Healthy Pregnancy nutrition not only includes the Brewer Diet, but is a focus on working to maintain a healthy pregnancy that prevents some fairly common complications. Week two discusses not only what to eat, how often, but also why. It’s so important to know how nutrition affects both your own nutrition and that of your baby. If you haven’t found a local Bradley class yet, please do! This post doesn’t substitute a class at all, plus, it’s not too late because we had a couple join in week 2 and even had a couple join in the last two weeks!
As always, I am not a doctor, nurse, or in the medical field. All posts are informative, based off of my experience in labor and birth, with my care providers, and on the Bradley classes that I attended. Please make informed decisions with your doctor, midwife, and/or any other care providers.
Things are much easier in the second week and I think of that is because it’s becoming habit. Even when I went through a review course on Natural Childbirth the second time around, week two was much easier once I got into the flow of everything. Not that I am a stationary person, but some days I get busy and walking for my allotted time that day is something I forget about until the end of the day. I have been making it more of a habit to schedule chores and errands throughout the week to ensure that I get walking in. For instance, I make sure that every weekend I go to the store just to walk around and that every week I have a specific day that I vacuum to be up and moving for a set amount of time.
Some complications and issues during pregnancy that a good diet and nutrition could prevent:
- Anemia – lower than normal amount of red blood cells in the blood, sometimes called low blood count
- Dehydration – excessive loss of water from the body
- Hypovolemia – absence of normal increase in, or abnormally decreased volume of circulating blood
- Pica – craving for unusual or non-foods during pregnancy like ice, clay, and dirt.
- Pre-eclampsia- also called toxemia or HELLP syndrome: symptoms like swelling (edema), hypertension, etc. can be indicators. Nutrition is a main indicator if someone is prone to pre-eclampsia.
I loved learning about this because it was so nice to know that some serious complications in pregnancy could be avoided through nutrition and keeping a close eyes on my health.
A few highlights from week two’s natural childbirth preparations
- Walking – This was doubled from the week before, but still definitely not an issue. Go grocery shopping and push the cart around for some extra exercise even. The idea here, as my teacher said, is about endurance and not just the 5 minutes. I personally will even do a dance workout on “Just Dance” on our wii and it will tell me once I have done enough work to have walked across Central Park – woohoo! What are some fun ways you incorporate walking and exercise into your routine?
- Tailor sitting often—this has definitely become more of a habit. I don’t know about your summer, but it is blistering hot where I live (over 100 everyday and many times over 110) and I found myself up at midnight last night tailor sitting out on our patio enjoying the night breeze. Find fun ways of incorporating it (especially if you don’t like it because it makes it more enjoyable). Maybe this would also be a good time to sit and think about your beautiful baby or meditate on your day?
- Epi-No – It’s not something that’s sold in the US, but my midwife did her training overseas in Israel and highly recommended it. So in her class this week, she discussed the benefits of using one, when we would want to start using it, and how it could help practice Kegels, Relaxation, and more! I did wind up buying one and it became part of my daily and weekly routine.
- Squat often—ok, so as much as I have HATED on this one, it has grown on me. I really am liking it more and more. It is just a mental thing I guess. Western culture just doesn’t squat much, but if you can train yourself to form that habit, it’s actually handy. It means I pick up boxes the right way now and I don’t strain as much. I can also tell that my muscles really are toning and shaping themselves. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I think by the end of the 12 weeks I really will be eating my words. At this point, I may even be giving birth in this position… I guess I won’t count it out yet.
- Butterfly stretch with tension —So this was just upped to 5x instead of 3, but I actually already did about 5 anyway. I still use a band for the resistance, whereas they recommend your partner. I would say though, to work both inner and outer muscles, if you have one of those ab type of contraptions to put in between your legs, it would help.
- Pelvic rocks —this is triple the amount from last week and still feels really nice when I am doing them. It now also feels better when I am done because my lower back is getting stronger. Also, my little baby I think is working on trying to flip head down and one day this past week her head was very visible on my stomach and I could feel her feet and legs in my back… I did this exercise and it got her to not hurt me so much because it encouraged her to move away from my spine! whew, so glad I had this exercise under my belt. Make sure when you are doing these though that you are focusing the movement of the small of the back. I recommend having someone watch you or help you do it by placing their hand there so you can feel what needs to be raised and lowered until you get that muscle memory down to a science.
- Kegels– I still don’t like kegels; they’re still icky to me… but I am still doing them. I don’t know about you, but they are a little bit easier if your focus is on tightening your anus towards your vagina. I know that sounds so weird but it works. Keep ’em up, they’ll help in the end (or so I’m told). Again, the purpose in doing these and the reason they are requiring more each week is to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and ensure that they are properly aligned by the time that baby needs to head through it (no pun intended).
- Relaxation—The book still encourages couples to work on knowing what her body feels like both tense and relaxed.
I loved reading the Bradley book this week. Chapter 2 discussed why Dr. Bradley was such a proponent of the natural way. This is mainly because he grew up on a farm and saw how animals were not in pain giving birth and it was a joyous event.The two things that stick in my mind the most though is that he talked about how if you don’t know how to swim and someone tells you that in nine months they are going to push you in the deep end, won’t you take swimming lessons to prepare? WELL OF COURSE! Also, he so brilliantly brought up that for nine months we are told to avoid medication and drugs for the well-being of our child but somehow this is forgotten when giving birth. He even talks about how in some studies the baby has the meds given to mom within 3 minutes! I sure know that I don’t want my baby to have narcotics, isn’t that even worse than advil or allegra… two meds that are off-limits during pregnancy.
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!