Today i’m really excited to chat about health, wellness, and my pregnancy with you guys. I’m thirty weeks pregnant as of today while i’m writing this and as much as you hear women say it… wow, I can’t believe i’m here already. I could talk about a million different aspects of pregnancy (and I intend to in some different posts,) but today I wanted to chat with you all about how I’ve handled the physical and mental changes that pregnancy inevitably brings and what I’ve done to keep myself healthy.
I thought it would be helpful to touch on where I was at pre-pregnancy. I’ve never been overweight, I’ve never been extremely fit. I’ve never been a complete health nut, and i’ve never been a completely unhealthy person… always somewhere in between. I’d say I regularly exercised about four days a week before pregnancy and ate a good balance of foods. Numbers aren’t what matters, but I definitely like hearing them, so I’ll share with y’all. When I found out I was pregnant at seven weeks, I weighed 152 pounds and i’m 5’7. That was a pretty typically weight for me as I range from about 145-150. In my opinion, what’s really important to share is that for the past three years or so I’ve struggled with some anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. Thankfully, it is fairly manageable for me and has always come and gone in waves. The year before I became pregnant was definitely one of the mentally healthiest years i’ve had and I was able to be off of my anxiety medicine for that entire period!
As soon as I found out that I was pregnant, my focus immediately went to my diet. Like any new mama to be, I thought “okay, I need to give this baby alllllll of the good stuff and ditch the bad habits!” Obviously, this is a great goal, but then morning sickness hit me about a week later. My morning sickness was primarily in the mornings and evenings and I did vomit at least a few times weekly. The only food that sounded good to be was very basic carbs and cheese. At eight weeks, we were out at the lake and I remember grabbing for a bag of cheddar sour cream and ruffles at eight in the morning because it was all I could stomach. For the first trimester, I lived off of rice, crackers, pasta, etc. I had some major food aversions right away, too. I didn’t gain any weight in the first trimester and I think that’s why. Once I started feeling better, I started eating better too. Since the beginning of the second trimester, green smoothies in the morning have been a huge staple for me. I don’t particularly love veggies, so this has been an awesome way for me to start my day with a ton of nutrients! I typically do one of the following recipes.
3 cups spinach, one cup of frozen tropical fruit, grapefruit juice, orange juice, and chia seeds
2 cups spinach, 1 cup kale, frozen berries, cranberry juice, ningxia red, and chia seeds
SO many people ask me about cravings and to be honest, I haven’t had many. I definitely enjoy Mexican food even more than I did before and could eat cheese enchiladas with rice and beans any time of the day. Other than that, I haven’t had any major reoccurring cravings. Instead, the aversions and dislikes have just grown and grown. There aren’t many foods that sound good to me these days and it’s pretty tough to choose what to eat. Riley gets bummed because old favorites like pizza and burgers don’t appeal to me at all anymore! I have a serious meat aversion that has made eating kind of tough. I was never a major meat eater before, I didn’t really like ham, turkey, or chicken, but now it’s a whole new level. The only meat I can eat is beef (burgers or spaghetti,) and maybe sausage and bacon. I found out that i’m anemic a few weeks ago and it would be wonderful if meat sounded good, haha. I struggle to find an appetite a lot of the time too.
Some favorite foods throughout the pregnancy have been Mexican food, almonds, apples and sun butter, green smoothies, pasta helper pasta dishes (yup, the kind that come in the packets,) top ramen, lemonade, eggs with sourdough toast, and oatmeal.
I had a similar mentality when it came to exercise when I found out I had a baby on the way… “i’m gonna be one of those super fit moms and do prenatal yoga and totally kick ass.” Okay, nope. I enjoyed exercise before I was pregnant, but my favorites have always been long walks with Riley and hiking. I wasn’t suddenly going to be a yogi and do prenatal pilates. Once I got past the morning sickness hump, I was pretty diligent about going for walks about four days a week. My walks have slowed down a bit and it’s something i’m not super proud of. I have a good amount of energy in the first half of the day and by three in the afternoon, i’m pretty tired and useless. Riley doesn’t get off until the early evening, so i’m usually too tired to want to go and have thrown some pretty shameful tantrums about it (shaking my head and laughing at myself right now.) My goal for the rest of pregnancy is to get out three to four times a week for a walk. I know that my body needs it and it will keep me healthier and happier.
For some reason, I totally worried that my body changing and gaining weight would make me crazy… that hasn’t been the case at all! I’m so thankful for that. Like I said, I didn’t gain any weight in my first trimester. The first half of my second tri, I gained very slowly. I’m pretty sure I had only gained like six pounds by twenty weeks. Once I hit that 20-22 week mark, the weight gain started to pick up and I’ve averaged about a pound gained every week since then. I’m thirty weeks today and I’ve gained a total of 18-19 pounds. I think i’m doing just fine and I’d guess i’ll gain a total of 30-35 pounds, which i’m totally okay with. I think it’s been easy for me to see that number increase because I don’t feel like my body is really changing aside from my belly and a little bit in my boobs. I’ve been super thankful to have been “all belly” so far. If my legs/ butt/ arms have grown, it’s been super minimal. I can totally see how it would be tough to see your whole body change, but i’ve loved the changes. Watching my belly grow has been so, so fun for me. I love the way I look with a bump, it’s fun to dress it, and I love being able to wear that bump as a little badge of honor, like… YES, I GET TO GROW THIS BABE IN HERE.
The number one thing i’m thankful for during this pregnancy is the fact that I got into essential oils right around the time that I found out I was pregnant. They have been such a huge part of what has kept me feeling so good. They give me sleep support, help with symptoms, and most importantly, emotional support. There’s tons of information out there about oils and pregnancy, but long story short… I’ve read all of the research, really educated myself, and that’s why I use Young Living. They’re pure, therapeutic grade oils and they’re the only type of essential oils I’d use for myself, in the home, or on my sweet girl once she’s here. I’d love to chat with you about EO’s and pregnancy if you want more info, and this book has been an awesome resource for me to learn from. I’m just going to share some ways that oils have totally supported my body over the last seven months.
Oils for symptoms…
At the beginning, when I woke up feeling queasy every morning, I loved diffusing peppermint. I’d bring the bottle in my purse with me and use it whenever I felt queasy.
For nights when I struggle to relax and sleep soundly, I love any mix of these in the diffuser: lavender, gentle baby, frankincense, northern lights black spruce, valor, and sleepyize.
When i’m SO tired and struggling with energy, I diffuse En-R-Gee and citrus oils. I also keep these in a roller to use at work.
I dealt with head tension a lot in the second trimester and a drop of peppermint on my temples and neck helped with that.
I still deal with that horrible digestive trouble, especially in my throat after heavy meals. I love rubbing gentle baby and lemon on my esophagus to help that.
I’ve kept my skin moisturized while it’s stretching with a homemade balm of coconut oil, frankincense, lavender, and gentle baby oils, which all support healthy skin.
With all of the nasties going around this season, I’ve used a lot of thieves (diffused and topically) to support my immune system.
Oils for emotional support…
Pregnancy brings a TON of emotions and feelings. I was already anxiety and depression prone, so I was super nervous about this. My oils have been a GAME CHANGER for this.
Every morning I apply joy and idaho blue spruce to start me off on a happy note.
Valor. I use this oil so often that I order a bottle every month. It helps me to relax and center myself when i’m having severe stress and moments of panic. I am SO thankful for that oil.
When i’m feeling bitchy and impatient, I use white angelica topically and diffused to calm myself down and be in a better mood.
Supplements/ vitamins have been tricky for me this pregnancy. Because I was having morning sickness, I couldn’t swallow pills for a long time. Once the morning sickness stopped, my gag reflex was still bad, so I used a prenatal vitamin powder that dissolves in your drink. This is what I used. Now that i’m able to swallow pills, I take this. I love this vitamin because while it’s a large pill, it’s just one a day. It’s also food based, which means that the vitamins are more easily accessible for our bodies. On top of that, I now take a daily iron supplement, a probiotic, a natural essential oil infused mineral supplement, and my ningxia red juice supplement. I know that I don’t eat enough fruits and veggies (who does) to cover ALL of my body’s needs right now, so I love taking these supplements to make sure I’m covered.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve dealt with some anxiety and depression in the past. It hasn’t been severe for me during pregnancy, but I’ve definitely had some ups and downs. I know better than to blame myself because all of those issues are just chemical imbalances in our brains and it’s not our faults. I’ve had days or a week where i’m feeling kind of low and I’ve had days where I’m anxious about literally nothing. I try my best to take care of these issues because it’s not good for baby girl to have me stressed out. My oil regimen has been the number one thing that has helped me and I’d love to chat with you more about which oils have helped me emotionally. On top of using lots of oils daily, I find that exercising and eating nutritious foods helps my mood a lot. The final thing that helps is giving myself grace. I know this sounds cliche, but sometimes just saying to Riley “I’m happy and this is just my brain being stupid” was enough for me to realize that it’s all going to be fine. Again, NOT our faults and it’s totally temporary. That being said, if you feel like you need it, please go talk to your doctor. There is no reason to let yourself feel terrible and I would absolutely have gone on medication if it has lasted longer or become unmanageable for me.
I really hope this post was helpful for interesting for y’all! I love hearing about other women’s experiences in pregnancy and hope you enjoyed hearing about mine. I’m just so thankful that I’ve had an easy pregnancy so far and that i’m in the home stretch to meeting my baby girl.