Journal with Advice for the Pregnant Person
This is a book that I worked on as project editor, sharing my new-mom wisdom, witty headline writing-chops, and content-editing and fact-checking diligence. A WAHM job I got while Jonah was just an infant: Me at my desk, and him watching from his bouncy chair.
Book for the Partner of a Pregnant Person
Scott and I love this book. It’s written to prospective dads, but it does say a few words about same-sex couples needing the same info, and would be relevant for any poor soul living with a hormone-riven gestation machine (I mean, glowing mother-to-be).
Books on Pregnancy
These are books I read and refer to (listed in order from most hippy-herbal to most medical-science-y): Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, Do You Want to Have a Baby? Natural Fertility Solutions and Pregnancy Care, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and The Panic-Free Pregnancy.
The Panic-Free book goes a little further than I choose to. For example, the author says to go ahead and drink caffeine (three cups or less a day), eat sushi, and take certain over the counter drugs; he even recommends taking Unisom for nausea. The Wise Woman book goes a little further in the other direction than I have the patience for. Each book has its strengths as a reference tool.
Vitamins and Supplements
I drink an herbal pregnancy tea every morning. Two of the books I bought (see above) recommend herbal teas during pregnancy. One of the books says don’t drink any herbal tea as herbs have not been tested thoroughly enough. I’m just telling you what I do.
In my first and second trimesters, I took three capsules a day of Ultimate Omega to get that 1000 mg of Omega-3s recommended in the studies. The best things about this brand are the lemon flavor (no fishy burps), and the fact that it is certified free of heavy metals (mercury, lead).
Source of Life Prenatal Liquid: I took this stuff every day in the morning early on. It tastes delicious and doesn’t seem to cause nausea or constipation, as other prenatal vitamins reportedly do. I liked that I only had to take one dose a day, rather than 3x. It does have to stay refrigerated though, which isn’t so great for traveling.
Another favorite supplement is super papaya enzyme plus (and original papaya enzyme). Both are chewable digestive aids, good for combating heartburn. The original version has small, very sweet, papaya-flavored oblong tablets, ingredients include sugar, and the instructions recommend taking 3 tabs right after a meal.
Interestingly, the sweet little tabs are usually cheaper, and as far as I can read, a bit higher in enzyme content than the big ones. I usually only take one or two of either, and use the white ones for between-meals heartburn.
When I got scared that I might have Gestational Diabetes partway through the pregnancy, (I didn’t, but the scare still got me thinking about reducing sweets), I switched from my fructose-sweetened liquid prenatal vitamin to an organic tablet-type which I also liked better because it has iron, but not so much iron that I suffered the side effects (constipation), and that was important when a later-pregnancy blood test showed very slight anemia.
For the slight anemia, I also took this:
This was my favorite belly balm, for both smell and texture. It was a little oily, but didn’t seem to stain my clothes at all. (Can’t say the same for that spot on the wall when I caught myself getting out of bed — nice hand print; maybe we’ll color it in.)
This is the pregnancy tea I switched to half-way through my pregnancy:
It takes more work to make it because you have to boil the herbs for 20 minutes, but it’s worth it. It tastes better than boxed bag varieties and is more likely effective because the herbs are likely much fresher than those used in mass-produced tea bags. I used to make a big pot in the morning and drink it cold the rest of the day.
This is the fish oil I switched to in my third trimester, and still take daily now:
It turned out I was having slight allergies to the lemon oil in the other variety. This one doesn’t give me fishy burps either.
And my last little personal tip: I drank unsweetened cranberry juice, mixed with carbonated mineral water. The UCJ helped to prevent UTIs, and also, I found, helps to keep one more… umm… regular. Mixing it with a little naturally-sweet juice, like apple, is nice too. Lemonade is super tasty with it, but was responsible, I suspect, for the mid-pregnancy tooth staining that alarmed me so much (being acidic, combined with the already powerful staining ability of the cranberry…). Once I stopped using lemonade, and switched to a whitening toothpaste, my teeth started to look a lot better.
And, yes, we are supposed to limit soda intake because it can deplete calcium, but there are mineral waters that are high in calcium, to help negate that effect, for example, the brand, “Gerolsteiner.”