Hello pregnancy! A stage of life that brings more of everything in 9 (ahem, 10) months than at any other point in our lives. Am-I-right? Well, I’ve welcomed my second pregnancy 8.75 months ago (not that I’m counting) and not to brag, but it’s been such a joyous ride. My first pregnancy with my 2.5 year old Levi was torturous: my hormones were out of wack, which transformed me into the angriest pregnant woman in existence. My body aches started at 18 weeks and consisted of many days where I couldn’t stand up due to nerve pain shooting up my pelvis and hips. And lastly, I was throwing up 3+ times a day. Lovely, right?
As thrilled as I was to get blessed with a second pregnancy, I had a hard time brushing off the nightmares that surrounded my first. Thank goodness, all pregnancies are not created equal; my second pregnancy has been nothing like my first. I’ve stayed very active this time around (working out 5 days a week with a mix of mid-high intensity cardio 3 times a week and weight training the other two). I have some body aches, but none of which compare to what I felt with my first, my energy has been sky high and I have yet to feel the 3rd trimester exhaustion. My midwives attributed all this to my active lifestyle and the support system that surrounds it: good nutrition, body posture throughout my pregnancy, and a positive attitude. So much for a second pregnancy being doomed harder than the first!
Lets talk about my pregnancy Support System I’ve held partially accountable for my smooth pregnancy thus far.
I eat a lot – even more so now that I’m pregnant. My daily meals consist of the following:
8:30am – Chocolate almond milk oatmeal with vanilla yogurt, peanut butter and chia seed. It’s like dessert for breakfast, I swear!
Followed by Prenatal Ease (vitamin 1 of 2)
9am – COFFEE! First pregnancy I wouldn’t dare, this pregnancy I wouldn’t dare not.
10:30am – Veggie & fruit smoothie, with kefir, almond milk, flax seed and veggie protein powder
12:30pm – A ginormous salad accompanied by spelt or whole wheat toast, a protein (meat or egg), and dairy (either a yellow or cottage cheese). I’ll sometimes throw the protein on the toast as well as the yellow cheese, with a couple of slices of tomato, mushrooms and onion and toast it to all in its glory. Healthy pizza toast. Nom nom.
2:45pm – Fresh veggies or fruit
4:45pm – Nutty snack (cashews, almonds, whatever I’m craving)
6pm – Homemade dinner. This obviously ranges daily, but always consists of veggies, a protein and a carb
Followed by Prenatal Ease (vitamin 2 of 2)
8:30pm – Cereal (my cereal cravings are at an all-time high), or chocolate (Halloween really had this out of control), or sometimes ice cream or chips (thanks for snacking next to me, husband), fruits, or really, whatever I’m craving at that hour (because life is all about balance 😉)
Although I feel like I’ve mostly checked off all of my vitamin boxes through nutrition, I’ve religiously stuck to my favourite prenatals, Prenatal Ease, to ensure both baby and I are getting 100% of every vitamin we need daily. What’s really cool about them is that they’re segregated per trimester (as well as offer preconception and post pregnancy options as well) – One size does not fit all with these prenatals. You take two daily, so they don’t overwhelm your digestive system with a one-time daily hit. Based on my diet diary, it’s evident I’m super aware of the food I consume, and what I love about Prenatal Ease is that they’re made in Richmond, BC (queue patriotism!), and they truly do use the best quality ingredients in their vitamins (even their fish oils are derived from the lowest contaminant fish on the market). They are also recognized by The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to ensure superior quality, and are fully licensed by Canada’s Natural Health Product Directorate (NHPD). All in all, if you want something super reputable in the prenatal market that is easy to swallow, free of gluten, lactose and artificial colours, and is vegetarian friendly, Prenatal Ease is a clear winner.
I developed Diastasis Recti with my first pregnancy, and was still on the road to recovery when I got pregnant this time around. Diastasis Recti is abdominal separation of the rectus abdominis muscle, and it’s no fun. Many women suffer from it without even knowing so as it’s not always talked about with physicians. Do you look 6 months pregnant a year post birth? If so, do the Diastasis Recti test. If you have a 2+ finger separation, book a Physiotherapist appointment now! They can set up exercises and breathing techniques designed just for you.
As recommended by my midwives, I’ve been working with a Physiotherapist that specializes in Pelvic Floor and Diastasis Recti my entire pregnancy. She highly recommended wearing a belly band, not only to alleviate extra weight on my already damaged abs, but to ease back pain and help me with my posture. After doing my research, I chose Upsie Belly support by Belly Bandit. A market staple, this belly band company has been around and earned it’s ranking in the pregnancy world. The soft fabric is luxury and so gentle on your growing tummy – made of bamboo from viscose. The band is very stretchy and adjusts perfectly as you grow, and to top it off, the band includes a hot/cold pack (for those achy back days). Other perks that sold me on the Upsie Belly are that it minimizes stretch marks (I don’t have any yet, woohoo), helps relieve bladder discomfort (as baby grows, the struggle gets real), and offers hip support (which I really struggled with during my first pregnancy). The icing on the cake with the Upsie Belly is that it also transitions into a post birth belly band, to help your tummy recover quicker post-birth, aids in better posture when carrying around baby, and offers backache relief for when baby needs to be held 24 hours a day.
I’ve been wearing the Upsie more and more the bigger my tummy grows: at the gym, work and home. I’ve noticed my posture is GREATLY improved when I wear it, and fully understand why my Physiotherapist recommended a belly band to help in minimizing my Diastasis Recti separation.
Last but not least, a positive attitude ‘never hurt nobody’ and I truly struggled with this my first pregnancy. I’ve really focused on being mindful of my body this time around, listening to it at all times of day, pushing it when I know it’s asking to be more challenged, and nourishing it with the best of the best. Being mindful of ME has made me a happier person in my day-to-day, and I’m thanking my lucky stars for such a beautiful and pleasant second pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and find yourself in a bit of a funk, I suggest taking some time for yourself, meditating (learn more about it here), going on a walk and clearing your head, or going out with girlfriends that truly understand this sacred stage of life. Talk about goodies to heal your soul!
I’m so excited to see how this Little One fits into my family. Will it be a precious little lady or a handsome little man? How will my Levi embrace his new sibling? How will hubby Mark and I juggle two children and our blossoming marriage? Will we be ok financially with me taking 1.5 years for maternity leave? Whatever life brings us, I’m thankful for what I’ve been granted and I’m sure I’ll figure it out as it comes. The cup is half full, after all!