Pregnancy and My Health

Pregnancy and My Health

Well, hello – it’s been a long time.

Lately, I have found myself again digging deeper into health research and thinking about all of you back here at I figured it was about time for a little update.

This past year has brought a lot of changes to my life and a few of those have had significant (you could say even radical) effects on my health. January 2009 I got pregnant and the changes that my body underwent throughout my pregnancy and the first few months of nursing have affected my own journey to health. I’d love to share with you all a little about how pregnancy effected me, but I’m not sure where to start. I guess I’ll just break it down a bit.

First trimester: I really didn’t notice any improvement in my sensitivities beyond what I had already achieved before becoming pregnant. I had pretty bad morning sickness and severe fatigue – neither of which are uncommon, of course. I pretty much just ate what sounded good to me. If I did react to things it was difficult to tell because I just felt nauseous, tired, and ache all the time anyway. I did realize pretty quickly that many of the vitamins I had been taking where either not good to take during pregnancy (because of being herbal) or made me feel nauseous. I was able to continue taking a prenatal vitamin, omega vitamin, calcium, probiotics, and magnesium. Overall, I really didn’t like first trimester and basically just survived it. I did notice, however, that my hives were slightly better during first trimester.

Second trimester: My hives became unbearable during second trimester. They were almost the worst they have ever been – or at least it felt like it. I also broke out in a weird rash on the back of my legs and buttock, which my sister also had when she was pregnant with her son but not her daughters. The nausea still came and went during second trimester, but got a bit better. As far as food goes I really didn’t watch what I ate nearly as much during this trimester. I still avoided really processed foods, and obvious chemicals, preservatives and food dyes, but over all I started to eat whatever I could get my hands on. This was mainly because I wasn’t gaining weight quite like I should and I was a bit worried. I had been about 10 pounds underweight when I got pregnant and I knew that being underweight when you conceive and not gaining as much as you should can contribute to problems, particularly early labor. So, I ate whatever I wanted during this time and most of the time I felt ok, although not great. I did have what seemed like a constant cold during second trimester, which looking back now, may have just been me reacting to things.

Third trimester: I finally liked being pregnant. Almost exactly the day third trimester started my hives went away almost completely, the nausea stopped, I felt like I had more energy, and I didn’t feel sick all the time. I continued to eat what I wanted, but now all of a sudden I felt really good – maybe even better then I’d felt before I got pregnant. My theory is that my body just really liked the hormones that came along with this last trimester, but there were also some other things that might have influenced how I felt. Not long after starting my third trimester we went back to the states so that we could have the birth there. I was able to see my doctor there multiple times a week. We were living with my parents, who were anxious to put some fat on me and made sure we ate balanced, healthy meals with a lot of variety. I finally was gaining some weight which was great. I also had access to more health food stores and started drinking all natural electrolyte water, which helped with the dehydration I had struggled with throughout my first two trimesters. I started to feel well enough to pick up my yoga practice again. I also started taking a vitamin supplement to help support my thyroid which I think did help a lot too. Overall, things were really good third trimester and I wouldn’t have minded being pregnant a little longer if it hadn’t been for the terrible Braxton Hicks contractions I started getting all the time the last few weeks.

Birth: I had an amazing birth experience and if you want to read more about it I wrote my whole birth story HERE. I was really worried that I would react to any kind of pain medication since I have in the past, so because of that we started researching natural birth and home birth options. The more we researched the more we knew that it was the way we wanted to go. So, we had a beautiful home birth and I would definitely do it that way again. I felt very aware during the birth and had no problems with hives, headaches, congestion, or any of the other reactions I have struggled with most days of my life.

Postpartum (the first six weeks): The first six weeks after giving birth are sort of a blur. I remember being incredibly emotional and often crying. I remember being anxious and worried about the baby. But, overall I remember feeling pretty good. I continued to see my doctor regularly, take all my vitamins, and eat well. I continued to not have hives or other reactions. In fact those first few weeks if it hadn’t been from the sleep deprivation and the emotional roller coaster I would have felt really good.

There is a lot I could share about my health and also what I’ve learned about health in the past 7 months since giving birth. And plenty that I could write about in regards to nursing and having a sensitive colicky baby. So, I’m going to stop here and save all that other stuff for a future post which should be on the way soon.

So, for now I’ll simply say that pregnancy was quite the roller coaster for me in regards to my health and for the most part I’m glad it is over. I had always hypothesized that I would feel better while pregnant (and had a few doctors also predict that), but for me that wasn’t really the case – at least not over all. I did feel remarkably better during third trimester, but the rest of my pregnancy was not really a notable improvement over my normal health at this time in my life.

Well, I look forward to sharing more soon!

Health to you and yours –

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