Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Health Lessons I Learned from Pregnancy


Pregnancy is perhaps one of the most humbling experiences you will ever have.


Still two months to go, but already big as a whale.

It was for me.

I never expected so many adversities. Morning sickness, for one, was more crippling than expected. Then there were joint pain, bloating, anemia, diabetes, muscle cramps, and many other problems most people wouldn't experience.

When you're pregnant, your body doesn't function normally, and you can't go about everyday like you used to. All the changes -- and all of them happening so suddenly and simultaneously -- felt rather shocking.

There were emotional developments too, like anticipation, fear, a heightened sense of social awareness, self doubt, etc.

When you're pregnant, you're just not right.

Over the past six-something years of blogging...

I've seen many fashion and beauty bloggers become new moms like I did, going from carefree girls with ample time on their hands to busy mommies with minutes to dress up and blog. In complete honesty -- and this is my personal opinion only -- they have transformed for the better: they seem happier, yet undoubtedly humbler.

Sandals were heavenly for swollen feet.

And like all humbling experiences, pregnancy taught me many lessons.

The health lessons, though, are by far the most valuable. Today I'd like to share them with you.

1. Hydration is more important than ever.

If you breastfeed, hydration is priority. Though it doesn't increase the production of breast milk, drinking extra water replenishes what you've lost through breastfeeding.

I've experienced dehydration twice, and they were truly awful: headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue...I was pretty much bed-ridden. Now I carry a water bottle all the time.

Just remember: if you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of the baby.


2. Lingering joint pain.

During pregnancy, your joints loosen up to prepare for birth. Afterwards, joints takes months to return to normal. If you're not careful, you'll pop a few different parts. I've done that just by doing everyday stuff, like bending and twisting. Really painful! So please be aware.


3. Zits galore.

When pregnancy hormones leave, your body reacts in various ways, including acne. I'm about 10-months postpartum, and zits are coming on left and right. For my first postpartum, this went on for five months.

Hopefully, you're lucky enough to bypass this. If not, then a face wash with salicylic acid may help, as well as a high-coverage concealer.

4. Eat clean.

I cannot express how much clean eating has helped me -- not only to lose the postpartum weight but also to adopt an overall healthier lifestyle. I feel better, stronger, and more energetic, all thanks to the clean eating philosophy of consuming non-processed foods.

New moms are more careful about food in general, and clean eating is a great way to go about it. If you need help starting, or recipe ideas, this is the book I recommend: The Best of Clean Eating: Over 200 Mouthwatering Recipes to Keep You Lean and Healthy.


5. Seek therapy.

All new parents need support. Newborns are both physically and emotionally demanding, and when all your focus is on the little one, you forget your own needs. After so long, self-negligence becomes resentment.

Fortunately, our health plan allows affordable therapy. Dr. O, my postnatal therapist, not only served as an outlet, but also helped me strengthen family values, identify and get rid of toxic friends, and focus on what's important in life.

She was also the one who encouraged me to blog more, and I'm so thankful that she believed in me and The Girlie Blog.

Despite accusations of postpartum depression, coincidentally spread as rumors by the toxic friends I desperately needed to part with, therapy was one of the best experiences I've had.

If you can't do therapy, then I recommend some type of outlet, like a hobby, side job, or a close-knit community that will take time to listen.


Thank you so much for reading again.

What about you?

Any pregnancy lessons you'd like to share?

This blog post was brought to you by Liquid Health Prenatal Vitamin.

Liquid Health Prenatal Multiprenatal vitamin offers liquid prenatal supplement made for women before, during and after pregnancy. It allows expecting moms to get the nutrients from their prenatal vitamin that pills and capsules can't deliver. The liquid formula allows the body to better absorb the vitamins and minerals, and therefore translating to better nutrition for developing fetuses.

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  1. There are so many side effects to pregnancy, I couldn't believe it! I really think a full list of them should be given to expectant mothers so they're more prepared! I kept getting unpleasantly surprised! I also agree about hydration- water is so important. I had serious strong contractions two months before my due date and had to be admitted into the UW hospital (because the director of obstetrics at Group Health told my midwife that was the best place for a premie to be born!!) and my midwife gave me a glass of water to drink... and things settled down, the baby and I were fine, and we went home a few hours later!

  2. Lovely blog!

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  3. this is a great post. i haven't been pregnant but this would be great for friends of mine who are! thanks! :D

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  4. Wow congratulations! :)

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  5. You look great and a huge congrats to you !!

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