide for the rest of us” by Karen Moline so that you never feel bad about yourself whatever you do!
Please, feel free to recommend more!!!
Happy reading, everyone
I think none of the other things that happen in people’s life are surrounded by more superstitions and old wives’ tales than pregnancy. It is as if all other people know you are having a baby brain time at the moment so they think (and rightfully so) it’s perfect time to dump all that information onto your poor head (and some of it sticks!!!).
One of my favorite ones came from a Chinese friend: eating almonds in pregnancy will lead to miscarriage. I only found out about this at week 15 or something (as you always find out about things that can be deadly dangerous right on time right)??!!. Thinking about all the already eaten almonds (I LIKE nuts ok??!!) and the almonds eaten in the future, the hell with this one. P.S. Do you also know that in China they believe if you eat persimmon with crab you will die??!!
But there is something old wives know most about: the gender of the future baby. I can so see a panel of the most experienced of them with a long long line of pregnant women queuing. Honestly, they can tell by looking at your nails, hair, by the shape of almost any part of your body. My personal favorite in this department is: you have more morning sickness if you are carrying a boy and less if it’s a girl because the girl’s body is very similar to yours so it requires less effort for your body to build and carry it. My midwife laughed me in the face when I told her that as she had a girl and was sick 24/7.
Another rather nice one is caring a girl will make you look ugly as the girl drains all the beauty out of the mum. Very nice kind old wives must have come up with this one as the first thing EVERY (I can assure you) pregnant woman wants to hear in the morning is that she looks uglier than before (and fatter, and less sexy, the list to go on and on).
Any old wives’ tales you know about? Please share the wealth of knowledge:)
Off to eat my almonds
This week has been quite educational: we finished our Plunket course where we talked a lot about the car seats, wrapping your baby and red flags to look for and how to know when to panic and call the ambulance or when to just call the Plunket hotline for advice.
Then we had a breastfeeding class (and the only available time and day for it was my birthday – so no wine, no cake, no dinner out for me this year on my birthday, life changes hey??!!). BUT it was such a useful one! I loved the trainer, what an experienced and passionate woman to lead the class. We did lots of practice which is always good, even had to hold the baby (well, the doll really) for 20 minutes at the breast to feel what 20 minutes of feeding feels like.
I’ve also started to read “Kindergarten is too late” by Masaru Ibuka. It’s very Japanese, a wee bit outdated but has some really good ideas for baby’s early development.
I am still exercising daily for at least 20-30 minutes, sometimes longer and feeling quite well apart from uncomfortable sleeping which is helped a lot by using my pregnancy pillow.
Have a great Thursday, everyone
This week we had another scan and another look at our ever-growing daughter. Luckily she is well within the “normal” size range so nothing to worry about in that respect (yet!) as the biggest danger of gestational diabetes is that the baby can grow too big. Will check again at week 36.
The diabetes itself is doing well, letting me be sometimes and sometimes sucking the hell out of me. The diet is strict so the whole thing is not for faint-hearted. I am actually now considering myself lucky to have developed it only late in my pregnancy as watching your blood sugar levels so carefully for all 40 weeks would be hmmmmm how shall I put it??!!
a nightmare a little difficult. Fingers pricked regularly, logs recorded, food diary added into every day. I haven’t chosen the easiest time of the year for all this though with Christmas parties, shared lunches at work, my birthday, New Year’s eve. My mantra for this month: it’s healthy Anastasia, it’s healthy, it’s healthy:)
We also started a Plunket course about dealing with the actual baby (everything we were doing before was about birth birth birth). It’s actually fascinating how scared you are to harm a plastic doll and change her nappy in a wrong way. I am sure it does get easier with practice:)
An amazing organization to have for supporting you, their hotline is available 24/7 (I wonder if I’ll ever call them??!!), lactation specialists on site, they even have a sleeping room where an exhausted mum can come and sleep and leave the baby with the nurse. By the number of comments I’ve received on my Instagram about this room from experienced mums – I wouldn’t bet on me never needing this room.
Eat a little bit of Christmas sticky date pudding for me, please, when you have a chance!
It’s all been about the diet and the blood sugar this week. I can actually feel how I am getting healthier and healthier every day as I have to measure my blood sugar levels 4 times a day and really REALLY watch what I eat, write it all down and email to the diabetes midwife weekly. It’s also been quite emotional and did result in a river (or two) of tears on my husband’s shoulder. It’s one thing if your blood sugar rises when you’ve eaten a piece of chocolate cake, but it’s a totally different feeling when you eat the healthy oats for brekkie and that makes your sugar shoot though the roof. Definitely gave me a feeling of being not able to control things and even blaming myself for not being healthy enough for the baby.
Well, all that behind I thought it might be useful for ladies with gestational diabetes so here is just a few things that worked for me:
- Not having oats for breakfast. My first after breakfast blood test showed high sugar and I thought I’d give a teaspoon of honey a miss the next day. Guess what? It came back even higher! So taking oats off the menu completely did the trick.
- Having carbs for breakfast,lunch and snacks but skipping them for dinner helped me level out the sugar levels a lot. Dinner now is protein (fish, seafood, meat etc) and fiber (vegetables).
- Doing a little bit of exercise 1 hour after breakfast, lunch and dinner – even if it’s a 10 minute walk or a 10 minute pregnancy yoga workout (good for after-dinner) definitely lowers the blood sugar level (in me at least).
- Eating fruit in the first half of the day (as morning tea or midday snack)
- Replacing any refined sugar sweets with bliss balls (balls made from dried fruit, nuts, seeds etc). I don’t know about you but I CANNOT LIVE without sweets, so luckily this type does not cause the spikes in the sugar level. Here is one simple recipe:
Prunes + dried apricots + hazelnuts + peanuts + a splash of coconut milk = process, roll into balls and enjoy!
To all ten fingers pricked many times