- Say No to Caffeine – While you may think you have to give up your daily cup of Joe, according to the American Pregnancy Association, moderate levels of caffeine do not have a negative effect on pregnancy. The recommended amount is up to 300 mg a day. That’s about 2-3 eight-ounce cups of regular black coffee, or 2 espresso shots in a latte. However, caffeine does cross the placenta, so if you’re used to more than a few cups, think about limiting yourself to a lesser amount. You may also try spreading your intake out over a longer period of time.
- Keep Off Your Feet – As long as you’ve got your health provider’s okay, there is no reason not to exercise. In fact, staying in motion has been shown to relieve a multitude of ailments during pregnancy including constipation, back pain, poor self-image, low energy levels and excess weight gain. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can also reduce the risk of pregnancy-related high blood pressure, as well as gestational diabetes. As we teach in classes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! For those desiring a natural birth, we must do everything we can to stay low risk if possible. Exercise is a step in the right direction.
Prenatal yoga is one fabulous way to prepare for birth, relieve stress and stay active! Our good friend Sandi Hoover, a registered yoga teacher and owner of Roots Prenatal Yoga and The Family Tree Yoga and Massage, reminds us that prenatal yoga is generally considered a safe exercise to do while pregnant and studies show consistent benefits. Women often report a decrease in common side effects of pregnancy such as: back and hip pain, fatigue, swelling, and stress. Prenatal yoga can be beneficial to improve sleep and as preparation for childbirth, particularly with breathing technique. For those of you living in the Des Moines metro area, be sure to check out The Family Tree at www.thefamilytreedm.com or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefamilytreedm. Sandi previously offered a coupon code for a FREE Roots Prenatal Yoga class, as well as some awesome suggestions for yoga positions for pregnant mamas!
- I’m Getting an Epidural – I Don’t Need to Take a Childbirth Class! – Whether you are planning to use pain medications from the get go, or aiming for a natural birth, be aware that birth is notorious for throwing women a curveball now and again. Not every epidural works or can be given in time, and likewise, sometimes a “natural” birth isn’t what’s in the cards. The goal of all moms should be to have an informed birth, one where she and her partner feel completely at ease with their decisions. Parents can feel this way when they’ve taken a quality childbirth class, such as the live and online Preparing for Birth Series, offered by Powerful Mamas. In our experience, if parents do this, they will be satisfied at the end of their journey, no matter how their baby made its appearance into the world.
Here at Powerful Mamas, it is our goal to help each one of our clients have an informed and powerful birth experience. Whether Jacquelyn has assisted in your birth as a doula, helping you achieve the birth experience you hoped for, taught you in one of her childbirth classes so you feel completely equipped for your experience, or prepared your placenta pills to help you in your post-birth recovery, our ultimate hope is that you end your childbirth journey confident and happy with the process…Because as your birth journey ends, your journey into parenthood is just beginning!