Healthy Pregnancy



There are so many things that I've learned between my first pregnancy and my second...  
All of which have been incredibly helpful for me.  
Some of this knowledge has come easily, 
and some of it has taken a lot of research. 
I hope to include as much as I can think of, as I think of it. 
Honestly, just because I want to save it all up for my daughters one day. 
But I would be delighted to the depths of me if any of it could help anyone else in any way.
I hope you benefit from it!
And feel free to ask me questions, I don't know it all, I'm not a professional, but I'd love to offer up what I have learned.

-Lydia




My Top 5 Recommendations


Seeing a Chiropractor During Pregnancy Can Make All the Difference --- This is huge! I recommend this to everyone. (So does my care provider.) It is so beneficial. 
     I really think seeing a prenatal chiropractor could have helped me avoid my induction at 42 weeks in first pregnancy, and avoid the c-section as well. (I explain why in the article.) But if nothing else, I could have felt SO much more comfortable during pregnancy. I had no Backaches during my second pregnancy, I could hardly leave the couch at the end of my first for my aching back!


The Importance of Exercise During Pregnancy --- My Personal Experience on Each End of The Spectrum --- My second pregnancy (during which I stayed very active) was phenomenally easier and more comfortable than my first (during which I was very sedentary). And there are benefits for baby too!


Healthy Pregnancy Diet --- Limiting carbs is how to manage both mother and fetus's weight gain -- too many carbs can mean too many pounds, both both!


Ways to Help Your Baby Engage -- AKA How to Encourage Labor --- This is awesome. So many inductions could be avoided by helping the baby get down onto the cervix. Starting these habits early on is a great idea, but its never too late to try them!


{In My Opinion} The Best Way to Prepare for Labor --- If someone asked me what they should do to get ready for labor...this is what I would tell them.


Extremely Helpful Stuff

Hormone Free Birth Control, Which Alternately (When Desired) Can Aid in Achieving Pregnancy --- You don't have to use the typical means to plan your family. And even if you don't choose to use this method, its very empowering to at least understand your body in this way!


An All-Natural Remedy for Pregnancy Headaches  --- The only thing that worked for me during my first trimester full of really bad headaches.


The Business of Being Born --- These films are a great place to start when considering your options for birth. I talk about what the films mean to me in this post.



Questions To Ask A Provider When Hoping To Avoid a C-section --- This list is very useful for finding someone who will be on your side. (I've also included questions to ask to facilitate a enjoyable c-section, if needed.)


"I Think, I Might Want To Think About A Home Birth" --- If home birth is something you occasionally ponder, even just a little bit, I hope you read this post on: Thinking that you MIGHT want to think about a home birth.


Red Raspberry Leaf Tea --- lots of benefits, for all women, and could possibly help during your labor.


Proper Posture Can Mean a Better Outcome in Labor and Delivery -- Your posture can affect the way your baby lies inside, and having baby in an optimal position improves labor and delivery outcomes.


Easier Childbirth with Fetal Positioning -- There are ways to encourage your baby to get into a better position --- both during pregnancy, and during labor. This can mean the difference in having a vaginal birth or a c-section.


The Benefits of Birth Balls During Pregnancy and Beyond -- These are one of the best places to sit during your pregnancy to encourage a good good fetal positioning. They can be great during labor. And they can even be soothing postpartum.


History and Benefits of Belly Dance in Pregnancy & Birth --- Belly Dance originated as an aid to birth.


My Take on Hypnobabies --- Hypnobabies really made a big impact on my second pregnancy and labor. The confidence I gained from it was invaluable to me. In this article I break down what it is, how it works, and how I saw it interplaying with my Christian faith.


What I Think Helped My Second-Time-Around-Labor Be Such a Good Experience -- I listed out the things I think made a big difference between how I labored the first time, and the way I labored the second time. (The second time was WAY more comfortable and enjoyable.)


Labor Visual Aids/ Mediations -- Working through your fears and concerns before labor is a great idea. This is what I did to help the process. Maybe you could make your own set of photos for yourself, when facing your delivery -- no matter your circumstances. (If you don't use photoshop, just print out photos and use a sharpie!!)



For the New Momma


Postpartum Body Image -- It can be really hard to process all the changes, I came across a website for mothers that upheld me through the hard days, when the mirror really just hurt my feelings.


How To Alter a Bra -- If you are now a hard to find size, you can alter ready-made bras to fit. See how here.


Postpartum Belly Binding -- Does it really work?



Postpartum Hip Binding -- Does that really work?


How I Lost the Baby Weight -- My experience of losing 41 pounds of pregnancy weight, and going on to lose 15 more, to reach a healthy BMI, after my first baby.


My Favorite Postantal Workout DVDs -- The DVDs I thought were the most effective 


How to make a Babywearing "Coat" -- Keep you and baby warm together


Other Baby Accessories -- The posts I've done on cool baby things (mostly DIY)



Nursing Stuff


As a stay at home mom, who didn't use many bottles, did I still need an electric pump? This was something I questioned a lot before my oldest was born.



Having a hard time nursing on the go? I did too. This was my solution. 


DIY Nursing Pads -- Save some cash!


An Easy (No Sew) DYI Nursing Top Solution --- Have Scissors? You can do this! And it works with TONS of clothes!


My favorite cozy nursing bra -- great for hard to find sizes.



How To Alter a Bra -- If you are now a hard to find size, you can alter ready-made bras to fit. See how here.


Treating Thrush with Coconut Oil -- I finally got rid of a really stubborn thrush infection with coconut oil.





Recovery from a Cesarean


How To Care For A Mother Who's Had A C-Section -- A great read for friends and family of women who've had c-sections.



Emotional Recover From A Cesarean -- There was a lot for me to process after my c-section



What VBAC-Lydia Would Tell C-Section-Lydia --- I talk to my old induction-turned-c-section self, after having had a VBAC at home.





VBAC
Questions To Ask A Provider When Hoping To VBAC -- This list is very useful for finding someone who will be on your side.


Inspirations -- Photos I used to work through my c-section set backs and fears, to face my VBAC. (Maybe you could make your own set of photos for yourself, when facing your delivery -- no matter your circumstances. If you don't use photoshop, just print out photos and use a sharpie!!)





43 comments:

  1. Hi Lydia,

    I'm a friend of Janine's and she sent me a link to your blog. I went through an emergency C-section less than three weeks ago with our firstborn son and am still trying to process why it had to happen this way. Would love to connect personally and hear your story. My email is: mysavior_jesus_forgives@yahoo.com

    Blessings,
    Marina

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  2. Wow, resources! Totally awesome! I'm heading into pregnancy number three, and am determined to make this one my best yet! Bless ya, I'll be bookmarking and coming back to read up!
    Helen

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  3. Thanks for all the great info on your site! I'm 5 months pregnant with my first and love that you've already done so much research on things I have heard a little bit about. I've been reading through and have found so much of value (why the chiropractor that my midwife recommends, more stretches than she mentioned, Christian perspective on Hypnobabies). I'm going to go do some of those stretches right now as a matter of fact :)

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  4. very nice website full of knowledge and your recommendation are very helpful ............... for Pregnant Womens


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  5. Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to explain and share your findings with us
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  6. Thank you, for all of this. I haven't gotten to read through everything that I want to yet, but I already know it will help me. I've had two vaginal births, but from now on will need to have C-Sections (it's the safest option for my particular complications at both of my previous births). It seems that I always hear about moms that have only given birth one way or the other OR they've given birth via emergency c-section and then went on to have a VBAC, but unlike you, they seem to become very judgmental of those that have c-sections without fighting tooth and nail for a VBAC. My youngest is two months old now, and I just had it confirmed (and decided based off of everything) that c-sections will be needed. I'm still trying to process everything. One day I'm okay with it, because I know it is the best and safest decision for me, but other days I am heartbroken and terrified, for many reasons, one of them being that I don't know how many more children I will be allowed to have (and given that I'm only 20, I was hoping for quite a few more). I'm sorry this comment is so long, but your attitude in your articles and just everything I've read so far is already beneficial. Thank you.

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    1. Oh thank thank you so much for sharing with me Samantha! If you ever wanted to email me to talk about anything I would be so excited be a listening ear or share anything I might know. My email is 1lydiajohnson@gmail.com. I think one of the hardest parts of c-section is the heavy judgement people pass on it. I really do find that appalling. Mommas are mommas who give it all no matter how they reach motherhood.
      It is a lot to process. I do think getting to have time to process it before you have one, instead of after, will benefit you. But I know that feeling you are talking about so well, knowing its a good idea and feeling heartbroken. I’ll tell you what the first medical person to really talk to me after I had my c-section -- she was the nurse who performed my two week check up. I too was scared that number of children I could have would be limited, I told her I knew someone who only had four kids because that’s how many c-sections her doctor told her she could have. And the nurse’s response to me was that yes doctors will want to keep the number of surgeries lower, but she’s seen women over the years who have (and I forget the exact number she said but it was something akin to) eleven children, eight of which have been born via c-sections. She said they won’t stop you from having children. I found that very comforting. I think you have a lot of positive things going for you. Having a scheduled c-section is much easier on your body than an emergency one since you don’t labor first, and everything gets to be more calm and low key. I do have in my mind now, how if I’d need another c-section, I’d get to have a scheduled one and how I’d much prefer that over my first experience. And I’ve gotten to a place where I’d be fine with that if it came to it for another baby. Also I think there are lots of ways to prepare for one, both in the hospital and at home when you get home. (I’d love to talk you through that some time.) Another great thing is, your body has already had babies, so the nursing issues new moms have after c-sections should be non existent for you. There are lots of ways you can make a c-section a very happy and more natural experience and you’ll get to talk with your doctor about that before hand and make arrangements. There are good products out there for c-section mommas. And as emotional as the c-section was for me, I really have gotten to a deeper peace about it, and my body recovered from it great. The recovery was painful, but not terrible by any means, if you’ve had a baby, it’s nothing you’d be bowled over by, and they give you great pain relief that takes it down to very,very minimal. My scar is really small, and low, where no one would really ever see it, and if they did now I think it looks great, nearly unnoticeable. (Unlike my stretch marks. ;) )
      (Cont. below)

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    2. So yes, I totally, totally know it’s a lot to take in. But it’s by far hopeless -- its actually quite hope-full.
      I’d suggest to you to find and ICAN chapter near you when you are ready. They are a group of women who support moms in birth particularly in regards to c-sections.I found them to be shockingly non-judgemental -- just a group who opened up about how they feel and what they hope -- but not in judgement. The group I went to was most often attended by women who hoped to VBAC, but that wasn’t the only case there were women going to to c-sections or who’ve only had c-sections, and once I even met a women there who’d never had any c-sections, was just there to hang out I guess. I think everyone would be very supportive of your situation and want to pass on any helpful tips for a happy birth and recovery for you. But I would wait until you are ready (which may not be until you are expecting again, or it may be very soon --but make sure you are ready) -- it may feel a bit difficult to hear other women who’ve been disappointed after having a c-section, before you ever have one. But I think your hearts would both be processing the same thing, so it think it would intersect. And the group I went to had lots of info/experience with different doctors and hospitals so as to help steer people in helpful directions. If you did choose to go , make sure to share right up front your situation so how they address you makes sense. Here is where you can find a local chapter: http://ican-online.org/chapter/search .

      Hope some of that helps. And like I said, don’t hesitate to email me anytime -- even if it’s way later. Just remind me who you are and I’ll definitely remember and would love talking!

      Love,
      Lydia

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  7. I have an additional recommendation - a great new book I've been reading. It's the best for bonding with baby. There's really nothing like it. I've read other week-by-week books, but this one blows them all away. It's called “The Wonder Within You: celebrating your baby’s journey from conception to birth” by Carey Wickersham. It’s an awesome combination of week-to-week pregnancy information, what’s going on with the baby, “Did you know?” plus health advice about what to eat, cravings, nutrition, etc, BUT also with awesome 3D/4D pictures and videos you can link or QR with your phone to and see what your baby looks like at each week stage. Even better than the typical week-to-week books, and so personal! It’s got mom stories and even a journal/note section to write your personal memories and letters to your baby. The pregnancy information is as up-to-date as it gets and it’s such a great keepsake. I want to get one for everybody I know who is expecting! I highly recommend it! TheWonderWithinYou.com.

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  26. Don’t think of anything else just contact Dr Abalaka and purchase some of his herbal medication and your depression will go away. This was my state of mind when my doctor told me that i will not be able to conceive due to the Fibroid that was rolling in my family life and when i decide to reach out to the priest, and the Priest told me what to do in other to get the medication. Eventually I receive all the Herbal medications that cure my Fibroid and give me the chance to become a proud mother: Dr Abalaka is a great spiritualist, He did it for me, you can contact Dr on (dr.abalaka@outlook.com). If you are suffering from the following gynecology disease::
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