At the time of writing, I’m 4 months pregnant with our third child! As we go forward in this journey together, I wanted to let you in on the behind the scenes of the last few months and the things I’m thinking about at each stage of the journey. Pregnancy is such an individual time, and no two journeys are the same even for the same mother. So if you’re following along, I know that brings so many emotions and feelings for everyone. Our journeys don’t all look the same, remember that!
In general the path you’ll see us try to take is similar to everything else in life; as simple and minimal as I can on all fronts – from clothes to labour. That said, healthy children and a healthy mother are what counts the most, and both my births so far have been importantly medicated and induced. Pregnancy, birth and raising can be an area of such black and white ideals and certainties but if I’ve learned one thing from the last 2 it’s to be open. Read and learn and be open to change and morphing and differing ideas of what’s ‘best’. “Best,” as a mother, is a very fluid word.
PREVIOUS POSTS ON PREGNANCY AND BIRTH:
TO ANSWER SOME FAQS
How have you felt so far in pregnancy?
Morning sickness was the first indication I was pregnant, and I had it for 5 weeks. It was worse than the last 2 pregnancies but still not bad by any real standards. I’ve felt much bigger this time round, and my digestion has been a bit more affected. In general, it’s been happily straight forward. I’ve waited for tiredness to hit me like it did in my previous pregnancies (hi 4pm bed time!) but it hasn’t which is the thing I’m most thankful for.
Have you made any lifestyle changes since you found out you were pregnant?
Yes! Not a ton but a few in supplements, eating and exercising.
- Supplements: I take prenatals from Garden of Life daily and also DHA from Garden of Life too.
- Foods: I don’t drink more than 200mg of coffee a day when I’m pregnant and when I drink decaf I make sure it’s Swiss water process or another more safely decaffeinated option. I only have a sip of alcohol now and again, and I don’t eat our own chicken eggs. Here in England we have “Lion Eggs” stamped with the lion seal which means the hens are vaccinated for salmonella and safe for pregnant women. Other than that, I don’t tend to eat any of the other questionable foods, so I just focus on a diet as organically grown as I can, with real ingredients. I think about how I’m fueling my body. Weight gain will happen. I don’t eat to manage weight gain. I eat to fuel my body and to help baby grow with good food. I will gain weight doing that and it’s good weight gain! Obviously all under the care of a midwife!
- Exercise: This is the first pregnancy where I’ve been running while pregnant. In general it’s considered safe under prenatal care, if you were already running before. As well as running I’ve been doing Good For The Swole workouts since after Roey was born, to care for my abs which are affected by diastasis recti (read a blog post on my DR journey)- a larger than normal splitting of the abdominal muscles.
What do you do for maternity clothes?
I bought a total of 4 maternity items over my first two pregnancies (two pairs of jeans and 2 long tanks.). I made it work with open front items, stretchy things, borrowing, buying some sized up items that I’ve kept wearing while not pregnant too. This time around I knew I’d need to add a few more items. With the nature of maternity wear being that it’s less used, it’s easy to get second hand and to save money that’s what I’m doing mostly via ebay!
Some options I like for buying new are hatch Gal, Boob, Isabella Oliver, Jojo Maman Bebe, PACT and second hand via ebay, poshmark, facebook marketplace and friends.
What are the differences between your experience in the US and England?
Bearing in mind I had insurance and access to a midwife led hospital and prenatal care in California, and am pregnant during COVID in England this is not a comparison between US and UK healthcare, but just my experience so far!
- Obviously the largest difference is that here in the UK we have access to the NHS and fully funded midwife led care through the NHS.
- Diabetes tests are not standard in the UK the way they are in the US, you may only have one if you’re at higher risk for GD or at a certain hospital which I did with a history of large babies.
- Group B Strep testing pre birth is something that’s also more standard in the US but isn’t in the UK.
- The bright orange drink of the US pregnancy diabetes test that so many people try to avoid with jelly babies or actually orange juice here is a clear glucose and water drink with very few ingredients and no added colors!
- For a low risk birth there is a lot less contact in the UK than US (although personal and wonderful when it happens with midwife home visits and calls.)
- At the date of writing and the COVID situation home births are not an option in the UK but one person is allowed at all prenatal appointments.
How you feel about and manage weight gain during pregnancy?
I’ll share more about the way we talk about this (not the medical side of weight gain) and what we build with our words and celebration, both for us and others. My last two pregnancies I’ve not gained much at all while pregnant. It’s led to comments during pregnancy and early post partum in celebration of low weight gain. Being healthy during pregnancy is something I care massively about, but I think the way we’ve tied that to low weight gain during and after pregnancy (something that is partially genetic) can actually be so unhelpful and unhealthy in the midst of letting our bodies do what they need to do.
What are the essentials you’re buying for the baby?
We left everything but the Ergo and one pair of maternity pants in California so we’re starting again but keeping it very simple: crib, car seat, stroller, bassinet, and not much more. Those are where I’ll put my money too as they’re where baby will spend the most time and I want to invest in well made, safe items to surround them. Flame retardant free is something I look for in all those items and it’s a lot harder to find in the UK than the US! I’ll keep you posted as we add those items to our home but see HERE for a list of essentials from the last 2 kids! (Disclaimer, with each pregnancy I’ve learned and done less and done “better” for my journey so I’ll update this as we go!)
Obviously I’ll keep you in on the journey as we go, and I’m here for any questions at all along the way! Thanks for being a part of our story.