5 musts while pregnant
Prepare your nipples for breastfeeding
I was lucky enough to meet an older mother of two when I was four months pregnant with my daughter. She was the one who gave me the superb advice of rubbing my nipples at every bath time with my luffa. In circular motions rub your nipples so that the delicate skin toughens up a bit. First I could berely make 5 circles around my nipples with the luffa, but soon I was rubbing them for minutes with no problem. Thanks to this advice I never had any problems with my nipples from breastfeeding. (My daughter is now 18 months old and still breastfeeds 3 times a day)
Get sufficient calcium
I’m the kind of mum, who prefers to get her vitamins and minerals from natural food rather than capsules. I did a thorough research and carefully planned my diet so that my baby would get everything she needed. I was shocked when one of my teeth broke and my nails were flaking. Unmistakable sign of calcium deficiency. Instead of rushing to the pharmacy to get Calcium supplements, I turned to my grandma’s home ‘remedy’. I made a huge omelet of 12 eggs for breakfast and saved all the egg shells. Egg shells contain the most and purest calcium one can get. I washed and dried these egg shells, then ground them to a fine powder. Every day I mixed a tea-spoonful into my yogurt and gobbled it up.
Work for a small belly
For the first 4 months of the pregnancy the fetus is so tiny, it doesn’t start shifting things inside your body to start making space for itself. Having a huge belly is uncomfortable, unpleasant and it stretches your skin so much that it might crack and leave you with marks forever. I used to exercise before I got pregnant and as soon as I found out the great news, I changed my exercise routine a bit. No more heavy weights and no more crazy, killer workouts, but made sure I worked on my abbs as much as possible. Strengthening your abbs, won’t harm the baby at all especially in the first 3-4 months. Once the belly starts growing you must stop all abbs exercises though. Why strengthen your abbs? Because it’s going to be harder for the growing uterus to stretch the strong muscles and it will start positioning itself backwards, towards your back, meaning that you’ll have a smaller belly and you will enjoy all benefits of it.
Take care of your skin
Invest in some pure, cold pressed coconut oil and rub it on your belly every day. I live in a hot country, so I used it after every shower I took. This sometimes meant three times a day. I don’t know what my skin would have been like, if I didn’t use the coconut oil, but I’d like to credit my flawless skin to the fact that I used it. There is no point buying creams that contain coconut oil. It’s best to use pure coconut oil – it’s good for you and if you don’t use all of it while pregnant, you can pour it over your salad. Which cream can you do that with? J
Also take care of the skin on your face and use sun protection. During pregnancy your body produces extra melanin, the tanning hormone, which acts as protection against UV. Brown patches of pigmentation might appear on your forehead, cheeks and neck, known as Malesma, which are in many cases irreversible. Personally I have them on my upper lip, therefore I look as if I had a decent mustache…
Exercise you Kegel muscles
I must admit that I’ve been very bad at remembering and doing these Kegel exercises and I can tell you I’ve been suffering its consequences. People don’t go public with this kind of information I guess, but I’d like to offer my help based on my personal experience to mothers-to-be out there. Kegel exercises should be done before becoming pregnant, while pregnant and after giving birth, basically all the time. Well, by never doing it myself, my muscles are so weak that I’m afraid to sneeze or cough when my bladder is half full.
* Kegel exercise: an exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, in which the levator muscles are squeezed and held for five seconds, then released for five seconds, for a number of repetitions. They are used to treat urinary incontinence, or to prepare for or recover from childbirth.