7 Ways I’m Preparing for an Awesome Pregnancy (Part 2)

7 Ways to preparefor(2)

Last week I shared the exciting news that Michael and I are going to start trying for baby #3 in a couple months!

And I shared 3 of the ways I’m starting to prepare NOW for an awesome pregnancy.

Because the truth is, there’s so much you can do in the months leading up to conception that can make such a difference in your pregnancy and birth.

So here’s Part 2 of that post with the other 4 ways I’m preparing for an awesome pregnancy…

*note – this post contains some affiliate links

4. Carrying His Peace and His Presence

I have a goal for this next pregnancy…

I want to walk through the whole thing in God’s perfect peace without worrying about anything!

It might sound crazy, but I think it’s possible.

Graham Cooke (one of my favorite speakers) says that he can’t remember the last time he worried about something – it must have been 18-20 years ago. Wow! I want that! I know it comes from his deep intimacy with the Father, his close friendship with Jesus, and his confidence in who God is and who God will always be for him.

I’m going after it, Mamas! Babies feel our emotions in the womb. And they also receive the hormones we release. So if we release stress hormones and Cortisol during pregnancy, the baby receives those stress hormones as well.

I long to create an atmosphere in the womb for our next baby that is filled with only joy, peace, trust, and the presence of God.

I wonder how that would affect a baby’s spirit. What type of peace would a baby carry if they felt no stress or worry during their 9 months in the womb?  What type of foundation would that lay for their life?

I want to find out! So I’m starting to ask God how to get there.

I’m pressing into His heart at deeper levels and learning to abide continually in His peace and presence.

I’m learning to take each situation in my life to him immediately to get HIS perspective and thoughts on it (cuz He’s definitely never worried about it).

I’m learning to absolutely refuse to worry or to entertain the whispers of the enemy.

I’m learning that my peace, contentment and joy in the Lord is more important than anything else: the bills, the to-do-lists, the unknowns in the future, etc.

So I’m practicing and pressing in to His heart to prepare for my dream of a worry-free pregnancy!

5. Charting My Cycle

I’ve been charting my cycle using the Fertility Awareness Method since Michael and I got married 7 years ago. And I LOVE it!!!

It has seriously been one of the most empowering things I’ve done as a woman and I love being so in touch with my body and really understanding what’s going on with my hormones each month.

I take my waking temperature each morning and chart it on a graph, along with changes in cervical fluid and a few other things. Through this method I’m able to tell exactly which days of the month I’m fertile and not fertile and the exact day that I ovulate and the exact day I’m going to start my period. It’s amazing!

We’ve successfully used this method to prevent conception throughout our marriage, as well as to conceive quickly when we were ready to try.

But the other cool thing about charting is that I’m able to really understand what’s going on with my hormones. I’ve been able to tell in the past when my progesterone or estrogen levels were low and then was able to take steps with a natural doctor to fix those levels.

So I’m starting it up again. I want to make sure my hormones and cycle are looking good before trying to conceive.

Plus, through this method, I’ll know the exact day we conceive and our exact due date for the baby. Ultrasounds don’t always give you an accurate due date and that can cause problems if your doctor thinks you’re 2 weeks overdue and wants to induce when you’re actually only 3 days overdue.

If you’re interested in learning how to chart your cycle, understand how your fertility works, and how to naturally prevent or try for pregnancy, come join my online Understanding Your Fertility Class: Natural Prevention & Conception! You will come out of this class so empowered and excited to partner with the beautiful way God designed your body and fertility! I seriously believe every woman needs to take this class!

Also, my favorite book on this topic is “Taking Charge of your Fertility.” It walks you through the whole process of charting your cycle step by step and gives you charts to photocopy and use.

6. Getting the Best Maternity Insurance

It’s important to think about the kind of birth of you might want and to work on getting insurance that will cover that ahead of time.

Personally, I would love another homebirth and signed up for insurance that will cover that for us. It’s important to do this ahead of time because most insurance companies will only cover full maternity costs if you are a member before conceiving.

I joined Samaritan Ministries for this pregnancy and birth. It’s a Christian Sharing Network that isn’t technically insurance, but still meets the government requirement for everyone to have health insurance.

What I love about them for maternity is that they cover:

  • Any type of birth (hospital, birth center, or homebirth)
  • Any licensed doctor or midwife (they don’t have to be in a certain network)
  • $500 towards a birth doula
  • Prenatal supplements
  • And if needed, prenatal massage, acupuncture, or chiropractor visits. So awesome!

If you look into it and decide to join as well, will you give my name (Kierra Blaser) as the person who referred you? Thanks – It will help support this website and ministry!

7. Replacing My Beauty Products with Natural Ones

I’ve been meaning to do this forever, but the thought of growing a baby inside me gives me the motivation to actually do it!

Sadly, there are no regulations on beauty products in the U.S. and many of the products we use every day have chemicals in them known to cause cancer, reproductive issues, and more.

And everything that enters my body goes to the baby as well. So if I use a shampoo or sunscreen filled with toxic chemicals, my growing baby will be affected by those chemicals as well. Yikes! Time to clean out my bathroom!

I’m not throwing products out, but as soon as something runs out, I’m committed to replacing it with a safe, all-natural product.

I love Skin Deep’s website where you can look up any beauty product and see it’s rating for toxicity and the dangerous chemicals in it. I’m trying to only buy products that have a Skin Deep rating of 0-2. My favorite companies right now are Beauty Counter and 100% Pure.

So there you have it friends! The final 4 ways I’m preparing for an awesome pregnancy!

And if you missed last week’s post with tips 1-3, you can read it here!

I pray that these ideas bless you on your own journey towards an awesome pregnancy and birth! Share any other ways you’re preparing in the comment section below!

Much love,
Kierra

Photo Credit: Flickr.com – Thomas Pompernigg

7 Ways I’m Preparing for an Awesome Pregnancy! (Part 1)

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Exciting news… we’re hoping to get pregnant again this summer!

After praying about it and feeling God’s excitement and peace, Michael and I are planning to start trying for baby #3 in a couple months! We are so excited about the new little one that we believe God wants to send into our family.

And even though it’s a couple months out, I’m beginning the preparation process now for an awesome pregnancy. Because the truth is that there is so much we can do during the three months before conception (which some birth professionals consider the real 1st trimester) to really prepare for a healthy baby and enjoyable pregnancy.

If you’re hoping to conceive in the next few months, I pray these preparation tips empower you for a great pregnancy as well. And if you’re already pregnant or already had your baby, these are still great things to implement in your life that will bless you and your baby!

Today I’ll share the first three steps I’m taking to prepare and next week I’ll share the last four.

*Note- This post contains some affiliate links :)

Ok, so here we go:

1. Exercise and Sleep Schedule

Before having kids, I was so disciplined about getting great sleep and exercise on a daily basis. And I felt great! But somehow after having two kids 21 months apart, all that went out the window.

Somehow my exercise has become a stroll with the kids that includes stopping every few feet to inspect a roly-poly, to collect a leaf, or to jump over the crack in the sidewalk. Not quite the vigorous workout I used to get. Not sure it actually counts as exercise :).

And sleep? Well between sleep training two kids and dealing with sicknesses, bad dreams, falling out of bed, etc, I think I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve actually slept through the whole night in the past 3.5 years. Plus, it’s just so hard to go to bed early when it feels like the only time I can really get something done is after they are asleep.

But I know this is NOT going to work for another pregnancy. Growing a baby that first trimester is extremely taxing on your body (it requires the same amount of work as running a marathon each day), so it’s time to rest up, get disciplined and form some new habits.

Because I want to enter another pregnancy feeling rested, energized, and strong. And the good news is, I have a couple months to get there!

So here’s the plan:

Lights out by 10:00pm no matter what! I’m deciding that my health and my baby are more important than anything on my to-do-list. I’m going to trust Jesus with the things I don’t have time to get done and I’m going to honor Him by taking care of my body and going to bed on time.

8-9 hours of sleep each night!

6:20am – sneak out of the house before the kids wake up for a morning walk/jog with Jesus. So needed for the strength and health of my body and spirit!

7:10am – 15 minutes of stretching. I’m excited to get flexible and strong again for pregnancy! Right now I’m so stiff and out of shape that my prenatal yoga video would whip my butt! But not for long!

Daily core exercises to close my diastasis recti. My stomach muscles separated pretty bad in my last pregnancy and I never stayed disciplined enough with my exercises to close them back up. But I know it’s important to work on closing them before another pregnancy to be able to carry the baby well and prevent uterine or bladder prolapsed during birth. https://mutusystem.com has some great info and exercises to close your diastasis recti if you struggle with that too!

2. Get My Gut Healthy

In order to have a healthy pregnancy and to feel great throughout it, it’s really important to have a healthy gut and digestive track. Many current studies are linking morning sickness to a surplus of bad bacteria in the stomach like H.pylori.

So one of the best things you can do before conceiving is to fight off any bad bacteria in your gut, stock up on lots of probiotics, and get your whole digestive track thriving. Here are a few of the steps I’m currently taking to do this:

1. Incorporating lots of fermented foods and drinks into my diet. Fermented foods have tons of great probiotics for a healthy gut.

  • Kefir water is one of my favorites – a super yummy homemade probiotic drink that tastes like sparkling strawberry lemonade. You can learn how to make it and buy the starter grains here.
  • I also love Bubbies Sauerkraut – we put it on nachos, grilled cheese sandwiches, burritos, and more.
  • Milk kefir is another favorite of mine. I put it in smoothies and eat it as a snack with fruit or trail mix in it. 
  • And I LOVE Kombucha, but it’s a bit expensive and harder to make than water kefir, so I just get it as a special treat every so often.

2. Taking a probiotic supplement.

  • I’m starting to take Ultimate Vaginal Flora for my daily probiotic because it not only helps your gut, but also your vaginal flora to help prevent urinary tract infections and Group B Strep (a bacteria they test you for at the end of pregnancy). I’m planning to take this throughout the pregnancy and am praying I won’t test positive this time for Group B Strep! The other high quality probiotic I love because of the large variety of strains it has is Ther-Biotic Complete. 
  • I’m also getting the Pink Stork Solutions Starter Bundle that includes a great pregnancy probiotic and cocolaurin to kill off pathogenic bacteria in the gut like H.pylori. I really love their products and I’m impressed with the way they focus on healing the gut and aim at the root of morning sickness instead of just treating symptoms. I love their approach and research!

3. Consuming bone broth on a regular basis.

Bone broth can be very healing for the gut if you are having digestive issues and it has a lot of nutritional and health benefits. You can either make it yourself at home, or you can buy it online from bonebroth.com. And my new favorite way to consume it is through Bone Broth Protein Powder! I throw it in everything: smoothies, pancakes, oatmeal, etc. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of bone broth, here is a great podcast from Wellness Mama about it.

3. Nutrition and Supplements

For an optimal pregnancy for you and the baby, it’s important to stock up on great nutrition, vitamins, and minerals in the months leading up to conception. That way, your baby will have a rich store of vitamins and nutrients to pull from as soon as you conceive.

Their development begins immediately and they will start pulling from the store of minerals and nutrients in your body. If you start out already low in vitamins, the baby will deplete your body quickly leaving you feeling sick and tired.  

 So here are some of the ways I’m stocking up now:

1. Taking a daily whole food prenatal vitamin. I’m currently taking Baby & Me 2 and love it. I also love Thorne Research Basic Prenatal (but it has a lot of iron, which is great, but if you struggle with morning sickness it may be a little tougher to handle). 

2. Taking Omega-3 Fish Oil daily. DHA found in omega-3’s is so important for baby’s brain development and is important to start before conception. I take Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA

3. I’m also just getting into the habit of eating healthier. I really want my body to feel as rockin’ and strong as possible when we conceive and I know that if I work on creating good eating habits now, it will be easier to maintain them during the pregnancy.

Here are some of the things I’m starting:

  • Cutting out processed foods and sugar from my diet and trying to eat mostly real food :)
  • Morning protein shake with Garden of Life protein powder, spinach, kale, greek yogurt, a banana, avocado, and pineapple. So delicious! And such a great way to start my morning with lots of protein and veggies when I don’t have time to make a whole breakfast and sit down to eat it because my kids are needing something every second.
  • Juicing weekly (we love putting kale, chard, carrots, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon, and ginger in ours)

If you’re looking for great nutrition guidance for conception, pregnancy, and the postpartum time, this is an awesome podcast to listen to: Fertility Preparation and Optimizing Pregnancy. So much great info in here!

And this is a great book she talks about in the podcast: How to Conceive Naturally and Have a Healthy Pregnancy After 30. 

So there you have it! The first three areas I’m working on to prepare for an awesome third pregnancy. You can read the next 4 areas in this post!

Until then, I pray you’re inspired to think about your own conception, pregnancy or postpartum journey and one or two steps you can take this week to take care of yourself and your baby well.

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to make too many changes at once, so I encourage you to pick one thing and implement it this week. Then if you’re successful, pick a new one to add next week. And so on!

I’d love to hear what step you’re going to take to this week in the comment section below! Or other ways that you’re planning for a great pregnancy!

You got this mama! Your health matters so much and it’s worth the effort to take care of yourself and your growing baby well. This is an act of worship to God as we care for these temples and provide a healthy strong home for the babies God entrusts to us.

Much love,
Kierra