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7 months…where did that go?


Well there’s now no mistaking I’m expecting. I now mimic the movements of a walrus on land when trying to get comfortable in bed at night, walking back from dropping my daughter off at nursery takes almost twice as long and my appetite has increased.

I have days where I do pig out a bit but generally I make sure I’m including healthy foods. There are days where I find I’m constantly looking for snacks, healthy or not unfortunately. I have made myself some raw hemp and chia seed bars that are full of protein, omega fats, fibre and low in sugar to try and kerb the desire for unhealthy snacks.

I’ve also developed a mild case of carpel tunnel which occurred in my previous pregnancy with my first. My GP has given me a wrist strap to wear but I’m finding it helps most when I wear it at bedtime. I’ve also found our regular walk to nursery has been helping keeping the swelling from my hands and feet down but now little one has finished for the summer term, we’re having to make a conscious effort to get out for a walk.

I’m having refresher sessions for hypnobirthing which helped me with my first born even though I left it later than recommended the first time around. This time I’m more prepared and from what I’ve read and discussed with my hypnotherapist it makes complete sense to me that giving birth need not be a painful and traumatic experience (excluding the complicated labours). I’m amazed that shortly after conception our bodies adjust, create an environment for the baby, develop a placenta to feed them, the hormones released to help our bodies adjust and prepare for the birth and the practice contractions that we feel. All this happens and we have no fear, yet as soon as it’s time for the baby to be born most women experience fear and pain. Shouldn’t we be looking forward to meeting the little

With only 9 weeks left, I’m now thinking about what to pack for when it’s time to meet our son when he is born! I’m not as prepared as I was with my first and have a few bits and pieces still to get.

I do complain sometimes, like when I can’t get comfy in bed, get out of breath easily when climbing the stairs and have indigestion but other than that, I LOVE being pregnant! I love feeling my son wriggle and kick! I love imagining what he’s going to look like, what our daughter’s reaction will be when she meets him for the first time and how they’ll grow up and play together (nicely hopefully!).

I’ll post the recipe soon for the seed bars as they’d be a great snack to have during your visit to the hospital and something healthy to hand when you are busy seeing to your newborn.





An iron-rich dish

 


My iron levels are great according to the midwife. It’s always good to try and mix up the regular diet to make sure we’re getting different minerals and vitamins etc.

With spinach, I mostly just steam it for an accompaniment or chuck it into a curry but I wanted something a little more interesting as a side dish.

So I decided to post this recipe which is so easy and is full of iron and good fats (except the butter of course)!

Sauteed spinach and walnuts


Ingredients

  • 350g bag of fresh spinach, washed and drained
  • 1 large handful of walnuts
  • 1 large knob of butter
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  1. Heat a large saucepan and add the walnuts. Move them around the pan so as not to burn but evenly toast.
  2. Once they have toasted well, add the knob of butter and the spinach and stir.
  3. Add the nutmeg and season well.
  4. Stir continuously until the spinach just begins to wilt. Remove from the heat and serve.

If you want an even bigger iron hit, swap the spinach for kale and add a handful of pumpkin seeds with the walnuts.

 




And stretch!

 

Well, I’ve not posted here for a while what with the Easter holidays and busy with work, I just haven’t had much time.

I’m now 20 weeks! We had our scan last week and discovered we are having a boy! I’m feeling good, the tiredness and heartburn have pretty much subsided now. My appetite’s increased so I’m trying to snack on healthy and more nutritious stuff…can’t say I always stick to it but overall I don’t think I’m doing too bad! I have had some hip pain develop which usually strikes in the early hours of the morning whilst I’m still in bed.

So I ended up going to see the GP regarding the pain in my lower back/ bum and he confirmed that it was indeed PPGP (Posterior Pelvic Girdle Pain). But typical NHS, the only information I was given to deal with it was to take paracetamol and apply some heat. I even looked on the NHS website and the same ‘advice’ was given which was to take painkillers. I wasn’t satisfied with that so I decided to do a little research myself.

It turns out that there are a few stretching exercises you can do to help. I found a chiropractor’s website with a demonstration. I do these exercises a couple of times a day and they definitely help, especially if I do one set before I go to bed.

Hip Stretch Youtube video.

Pelvic rock exercises.

These exercises along with a heated wheatbag has definitely helped alleviate the hip and back pain and I would recommend any soon-to-be mum try these (run them by your Dr first though)!
 




Pain in the bum!


Yes, literally for the last 3 weeks I’m been experiencing a pain in the bum. I get a sharp pain shooting through the deep part of my left buttock when moving around and sometimes just a general ache. I thought walking and keeping mobile may help alleviate the problem but after a little bit a research on the internet, it looks like I have ‘posterior pelvic pain’. I’ve yet to discuss this at my next midwife appointment to confirm but I’m pretty sure that’s what it is.

A growing uterus and a change in hormones are apparently the cause of lower lumber pain and posterior pelvic pain. I will be checking with my midwife to confirm though.

At the moment it’s nothing too problematic and I have begun following some medical tips I found online to minimise the occurrence of feeling like I’ve been suddenly stabbed in the bum, causing me to make involuntary sounds and movements! So far it seems to be helping.

  • Keeping my knees together when I bend down to pick things up for example is helping although with a growing bump I can see this becoming a bit tricky.
  • I’ve been sleeping at night with a big, long maternity pillow between my legs but apparently keeping your knees together when turning over and letting your legs dangle over the edge of the bed when getting up is beneficial.
  • I think I will be taking up swimming as an exercise too, time permitting. Water based exercise is beneficial during pregnancy anyway but can be particularly good if you are experiencing lumbar or pelvic pain (obviously don’t just take it from me, speak to your midwife/Dr beforehand to make sure).
  • Correct posture when sitting and standing is important too, well it’s important for anyone but be mindful particularly if you are pregnant and with lower back/pelvic pain. Sit upright with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent to 90 degrees. Stand up with your shoulders back.
  • Don’t sit or stand still for too long. Having a sit down job, it’s quite difficult to remember to take short breaks and move around regularly but I suppose it’s a good excuse for me to go and get another glass of water to keep me hydrated.

I’ll see how I go and keep you posted!




Eating for two!

I can finally announce we are expecting our second child this year. Woo hoo! I’m currently 14 weeks pregnant and thought I’d record my progress here and share the experience with you all.

There’s a lot of information and mis-information on the internet regarding healthy eating habits during pregnancy and I have to admit I’ve not been a complete angel when it’s come to eating during this first trimester. But I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. My diet’s not full of processed junk food but I have been succumbing to the odd chocolate bar, plate of chips and chugged down a fair few glasses of ginger ale (to help combat the nausea).

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is difficult when you constantly feel queasy and experience the occasional bout of heart burn which some women experience, others have nothing and then some just can’t keep anything down. I just listen to my body and aim to eat foods that are nutritious and drink drinks that aren’t full of sugar (didn’t quite achieve that with the ginger ale but at least I didn’t opt for the ginger beer which seems to have more sugar).

Morning Sickness, or Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy

Initially I just felt sick, which I had with my first pregnancy but that only lasted 3 weeks. This time I’ve had the sicky feeling for 6 weeks now but it is beginning to ease.

Foods and drinks that I normally would like (a nice cup of tea, homemade curry and soup for example) now made the nausea worse or I couldn’t stand the smell. I was following all the advice and tips you can find on the internet to combat morning sickness but I also had this horrible burning feeling in the lower part of my chest. It was only after a while until it dawned on me that I was also experiencing heartburn. So the fresh ginger tea and pineapple was actually making me feel worse. So how did I alleviate the heartburn and nausea? Well it was a mixture of changes to my diet and a tub of TUMS. Gaviscon was making me gag…I don’t know how anyone can drink that stuff. It didn’t completely eradicate the symptoms but it has helped a lot.

Foods and tips which helped my nausea and heartburn

  • Eat little and often. I found that if I ate 3 main meals a day, the heartburn would kick in after each meal. So I ate 5-6 small meals and snacked if I began to feel hungry in between. If I did begin to feel hungry, the nausea kicked in so I had a bowl of nuts and seeds to hand to help this.
  • Greek yogurt is my saviour! If I felt the heartburn or nausea begin, I went straight to the fridge, plunged a dessertspoon in and scooped out a big ol’ splodge of it and popped it in my mouth. I would feel instant relief whilst feeling happy that I was craving a healthy food full of protein at the same time.
  • Don’t drink during meals. This waters down the digestive fluid. Drink plenty in between meals though!
  • Potato. Now potatoes didn’t normally enter much into my diet prior to becoming pregnant but I’ve really craved them during this first trimester. Baked potatoes in particular and then mashed with some gravy…even writing this now my mouth is watering over something I never was really fussed about before. I suppose it’s the carbs is what my body’s craving even though according to most information you find on the internet, in the first trimester your body doesn’t require any additional calories than normal.
  • Dark chocolate can help the nausea BUT not if you also suffer with heartburn. Chocolate and foods/drinks containing caffeine can trigger heartburn.

In my opinion, the best thing for me to do is listen to my body, eat when I’m hungry and aim to remain eating a healthy and balanced diet, but don’t beat myself up if I fancy the odd chocolate bar every now and then.