WEEK 14 – YOGA FOR TRIMESTER 2 & NERVOUS SYSTEM NOURISHMENT

by | 2016, Holistic Pregnancy, Natural health, Pre-natal yoga, Pregnancy, Yoga

Weekly Baby News

Baby size 9cm HTT – approx. 50gm

This week the baby’s gag reflex kicks in and the nasal passages are developed. The facial muscles are also developing and the baby’s arms are almost the correct proportional length to the rest of the body. The gender of the baby can sometimes be seen at this early stage now.

For mum the Linea Nigra may start to be seen, this is a darkened line that runs from your pubic bone to your belly button, it can also be a pale pink colour or completely unnoticed. Don’t freak out this is completely normal and is said to be due to changes in hormones and increased melanin. This also affects skin pigmentation in other areas of the body and on the face. Not to worry as after pregnancy it will fade after a few months. Sun exposure can increase the pigmentation as well. Being a sun and beach lover I have noticed some pigmentation on my belly and arms, however I’m not concerned and happy to accept as a symptom of pregnancy since it is difficult for me to stay out of the healing sun.

Naturopathic Advice

Trimester 2 is a big for neurological growth for both bub and mum and deficiencies are common due to the high demand of cofactor nutrients of the neurological system. While Bub is stealing a lot of mum’s Neuro nutrients it is super important to ensure there is enough going back in to prevent experiencing anxiety, depression, inability to cope or sleeplessness, especially if there is a history of emotional health imbalance. These nutrients are Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), zinc, vitamin D and B vitamins (check with your naturopath whether activated or methyl forms are required to reach needed absorption). Also keeping in mind the importance of digestive health considering the gut-brain connection. We need to ensure these nutrients are being absorbed and utilised. Plus nourishment of the digestive system will also nourish and assist functioning of the GABA and Serotonin receptors that are found in the gut (our anti-anxiety and happy hormone receptors). For me personally I’m susceptible to anxiety and mood changes if I haven’t been nurturing my digestive system and keeping up my nervous system support. I take EFAs daily plus have a high EFA diet and also take an activated B vitamin daily. In addition I make sure, as mentioned above, I get my sun and beach time as this helps my serotonin/ melatonin production, vitamin D and is simply good for my soul.

Supporting the nervous system is vital throughout pregnancy for numerous reasons, from mum’sability to cope with the constant changes to your husband’s/ partners sanity. The above nutrients are needed as well as a nutrient dense diet, regular exercise and we can’t forget some mindfulness or meditation. This brings us to YOGA, glorious Yoga and how it is the perfect combination of exercise, mindfulness, mediation to help connection to baby and ourselves.

Yoga Advice

2nd trimester brings more energy and normality back into your life. However it is still good to be mindful of the bun-in-the-oven and listen to your body. Enjoy this time though as when you get further along some poses become less achievable with a belly in the way.

(Please note the above picture of me doing wheel was the last wheel I did and strong backbends have always been a part of my regular practice, therefore are quite obtainable at this stage for me. However at 14 weeks most backbends are not optimal or recommended, especially if your belly is out showing already and if sickness is still present)

Here are the yoga recommendations for trimester 2 listed below:

Correct posture: checking in with all your postures and their alignment with the changes and increased flexibility of your hips. Feet are now to be hip width apart in poses rather than togetherwhich close off the pelvic area. Also to support and improved balance that will continue to change. Another common posture that becomes misaligned is the dumping in the lower back as our bellies become bigger and heavier. Please be mindful of keeping the tailbone slightly tucked to lengthen the lower back and create space between the vertebrae.

No Cow Pose: following on from the above and creating space in our lower back rather than causing compression and potential pain. For Cat/Cow movement we go from Cat to neutral spine only.

Inversions: same as 1st trimester, listen to your body and gauge if inversions are apart of your regular practice you may still be ok to enjoy them for short periods of time, but LISTEN to your body not your ego. Towards the end of Tri 2 when bigger I would recommend sticking to the more passive inversions such as legs up the wall. Reminder that legs up the wall will also help with fluid retention if this occurs.

Balancing poses: as hormones are changing in your body so is your balance. If you are noticing your balance has been a bit off in your day-to-day activities please do these balancing postures beside a wall or have a chair handy.

Twists: compression of the abdomen is no recommended in pregnancy therefore utilising open twists are preferred in your yoga practice. You are opening shoulders /chest regions and extending the spine. This is twisting in the opposite direction to the usual twist.

Squatting: helps prepare for an Active Birth. Also great to practice your pelvic floor exercises in this position.

Restorative Poses: These poses will become your favourite and as you enhance in baby size you will need extra support and props to make you comfortable. When tired please surrender to these poses as it is important to listen to what your body needs through any yoga class, pregnant or not. Plus these poses are still yoga!

My Journey

Last week I was certain that my belly had popped, and while I no longer have a flat stomach I am questioning whether the pop has really popped. Everyone thinks I’m crazy when I show them my ‘popped’ stomach and just laugh at me, so I take back what I said last week and am still waiting for my belly to properly show so I can ooze ‘I’m growing a little human’ to the world, plus I’m quite intrigued with what I will look like with a big pregnant belly.

This week I was feeling exhausted, I was struggling to get through a full day of work and having to run around from place to place was killing me. I would have to make sure I had a apple or some almonds in my car to snack on for the drive home from Noosa to Coolum (a big 15mins) just so I would stay awake. I had hit an all time low with energy (like I had never experienced before) and this was also affecting me being able to feel good about my pregnancy and myself. The thought of getting in and out of my car seemed like someone was asking me to climb Mt Everest. I was craving and in need for nurturing. I decided that to make myself feel better externally, in hope to improve internally, I should get some pampering. So a pedicure and time to look at my ever increasing surf/beach hair-do that had this natural balayage thing happening, which didn’t look to bad however the thought of a head massage sounded heavenly. It was just getting myself to the place to get this done which was a mission, however dragging myself there as soon as I experienced touch, even if it was just on my feet, I felt 10 times better.

Acknowledging time out and to give myself the space to simply relax was definitely required, plus the catch up with my hairdresser made me feel like my old self again. Now you may be wondering about the hair products etc. As it is recommended to not be going and getting your hair done when pregnant. However my hairdresser was sure to only do foils, so the colour doesn’t touch my scalp, and no leave-in of semi-colour or toner. Plus I only had ½ the amount of foils I would normally have that was just enough to touch up where was needed. There is also organic and natural colours and products available everywhere these days 🙂

After an exhausting week this tiny bit of attention when a long way and I highly recommend when pregnant and struggling in the first few months, or at anytime, seriously make the time to nurture yourself as once baby arrives the opportunity to do this won’t be so available. I also had a bath in our new outdoor island bath that my husband had built. Remembering not to make it too hot due to keeping body temperature normal, I added Jojoba oil, lavender oil and sprayed myself with magnesium oil before jumping in. Afterwards and days following my skin felt amazingly soft and lush, this ritual I need to keep up weekly! (Highly recommended not just for mums-to-be)

This week in a yoga class I also for the first time felt my expanding uterus inside me. I had my hands resting on my lower abdomen to focus on my belly breathing and I felt this hard bump just a few inches above my pubic bone. This was so exciting and I completely missed my meditation in that class but was stoked to have felt something baby-like happening inside me.

For what started a dreadful week by the end with some TLC for myself, I was able to look forward to what week 15 had install for me.

Yours in Health

Talita Sheedy

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