Bump Squad mama Tarah on what she's learned between her first and third pregnancies.
Pregnancy is amazing and beautiful and magical...and exhausting and painful and scary. Pregnancy can be all of these things (and more) all at once, and it can change from minute to minute.
My first pregnancy certainly felt the most magical, both because it was my first time experiencing all the tiny kicks, changes to my body, and all that other good stuff, and because I didn’t have any other kids distracting me from enjoying those little moments. :)
Now that I’m on my third (and final!) pregnancy, I might not know down to the day how far along I am and I may be more ready for the baby to just get here already (I’ve done the pregnancy thing, I just want the prize at the end), but I have learned a thing or two since my first go ‘round and I’m going to share my secrets with you!
1. What you crave doesn’t always make you feel better - When I am feeling sick and just don’t know what I want to eat, I usually turn to carbs like crackers or cereal. It sounds good at the time, but I almost always feel better with a snack that is mostly protein (like eggs, jerky, or peanut butter) and some fruit or whole grain carbs. Trust me.
2. What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it - I’ve been on the real food train for a while, but it took me a long time to come around to safer skincare products. Our skin is our largest organ, and when we bombard it with artificial fragrances, phthalates, and other harmful or irritating chemicals day in and day out, it can affect us internally...especially during pregnancy! I understood the concept, but I wasn’t convinced that products on the market could actually be unsafe. Once I started doing all the prerequisite pregnancy research (and after developing atopic dermatitis during my second pregnancy), though, I knew I wanted to find products that were safe for me and my growing baby. This is why I love Earth Mama products so much - they use only the highest quality, natural, organic ingredients that are known to be safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s worth the time (and money) to seek out companies who care about their products and care about you!
3. Take a nap - When I was pregnant with my first, I could nap whenever I wanted (after work, of course). Now that I am chasing two kids around, it’s a different story. It’s easy to get caught up in all the things that need to get done while my oldest is at preschool and my youngest is taking his own nap, but on those days when I know my body needs sleep, I sleep. The dishes can wait.
4. Don’t read too many pregnancy books - This was a mistake I made during my first pregnancy. I read so many pregnancy books, websites, and apps that I was nervous about everything! Everyone approaches pregnancy and parenting differently and there are lots of right ways to do things. Instead of overwhelming myself with too much information,
5. Have a community / support team - Pregnancy is full of questions and unknowns and it is important to have a group of women you can celebrate (and commiserate) with! During my first pregnancy, we had our childbirth group that we met with weekly for a couple months. It was so encouraging to see these women (and their husbands) every week and know that we are all going through the same things. During my second pregnancy, I didn’t have a group like this. Of course, I have my sister and friends I can turn to, but you can only complain about your back pain or nausea so many times to the same person. This is why I am so grateful for the Mama’s Bump Squad! Of course, I love getting to try all the amazing Earth Mama products, but a huge part of the reason I applied was to become a part of a community of other soon-to-be mamas who will celebrate all the little milestones right along with you, and also be there to give you suggestions on dealing with the not-so-joyous side of pregnancy. Whether it’s real live friends or virtual ones, it is so important to surround yourself with women who can support you and cheer for you while on your journey.