Pregnancy Advice at 37 Weeks
We found out we were expecting on April 25th… that seems like FOREVER ago! Chances are there was still unmelted snow on the ground at this time (in New Brunswick, anyway)! We’ve since experienced the seasons change from spring to summer to fall and shortly it will be winter again. All the while this tiny human has been growing, learning, and navigating the world in a very unique way.
Pregnancy is such an amazing process – I was curious, passionate and excited about it before I had ever experienced it myself. Just think about it: the intelligence of our body grows a fully functional human being from two, tiny microscopic cells.
The nervous system forms first and coordinates the development of all the other systems – and we don’t have to think about any of it!
My fascination for this process is maybe what allowed me to have such a positive pregnancy for the last 37 weeks.
If you are pregnant, plan on being pregnant in the future, or know someone who is in either of these scenarios:
Here are SEVEN pieces of advice that I think have made my pregnancy experience so AWESOME 🙂
1. Take care of yourself.
Pregnancy is not the time to “ease up” on your healthy behaviours. Actually, it’s the complete opposite. I am still fit, able, and energetic. I am not waddling around, grunting with every movement I make, or getting seriously out of breath walking up a flight of stairs.
First of all, don’t stop exercising – yes, you will need to modify some things, but don’t ever stop. If you don’t already exercise, it’s a good time to start! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Walk, crawl, lift, stretch, breathe.
Second of all, your baby is what you eat. “Giving into cravings” and “eating for two” were not mantras that I lived by for the last 9 months. I have filled my body with nutrient dense foods and avoided toxic ones DAILY.
Third, get your spine and nervous system checked regularly – my body was very ready to optimally handle growing this human and ongoing chiropractic care has been priceless – I know that both my baby and I are healthier and better prepared for birth because of it.
2. Believe in yourself.
Your body was designed for this. Women have been doing this since the beginning of time. There are women all over the world doing this every second of every day. You are strong and capable. Listen to your body, uncover your fears, your hopes and your dreams. Write about them and talk about them with others. Stop worrying about every single little thing that could go wrong – that is not where you should be focusing your energy. Try meditation and yoga. Look into hypnobirthing, write down affirmations and recite them everyday. Don’t let anyone drag you down the mountain top you are on.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
Don’t assume that the nurses and doctors will make all the right decisions for you and your baby. Don’t assume that every test is necessary or makes sense. Don’t assume that your pregnancy and birth is going to be just like your previous ones or your mom’s or your friend’s or your neighbour’s. Don’t assume that you’re going to feel and look horrible and that pregnancy is going to limit you. Don’t assume that your partner knows what you expect or want from them in terms of support.
4. Don’t take anything personally.
You will become the recipient of everyone’s thoughts and opinions around you whether you ask for them or not. If people don’t agree with your choices or birth plans, don’t take it personally. Everyone speaks from their own reality and experiences. Don’t let them project their reality on you. Really think about what other’s say before letting it get to you. Brush off the comments about the size of your belly relative to how many weeks you are, how tired you look, and all the gender prediction strategies. Also, if your mother-in-law doesn’t particularly like the names you have chosen for your baby – don’t worry about it 😉
Research as much as you can. Don’t just read “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” … that will not adequately prepare you. With more knowledge comes more control. You will be less vulnerable to fear, worry, doubt and uncertainty the more you know. Own your pregnancy – it is yours, after all, not someone else’s. Learn about standard prenatal care, the purpose of routine testing, and what your options are. There is so much you are not told. Learn about natural, undisturbed birth. Learn about how you can have the healthiest pregnancy and birth experience possible.
6. Build Your Team.
Who is supporting you during your pregnancy? Don’t just rely on your infrequent and short doctors appointments. Assemble a team of people you trust that you can call on a regular basis, who will be a positive influence on your journey. Who do you want at your birth? Are you going to hire a doula to support you? Is your partner aware of and on board with all of your desires for your pregnancy and birth? Are you surrounding yourself with people who are building you up or bringing you down?
7. Stop Complaining.
Remember, there are lots of women out there who would literally give anything to be in your shoes. Don’t spend your whole pregnancy complaining about back aches, heartburn, nausea, tiredness, or your clothes not fitting. Listen to your body, and do something about it! Are you exercising, eating well, drinking water, seeing your chiropractor, taking the RIGHT supplements, rejuvenating adequately, communicating well with your partner? Sometimes these bodily changes are just part of being pregnant and serve a purpose to your growing baby. Acceptance of them as part of the process is refreshing.Pregnancy isn’t just about growing a healthy baby – it’s also about developing a healthy and strong mom, ready to tackle the journey ahead at their best.
I hope this gives you some inspiration to have the best pregnancy you can possibly have.