Three Preggy Resolutions for 2013

Pregnant woman sleeping

As 2012 — and my pregnancy — came to a close, I began to think of how I would do things differently. That is, if I woke up tomorrow and discovered that I was pregnant again – with a week-old baby finally, mercifully napping in the other room, it’s painful even to write those words – what would I do differently?

Here’s what I came up with:

1)  I would eat less sugar. Stripped of the option to enjoy a glass of wine or to walk up a flight of stairs without panting or to hold my older child on my lap (what lap?), I found that sugar was the balm that soothed my deprived pregnant spirit. Sure, I couldn’t have the fun peppermint vodka cocktails served at my neighbors’ holiday party, but I could certainly have the cookies. And the candy canes. And the mini-cupcakes decorated like Christmas tree ornaments. And when invited to friends’ for dinner, I couldn’t have the wine chosen specifically to accompany the chicken, but I could have a slice of the homemade peanut butter chocolate pie. And then another. So, after two pregnancies punctuated by extreme sugar consumption, I would resolve to limit my sugar intake if I were to become pregnant again.

Sugar, in moderation is OK, even healthy I believe (pregnant ladies need some pleasure, too), but too much sugar can quickly elevate blood sugar levels leading to anxious, jittery sensations and the inevitable crash. I also discovered that sugar made my already active babe even busier, which meant more kicks in the lower ribs and more overall restlessness for both of us. If I had it to do again, I would combat sugar cravings by eating vegetables like yams and beets, which are naturally sweet and packed with powerful vitamins and nutrients and limiting deserts to one serving a day.

2)  I would drink more water. If you’re female and grew up in the western world you’ve probably been instructed at some point to drink lots of water everyday to help maintain a healthy weight and to keep your complexion bright. But water does so much more than that – especially when you’re pregnant. If you think about it, pregnancy is really all about liquid. The fetus grows and floats in amniotic fluid from the early days until that so called water breaks at the end of gestation.

Staying hydrated during pregnancy — which equals drinking eight 8-ounce glasses a day — will do a world of good for you and your baby. Water is the transport system that carries nutrients to your babe and H20 also helps to prevent some of the more annoying side effects of pregnancy: constipation, urinary tract infections and swelling. If I had it to do again, I would keep a 16- ounce glass of water by my side at all times and guzzle gratuitously.

3)  I would indulge in guilt-free napping. Napping was part of both of my pregnancies, but I was especially prone to nodding off in pregnancy number two. It may have had something to do with the supreme nausea that hit me in the first trimester, the debilitating allergies that accompanied me through trimester two or the vampire-like insomnia that saw me through the third – but I could often be found snoozing in the middle of the day. I napped, but I often did so with a heavy heart and an anxious mind (read: sleeping during daylight hours brought on serious guilt), which pretty much negates all the good that comes from resting. Napping seemed like a dirty indulgence that made me less of a productive professional, mother, person.

But if I had it to do again, I would sleep an easy sleep anytime I had the chance to do so. Pregnancy is hard and as I’m reminded in the early days with a newborn – babies can be even harder. Sleep while you can!

What would you do-over about your pregnancy if you could?