No sense in beating around the bush, right? So this throws a wrench (albeit a very worthy one) into our Hawaii plans.
What's that about best laid plans again?
In any case, for those interested, I have a more holistic lifestyle, and there are several changes I make during a pregnancy, regardless of where I am.
It's my honest opinion that stress will kill you faster than most things. So managing my stress load and refining techniques is very important to me. I try to live a fairly stress free life anyway, but there's always room for improvement!
I manage my stress load in several specific ways in general (which I will touch on below):
During pregnancy, I add in another:
My diet tends to be clean most of the time, but I do kick it up a notch during pregnancy. I keep up with a whole food, organic base diet, and then listen to my body and make additions or subtractions based on cravings and intuition. I don't drink a lot of alcohol typically, but I don't drink any during pregnancy. Several of the other pregnancy recommendations I'm not opposed to breaking in moderation...such as sushi, if it's from a high quality source ;) Also, check out the info on eating 6 dates a day in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy!
I take a fair amount of supplements anyway, but it's always nice to have a safety net of sorts during pregnancy. In addition to my usual supplements, I add in methylfolate, calcium bentonite clay shakes, vitamin K2 (usually towards the end of pregnancy), DHA, extra papaya enzymes, spirulina, and possibly others depending on any issues that may crop up.
My exercise routine tends to drop off a bit during the first trimester because of morning sickness and exhaustion. I still do my best, but my weight routine gets cut down. I try to stay on my feet and not sit down so much during the day as per usual, and I'm always chasing kids, but it slows down regardless. I'm into the second trimester now, and the biggest issue I have is trying to find time specifically for working out.
My sleep schedule is already fairly decent. My kids are currently 3 and 5, so the "up and nursing ever 45 minutes" is, for the moment, a thing of the past. So, we're in bed around 7:30 PM or so (often I'll read a bit in bed--Kindle Paperwhite is awesome for this!). It sounds crazy, I know, but research shows our bodies' systems reset between 10 PM and 6 AM. And I know in my personal experience that I function way better this way at this stage. Besides, this is my third child, and I know all about sleep deprivation and the challenges it presents...so I'm determined to start ahead.
I make a serious point to avoid what I'll call energy vampires. These are people and situations that I find exceedingly stressful or draining. Of course I can't avoid them all, so when I can, I give myself permission to just skip it. I need my energy for myself, my baby, my family.
This one seems obvious, but I avoid less than ideal environments and situations. I'm talking about massively public places like airplanes, unsafe situations like too strenuous hiking, and for me any environment that may be moldy--since I'm severely allergic to mold. My kids do go to school two days a week, and I keep sanitizing wipes in the car, and they're on specific supplements to lessen the chances of contracting germs (vitamins, elderberry, some herbal tinctures, essential oils, etc.).
The corollary to the above, I find that creating peaceful and conducive environments (scroll down on page) keep me aligned with myself, my priorities, and my goals. This includes our actual physical environment--my home and yard-- as well as the atmosphere in our house, which is subject to stressors like financial management, the kids' learning methods, being able to stay present through all challenges (such as deployments), and outside influences.
I also up my meditation and spiritual practices during pregnancy. I identify as a Christian, but have never found a church that aligns exactly with my beliefs (though I do still attend...which is why I used the word spiritual, not religious, practices). There are several books that I find helpful with this in general as well as specifically for pregnancy. I make a point to observe Sabbath, which I consider as sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. I use this time to rest and reconnect to the spiritual, and find that if I miss this time, my entire week suffers for it.
I have kept a journal off and on for the vast majority of my life. Unfortunately, I pulled away from this several years ago, and only recently began working at it again. I love it. It helps me organize my thoughts, gives me a place to set ideas down so they're not flying around, and gets me to prioritize what is really important to me. I also started using a workbook series last year that I absolutely LOVE.
And then there's birth preparation, and I mean specifically birth courses, picking out providers, choosing birth aids (from birthing balls to music), and pretty much everything else listed on this particular page. Yes, this is my third birth, but I would never remotely suggest there is nothing left to learn. I've seen the difference in the two births I have had with different methods of preparation, so I am doing my research thing again this time--utilizing everything I've learned, changing what didn't work, and adding in promising new information.