I sit in the warm morning sun, I am truly thankful for being provided with Vitamin D rich rays this far into the 2018 Autumn season. The Naturopath in me is smiling as I run through the long list of benefits the sunshine vitamin is having on my bubs, who is 29 weeks into his (or her) journey hanging out in the cosy comfort of my womb. Immunity (tick), neurodevelopment (tick), bone health (tick)….
Officially now in our third and final trimester, I wanted to share with you the highs and lows of my second tri experience, informed decisions we have made and ways that I have holistically supported my body for a healthy pregnancy and bubs to be. If you missed it, you can catch up on my first trimester over here.
Hallelujah, I started to feel normal again with the constant motion-sickness-like feeling eventually fading around 14 weeks. I was proud of myself for not splurging on refined carbs during the first trimester and now that I was feeling up to being creative in the kitchen once again, my main meals remained nutritious… but hello to my dark chocolate cravings!
It took a lot of will power in my second tri to limit dark chocolate to a small amount after dinner. As much as I wanted the whole block, my sensitivity to caffeine had doubled, so anymore than a square and I remained wide-eyed for the majority of the night (it took me more than one restless night’s sleep to admit that this was the cause). Otherwise the odd coffee out has been a swiss filtration decaf (almond milk) latte at Nutrition Republic, or their Prana (coconut milk) chai latte in the afternoons was a perfect replacement for any post lunch sweet cravings.
Once I got my dark choccie intake under control, allowing a decent night’s sleep along with extra iron supplementation (biglycinate form), B vitamins, CoQ10, MCT oil simultaneously enhanced my energy. I also continued my practise of diffusing refreshing citrus essential oils* in my home and clinic to keep the nausea at bay, as my sense of smell remained on high alert.
Heading back however to around 15 weeks’ gestation, where the crazy mix of pregnancy hormones lead to intermittent (splitting) headaches. To help ease the intensity and frequency, I upped my water consumption, Magnesium supplementation (orally a biglycinate & citrate form and topically a chloride oil), continued my prenatal yoga & also reached for my peppermint essential oil*, which I heavily diluted and applied to the back of my neck and temples. Saviours!
As the weeks flew by, I (along with many others) started to notice my expanding belly. I have had an obvious pregnancy belly on show since around 16 weeks (I'm 20 weeks in the above piccie) and have since been receiving questions if I am having twins and being “quite big for your gestation”. Although physically I was feeling much stronger during this second stage, and personally I fell in love with my expanding belly, I was certainly riding the pregnancy wave of emotions with comments like these leaving me feeling emotionally fragile. I soon learnt to embrace feedback in a positive manner, as I knew baby and I were at a perfect weight and size, we were physically healthy and that’s all that mattered to me. I remained active and felt vibrant enough throughout the second half of my second trimester to travel, support patients in clinic and speak at events.
In the later weeks of this second tri, my sleep once again took a turn for the worst as restless legs kicked in. This was a timely reminder to up my Magnesium intake (this time together with some Calcium) and diffuse Lavender in our bedroom every night...voila, my legs settled and sleep was back on track.
It wasn’t until around 28 weeks when I was in heels all day, in the heat, celebrating our dear friend’s wedding that I noticed my very first 'cankle' experience. My feet and ankles blew right up and remained so (as the heat hung around) for a few days. To help encourage their deflation, I went crazy with my Green Start Smoothie– celery for the diuretic effect, ginger and turmeric for their anti-inflammatory action & parsley for kidney care. I also massaged onto my feet Grapefruit essential oil* (heavily diluted), which has all helped keep the puffiness at bay since.
The best part of the second tri-mester has been feeling the progressively stronger movements of bubs in my belly and sharing these kicks, elbows and somersaults with my hubby and close friends and family. It is such a special feeling knowing that every action I take, my thought patterns and words we speak has an effect on our little one. Each day I make the conscious decision to create a nourishing, relaxed and positive environment to allow bubs to flourish. Chiropractic care, acupuncture, reiki, yoga, walking, grounding, sunshine, play time, nutritious foods, supplements and essential oils have all played their part. We are also excited to have just started our hypnobirthing classes, to empower us with more tools to create a calm and positive third tri-mester and birthing experience.
We are also thrilled to have been accepted into our local midwifery group practise who promote a natural and active birth. On the appointment and treatment front, so far we have (by informed choice) kept intervention to a minimum and opted out of the routine 12-13 week scan, glucose tolerance test (instead I have kept an eye on my glucose readings at home), the flu and whooping cough vaccination and doppler scans (these give off even stronger ultrasound waves).
Our midwife has been checking our bubs heart rate with an old fashioned Pinard Horn and my immune system has remained fighting fit by eating well, soaking up sunshine and taking daily vitamin C, zinc, medicinal mushrooms and Lemon essential oil, to avoid coughs, colds, gastro and other viruses that I've been exposed to in clinic. On that note, I've also been using Zinc as well as topical (heavily diluted) Frankincense essential oil as part of my stretch mark prevention go-to's.
We trust that nourishing my body with healthy nutrition, movement and mindset will encourage a thriving pregnancy and healthy bubs. Although I’m sad to see the second trimester fly by so quickly, I’m also excited with the third trimester journey ahead and welcoming our little boy or girl (yep, we have kept it a surprise) into the world in the weeks to come.
For a more informative look at preconception care, see my guide, Path To Conscious Conception.