T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Monday, April 4, 2011

Live and Learn Blog Event - Day One

Practical advice for first time parents.
Pregnancy - Do's and Do Not's

There are tons and tons of books on pregnancy out there. In fact, when I was first pregnant with T Rex I had at least 6 difference reference books that I would scour daily, weekly, monthly. Plus, a few online sources as well. So, I'm not going to go into the details that those books do except to repeat some of the more important issues. 
Three ladies experiencing pregnancy together.

I thought I would offer some general do's and do not's that T Rex Dad and I have discovered through two pregnancies, along with a few other tidbits friends have shared with us, and also a couple things I learned in my woman's rotation this semester.

*First, the disclaimer. None of the information presented is intended to replace that of a health care provider acting in an official capacity. And I am NOT acting in an official capacity here. Are we good?*

- Enjoy this special time - period. Even if you're sick and miserable, enjoy it. It's a glorious time and very short lived.
- Record as much as possible. I used to have special pregnancy journals that I would write in at minimum once a week. I plan to give them to the kids when they are grown and expecting children of their own. Hopefully, they can read my handwriting, though.
- Take profile pictures at least once a month and the last month, take them every week. Even if you're unhappy with your appearance, you'll be glad you did. And the grown baby will also be glad of it. I have one photo of my mom when she was pregnant of me and I treasure it.
- Take a prenatal vitamin EVERYDAY. If possible, find one with DHA (lots of good studies supporting this - I've read as many 6 extra IQ points if you do DHA).
- Take a child birth class and research birthing options.
- Take a parenting class - especially if you or your partner have not been around kids much. And if you feel like you have tons of experience with kids, look into something like "Happiest Baby on the Block" - even the book or video is good, too. (Swings, Swaddling, Sucking, and Shushing - magic!).
- Take a breastfeeding class and look into your local chapter of Le Leche League now.
- Do your shopping and preparations early. You never know if you'll have to be on bed rest or if baby will surprise you and come early.
- Get the expectant dad a copy of "Expect Father".
- Take one last trip with expectant dad because after baby comes, it will be a while before you get away alone (T Rex Dad and I haven't been on a vacation alone since T Rex was born, unless you count a night away when Bebe Sister was born. And we are totally fine with that.)
- Research diapering options - cloth is NOT what it used to be.
- Eat healthy and watch what you eat. Just because you are going to be gaining weight does not mean it's a free for all eat-a-thon. Remember, what goes on will likely need to come off.
- Expectant dads - try to follow the same diet plan as the expect mother. This is one way you can show support. 
- Dads - give massages as often as possible (particularly foot massages).
- Read to baby now. T Rex Dad used to read to fetal T Rex - it was a nice time for all of us and he really knew his dad's voice as soon as he was born.
- Have family members talk to the baby in utero - he/she WILL recognize their voices if heard frequently.
- Be prepared for people touching your blossoming belly without your permission or making comments about your appearance or offering their birth stories.
- Think about your birth control plan following baby's birth. If you will not be exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months, you will likely need to have a back-up plan and if you are breastfeeding your options are limited. It's important to think about this because it is not ideal specifically related to maternal and fetal outcomes to get pregnant again all that quickly. Consider and discuss this now.
Profile pic about 18 weeks pregnant with Bebe Sister - note quite 2 years ago.

Do Not's:
- Expectant Dads  - NEVER, NEVER say the mom is "huge" even if she cannot hear you. And if she asks if she looks fat, probably best to just not even answer the question but rather go with, "You are beautiful and glowing" or something along those lines. As T Rex Dad says, there is no right answer. Expectant moms - hint, don't ask if you look fat.
- Avoid green tea (just recently been reading in my school text books about green tea and as healthy as it is in the antioxidant realm, it can be very high in caffeine and also have a higher incidence of miscarriage.)
- Avoid alcohol. There are no safe levels established so best to avoid it all together.
- Stop smoking and avoid second hand smoke. Enough said - no good will come.
- Avoid uncooked and unpasteurized products - raw or undercooked fish or meat, raw milk, brie cheese.
- Tuna in small amounts due to mercury levels.
- Caffeine - as little as possible. Most literature says no more than 1-2 servings per day.
- Avoid as many drugs as possible. Tylenol is safe. And if you have a chronic condition (asthma, diabetes, seizure disorder, etc.) talk to your health care provider before pregnancy or as soon as you know you're pregnant.

There's the condensed list. You should have seen the original. Please, offer your suggestions. Constructive comments will be entered for a chance to win a gift certificate to my cousin's Etsy shop - CChapmans Gifts Etsy Shop. Come back and let me know if you comment on any of the other Live and Learn postings and I'll give you an extra entry. (2 entries possible). Winner will be chosen by random number generator April 15th so please make sure there is a way for me to contact you if you win.

What would you add to either the do or do not lists? Or do you have some elaborations on the existing listed items?


septembermom said...

I love the idea of profile pictures during your pregnancy. I wish that I did it. I also think it's so important to have couple time before the baby comes.

I would also recommend to not worry if you get frustrated or tense when first trying to establish a nursing relationship with your newborn. When I first tried to breastfeed my first baby, I remember crying so much in those first days. It takes time to get into your "groove" with breastfeeding. Even with my other three babies, it took time to get to know each baby and their preferences and breastfeeding style. Also I would recommend that you don't stand for long periods during your 2nd trimester. I fainted in my 5th month and could've been seriously hurt because I fell in a parking lot. Gratefully someone caught me. Apparently, your circulation can be compromised as your uterus grows.

Kim said...

Great tips! I especially like the one about the husbands no-no:)

jennygranola said...

Really great compilation TRMom! I am currently in the last months of my sixth pregnancy. I would like to add two crucial thoughts. Number one - I don't care how long it took you to conceive or what meathods you had to try to get this baby, once your body has made a baby there's a good chance it will want to do it again. It is VERY important to find a birth control that works for your family. You can't always count on breast feeding as birth control either. Also, find a prenatal vitamin that you can stand. There are hundreds of brands out there. It shouldn't make you constipated or more sick than you already are. I had to search high and low before I found an all natural vegan pill that worked with my body. Lastly, sleep!!! Sleep as much as you can before you have that first little one. You may never ever sleep again :)

hillari said...

Good in, T-Rex mom, and all of it so true. My second was born 3 and a half weeks early and I had been on bedrest for a month or so--we were completely unprepared and ran around tossing things into a hospital bag as fast as we could.
Be aware that your horomones are quite possibly going to be out of whack for a few days/weeks after baby is born. I get weepy and don't like to be left alone for the first week or so before things go back to kind of normal.
I think putting away some meals in the freezer before baby comes would be a good idea.

hillari said...

oops, I meant info, not in.

Barb said...

One thing to add to the take a picture every month is to take a picture a month AFTER the baby is born too. C-man's dad and I took pictures every month on his 'birth day' holding up the number of fingers for his age in months. Now C-man can see mommy getting bigger with him AND see his incredible growth the first year of his life. Dad hated taking the monthly pictures and now LOVES the book we have of the end result.

Jenners said...

I wish I'd done the belly shots...I do regret that. And excellent advice about taking a vacation. Good stuff all around actually.

lizhasalife said...

This is a great post for any-time parents...meaning first and beyond because I learned a few things I didn't know! Green Tea?! Didn't have a clue...and thank you for listing Tylenol as safe, I was trying to remember if it was tylenol or advil :) I knew one was and one wasn't! I would say the best advice really is just to relax and enjoy it, because before you know it they are two and four and all that baby stuff is gone and you miss have a tiny one!

Caitlin said...

Great list! Amen to the dad tips as well, plenty of times I heard "I will not answer that" from Brian! Haha!

I would also add that you should invest in a couple of pregnancy outfits that make you feel really cute/stylish. There will come a time when you are not feeling so cute, and it is nice to be able to throw that on for a little boost, plus you can wear it for things like baby showers, office parties, visiting your family members who might make fat jokes (ahem. Been there)

also, I would say even if your birth plan is an epidural (mine was!) be prepared for the fact that you might not be able to get one. I have known too many people who have had the baby too fast or been dilated to far, or the epidural didn't take, etc. It is good to have a back up plan and a few tools in your arsenal (breathing techniques, etc.)

Interesting about the green tea! I didn't know that one!

JKMommy said...

TOTALLY wish I had done the profile pics AND baby/pregnancy diary but I was tooo stressed out with school! Bummer. I will try the next time!
DO: Have your husband rub your legs and belly with Burts Bees Mama Oil - it is the best feeling in the world when you are so tired and achy.
DO: Invest in one of those curvey regnancy pillows LOVE MINE STILL!
DON'T: over do it - Your body is quite simply NOT the same as when you're NOT prego! :)
DON'T feel bad about saying NO so you can get some time to rest. Believe me, you will NEVER have the same "rest time" afterwards! LOL

JKMommy said...

Commented on the Day 2 Post but... don't enter me b/c I get enough "free stuff!" :) I just wanted to participate in the constructive commenting! :)

Crunchy Beach Mama said...

I can't say I enjoyed pregnancy especially with my last. It's hard when you are in constant pain (long story)

I'm bad at recording and did not want to take any pictures! Ha! BAD MOMMY!

I agree with Julie on the pillow. A MUST! My body pillow now sleeps with me nightly...we've become attached and I couldn't let it go after baby :)

(please do not enter me)

LeAnna said...

I also had no clue about the green tea until a few months ago! One thing I wish I would have known with my first is that soft cheeses are okay, as long as they are made with pasteurized milk. I couldn't take my prenatal vitamins with either of my kids, and thankfully learned from my midwife that you can take double the amount of chewable kids vitamins.

tatertot374 said...

My dear friend is pregnant and she told me a new one yesterday. No lunchmeat as it contains bacteria that could be harmful. Never heard that one before
thank you

Have A Sweet Day! said...

Great tips and I especially love the daddy tips since they seem to be left out so much
joni dot taylor3710 at gmail dot com

Amy V said...

I would add that it's important to decide if you want to breastfeed your baby and if so, take classes, read books on it and talk to all the mothers you know who do! I wish I had done more of that before I had my little guy 11 weeks ago. Thankfully we are doing great! Oh well, live and learn. :)

Amy V said...

I commented on the birth blog

susansmoaks said...

great tips thank you
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Its Just Me said...

VERY VERY Important to the dads. DO NOT say the mom to be is fat. (That is my favorite tip you had) :)

We already feel huge, so please dont add to that. Last time I was pregnant was 10 years ago. I still remember my childs father making the remark that I was fat. He was a jerk lol.

itsjustme62613 at gmail.com