Morning sickness… check!
Evening sickness… check!
You guessed it, “all-day” sickness…check!
I can only speak from my experience but those early weeks of pregnancy were blissful. We were giddily happy and sailing through those first few weeks after finding out we were expecting and then it started. I don’t know how it is or was for anyone else, but when week 7 or so hit… bam – hello nausea! It didn’t matter if it was morning or night, it was there.
Feeling like I had a severe hangover, minus the headache (sorry that’s the only thing I can relate it to) was not only unpleasant but it disrupted my daily activities from going to work to going grocery shopping. It was all I thought about and tried to keep under control all day, every day. Where could I hide – how was I going to keep this pregnancy a secret when I was always in the bathroom, not eating (the smell of food alone! yuck) and lying across my desk every chance I got!
The one glimmer of hope in all of this was that after the first trimester, the feelings of nausea and sickness related to it subsided and luckily for me, it did all magically go away when I hit week 13. I completely sympathize with those of you who have or are still experiencing this nausea after the first trimester. I know there are many who have NVP (nausea, vomiting of pregnancy) throughout their entire pregnancy.
There are many articles out there suggesting why some women suffer from NVP but the truth is that no one knows for sure. It could be due to the rise in hormones in your body during pregnancy or due to the heightened sense of smell. Either way, over 50% of women are affected by NVP in their first trimester so if you have it too you’re definitely not alone!
If you’re currently suffering from NVP, first know you’re not alone and second there is help for your symptoms. Always talk to your healthcare providers to find out which ones are best for you.
Here are some tips for relief and some great advice that I found helpful to me and am happy to share with you as well:
- Speak with your doctor or health care professional about which prenatal vitamin is best for you and what time of day to take it
- Eat small meals throughout the day so you never have an empty, acidy stomach
- Don’t go to bed hungry. Have food beside your bed for middle of the night snacking, my go to was a PB sandwich (the smell drove my hubby crazy but it definitely helped avoid the morning “gut rot” feeling)
- Sniff ginger! Sounds weird but I kept a chunk of cut ginger in my freezer and I would take it out and sniff it until the wave of nausea passed
- If you don’t want to carry around a chunk of ginger, try a ginger tea like the Organic Morning Wellness Tea which can also help settle your stomach
- Taking time to just lie down, although simple, is often the best solution. Even if just for a few minutes, on a lunch break for example, try putting your head down on your desk, closing your eyes and just taking some deep breaths
- Stay hydrated! But don’t guzzle! Little sips are the best!
- Listen to your body sometimes the weirdest things make you feel better – for me it was eating melon! Cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew… literally for every meal. I can’t explain but don’t judge – at least it wasn’t pickles!
- Create a nausea survival kit – toothbrush, toothpaste, bags, mouthwash and paper towels/wipes plus a stash of emergency snacks. You can never be too prepared!
- Keep a stash of Preggie Pop Drops in your purse. They are natural lozenges that help ease nausea and taste great too!
The most important thing is to stay in contact with your health care professional in early pregnancy and seek their advice.
You will get through this!
All content in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Always seek the direct advice of your doctor about any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
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Pop, fizz, clink (the non-alcoholic champagne glass) because you just found out you’re expecting again! December and January are statistically some of the most popular times of the year to conceive, so I know there are a few of you out there in the same boat that I was in at this exact time last year. I had just confirmed I was expecting my second baby, due to arrive in early October. My husband and I were both very excited, but also experienced some new feelings, ones we didn’t have the first time around. Would our first child feel left out? Would we be able to love the new baby as much as we loved our daughter? Would we be lucky enough to have a second perfectly healthy baby when we had already been blessed with one? Could we live through the sleep deprivation, diaper blow outs, witching hours, and newborn craziness all over again? We had nearly ten months to come up with new fears and concerns, but we also had this time to prepare both ourselves and our daughter for the exciting change that was to come.
I am a list maker by nature and love the feeling of crossing off each item as I go, giving me a true sense of accomplishment, so the first thing I did after seeing those two pink lines on my pregnancy test was to create a Pre Baby #2 Bucket List. This included both things I wanted to do with my daughter, my husband, and on my own before baby’s arrival and also included things that needed to be done in order to be prepared for his entrance into the world.
Here are the top five things on my list that helped me prepare both mentally and physically for Baby #2.
1. Room Ready
This can mean many things, depending on your living situation, but for me it meant creating a comfortable space for both my first born and the new baby. Having an updated space for my first born was important to me so that she could easily transition from the crib into a bed and into a room that suited her growing personality as opposed to the decor chosen for her prior to her birth. This made her excited for being a big sister and not resentful about giving things up for the new baby. Next, I prepared the nursery for baby #2. While this isn’t mandatory since baby likely won’t be sleeping there for several months, I now know from experience that trying to decorate/clean out/organize a room is very difficult once baby is here. Having both of their rooms in order made me feel more prepared for our new arrival and gave a sense of maturity and independence to our daughter, who was well on her way to feeling like a BIG sister.
2. Taking Time
It was important to me to spend as much one on one time with my daughter as possible before the arrival of our newbie for several reasons. I wanted her to always know how much we love her and that our love would never be replaced our lessened once the baby arrived. I also wanted to hold on tightly to the feeling and the memories we had made as just us and was slightly grieving the loss of our alone time. I took an early maternity leave, using up the last of my vacation days and starting leave early to ensure that I would get that time with her on a full time basis. I loved every minute of it and so did she.
3. Gather the Gear
For the second time around, you are wiser and you know what is necessary and what is not. And you typically already have a lot of stuff tucked into all the nooks and crannies of your house just waiting until you have more children. I knew that gathering all the toys, clothes, bouncers, diapers, blankets, and gadgets I had and auditing their necessity in my life was a must do task. This process allowed me to purge much of what I never used or knew I didn’t need, organize the items we would use again, and purchase anything that was missing or sure to be “the perfect item for baby that was not invented the first time around.”
4. Schedule Sanity
Everyone knows that a newborn knows no schedule, but your toddler has grown very accustomed to the schedule that you have painstakingly created for them and it is important to maintain some form of routine. In order to make this happen for me, I figured out who I could rely on to help keep some order in our lives. I took the help when offered for meals so that we could maintain a family dinner time, even in the very early days. I leaned on the support of my mom who was willing to do school/daycare drop off and pick up so that routine was never interrupted and that I didn’t have to get three people ready to get out the door in the morning. Planning how these every day tasks would be accomplished once baby arrived was a big piece of keeping my sanity and helped assure me that caring for two could be done, especially if I was willing to accept help.
5. Baby Talk
Talking about the baby, what he or she would be like, what things would change or stay the same, and what we would do once the baby arrived was so important for our family. Children tend to be creatures of their expectations so when they get an idea in their minds, it is often hard to accept when the reality is not what was expected. Setting the scene for our daughter and talking about the baby on a daily basis made it feel real for her and also prepared her for what life may be like. Talking about different roles and expectations with my husband ahead of baby’s arrival was also very helpful as I knew that different tasks and emotions would fall on each of us and we needed to be prepared to work together. There were still some rude awakenings for all of us once he was born, but we were at least braced for the changes.
The bottom line is, this is not your first rodeo. You know more about raising a baby than you did the first time around and are more aware of what it takes to be a parent and raise a child. Most importantly though, you know that all the planning will never truly prepare you, that your list will likely never be complete in time, but in the end, you will figure it out, day by day, and it will be all be ok. So cheers to you and baby #2, because you’ve got this!
Katie is a new mom of two and will be sharing her experiences in parenting a toddler and a newborn though this series “New with Two”.
As pregnancy progresses, so too does that sweet bump and the collection of clothes required to fit it. While the everyday maternity pieces are often a welcome addition, (shout out to elastic waist jeans!), some seasonal pieces can be hard to justify and even harder on the wallet. As winter approaches and you start to wonder how you will squeeze all that bump into last year’s winter coat, fear not, because Kokoala has created a genius solution! The zip-in Coat Extension allows you to continue using your pre-pregnancy coat by adding width for either a growing baby bump or for wearing baby in a carrier following birth.
A unisex insert, this piece can be worn by both mom and dad when baby carrying and comes equipped with an interchangeable zipper, allowing you to use it with different jackets. Given the ability to span pre and post pregnancy as well as both mom and dad’s wardrobe, the Kokoala Coat Extension is a win in our books. But don’t just take our word for it, we asked a new mom to try it out to let us know what she thought and this is what she had to say:
“I absolutely love this product for both pregnancy and now, with my little one. It has been so useful and practical for our needs as my growing belly expanded to be too big for my coat, and now, to keep my daughter warm as the cold weather approaches.
During pregnancy I started using the extension around 24 weeks. It was perfect from the point of needing just a little more room all the way until my belly was bursting. The adjustable string made it really easy to accommodate this growth. I love that I didn’t have to buy another winter coat and could continue using the one I already had.
The material is lightweight but sturdy and I feel great about the level of warmth it provided both my pregnant belly and daughter now. Im really happy with the black as it’s the most universal colour and looks the best with all of my jackets.
I would suggest this product to anyone who needs something to cover their belly or baby.”
We love the Kokoala Coat Extension so much that we are giving away a Deluxe Extension to one lucky winner! Answer the question in the widget below for your chance to win! Contest ends Thursday, October 15th at 11:59PM EST. Rules and Regulations.
*Update: This contest is now closed. The winner of the Deluxe Coat Extension is Christine Peachy. Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to Christine!
Pregnancy is a transformative time in a woman’s life, one of life’s greatest miracles; a woman’s body becomes a vessel for co-creation. With this rite of passage however, comes a set of increasing demands and challenges on a woman’s body. What a mother eats, drinks and the processes of her body all become aspects contributing to the building blocks of a healthy pregnancy.
Throughout the centuries, herbs have been a wonderful ally to help a woman through this important passage of life. Knowing which herbs to use, as well as which herbs not to use, can prove a helpful aid to the common complaints experienced throughout pregnancy.
My Top 5 favourite herbs for pregnancy:
- Red Raspberry Leaf – high in calcium, minerals and vitamins, helps tone and strengthen the uterus to aid in childbirth.
- Nettle – rich in calcium, iron, and many other minerals and vitamins, nutritive tonic and mild diuretic to help with water retention.
- Oatstraw – rich in calcium and magnesium, safe tonic herb for the nervous system.
- Ginger – a warming tonic, ginger is specific for use for morning sickness. It can be used as a liniment externally for leg cramps, and back pain, in the later months of pregnancy.
- Chamomile – best known for its calming effect on the nervous system, it also aids in digestion for heart burn or combined with ginger for morning sickness.
The best way to use these herbs in pregnancy is in the form of support and nutrition – these are considered foods or tonics and are deemed safe for pregnancy. The effectiveness of these herbs is based on their high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and other chemical constituents that can easily be assimilated by the body.
Note: Although there are many herbs in the materia medica that have been used successfully for pregnancy, birth, delivery and post-delivery, there are also a set that should be avoided. In general herbs to avoid are those considered toxic, abortifacients, and herbs that are helpful in stimulating menstruation.
List of Herbs to avoid during pregnancy: (please note this is not a complete list)
- Tansy Flower
- Penny Royal
In the many years that I have been making natural skincare, there are common complaints that arise from expectant moms. Here, I will go through these common ailments during each trimester, and the herbs, tips & products that can soothe their accompanying symptoms.
1) Stretch Marks: Preventing stretch marks is best done at the very beginning of pregnancy, or – even better – prior to conception. Keeping the skin elastic will allow it to stretch with the growing belly:
Belly Jelly: Packed full of rich oils rich in Vitamin E, along with a herbal infusion of oats & lavender to combat stretch marks & itchy belly.
2) Morning Sickness: Morning sickness comes about generally due to hormonal changes, shifting dietary needs, insufficient B vitamins, and low blood sugar. Encountered in the first trimester of pregnancy, symptoms generally last for the first 3 months but some women can experience for much longer
Tummy Ease Tea: A great-tasting and soothing blend of organic herbs, this tea offers carminative properties to help with digestive complaints, morning sickness, and babies colic. This tea will also help with heartburn during pregnancy.
3) Fatigue: Growing babies’ tremendous need for nourishment can be demanding on a mother’s energy level. Fatigue can often be the result of dietary needs, iron and vitamin B deficiency, hormonal changes, and not to mention the added weight of your growing baby. This is where herbs shine and help support mom in her time of need, especially:
Mom to Be Tea: all the essential herbs for mom to be, this tea helps tone and strengthen the uterus, provides added nutrients and offers calming support to anxious nerves.
4) Leg Cramps/Back Ache: In the latter months of pregnancy, with the added weight that baby brings, pressure builds on the lower back, legs, feet and ankles. Lack of calcium can cause leg cramps and the increasing weight of growing baby can also put a lot of pressure on mother’s kidney, making things very uncomfortable throughout the body.
Leg & Back Creme: Made with arnica and St. John’s Wort, this cooling and soothing blend will aid in tired legs, swollen ankles and feet, leg cramps and lower back pain. Perfect for the last trimester of pregnancy!
Lastly, it is important to note that, while herbs are great allies for pregnant women, they are not always the right form of medicine. Always consult with your doctor, midwife, or health practitioner for what is best suited for you during your pregnancy.
Product Educator with Matter
We would love your feedback. Please share with us your favourite Matter products, what you found most interesting about the blog, products you would like to know more about or even your own pregnancy experiences! Let us (and other expectant parents) know in the comments below!
I barely took any photos this week, so this is the best I can do. Something you don’t care about: I ordered that shirt for $8 from a US big box store that carries maternity – the best deals are online because they have the most variety. Anyway, it just seemed SO BLAH and I was thinking it was going to be spring (still waiting…) and that this grey shirt was too wintery. And then totally loved it when I put it on. Moving along. This has been a really busy week for me in all areas so I don’t really have much (pregnancy-wise) to report other than what I said last week (Week 25). Because I’ve already forgotten it.
I want to thank everyone who commented on the last blog post or on Facebook with tips re: sinus congestion. You saved me, my husband AND my coworkers a lot of grief! But mostly me. Based on the recommendations on Facebook, I bought a bottle of Hydrasense Medium Stream Nasal Care and a Neti Pot on my way home from work last Tuesday. I started with the Hydrasense to see if it helped and BOY DID IT EVER! I haven’t been congested even once since I started using it! The thing is, the bottle that I bought was (on sale) $11. And it’s already gone. I don’t know if I’m using it too enthusiastically or what, but I powered through that puppy in less than a week. Maybe great for a sinus infection, perhaps not great long term as I’ll go broke buying a bottle of it every week. On to the Neti Pot – I will of course report back on my findings. Anyway, thank you ladies for your suggestions!
People have started to use the term “showing quite well for XX weeks’ which I take to mean that they think I’m huge. That’s ok.
I started to think about maternity and newborn photos and check out photographers. And then almost don’t want to do it because it involves finding something to wear. But I will do it. More on that later.
At the end of this week my husband and a friend of ours are going to paint the nursery. Here is its current buttercream-wall state (cringe): We currently refer to it as “the dressing room” and have NO IDEA where to put all of the stuff that is currently in the room. I guess we’ll have to figure it out as we’re sure not going to be ironing in there while a baby is trying to sleep! That being said, the previous owners had their nursery in here as well and it was a very simple sock monkey red/black theme and actually really cute. I assume my nursery will NOT BE VERY SIMPLE but one will only know when it’s all in the room (and bursting out the door, I’m sure).
Until next week,
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