“There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.” –Chinese Proverb
So, it’s official: you’re expecting. A seed is sprouting inside you and frankly, there are not enough adjectives in the world to describe what you are feeling. Elated nausea? Confusing cravings mixed with dreams of birthing a sea lion? Check, check.
Welcome to the wildest ride on earth and you just stepped on! Time to reach out to the oldest and wisest network of all: women. Even if you are surrounded by veterans who have all given birth six times, you might have reached the phase where all these new sensations and desires come up,and thankfully, this a subject that women write a cornucopia about. We’ve rolled out a few comic and pragmatic suggestions that serve, not to impose but to support.
1. Washing your hair with parabens or standing next to a microwave isn’t going to hurt your baby. Your whole system is on red alert, and so the imagination really sets sail with all the worst possible-case scenarios. Chill. Take a walk. Soak in a warm (not hot) tub. Your mind is on overdrive, so recognize this and just be thankful it is protecting this new life –then focus on something neutral.
2. Take your vitamins. Don’t blow off your doctor when she says take those pre-natal vitamins, as they can help you get over the ick in the beginning and they make your hair and nails long and shiny! Set a reminder because, well -pregnancy brain.
3. Don’t over nest. “I only have nine months!” Is like the marathoner who takes off like a shot. You have time to make space, to decide on colors, to put stuff on a wish list.Rule of thumb: nest if it’s fun. If it’s making you nuts, allocate or set it down temporarily.
4. Cool it on the carbs. It’s easy to take pregnancy as an excuse to pig out on all the foods you wouldn’t otherwise eat. The craving for bread is really common, but try to mix it up with other things if you are experiencing morning sickness. Lean meats and veggies (any veggies) will usually calm the cravings and ensure you gain reasonably.
“Shout out to uteruses, the original 3D printers.” -Bill Nye the Science Guy.
5. You’re not obese, you’re pregnant. Depressed about the new cellulite, the prominent veins, the swollen ankles, the lack of waist? Relax, it’s temporary. Get a haircut or a mani-pedi, buy a larger dress and remind yourself that your swollen because you are gestating.
6. Sex is okay! Unless you’ve got a unique medical condition or are entirely uninterested, it’s perfectly okay to have intimacy during pregnancy, in fact, doctors recommend it. It helps you and your partner connect, and combats some of those “I don’t look sexy” thoughts that creep in. There are some actual benefits to increasing the blood flow in your nether region and it can even lower your blood pressure, a factor with preeclampsia.
7. Be a little selfish. By the time you’re half way through your pregnancy, you are basically climbing basecamp at Everest. So yes, you get on the train and the 20-year-old with his headphones might need some reminding you need a seat. Ask for what you need during this time, whether it’s pickles at midnight or a massage.