My third trimester is almost up and I write this final update as I eagerly await the arrival of our little one.
Upon reflection I've really enjoyed being pregnant (minus the first trimester), I've loved my bump and I've loved the transition into another phase of my life. I've definitely developed more respect for my body, it's amazing abilities and deepened a connection with myself - all sounds terribly cheesy, but it's true!
I've also enjoyed how happy being pregnant makes other people. People in the street smile at you and look at you with a sort of fondness. It's been nice!
So the bump definitely goes through some growth spurt in this trimester, but overall I've been fortunate enough to have a bump that I feel is the perfect size for me. I haven't been uncomfortable, even as I approach 40 weeks, and my weight gain has been perfect form my height.
Something I literally feared about being pregnant was the chance of stretch marks, vain as it may sound, I think it's perfectly normal not to want them!
I suffered terribly from stretch marks as a teenager, I got them all over my knees, thighs and bum - so if my past was anything to go by I had a good chance of getting them.
Thankfully so far I've managed to avoid them and this is how
Hydration - absolutely key to keeping your skin able to cope with its expanding requirements. I upped my water intake to 3 litres a day!
Dietary fats - we all know fats are key to healthy skin that can repair its self and adequately cope with our bodies needs. As always I advocate whole fats, particularly fats high in omega 3 and vitamin E. That means flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, almond and avocado. I've added at least 2 tablespoons of seeds into a daily smoothie and then eaten avo and almonds as part of my normal diet.
Oils- the best place for oils is on your skin. From the get go I've been oiling my belly and actually from the general boob area down to below the bum twice a day. I started off with coconut oil, but as I grew coconut oil wasn't sufficient or thick enough to provide that deep moisture I needed. So I switched to hemp seed oil and olive oil. Both have worked really well and are much cheaper than buying stretch mark oils, BUT be warned they will ruin your linen so invest in some cheap linen or use an old set that you don't mind getting stained.
No soap - this one may sound strange, but using soap product dries your skin out - which is the last thing you want to do. I made the switch to an oil based shower gel and noticed that my skin felt much more moisturised.
Saying "birth plan" is almost forbidden when you're pregnant - most women who've had babies will all tell you "don't have a plan". I'm not going to lie it's kind of annoying! Of course you are going to have a plan, or at least a preference of how you want things to go.
What people mean is don't get attached to your birth plan. Your go through birth to have a baby and not to have a 'birth experience'.
Saying that you can plan your preferences for most scenarios and still make your birth a positive experience that you feel actively involved in.
So this is what I've done. I, like most women, would like a smooth uncomplicated birth. All going well,l I am planning to birth at the Family Birthing Centre in Subiaco and would love a natural water birth. If things don't go to plan, I'll be transferred to the adjoining hospital and will make the necessary decisions according to the situation.
Thankfully my midwife would come with - which I think is a great comfort and shows what fantastic care you get at the Birthing Centre.
At 36 weeks I started taking a labour prep, cervix prep and uterus prep homeopathic tablets given to me by my homeopath Rob Bondonno.
These pretty much do what they say on the bottle they prep your body for birth and than healing. The uterus tables help strengthen your uterus to make it healthier and produce more efficient contractions, whilst the cervix prep helps thin our your cervix in the lead up to your due date.
Rob is such a great practitioner - he really seems to care about your wellbeing and listens thoroughly to how you're feeling about your body. I highly recommend him. He works from his office in Joondalup but has a Saturday Practice in Floreat.
Again at around 36 weeks you can start seeing an acupuncturist for pre-labour sessions. I started going at 38 weeks when my baby still hadn't really engaged (only 1/5 of its head was in the pelvis).
The sessions focus on helping your baby move into a good birthing position, softening the cervix and keeping your energy levels high so you can better cope with giving birth!
The sessions start off very relaxing and get a little more intense as you approach your due date - all perfectly manageable even for someone who doesn't like needle (like me)!
I've been seeing Mel at Healing Point in Fremantle, she is super lovely and caring!
She also gives you points to massage to help with pain and to keep your birth progressing.
Note: Once you get to 38 weeks people start messaging you and it feels like all eyes are eagerly watching you to go into action. It can be quite tiresome and annoying, mostly because you are doing it to yourself all the time too - as calm and relaxed you might be it's really hard to to look (and will) for some sign that your baby is coming soon.
I've really found seeing caring practitioner who are helping my body be the best prepared it can be has helped keep me mentally positive and cope with any emotions that arise, so for that reason I highly recommend seeing some natural health practitioners!
Yoga yoga, more yoga and some walking!
I finally found an awesome pregnancy yoga teacher in Fremantle, her name is Kate, she's also a Doula and has such a wealth of knowledge about pregnancy, our bodies and giving birth.
Her classes are amazing and you come away feeling relaxed, connected to your body and your baby and empowered for what lies ahead.
She teaches at:
Off the Wall Yoga in Palmyra on Thursday 5:15-6:30pm
E-Sheds in Fremantle on Tuesdays 9:30-11:30am and Saturday 12:00-2:00pm
She also teaches a mums'n'bubs yoga class at Off the Wall Yoga which I'll be going to for sure!
Nothing much has changed since trimester two nutrition wise for me.
I've found it harder to eat big portions due tot the lack of room for my stomach to expand!
Iron: lots of womens iron levels drop in this trimester due to the baby pulling down on your bodies iron stores - I've been fortunate enough to have kept my iron levels high throughout my vegan pregnancy, so for me there was no need to supplement. If you do need to supplement also go for a plant-based iron!
I have added the addition of 1 tablespoon of black strap molasses to my diet to help keep my iron high.
Calcium: again your baby will draw down of your calcium supply during the last few months. Whilst there is no need to increase your calcium level you need to make sure you are consuming enough calcium in the first place.
I've been adding this calcium poster to my smoothies to make sure I get my recommended intake. It comes from greens so isn't acidic and will do exactly what it's supposed to!
Magnesium: good magnesium levels are also key to retaining good calcium levels in your own body! If you are worried about your bone health increase your magnesium in your third trimester with a high potency good quality magnesium powder. It will also help with any restless leg you might be having.
Well that's it from me on pregnancy! My next post will be on my birth! Wish me luck and send me lots of positive birthing vibes! I will most likely announce the birth on Instagram so make sure you follow me there: @thenourishingconcept.