Pregnancy

You Live, You Learn, You Love Alanis

I am an Alanis fan. Her angst and passion in “You Oughta Know” got me right in the feels as a teen. I listened to Jagged Little Pill on repeat and have followed her career album after album. I love a female role model who is her own self, a little quirky, a little rock and roll, and absolutely genuine.

It’s not a suprise that Alanis is still a role model and is still killin’ it in all things. This summer she announced her pregnancy with her third child. I stumbled upon an article in Self and it was fantastic. Alanis opened up about pregnancy at 45, birth, postpartum depression, and parenthood in the article. Check out the article here.

All of the feelings, struggles, and joys Alanis described is so relatable and so real. If you are looking to hear from another parent on what it is like to go through all of these read on!

Since that article in June Alanis has actually welcomed this new soul earth-side. Announcing on her Instagram, her son, Winter Mercy was born August 8th. Welcome sweet one!

I wish the best for Alanis and her family. I thank her for sharing her path and her emotions on these huge life moments and transitions for her. Don’t be surprised that I love her, for all that she is. I couldn’t help it! It’s all her fault!

To stay up to date with Alanis check out her website. To feel support through pregnancy, birth, and life after baby contact us!

Authored by: Andrea Stainbrook

Dogs and bringing home baby

I remember when we got our oldest dog, George. My husband and I were young and had just moved across the country from Michigan to Arizona. Together we walked through the aisles of the shelter looking in every kennel. From barking faces, jumping paws, and puppy dog eyes we noticed him. Curled up and looking at us like, “I know right? These other dogs are loud!” There was George.

We took him for a walk outside and he was perfect. Chill, medium-sized with a funky tail that looked like it never fully grew. We were smitten and that was it. We took him home.

We quickly added a basset hound, Jerry, to our family as well. He was the sweetest and had the deepest howl.

Years passed and we discovered our first baby was on its way! With these two pups and the new pregnancy also came feelings of, “what will it look like to have a baby and the dogs?” “Will my dogs get along with the baby?” “How will I take care of everyone?”

Having a baby shifts your whole world period. Every aspect of your what you consider part of your daily life before your child arrives is affected. So it is normal to be concerned about your fur-babies as well. It is OK to process your feelings on the changes about to happen. And it is realistic to worry about your pet’s transition and adjustment as well.

So set your dog up for success!

While you are still pregnant you can have some of the baby items out and around. This way they visually start seeing their surroundings change. If you have a dog that doesn’t roll with change much (some dogs will bark at the furniture after you moved it) this may be an important step. Baby gear tends to appear in every room!

You can try to have your dog get familiar with your baby’s smell even before you arrive home. Have a visitor take the newborn hat or receiving blanket that your newborn has been in home to your dogs. Let them smell and inspect it.

Set up positive associations with your baby!

Have treat bowls throughout the house, especially near places where you will be lounging with your baby often. When your dog comes near your baby give them a treat!

BABY = GOOD

Did your baby kick your dog on accident when it stretched out its leg? Doggy gets some cheese! A nice high reward!

Have care in place for your pet.

Once you are home you may want to hire a dog walker, schedule extra doggy day care visits, or take advantage of helpful friends and family to give your dog extra love and exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog. On top of that your attention is now split so they get some extra cuddles in.

Life after baby is an adjustment. This means for the WHOLE family including your dogs. Most dogs are loving, understanding, and adjust just fine. Some even seem to take on a protective role over your baby. It’s beautiful to watch your children grow and become dog lovers themselves. There is something so magical about the relationship we have with our pets, and its awesome to share that with our babies.

Written by Andrea Stainbrook

5 anxiety reducing tips in pregnancy

by Andrea Stainbrook

It is normal to worry, or feel anxious in pregnancy. There is a lot happening. Your body is changing, as well as your life is changing! So many things to consider and think about. It can easily be overwhelming. For some you may already have a history with anxiety or have other stress factors compounding your feelings during pregnancy. Always be gentle with yourself.

Give a call to that person who will just listen.

Here are our 5 tips to help lessen the anxiety you feel:

  1. Get your feelings out! Talk about it. And talk about it ideally with someone who won’t judge you and will just listen. Our doulas are trained in this and available to their clients. A good friend or family member can be a great listening ear as well. If you have a partner let them hear you. By speaking about your emotions you will begin to process them.
  2. Get moving! Find an exercise or activity that will let your mind wander away from the pressing worries. Exercise is known to be a mood booster overall and hopefully it can help you think more clearly. Finding a local pre-natal yoga class (or other pre-natal centered exercise class) can be a good option as you can meet others that may have similar feelings and have an understanding of what you are going through. Walking and running are good options as well! Get out and smell that fresh air.
  3. Take a birth class! Many times the fear of the unknown is scary. Often it can be the fear of childbirth itself. By learning more about it and what to expect you can reduce some of the anxiety you have surrounding it. We, at Metro Detroit Doula Services, offer birth classes monthly or will even teach you privately in the comfort of your own home. Knowledge is power, and in this case knowing more about it may bring some calm.
  4. Practice your breathing! Focusing on your breathing is a great tool for coping with anxiety as well as great practice for birth. Long slow deep breaths are ideal. Take a long breath in through your nose filling your lungs, then release it long, low, and slow. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
  5. Discuss it with your doctor! It is always a great idea to keep your care provider in the loop with how you are mentally feeling. They will be the best tool to help you come up with tailored ways to address your anxiety, referrals to therapists, as well as know what is available to you if medication is the best path. If you cannot function through your normal daily life or you are having anxiety attacks please reach out to your doctor right away. They will be able to help you navigate your next steps.
A daily yoga practice can incorporate your breathing practice and exercise.

Hopefully you will see some improvement by implementing some of the tips above. It is OK to have worries and stresses. It is normal to need to process your fears. We don’t want those feelings to consume you though. Take care of yourself and give us a call if you need a listening ear!

Check Out These Birth Books

By Amy Hammer

It doesn’t matter how far along you are or how many kids you have.  There is always new information coming out regarding pregnancy, labor help, birth prep – however you want to address it.  If you have found yourself wondering, what do I need to know about labor and delivery?… or what is happening to my body in labor?  There is a resource for you.

Tell your friends about these great birth book finds!

Pregnancy help can be found in all types of media.  You have choices with so many outlets in our digital world like podcasts, websites, etc… but some of you may want to simply hold a book in your hands while you soak in the experiences and knowledge to help you along this far-out journey!

Keep reading for our list of helpful books for birth:

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin

  • This is a great book for support partners giving guidance on the ins and outs of labor. 
  • With it’s objective, factual approach it sheds light on all sides of birth, examining the risks, benefits, and alternatives – our B.R.A.I.N blog explains this more in depth – and presenting both sides of options including natural and medicinal alike. 
  • It finishes off with sections regarding the postpartum period.

Birthing From Within by Pam England

  • If you like art and lean a bit more toward the holistic or “crunchy” side of life, this book may be just the one for you. 
  • You will find positive birth stories galore! 
  • This book’s approach is about finding strength in birth, viewing birth as a self-discovery, and acceptance of your birth outcome however it needs to unfold. 
  • There is also highlight help for new parent and marriage adjustments after baby arrives.

Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevieve Howland

  • It’s great to see what is happening inward as you grow outward!  As it says in it’s title this is a weekly reference guide with ideas for To-Do Lists as you move along in pregnancy. 
  • Genevieve also touches on how to form your birth-team, giving a shout-out to our certifying and training organization ProDoula
  • She also dives into nourishment, your environment, and a number of newborn topics. 
  • If you haven’t visited her resourceful website, check it out.

Birth Wisdom Yoga Remedies & Journal by Julia Piazza

  • Who doesn’t want to feel as comfortable they can in pregnancy?!  Prenatal yoga is a wonderful way to create some peaceful space for you and baby. 
  • This book is introduced by both a midwife and an obstetrician, is broken into trimesters (including ailments & solutions), and provides you with 30- & 60-minute flows that you can do at home, when you can’t make it out to a class at Earthside Prenatal Yoga with our friend & fellow boss babe, Lori. 
  • We were also delighted to find pelvic health floor information highlighted, a great bonus one of our very own team members, Ashley Gammon would much appreciate.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

  • With 30+ years of experience, Ina May is extremely well known throughout the natural birth community and is a treasure chest of information with her focus on unmedicated birth. 
  • You will find absolute confidence in the physiological process of birth, a variety of topics including the best ways to work with your doctor, and a collection of positive birth stories throughout.

Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel

  • Many families prefer to be as natural as possible in delivery with an open mind to medical options when necessary. 
  • That means being in a hospital for delivery with all options available while having the support of a provider who views birth the same as you.  We can not stress the importance of this enough – it is more important than the distance to the hospital and the types of tiles on the walls. 
  • This book helps you to be proactive in pregnancy so that you don’t have to be reactive in labor, giving you the best of both worlds.

Dive into some of the best books on birth around!

It’s easy to pick one of these titles up, just throw it in your cart – a little holiday gift for yourself – while you are cruising on Amazon.  Go on!  You deserve it.  There may even be an audio version you can download to listen to while you are driving or getting things done around the house.  However, you do it – enjoy this adventure of growing your family.

Of course, there is a collection of other childbirth books out there.  If you have a favorite that wasn’t listed, we’d love hearing about it – please share it with us in the comments below or reach out to us for more information.

How Will I Know? | Early Signs of Labor

The weeks of pregnancy are coming and going.  Soon you find yourself nearing the end of gestation.  You are close to your estimated due date. Every pregnant person wonders how will I know if I am in labor?  Ask around and you are sure to hear the advice of, “you’ll just know.”   How helpful is that?

The main thing about early labor signs is that they are not always an absolute guarantee that labor is beginning.  Some things like water breaking means baby needs to come, but others could happen and you have days or dare I say weeks before baby actually arrives.

This list below will give you an idea of what to look for and notice.  Take note that some of these will happen before labor begins, and some will happen during labor.

 

1) Lightening- No, not talking about the weather but when baby moves down into the pelvis.  You may feel able to breathe easier.  This is because as baby drops down it is no longer pressing up on your diaphragm and lungs.  You may notice more pelvic pressure as well since baby is lower and now pressing in that area.  

 

2) Bloody Show and/or Loss of the Mucus Plug The opening to the cervix is actually protected by the mucus plug.  This keeps the bacteria out while you are pregnant.  It isn’t so much of a cork but a long and stringy plug.  You may notice more discharge that can be gooey or not.  Sometimes it will be blood tinged.  That is known as bloody show.  These are both signs of cervical change!

 

3) Nesting- Did you wake up with an urge to get things in order?  Can’t get settled until X,Y, or Z is done?  Do you feel energized to get these all accomplished NOW?!  Then you may be nesting.  A sense of urgency to complete things coupled with the actual energy to do them are classic nesting signs.  

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Packing your hospital bag?  Checking things off a list?  These are common nesting items!

 

4) Contractions- A low aching sensation, or period like cramps coming and going, may be the beginning of contractions.  In early labor they can be pretty spread out (even as far at 20 to 30 mins apart).   If you notice a pattern setting in try timing them.  They will gradually get longer, stronger, and closer together as your uterus is working to bring baby down.   Longer, stronger, and closer together contractions are one difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and labor.  

 

5) Water Breaking- At some point your body will cause your membranes to rupture.   For some women this will be the start of labor.  Very few women will feel a dramatic gush like the movies.  Much more likely, you won’t know if you peed yourself or your water broke.  It can feel like a gush or a constant trickle.  If the fluid leaking is odorless it may be amniotic fluid.  Take note of the color of the fluid, odor, how much fluid leaked or is leaking, and the time of the water breaking.  Update your care provider on this information.  

If you are experiencing some of these baby may be coming very soon.  While you are waiting for one of these signs rest, hydrate, and enjoy the last days of pregnancy!

April the Giraffe | The Watched Pot… Stays in Labor?

It is amazing to witness a birth.  Seeing a human enter the world is a beautiful and spiritual thing.  Watching animals birth is equally awe-inspiring.  How they seem to just know exactly how to move and where to go.

Miss April the Giraffe is about to give birth.  She’s a Giraffe in New York anxiously awaiting her baby.  For the last month she is believed to give birth any day.

 

And the world is watching……….And still watching.

Good news is she likely doesn’t know it.

In labor it is common for people to be so excited and supportive to their loved ones they think they will get to watch the birth.  They may wait in a waiting room or hope to enter the labor room.  They could be at their own home waiting on updates and continue to text or call worried.

So when you birth who do you want watching?  It’s OK to do what you feel.  For some the idea of lots of close loved ones near by is reassuring.  For others it can create the feeling of “the watched pot never boils.”

giraffelegs

Typically in labor a woman will experience pain or intensity.  Which can be hard for others to see.  The woman may be coping well but all the loved one sees is suffering and wants it to end.  A laboring woman will have different levels of intensity at different points of the labor.  The mood of the room will change.  If the people in the room do not acknowledge that change it may become annoying or frustrating to the laboring woman. As well as anxious energy in the room can radiate to the laboring woman.  Ideally the room will radiate relaxation and calm.

Some find themselves feeling bad if the baby doesn’t come fast enough because all their family is waiting.  This can all lead to mind games.  The mind and body are very connected.

I personally thought I was OK with the number of people who attended my first birth in the beginning.  Which included some unplanned but caring loved ones.  Then my labor was long.  Long enough for the visitors there to dwindle down to who I originally thought would be at my birth.  And then… things picked back up and baby girl arrived.  I truly believe the added people watching and waiting played  a role.

You need to take a look at yourself and what serves you.  What will you feel if your labor is long?  Are you comfortable asking people to leave?  Some say birth is as intimate as the act to create the baby.  Who do you want watching then?

So April, Good Luck sister!  You’ll do great!  I won’t be watching 😉

 

 

My Postpartum Body

Guest Blog by: Marie Lang, Postpartum and Infant Care Doula & Postpartum Placenta Specialist

Even before I had kids, I’ve never really been happy about the way my body looked.  Every time I see pictures of myself from the past, I’m always surprised at how I wish my body still looked like that NOW, but at the time the photo was taken I was unhappy with the way I looked, because I always have been.

I wish I could talk to that girl and tell her how beautiful she is, and to enjoy the body she has in that moment.

I’m really not entirely sure why I’ve always had this negative self image.  My family and friends have always been supportive and loving of me, no matter what my body looked like.  I suppose it’s likely the portrayal of “healthy” female bodies in the media.

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-Pregnant with my first child <3

I became pregnant with my first child when I was 23 years old. This was the very first time in my life that I was happy with the way my body looked, oddly enough. Even though my belly was expanding exponentially to grow a baby, I was in absolute love with it.  All of the sudden I could celebrate my big belly and I felt absolutely radiant.  I gave birth to my son and the next 7 years were a very hard time.  I dove head first into motherhood and completely lost any sense of self in the process.  I became pregnant again with my daughter when I was 30, and again was able to love and embrace my pregnant curves.

Then Postpartum Depression happened.

The first two years of my daughter’s life were absolute hell.

How could I have so much love for my new little family when I hated myself so much?

Would I ever be comfortable in my own skin? Not only did I gain weight, but I didn’t recognize my postpartum body at all.

Pregnancy definitely changed my body in a way I wasn’t prepared for.

It was around this time that I was seeing a lot of the “Body Positive” movement on Facebook.  This is obviously a great message to send!  I saw all sorts of women of all shapes and sizes totally embracing their curves, or lack thereof, with no apologies!  While I understand the intent of this movement, it was actually very hurtful for me to see at the time.  When I saw women coming out and saying “I love my curves!”, all I could think to myself was, “But I don’t love my curves. I am not positive about anything right now.”  And then there were the people that were telling me “Look at what your body did! It grew and birthed two babies! You should marvel at what your body did and not be so hard on yourself!”

I know that those people were trying to be supportive and helpful, but now not only was I depressed about my body, I felt guilty that I couldn’t just get over it and love my body the way I was apparently supposed to.

Today, I have emerged out of the Postpartum Depression fog. I have lost a ton of weight and gained some back too. I have body positive days and I have body negative days. The negative days are still typically more frequent than the positive days, but I recognize that I am a work in progress. I don’t particularly love my body right now-and that’s OK. The important thing is that I love the person that I am, and not what I look like. I realize now that it’s OK for those to be separate things.

GWL 2017 fam

-Vacation this winter.

I can love myself while not necessarily loving the way I look. My self worth is not measured by my outward appearance. 

I am sharing my story so that people can see that this is normal. It is ok to be disappointed in your postpartum body. What’s important to understand is that no matter how you feel about your body, it does not define who you are.

**Metro Detroit Doula Services has Postpartum & Infant Care Doulas who can help with life after baby is here.  This helps ease the daily stresses and allows the family extra rest.  We now offer workshops and private classes focusing on restoring your core muscles and pelvic floor after pregnancy and childbirth. Contact us today for more information**

What’s Wrong With Me? | Feelings of Infertility

Disclaimer: I’m completely grateful for the babies we have been blessed with.  I am allowed to feel a range of emotion as I struggle with the difficulties of secondary infertility.  Just want to be clear. ♥

I remember it well.  The idea of becoming a mother had always been in my “one-day” dreams of a big family.  I was 26.  I remember the excitement, the anticipation, the uncertainty if we were really ready to become parents.  I remember thinking, this felt special and different and we could seriously have just started a new life!  How exciting it all was!

Then for those of us who aren’t so lucky to get pregnant at the drop of a hat, I began experiencing the bummed emotion that washed over me when my cycle would return at the end of every month.  What was once a let’s just see what happens attitude soon turned to a this isn’t as easy as we thought it would be worry.

After reading up on becoming pregnant and other’s experiences the, “Do we want to try for a certain sex or birth month?” discussions turned into prayers for a baby of any sex, due any month.

I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility an excellent book written by Toni Weschler.  It was insightful, informative, taught me a lot about my own body, how to chart, and is now in our library to stay.  With lots of prayers, charts, temperature taking, ovulation sticks, sex and funky positions among other things, after 17 months of trying we FINALLY conceived.  I finally stood there holding a positive pregnancy test in hand – shaking.  I was on cloud nine!

sweetbaby
All the plumbing worked!  We delivered a healthy baby girl.

Surely, trying for baby number two would be easier because why wouldn’t it be?!

Things started out the same way going from nonchalant to intensive focus.  I read more and looked into other issues.  This time after 24 months of trying turned into charting, it worked!  Some would say all the sex is great – which was enjoyed mostly, but for those of us who have been there you can’t help but start to wonder,

What is wrong with me?  And why have I been worried about preventing all those years?  This is not as easy as I thought!

It’s heartbreaking and it sucks.  You stand between the thoughts of maybe it worked this month, to not wanting to get your hopes up in fear of being let down.

siblings
We had our second baby, a son, on a beautiful autumn day.  Well, we’ve been trying yet again and it hasn’t been any easier, and it hasn’t been any quicker, and I even got pregnant and miscarried this past year, to which they said I would be more fertile within the next 6 months.  And still, we are not pregnant.

I’m quickly approaching my 40’s and I really do feel like my clock is ticking.

I feel at a loss.  I feel like it is so out of my control.  And I feel like I’m in limbo waiting which direction my life will go.  Why can’t I just be like those women who get looked at the wrong way and get pregnant?  Why isn’t it working?  Is it something I didn’t do? Is it the endometriosis I never had officially confirmed?  Is it something else I don’t know about?  Maybe it’s just not meant to be.

Way back in the beginning I proudly announced to my OBGYN that we were trying.  Her response to me was,

Great!  If you don’t get pregnant in 3 years come see me.

I’ve both relaxed in this statement and become resentful of it.  I understand it’s normal to not happen right away, there are many factors that may come into play.  I also understand not everyone has 3 years and not everyone is willing to wait.  The tricky part about second hand infertility is that it worked before!!!… why not now?   In our case 3 times.  Upon research, apparently 60% of infertility cases are secondary, so we are not alone in our struggles.  And like many things revolving around women’s bodies, people just don’t talk about it.

Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? A Blog Series | Meet Andrea Stainbrook

By Andrea Stainbrook , CEO & Co-Founder of Metro Detroit Doula Services

Andrea Stainbrook joined forces with Amy Hammer to create Metro Detroit Doula Services. Together their vision is to bring support without judgement during pregnancy, birth, and as a family after baby arrives.  Andrea is certified with ProDoula as a Labor Doula, pre-certified as a Postpartum Doula, and is currently working on her certification as a Childbirth Educator with ProDoula.

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Andrea Stainbrook, Co-Founder of Metro Detroit Doula Services, Certified Labor Doula, Pre-Certified Postpartum Doula, and future Childbirth Educator

Tell us about your family!  “My husband Justin and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary next summer.  We have 2 beautiful, full of energy, funny little girls; Lydia, 6, and Estelle, 3.   George and Jerry are our senior dogs who have been helping us clean under the kitchen table ever since the girls were born.”

What do you love about being a doula? “What I love is watching families grow and how they find strength they may never knew they had.”

If we turned on the radio in your car, what would we hear? “Currently a lot of Sia.  My girls love Sia as much as I do.  You’ll also hear Thrice,  Dustin Kensrue’s solo stuff,  or Rilo Kiley when I get some time to choose as well.”

“As I grieved the loss of the birth I had hoped for, Andrea very easily adapted her support to meet my new needs.  She provided me with a listening ear, supportive words, and many suggestions that helped me emotionally prepare for a cesarean birth.” – Labor Doula Client

Give us 3 words that describe you.  “Fun.  Listener.  Caring.”

What are you reading now?  “Lots of  children’s books.  🙂  I would love to find time to read one of Mindy Kaling’s books or Jennifer Weiner’s latest.”

What’s your favorite show?   “I am very excited for the return of The Walking Dead!  That premiere episode was intense.   It’s shaping up to be a great season.”

What is your philosophy for birth & supporting women and their partners through labor?  “I believe in supporting each family without bias.  Whatever you want and see for your birth I will stand behind you.”

“Trust yourself and be easy on yourself.” -Andrea Stainbrook

Who is your role model?  “There are a few. Truly I am inspired by people who are 100% themselves and just go for it!  My partner Amy is my doula role model.  I’m blessed that we get to do this together.    My husband is a role model for parenting.  He’s so kind and patient.  It’s awesome to watch him with our girls.”

When Andrea gets a day off she enjoys family days together.  She loves baking or cooking her favorite food lasagna with help from her children.  They love lining the lasagna pan with the pasta and sauce!    She enjoys traveling all over Michigan and recently had a great vacation in Disney World!

If you could have a superpower what would it be? “To make everyone happy.  In a perfect world I would love to bring joy to everyone I meet!”

“Andrea was the best Postpartum Doula!  She was absolutely wonderful with my sweet baby girl and was so comforting to me as a new mama.  She made me feel like everything I was going through was normal and was so reassuring.” – Postpartum Doula Client

What is your favorite song to karaoke?  This is a tough one.  Hands down if I am karaoking with Amy (my co-owner) it would be “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” – Starship.  With my hubs I would probably say “Almost Paradise” (from Footloose) – Mike Reno and Ann Wilson.  But ya know a good Beyoncé song never hurts either!  (For the record my singing isn’t so amazing… but my entertainment value is there 😉 )

 

Contact Metro Detroit Doula Services today and have Andrea be a part of your birth team!
586-960-5993
info@metrodetroitdoulaservices.com

Guest Blogger Kate Rich: Discomfort in Pregnancy

5 Things I Know About Discomfort in Pregnancy

 

Written by Kate Rich of Tender Beginnings Birth Services

Pregnancy and pain: unfortunately sometimes it feels like the two go hand-in-hand. From the nausea and fatigue of the first trimester, to the heartburn, breathlessness, and just general aches and pains of the third trimester, you might experience some discomfort at some point in your pregnancy.

As doulas, we are focused on your comfort, and that is not just during labor! Remember that we are there for you throughout your pregnancy, and there is no better person to call than your doula when you are in need of some trusted advice and tips.

Here we share five common pregnancy complaints, and our tips for finding relief:

  • Nausea: Often times this is caused by hormonal shifts that are normal part of your pregnancy. Pregnancy nausea can be compounded by not eating often enough throughout the day, or not staying hydrated, which is especially tough in the heat of summer! Make sure to talk to your doctor or midwife, but sometimes relief can be found by simply eating a protein paired with a complex carb and a big glass of water. Many women also swear by eating things with ginger or lemon, or they have success wearing a motion sickness band like “Sea Bands.” If the nausea is really bad, though, definitely ask your doctor about prescription options for keeping the nausea at bay. There are options, such as Diclegis or Zofran, and it is important for you and your baby to get adequate nutrition and water during your pregnancy.
  • Heartburn: Thank you again, hormones. Progesterone surges in pregnancy cause a relaxation of the muscles in the esophagus, which gets compounded by the uterus squishing the stomach up closer to the esophagus as time goes on and your baby grows! Aside from talking to your doctor or midwife about antacids, eating smaller, more frequent meals can help, and try to take a gentle walk or do something else upright for at least 30 minutes after.
  • Pelvic pain: This is one of those things that many women see as unavoidable during pregnancy, but there are things you can do to help your aching hips and back! Try doing some gentle, healthcare provider approved stretches such as the cat-cow yoga stretch. Some women also love to wear a pregnancy support belt during later pregnancy, or even create one out of a babywearing wrap. If things get really bad, get a referral from your doctor or midwife to see a Women’s Health Physical Therapist for an assessment, and relief.
  • Leg cramps: There are a few reasons this might happen in pregnancy, including restricted blood flow and compressed nerves, or even a possible dietary deficiency. When it happens, stand up and flex the your foot up, pointing the heel out while rubbing the muscles with your hand to relieve the tension. If it is happening frequently, check your diet with your healthcare provider for adequate calcium, potassium, and magnesium intake.
  • Hemorrhoids: Pregnancy is oh-so-glamorous sometimes, right? Hemorrhoids might not be avoidable as your baby grows and pressure builds up down there, however a warm sitz bath can feel nice. For a more folksy home remedy, try putting grated raw potato on the hemorrhoids. Sounds crazy, but it works to bring cooling, soothing relief, and helps to reduce any swelling!

What are some of your pregnancy aches and complaints, and what remedies and relief did you find? We would love to hear about it!

 

 

 

Kate Rich is a Certified Labor Doula and Childbirth Educator, and the owner of Tender Beginnings Birth Services located in Ohio.