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Welcome to another episode of The empowered birth podcast. Today’s episode I want to take you through my second trimester and hopefully give you some insight into what it was like and some things I’ve learned this time around. My goal for these types of episodes is to be vulnerable with you and share practical things that I’ve learned. We need more stories of the realities of pregnancy. So let’s get into this candid episode!
I am just sneaking into my third trimester and I have felt that shift not only my body but my emotions and my spirit as well. I am mentally preparing for adding another little girl to the family and I have started allowing myself to dream more and become more excited.
Thinking back over the second trimester I was still pretty disconnected to this pregnancy. This year has made things so difficult. My motivation wasn’t there, I didn’t want to make food, or clean or think. This was a very different second trimester than my other girls. I knew something wasn’t right. I was weepy, and angry and wasn’t acting like myself. Through speaking with my midwife and a counselor it was decided that I may be struggling with some depression and anxiety. Hormones definitely play a role but also it’s 2020…. I mean idk of anyone who thinks things have been easy or fun this year.
Talking about what was going on in my brain has been very helpful. I also started taking some supplements to support my body during this transition. With all supplementation I suggest doing your own research but this is what I have started doing and hopefully this will give you a starting point for your own research. My philosophy is take the supplements your body needs. High quality matters. I don’t take a prenatal but instead listen to my body and take what I feel is needed as well as focus on diet.
Vit C- I just joined a group on Facebook called Vitamin C Therapy During Pregnancy, Birth and Baby. I have learned about Dr. Frederick Klenner who studied in the 50’s and 60’s about high dose vitamin c and the effects on labor time and tearing and so much more. I’m still learning but it’s very interesting to me so I’m continuing to experiment and research.
NingXia Red- I took this with my second pregnancy and felt huge benefits from it. My energy levels were amazing and my placenta was super healthy looking and big, a major difference from my first where I didn’t take this. It is a full super food drink with aronia berry, wolfberry, plum and blueberry. I used this as my prenatal. I take 2-4oz a day and love the taste.
Calcium and Magnesium- I also experience charlie horses major during pregnancy. Calcium and magnesium go best when together. When I take regularly I know there are benefits for not just my muscles, bones and teeth but also for baby’s. I’m also hoping that I can avoid a cavity this pregnancy. I get one after every baby and I have a major phobia of dentists so if I can avoid I will be one happy mama!
Sam-E- A Harvard Medical School study came out and said about 7.5% of women develop major depression during pregnancy and 7% has mild depressive symptoms. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/alternatives-to-antidepressants-during-pregnancy
SAMe was discovered in the early 1950s. It’s made in the body from methionine, an amino acid found in foods. It has been found to regulate key functions in living cells.
Abnormal levels of SAMe in the body have been reported in liver diseases and depression. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/sadenosyllmethionine-same-in-depth
Probiotics- I take a liquid probiotic called Flourish. It only takes a small amount as it hasn’t gone through a freeze dry process to put into pill form. Gut bacteria also produce hundreds of neurochemicals that the brain uses to regulate basic physiological processes as well as mental processes such as learning, memory and mood. For example, gut bacteria manufacture about 95 percent of the body's supply of serotonin, which influences both mood and GI activity. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/09/gut-feeling#:~:text=Gut%20bacteria%20also%20produce%20hundreds,both%20mood%20and%20GI%20activity.
Vit D- As the sun is becoming less and less available in my area vit d becomes more and more important. I made it a point to go outside everyday in the morning and the afternoon to soak up as much vit d as possible but as winter is approaching I will be adding a supplement.
WHO says “Vitamin D is known to play an important role in bone metabolism through regulation of calcium and phosphate equilibrium. Vitamin D is produced by the body during exposure to sunlight, but is also found in oily fish, eggs and fortified food products.
Vitamin D deficiency is thought to be common among pregnant women in some populations, and has been found to be associated with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, preterm birth, and other tissue-specific conditions.
Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy improves maternal vitamin D status and may reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, low birthweight and preterm birth. However, the evidence currently available to directly assess the benefits and harms of the use of vitamin D supplementation alone in pregnancy for improving maternal and infant health outcomes is limited.” https://www.who.int/elena/titles/vitamind_supp_pregnancy/en/#:~:text=Vitamin%20D%20supplementation%20during%20pregnancy%20improves%20maternal%20vitamin%20D%20status,low%20birthweight%20and%20preterm%20birth.
I’ll put all of this and some research behind these supplements in the shownotes as well as where to get the NingXia Red I have been taking. Make sure you click the link in the description to check it out! Go to bit.ly/empoweredbirthningxia, click the "other premium kits" tab and click "Premium Starter Kit with Ningxia" for 25% off!
So besides the struggle through depression and anxiety I am starting to feel my body breathe again. I feel supported both physically, emotionally and spiritually. My birth team is amazing and I am starting to get so excited for what is to come with the labor. I feel like the fog is lifting and I’m able to dream a bit more and connect deeper to baby. I’m secretly hoping that I will have a baby in like 2 hours. I haven’t fully mentally prepared for the possibility of another hard 24 hour active labor. Now I still am planning on having my full support team available because I know that having someone there to hold the space, support my husband and my kiddos and document the experience is important and needed for me specifically. Everybody is so different, some love having people, some want nobody. I find it super helpful when working with women planning their birth to take a minute and dream about what is wanted. They picture who is there, who makes them feel like themselves, like they don’t have to hide… who you have around you is so important. I have painted our room and I'm starting to decorate and dream what I want my birth space to look like. We have lights hung, planning to fill it with plants and still deciding on a birth pool.
My prenatal visits are also shifting as well. One of the last ones I had I brought up the anxiety about whether or not I would be able to handle the birth process. I think every woman no matter how self assured and confident she is when it comes to birth has a moment where she asks if she can really do it again. Labor is hard work… but it’s transformative. Just when you get to the point you don’t think you can make it you do. You access the strength and the power that was programmed into you at birth and you realize that you are more powerful than you know. This doesn’t just affect that day, it affects your whole life. Do you know what really scares people who have never experienced this… powerful women. We are a force to be reckoned with. Don’t mess with a mama bear who knows how to listen to her intuition, knows how powerful she is and is willing to use it when necessary. There is a process to this. We have to go through the questioning, through the doubt, through the hardship to come out on the other side transformed. I’m in the questioning and doubt phase for the third time. Talking through this with my midwife I got a little teary. “I’m a really strong enough?” “What if I decide not to set up a pool this time, can I handle the contractions with out?” “How will I know if I want anyone to touch me or talk to me or how I should cope?” These are all some questions I asked her during our time together. She suggested I make a list of everything I think that may be helpful for coping and then I practice starting now. I start visualizing what it’s like to get a contraction in the shower, how I will breathe, how I will stand. Corey and I have been doing our spinning babies exercises. When I get an ache I practice my deep breathing and visualization. Preparing for birth doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive.
Another appointment I just had we had a teaching time of the labor and birth process. We went over what my husband can look for to know that all was normal in case my midwife didn’t make it in time… because it’s winter in Nebraska! I have seen through these appointments that trust is being built between midwife and us, and confidence is growing in corey and I, he is learning to trust my intuition and I’m leaning into his strength to get me through this pregnancy and birth. Truly a beautiful and growing process.
Each pregnancy and birth is different. Each one will teach you something. I’m learning it’s ok to rest and naps are a gift from God, to lower my expectations of myself while I’m growing a baby because it’s pretty hard work in itself. I’m learning it’s ok not to have a name picked out… If you have any ideas send me a DM on IG!
One last thing I really want to encourage all the mama’s out there listening to is pregnancy is a growing time. It’s a time of reflection, of growth of turning inward and learning what your intuition sounds like. It’s a time to dream and start making decisions that will help that dream come true, both for the birth and the postpartum time. As a third time mama I am definitely thinking about the postpartum time more and more. I’m starting to plan and put people in place to help me as I have started to see the importance. No matter where you decide to birth, if these decisions seem overwhelming, you don’t even know where to start or what decisions are out there for the type of birth you’re dreaming of then I’m here to help you walk you through this process.
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FREEBIE: Top 5 Things Every Pregnant Mom Needs To Know: https://blissful-birth.teachable.com/p/5things
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Purchase the Intuitive Mama’s Essentials, the basics every mom should know, including 15 questions to ask your provider, tips on avoiding an episiotomy, birth affirmations, and a birth plan template: https://blissful-birth.teachable.com/p/the-intuitive-mamas-essentials
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