The 'perfect' pregnancy - or what to do differently next time?(19 Posts)
I'm pg with #2, and last time I thought I was laidback and relaxed whilst also informed and knowledgeable... but had a difficult pg with SPD, lots of swelling, weight ballooned by 4.5 stones, and had a long 32 hour labour with classical cascade of intervention.
This time, while I've got plenty of time ahead of me, I'd like to take as many steps as possible to prepare positively. I know there is no such thing as the perfect pg or birth - but what would you recommend? From arnica and chanting to optimal foetal positioning... doulas... yoga... what helps? What works? What is worth considering/reading up on? And I suppose, what isn't worth it, and would you forget about?!!
Too late, lol, I would have said get quite fit and to a trim size before getting pg. Keep some fitness activity up throughout pregnancy if you can.
Exercise saved me. I did right up to the end (brisk walk and swim on the day I went into labour)and had jogged until about 30 weeks. Made labour much easier (although still hell)and my physical recovery afterwards was great. The midwives were amazed at how quickly I was out of the stirrups and pacing the room looking for my pjs.
I felf like a rollercoaster had hit me emotionally and I think I only coped because I felf physically well.
get a doula
go to gym regularly
I'm on pregnancy number 3 and this time have tried yoga and have absolutely loved it. Never enjoyed normal yoga in the past but pregnancy yoga is really easy(!) and very relaxing. I come out everytime feeling all warm and tingly.
exercise, pregnancy yoga/pregnancy pilates, doula for labour and try to ensure you get as much rest as you can between all that (am following all of these with my no2 pregnancy) Oh, and keep reminding yourself that each pregnancy is different and what happened with no1 will not necessarily happen with no2...
Likelihood is that if you had SPD last time you'll have it again this time, so be careful with the exercises you do, especially those strecthy open-leggy yoga ones, oh, and breast stroke (the frog leg action can be quite damaging to an unsteady pelvis). A few basic pilates-type core stability exercises from the second trimester onwards particularly might be helpful and will set you in good stead for toning up after the birth, too.
I've also found lots of walking has kept me feeling more spritely this time around, coupled with as much sleep as possible and a really healthy diet - loads of fruit and veg and water especially.
Keep a diary! Was too knackered to be arsed last time and haven't (despite swearing to myself) bothered this time either. Am really quite angry with myself about that.
Be very aware of the first twinges of SPD pain, the trick is not to aggrevate so no carrying toddler around on hip, bounding up stairs etc. If it starts playing up make sure you let it recover fully, 2 days laid up at the beginning could prevent 2 months laid up at the end. I found osteopathy fantastic in improving my spd to the point of not needing crutches anymore.
Also being very relaxed about the birth outcome, my only fab labour and birth (have 4 dc) was the one where I just accepted I'd be very overdue, have to be induced it went swimmingly.
try commiting to a gentle exercise programme - no use pretending that you're going to change the habits of a lifetime if you're not an exercise freak normally.
highly recommend pregnancy yoga, and optimal foetal positioning (ds1 was op but ds2 wasn't). Also recommend arnica (ds3 was planned c/s, I feel like I healed really quickly and put that down at least in part to arnica). Also uses a hypnotherapy cd to prepare for planned c/s which helped me relax a lot.
Promise I don't knit my own yogurt, that list makes me sound not very down to earth which I promise I am!
Thanks so much for these words of wisdom... I see exercise is a common theme! I got myself as fit as I could before ttc, and was exercising four times a week, but I'm afraid that has gone out of the window somewhat as tiredness and ms has hit, but I really do want to carry on as soon as I feel more human again... am definately thinking of getting a doula, as I certainly have a lot of anxieties about the birth from last time, and think that both me and dh could do with the support. Lots to think about - wasn't sure about which classes if any to sign up for, so will certainly have a look at active birth/hypnobirthing. Not sure about yoga because terrified of aggravating SPD, but will look into it. Thanks everyone!
Happynappies - for what its worth, there were a couple of women with SPD in my pregnancy yoga classes when I was pregnant with DS. If you get the right teacher, who will modify the moves as you need to take into account your SPD, could be beneficial. Alternatively you can try pregnancy pilates (which works on strengthening etc) if you're worried about the bending/flexibility etc of pregnancy yoga.
Ditto what everyone says about exercise: swimming, yoga etc.
Also - do some reading about nutrition in pregnancy. My IM was very enthusiastic to encourage me to eat much more lean protein, green vegetables and wholegrains during my pregnancy with my third and to cut down massively on refined carbs. I ended up losing loads of weight and having the most vigorous, healthy, fit little boy you could possibly imagine. He was practically born with a six pack he was so lean and muscly!
For me it was working out what went wrong last time (had bad pnd) and talking this over with a doula right from the start. Also have said doula for birth.
Have tried a lot of alternative therapies this time around and am regularly using homeopathy and reflexology.
I try to go swimming once a week.
I have been listening to the mongan method cd before bed every night - fall asleep with it on without fail.
Really try to get some time to myself to relax and sleep (not easy with job, studying and toddler).
Most of all I have tried to change my attitude - prepared but thinking what will be will be. I have not let the medical profession treat me like a 4 year old lol.
Yoga, lots of sitting on/draping over ball for good positioning, listening to natal hypnotherapy CDs, arnica. That's my plan 2nd time round after good first experience.
I recommend chiropractic or osteopathy for SPD, as well as staying fit
A fit body is not only better primed for labour, but releases endorphins more readily and effectively, so it (labour) is less painful, too.
Also recommend optimal foetal positioning; although how time it is practical to spend on ones knees with a toddler is hard to say!
Lots of exercise - brisk walking, for example - is absolutely awful if you are likely to get SPD. I'd get to an antenatal physio at the first twinge, and go to antenatal Pilates & aqua-natal classes asap. Also have a doula or a very genned up friend/DH at the birth to make the midwives remember the SPD & birthing preferences.
I'd get healthy treats in the house earlier. I love chocolate cake, but somehow I eat a whole one instead of a slice, so peaches and blueberries etc. are a better bet. With slices of cake in the house at a time, not whole gateau. ;)
Frankly, though, what bothers me most about 2nd time pregnancy is looking after the first child when sick and/or sore....
My 4th child is 7 weeks old and I had a lovely pregnancy and delivery. I went into the pregnancy very keen to (1) not spend the time fretting (2) not panic in labour particuarly during transition and (3) breathe (not push) the baby out so that I wouldn't tear badly enough to need stitches.
I booked a doula - wonderful. Although she missed the actual delivery (v quick labour!) it was great to have her to discuss my birth plan, general support etc.
I learned hypnosis techniques - best thing ever. It really worked very well for me. I had someone come to the house to teach me and I listened to the CDs regularly. It helped me enjoy the pregnancy and helped hugely in labour. I'm still using some of the techniques post natally. Really can't recommend it enough. It's important to practise and to listen to the CDs regularly.
Homeopathy - I know some people think it's crap but I found it very useful. In particular I liksed aconite for fear, and arnica for bruising. I also used a herbal rememdy called hypercal which is great for cuts etc.
I thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy, in the main, although like most people found the last few weeks pretty grim. I had a lovely labour, and breathed my baby out gently and without panicking, and had a v small external tear and didn't need stitches
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