WEEK 15 – DECISIONS UNIQUE TO MY PREGNANCY
Weekly Baby News
Baby size 11cm Head to Toe and 80-120g
Your baby is now bigger than the placenta and is physically more proportioned. Fingernails are completely formed and as the baby’s legs are becoming longer than its arms the joints are also starting to move. With all this extension and movement you may start to feel your baby move.
Your heart is pumping a lot more blood and with this increased circulation you can reap the benefits with extra nutrients and oxygen being delivered to your skin and hair, therefore the pregnancy glow may be kicking in.
Continuing to support the nervous system with nutrients is vital as mentioned last week. Being still a few weeks out until the next recommended pathology test if you’re unsure you are getting the needed nutrients check in with your naturopath. Body awareness is very important and helpful for your naturopath to ensure holistic support to your pregnancy, plus will benefit you and your family in the future by acknowledging how your body signals it needs attention. For example here are some signs we check for nutritional deficiencies:
Zinc deficiency: white dots on your nails, shakes or jolts as falling asleep, loss of smell or taste, metallic taste in the mouth and immune conditions
B Vitamin deficiency: cracks in the corners of your mouth, more prone to mosquito bites, a red or swollen tongue, fatigue
Essential Fatty Acid deficiency: Dryness of skin, itchiness and dandruff
Iron: changes in cravings, fatigue, tiredness, pale conjunctiva in the eye, blue tinge of the sclera (white of the eye)
Vitamin C: easy bruising, gum soreness or bleeding, immune conditions
Calcium/ Magnesium: restless or tired legs, quiver of your tongue when you poke it out
It is best to confirm these signs with your naturopath rather than self-prescribing.
All of the above nutrients (except EFAs) are found in our green vegetables, so when choosing what to eat when pregnant always THINK GREEN! I try and eat greens with each meal to ensure I’m reaching my nutrient dense goals for pregnancy.
For every yogini these poses may or may not be obtainable. Depending on what is your normal yoga practice, the size of your bub, your flexibility, spine and of course interfering hormones. The main factor is to listen to YOUR body, and if in doubt don’t do it. These are poses are recommended to avoid in pregnancy especially in the early days and as your pregnancy heads towards the end ‘larger’ stages, however again everyone and every pregnancy is different.
Contraindicated Poses for Pregnancy:
Lying on the back due to Vena Cava Compression. This position can make you feel faint, nauseous or uncomfortable due to the blood supply being cut off from bub compressing your vena cava blood flow. It isn’t recommended after 14weeks, however saying this I am 22 weeks pregnant and still fine to lay on my back – everyone is individual.
Prone Poses – obviously lying on your stomach will get uncomfortable as your belly/bub grows. Using bolsters, blankets and blocks can assist if needed. Your instructor can get creative using bolsters to create a gap for you belly so you are comfortable and able to do these positions.
Caution not to overheat your body temperature, don’t be afraid to drop into child’s pose for some rest.
Inversions- any pose with the head below your heart may become difficult at some point in pregnancy. Obviously strong head/hand stand inversions can be too much for most women, however Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) & Forward Folds (Uttanasana) may also become difficult. Not to mention that your belly may get in the way.
Closed Twists – compression of the abdominal muscles can be painful as well as over twisting can cause straining of normally tight abdominal muscles. I did this at 16 weeks causing severe abdominal pain for many days, so please be mindful around your twisting.
Balancing poses – due to our raging hormones it can become difficult to balance, so best to be cautious having a chair or wall handy to hang onto.
(Sourced from Bliss Baby Yoga, Byron Bay – where I did my Pregnancy Yoga Training)
This week was quite conflicting, I had my first apt with the Obstetrician, saw my esoteric acupuncturist and then headed to Byron to spend a weekend with Holistic-minded pregnancy yoginis. This caused me quite a lot of distress in decision making around my pregnancy and birthing choices. My appointment with my Obstetrician (Obs.) wasn’t fabulous, my low energy levels definitely contributed to a degree, however it was lacking the warmth & excitement that I was hoping to find. To start with we had to wait an hour from our appointment time to see our Obs. to then talk to her for 10mins, be offered a ultra sound, just because, no other reason, to then be passed onto the present midwife to go through all the documentation about C-sections, medical interventions and what is required for hospital admissions plus costs. Being a naturopath of course this wasn’t going to be optimal and I understand this is the way they do things however I was hugely slapped in the face with how ‘medical’ they can make having a baby. I walked out feeling like I had a chronic disease and I was booking in for a huge medical procedure. Plus confused and frustrated that for some this is the only way and that they accept that having a baby is a medical condition and just go along with it, being scanned, measured and prodded, this highlighting for me how easily it can be for a mother to feel disempowered and disconnected from her birth and why so many births do result in medical intervention
Then I visited to my Esoteric Acupuncturist, where he spent 15mins simply asking how I was and how the baby growth was going, how my husband was and his thoughts around the pregnancy. He gave me connections and information of different women’s groups, hypno-birthing and the beauty of empowerment of the passage to womanhood. Also sharing his inspiring story about the homebirth of his beautiful daughter. Then followed a beautiful treatment that helped with my connection to our baby and drifting off into a peaceful meditation. This session resulted in me feeling connected and trusting the natural process of pregnancy and my ability to birth the way I wish to birth. Quite the opposite of how I was feeling after my appointment with the Obst. So I was confused and stressing about what choices I’m to make, go the complete natural way or conventional medical way. I tossed around with this for the remaining of the week until I had my first day at my Pregnancy Yoga teaching when I found myself struggling to explain to new yoginis, I was meeting, where I stood with my pregnancy and views around it. I realised I was caught in going with what others recommended and also what my ego wanted rather than what was my reality and true to me. Then it became clear, why do I have to be one way or the other? Before I was pregnant I would always make my own guidelines to my healthcare according to my knowledge, experience and findings. I never followed one mentor or a particular textbook or research paper. I would always do the broad research and check in with how it felt for me before deciding on my view. And this was the same concept I needed to implement with my pregnancy. I can see how I got lost in taking others advice as I stepped into this foreign area of pregnancy, when I simply needed the reminder to stand on my own two feet and make the choices that suit me uniquely, rather than going with someone else’s say-so. I needed to take back my self responsibility.
Through my life I have commonly gone against society and the ‘normal’ flock more than joined them, so why was I so easily looking to join a flock now (either traditional or conventional)? It was silly that I didn’t put it together earlier and find it interesting that I was looking for a flock to join, rather than creating my own path for my pregnancy journey. So here I am realising that I love everything natural, traditional and completely trust the universe and the path it has laid out for us, however I also love and respect science and the fruits science has delivered through research and how much more we now understand about the natural body and its functioning. And thus I found where I sit with my pregnancy, embracing the natural and science as both sides have their benefits and place for my journey through pregnancy. From this I hope to inspire other mums-to-be to make choices unique to them, and not feel pressured by the medical system or other’s opinions, and to find empowerment in life’s choices that we are faced with, especially in pregnancy. This blog is a result of integrating both aspects of pregnancy care and the choices I have made unique to me, where I feel most comfortable. While I still haven’t made all my choices of what is to come, I do trust that from knowledge and intuition I will make the right choices for my baby and myself.
Yours in Health
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