I’m officially nine months pregnant. In one way this experience blew by and in another it seems like it has been lagging.
Overall I have to say pregnancy has been an amazing experience. I surprised myself and found that so many of the myths that I have heard over the years turned out to not be true for me.
Of course, in pregnancy, like in all health concerns, there can be issues that arise that are beyond our best efforts. I am in no way ignoring or dishonoring that fact.
But the wonderful empowering news is so much of having a healthy experience lies within our choices during our pregnancy.
I chose to do everything I possibly could to make this time as healthy, positive and calm as possible. I ate a healthy diet on a daily basis (for more info about my vegan experience and pregnancy cravings guide go here) and I worked out daily. I set firm boundaries around situations and people who cause me stress and I actively participated in relaxation, meditation and calming practices.
I also did some other things that I feel like contributed to my overall healthy experience and hopefully will contribute to a positive labour experience (I will update after to let you know!).
Special note – this is not a prescription or health advice and shouldn’t be used without consulting your health professional (especially while pregnant). Always consult a doctor before including or excluding anything from your lifestyle while expecting.
The prenatal – everyday I took a vegan prenatal vitamin. The vitamin I took was by Thorne. I highly recommend to use a professional line of prenatal vitamins. A great tip that was given to me was to take my prenatal at night. This really helped with the nausea stage during the first trimester.
The healthy oils – During my last trimester I have been using an omega 3 with EPA and DHA (without fish). The source is algae. I am using NutraVeg by Ascenta. I have also been using Evening Primrose Oil (by New Roots). These supplements are to promote a healthy immune system and neurological development for baby.
Probiotic – These last four weeks I am taking a professional probiotic. I have decided to incorporate this into my routine based on a study that suggests doing so in the last four weeks of pregnancy can help immune function and reduce allergies for baby. I’m using HMF.
Veggies, water and protein powder – During my pregnancy I never had major digestion issues or the constipation that so many people experience. I firmly believe this is because I kept my water consumption high and kept my veggies as the absolute majority of my diet.
I also started incorporating different protein powders on rotation (especially during the first trimester when I was finding it challenging to eat).
Setting the vibe – Like so many women I experienced a lot of negative and tragic pregnancy and labour stories. The best advice I received heading into my pregnancy said to delete these old stories and to fill myself up with positive stories. I found this empowering and game changing. Not all of us have access to women who have positive birth stories so one thing we can do is read about them. Two books that made me feel empowered and centered were – Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Hyponbirthing – The Mongan Method.
Exercise – My workouts did change in intensity and one thing that I have been absolutely loving is walking as much as possible. I walk everyday and find it good for the mind and body. I have continued to do squats every single day and hear this is great for helping baby move down.
My ultimate body butter recipe has been my “must” every day of my pregnancy. I (to this day) do not have a stretch mark from this journey and scars I had from before have faded from using this daily. It makes my skin look and feel amazing. It glows and I have not had any of those itchy experiences so many complain about. I use it every morning and night and will continue forever! It is pure magic! For this amazing recipe and more info on how to prevent stretch marks go here.
Raspberry leaf tea – For the last few weeks I have been using raspberry leaf tea. This tea is supposed to help tone and strengthen the uterus making contractions more effective.
Again, this is something I will have to update you on after I see if it works. Right now I am enjoying my iced tea on a daily basis.
Last but not least – dates – The study linked below suggests that eating 6 dates per day in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy can actually make labour shorter. I love dates and I’m all about making labor shorter. Below you will find a super easy recipe I have been using lately to my daily dose of dates. There are also a ton of other links for other variety of date recipes I have made in the past.
Below you will see a snipped of the abstract from the study. In addition to shorter labours the other benefits are mentioned:
The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery – The women who consumed date fruit had significantly higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission compared with the non-date fruit consumers (3.52 cm vs 2.02 cm, p < 0.0005), and a significantly higher proportion of intact membranes (83% vs 60%, p = 0.007). Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared with 79% women in the non-date fruit consumers (p = 0.024). Use of prostin/oxytocin was significantly lower in women who consumed dates (28%), compared with the non-date fruit consumers (47%) (p = 0.036). The mean latent phase of the first stage of labour was shorter in women who consumed date fruit compared with the non-date fruit consumers (510 min vs 906 min, p = 0.044). It is concluded that the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome.
I have a lot of recipes that make adding these dates to your daily diet super simple and delicious. Here are some of my favourites:
- Superfood goddess bites
- No bake ginger snap cookie balls
- Rich double dark chocolate truffles
- Four ingredient toasted coconut fudge bites
- Secretly healthy coconut mounds balls
- Vegan peanut butter salted caramel truffles
- Vegan salted chocolate Carmel pecan turtles
- Salted caramel balls
- Blondie brownie bites
This recipe is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, high fiber, super filling, packed with nutrients, easy to toss together and extremely satisfying.
If you make this recipe or any other from the DAMY Health Blog or The Healthy Rebel App please make sure to use the hashtags #DAMYHealth & #HealthyRebel when sharing your pictures on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram so I can enjoy your versions of my treats!