This third pregnancy has been more physically challenging than expected. From what I can remember, my second trimesters with Costa and Paolo were a time of finally feeling like myself again. Nausea and morning sickness had passed, and I was filled with lots of energy and motivation to get as much done as possible before the baby arrived. This time has been very different.
With each pregnancy, I have started about ten pounds heavier than the previous one, as the body changes so much after having kids and as we age. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m older, with a body that has already gone through two full-term pregnancies and C-sections. With Costa, I was 30 when I got pregnant, and Paolo 34. This time, I am 38, and my body, energy, and exhaustion are in a very different place. My belly is bigger and heavier much earlier; I am chasing after two young kids while being pregnant, all while running a business, working on launching a new brand, being an involved mother, and being a present wife. It sure does feels like a whole lot this time around.
Luckily, a few things have made a difference over the past few months, improving how I have felt as I move through this pregnancy.
1) After receiving some bloodwork back from my doctor, we discovered that my hemoglobin was low, making me anemic. Very common in pregnancy, I’ve been working on improving this number by increasing my intake of iron-rich foods and foods high in vitamin C to help my body absorb that iron. In addition to consuming more eggs, lean proteins, and leafy greens, I have also started drinking a cup of decaf chai tea with one tablespoon of Black Strap Molasses, which is high in iron, in the mornings and evenings. Since making these dietary changes, I have increased energy and less of an afternoon crash.
2) Oh, the maternity belt! This has been a true game-changer. So much of the work I do with Valleybrink Road is physical. Packing gift boxes, unpacking inventory, shipping…the list goes on and on. And, on top of all that, there is the constant lifting up and down of Costa and Paolo. It has been taking a significant toll on my lower back and, for most of this pregnancy, I had been experiencing dull lower back pain daily. I purchased this belt a few weeks ago and have been wearing it anytime I know I will be doing a physical activity for long periods. It has significantly helped reduce the pain and strain on my back, making the day-to-day activities much more manageable.
3) Acupuncture. Before this past month, I had only had acupuncture one time before in my entire life. A friend recommended it, as it was something that she thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from during her pregnancy. I have been going once a week to Source Point Wellness in Atwater Village for a session with Dr. Amanda Cohen. It has been more restorative and relaxing than I could have ever imagined. I definitely, highly recommend this as a form of self-care during your pregnancy journey.
4) Listening to my body and acting accordingly. By nature, I rarely complain and have always been able to push through physically uncomfortable or difficult things. While this quality has often served me well in life, I now know it doesn’t work to my benefit during pregnancy. I’m actively listening more to what my body needs and not what I think I can endure and put up with. Switching my mindset and focusing on what my body is telling me has been huge and has made this more challenging pregnancy a bit more manageable.
To all the pregnant mamas out there, hang in there. The road can feel long at times, but know you are doing great! Sending love x