WEEK 32 – BRAN MODEL & TIME TO SLOW DOWN
Weekly Baby News
Baby Size: 42.4cm – 1702grams (1.7kg)
In the third trimester bub’s muscular strength increases as you can start to feel with stronger kicks and punches. These movements may also be more noticeable due to the limited space the baby now has in the womb. Baby might also start to prepare himself/herself for birth and be working his/her way into the pelvis. Bub’s weight is continuing to increase dramatically and perhaps meaning more trips to the bathroom.
Mamma changes: Skin pigmentation may become more amplified particularly on the face, this may be associated with poor metabolising of hormones and toxins through the liver. To assist acupuncture is great and also speak to you naturopath about liver support to assist this clearance. A simple food to increase in your daily diet that will assist this process is broccoli, due to containing Sulforaphane that is found in all cruciferous vegetables, yet another benefit to our green leafy friend.
You may have heard of this model before in other fields and to be honest I should have mentioned it in my first blog posts as it has stayed with me and helped throughout my pregnancy numerous times, especially in the first trimester. With the birth approaching now I’ve been reminded how important this BRAN model is when deciding such important decisions for the birth and potential challenges that may arise. I hope from reading this you are able to implement in your pregnancy to make your own decisions what you feel is best for you and bub, rather than taking other’s (friends, families, practitioners) advice. As I have mentioned before I do feel it is best to always stay true to yourself through pregnancy as it is YOUR pregnancy and your baby therefore the choices need to be yours in every moment so you feel comfortable, educated and empowered with any outcome. So the BRAN model and how it can assist you. By going through the BRAN can help make decisions by considering the Benefits, Risks, Alternatives and if you simply do Nothing.
Benefits is a great one to hear and can be easy to jump on making your decision prematurely as you want to hear all the positive of course. You will commonly hear the benefits first before anything else, especially when medical intervention is being suggested. However it is important not to be ignorant and instead continue on through the BRAN model.
The next questions should always be ‘what are the Risks?’ Do your research here, seek up-to-date research, and others thoughts from a different perspective, while it isn’t favourable to hear the risks it is vital to be aware of the risks not only so you can be prepared but also so you can assess whether the risks are worth the benefit. You can quickly see how important this model is with decisions through pregnancy and birth, rather than going along with the first thing you hear.
Next are the Alternatives and with medicine today thankfully there are many alternatives in most decisions. Even if there isn’t an alternative there is still no harm in asking the question. This is where I’ve found having a small number of different practitioners or people whose opinions I greatly respect due to having similar views, has been very helpful throughout my pregnancy as it has assisted in hearing and understanding the different views to decision making and therefore finding what suits my outlook best. Alternatives are also good to assess factors from a financial perspective, as alternatives may be more cost effective for you. For example you don’t buy the first stroller you see without comparing it to others, considering how it will fit with your needs and comparing prices.
The last letter is N for Nothing which his equally important and a question that is commonly missed in a society where we always seem to have to do something. Through pregnancy the biggest lesson for me has been Surrender and Trust, especially in my earlier trimesters when there was anything physical that was different I would try and ‘fix’ it with natural medicine or another form of treatment, rather than accepting it is all a part of pregnancy. Doing nothing is not being lazy or ignorant, especially if you have a good understanding of the 3 previous letters. Plus there are a number of issues that can resolve themselves and also aren’t any better off for doing nothing. Some mums actually choose to not do certain testing as they feel regardless of results they wouldn’t do anything anyway e.g. some are not prepared to terminate on a percentage at the Neural tube scan at 12 weeks, also feel it is unnecessary to ignite unneeded fear, therefore don’t get this scan done. I was one of these mums-to-be.
Regardless of your outlook and opinions it is a highly beneficial model to follow throughout pregnancy and birth. It helps to feel in control and educated of your health and bubs, which is extremely important.
Week 32 has been the biggest change week and completely rocked my outlook for the rest of my pregnancy. Here I was plodding along nicely and getting through buckets loads of work, seeing clients, increasing my exercise and yoga, feeling like I was going to finish strong before bub comes along…. until dropping into have an appointment with a special traditional midwife and naturopath on the way out of the Gold Coast. I have seen Claire before and her knowledge is mind-blowing and full of loving care that she also shares. Claire was able to give me the answers I was seeking about my constant pain in my abdomen and drawing-down feeling. Turns out Button has been super keen to get into the world and had nudged his head right down with the help of my constant Braxton Hicks. Claire was amazed how consistent these Hicks were and how hard my uterus was working, from just having me on her table for 1 hour. Plus add in early softening of my cervix and without knowing I was on track for a early labour and premature baby. I was advised house/bed rest and to take a huge step back with no exercise, yoga, going in a car (yes we needed to make it home still), not even standing to chop vegetables. I needed to dramatically reduce stress and any triggers that results in my stomach tightening and discomfort.
Basically I’m now house bound and movement is to a minimum, when I feel the discomfort increasing I need to stop and rest. While this was a little scary to take in initially and igniting my fears of having a premature baby, however after a few days I could dramatically feel the difference and benefits from slowing down and was very thankful Claire helped to slow me down for the remaining of my pregnancy. I went from having constant pain and stab-like feelings in my abdomen to actually having a relaxed abdomen. I have been able to identify that I have about 15mins of activity that I can do before needing to sit or lay down, by following this it has helped immensely. As much as I have moments of frustration of not being able to quickly run over to the clinic to make a herbal up for a client or being able to grab something from the shop, I can greatly acknowledge the improvement. This improvement has also helped ease my concern about early labour and I do feel positive that if I continue to take it easy I will be able to at least make 37 weeks. Plus I feel I am destined to have a little Leo so I need to make the 23rd of July that will put me 2 days off 38 weeks. I do believe it is totally up to Button and universal timing, however I am certainly going to stay as relaxed as I can to make it past the 37 week mark to reduce the instance of potential medical intervention. So keep your fingers crossed for us please!
Having this time at home and the potential that Button could come early has make Sheeds and I look at where we are at and realise what we actually need to get done. Including actually buying some baby clothes and items! I only have 1 or 2 things that my mum and sister have brought and this doesn’t even include a nappy, singlet or onesie. Also finish renovating the baby room, including building shelves in the cupboards to put the baby stuff on, and my clinic room (yes I’m moving my clinic home for convenience, increase productivity and to have more availability for my clients). The clinic room has become more of a priority seeing as I can’t leave the house so as soon as we get the clinic room finished my clients can come and see me at home which will be fabulous.
All I can say is thank goodness for online shopping! I have been able to order my groceries online and all the baby items that I think I need. I actually have no idea what I’m needing but just making it up as I go along from memory of what my sister had. I probably should Google for a list or something that would make it easier for me to get my head around. In a way I’m grateful for the way it has worked out, as I had no idea how much organising I actually needed to do for work, home and bub before Button arrives and this has created me the space to actually get sorted, especially due to the research I wanted to do with nappies and eco products etc. I’ll let you know what I’m buying for those other health/ environment conscious mums.
As I said it was a BIG week that changed my perspective in pregnancy, once again. Oh the joys of the pregnancy rollercoaster!
Yours in Health
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