Being pregnant is sort of like climbing a mountain. You think you're prepared--Pregnancy books? Check. Many words of wisdom from everyone who has ever been pregnant or knows someone who has been pregnant? Check. Lots of water? Check. Exercise? Check. Healthy diet? Hmmmm . . .
There is SO much information out there about healthy diets and pregnancy, and much of it is conflicting. Some people believe that a meat-less diet is a no-no during pregnancy, others believe that vegan or raw food diets are the way to go. Protein--how much do you really need? Are you getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients your baby needs? Don't eat foods like eggs, sushi, or other dishes that might be dangerous to eat raw or undercooked. How much weight is okay to gain (some sources indicate less than 20 pounds, some say up to 35 or 40).
So, here you are, on this journey weighed down with this huge pack of information and on top of all these things running through your mind, your hormones are a little wacky, making you cry during a commercial your un-pregnant self would have found eye-rollingly stupid, and your body is doing strange and wacky things.
I'm now nearing my last month of pregnancy and though I'm no expert, here are some things I've learned and would like to pass on:
1) Do NOT read too much pregnancy info, whether in books, online or in magazines. Do NOT listen to all the advice everyone gives you. Be selective, do some research on the things that you are most interested/worried about, make a decision and let it go.
2) Eat healthy foods and don't stress out about counting every gram of protein or carbs. On the other hand, don't be so "free" with your diet that you are gaining gobs of weight and feeling like crap. Remember, what came on, must get off at some point. Moderation, moderation. (NOTE: Sometimes, no matter how healthfully you eat, you will gain more weight than you thought possible in a one week period. Try not to let it get you down.)
3) Remember that babies are hearty little creatures. As long as they have milk, clean, warm clothes, a place to sleep and your love, they will most likely be very content. You really do not need a whole slew of baby toys, matching bedding, an entire set of new nursery furniture or most of the other stuff that is advertised to new parents. Keep it simple.
4) Your body really can change so much that you don't recognize it anymore. Often when I catch a glimpse of myself (still!) in the mirror, my first thought is, "whose stomach is that?"
5) Ignore everyone who feels the need to comment on your body. Constantly. As though you weren't standing right there.
I'm really lucky that my pregnancy has been pretty easy. I'm very happy with my pregnancy overall and I'm so looking forward to meeting my new son or daughter!
Here are some great Web sites that I often visit for inspiration, both during my "normal" life and during my pregnancy. They will definitely make you want to put down the Taco Bell burrito and make a fruit smoothie!
Oh my Blog! a raw/vegan mama's journey to remain a raw food eating vegan during her pregnancy is really inspirational. And of course, Happy Foody is still one of my favorites, though not specific to pregnancy or babies. Also, check out We Like it Raw for inspirational stories and some great recipes. The notorious Vegan Lunchbox has a GREAT treasure trove of archived posts on the most creative lunches I've ever seen. Plus check out the adorable lunch kits in her most recent post--CUTE!