Here are some personal things that helped me survive those last few, long.. long… weeks of pregnancy:) ! (overdue anyone?)
Kind of silly but also practical late-pregnancy survival guide !
This first point is geared towards those who suffer with pregnancy-induced eczema.
I had pregnancy-induced eczema during both of my pregnancies. This second time around it was especially difficult thanks to a crazy heat wave and of course to my pregnancy hormones playing havoc.
Drinking plenty of water definitely helped. But I also did a lot of research to help find a cream that is not cortisone or chemical (I have already used these types of cream often in the past and have since been aiming at steering away from them), and that would be ok for me to use during my pregnancy.
I went on a one-day trip to Ottawa and chanced upon a fantastic natural products store called Herb & Spice Shop. The worker there immediately showed me to Skin Essence E-Cream. Well, nothing more than a miracle cream for me. I kid you not ! It saved my life during that very hefty phase of extremely itchy eczema.
Appeasing, natural and organic on top if all, I could use it at any time of the day and it would stop the itch and allow me to find peace. I feel true gratitude for the existence of this fantastic cream. (where to find)
This is what is really looks like, a bit fancier than my drawing!
Oh, and it’s green! 🙂
*If you are presently experiencing pregnancy-induced eczema, I send you my sincere love! This too shall pass..
#2: YOGA BALL
In the last months of pregnancy, I replaced my chair with a birthing ball, oh my goodness, just so comfy to sit on. And it is also a wonderful tool to provide healthy posture and to promote hip mobility in preparation for birth!
#3: STAR TREK
Well this is a weird one, and I actually encountered another woman who experienced the same thing, but I for some reason had a very potent urge to watch Star Trek the Next Generation.
In it’s entirety.
The whole thing.
I believe it was somehow a way to bypass my morning sickness (which for me came on in the evenings).
Maybe it has something to do with the clean, sterile environment? The ever positive outcomes?
Whatever, Worf and Picard became my pals for that time. I also found myself wishing I could call Dr. Crusher for some info. 🙂
(I had previously proposed a link with bloopers of Worf that had me laughing to tears (the hormones probably had a lot to do with it!), but the video was unfortunately taken down. These ones aren’t too bad if you’re still looking for a giggle:
Make it so.
Oddly enough, I know I’m not the only one to revert to Solitaire, especially in late-pregnancy, and even more so especially when « overdue ». (I was 13 days past due date with the first baby and 12 days with the second!)
I’ve been able to read other women’s stories about late-pregnancy, and more than once Solitaire was part of it!
Maybe it has to do with the meditative aspect. Also, you never know the outcome, so it may be a way to keep oneself in a state of acknowledgement of the unknown? Or just plain old Entertainment!
(.. I even played during labor…..!)
#5: PRACTICE SAYING “YES”
During my first labor, I was beginning to be quite tired of the pain and the continuous flow of contractions.
They had been coming on every 2-3 minutes for about 10 hours, and I was losing my capacity to deal.
So when I felt the beginning of a new contraction, or « wave » coming in, I started to say “No no no no ….”
After a few times like this, welcoming each contraction with a « no », my midwife made her way to my side and gently proposed:
“See if you can say yes, instead”
.. so this was obviously not what I felt like saying (!), but I did it, and low and behold my body started to let go. And I entered the pushing phase not long after.
Saying « yes », the word, seemed to send a yes message of receptivity, release and opening to my body, even if not on a conscious level.
So for this pregnancy, I practiced saying yes, especially during my late-pregnancy.
During my yoga practice or just while tending to daily chores, I aimed at welcoming the sensations in my body with a yes as best I could, letting the feeling of release, even surrender, make their way into my body.
I also used this during labor, allowing the contractions to happen without looking to avoid, change or push them away, simply, « yesingly » letting them happen.
#6: POSITIVE AFFIRMATION PHRASES
On a similar note, near the end of my pregnancy I felt the need to bask myself in positive thoughts.
I felt I needed to nourish my mind and in so doing nourish my body with phrases that were positive and full of light.
I chanced upon this very beautiful collection of thoughts posted on youtube by Indigo Midwifery.
In the last weeks of my pregnancy I listened to and read these phrases, especially before going to bed, and they were a tremendous help in bringing me into the wonderous aspect of birth.
Thank you to Indigo Midwifery for posting such a beautiful tool for mamas-to-be!
My first birth was long-ish, 14 hours, with lots of pushing. It seems my body needed to figure out the way to opening.
I think that a little bit of fear of the unknown made me avoid letting go to this « opening ».
Because of this experience, when my second pregnancy came around I was able to prepare mentally in a more concrete way. And visualization proved to be a very useful tool.
Simply put, when I was about 37 or 38 weeks pregnant, I started to do some very specific visualization of my body « opening » up.
I started by looking up some images of the cervix, and what it looks like when it’s going through labor and opening (even just a drawing).
I then imagined my own cervix as best I could doing the same thing.
And I imagined breathing into that part of my body, visualizing it relaxing, stretching and opening.
I don’t know if this is what did it, but my second labor was quite different, in that the entire phase of dilation (so the opening of the cervix phase, during which I was able to use movement and breathing) ended up happening at home and without really much experience of pain (that came after!!), so much so that when we finally decided to head to the birthing center, I was about to start pushing (which actually started in the car!) We made it though, fiew :)!
#8: PERINEUM “MASSAGE”
Although nothing like a relaxing massage (!), these exercises were very useful in helping me to prepare for birth.
With yours or your partners fingers, you want to gently stretch the perineum, the tissues and muscles, like in these images.
Don’t worry about perfect technique. In doing these exercises, you’re not only preparing your perineum for the stretch to come, but you’re also preparing mentally for the sensation of burning that could well occur during « the ring of fire » (that infamous moment when baby’s head is half in, half out, ouch!).
When doing these exercises, let your body relax as best you can, while being aware of the sensations that are occurring. Try to breathe into this part of the body, while at the same time relaxing all the muscles around that area, like your thighs, your bum and your belly.
Moreover, both during and in between contractions, this practice of relaxation can prove so beneficial.
It’s a pretty intimate thing to talk about, but it’s such a great tool. These stretches are a fantastic way to prepare for the sensation of pushing as well as the notorious « ring of fire » impression, especially for first time moms.
Don’t be embarrassed! It’s worth it! And if your partner’s the one lending a hand (:)), it might give them a sense that they’re participating and able to help out. Start around week 34 or 35, a few minutes a day if you can.
*Please note: Generally speaking, these are not what one might call pleasant to do!
They couldn’t not make it to the list. They’re on all of my lists!
This blog could actually be called 10thingskegelmama instead.
Even if my next post were about recipes I’m sure I would find a way to add them to the list. They’re just so important!
And it’s true, they also helped me during the late-pregnancy phase by helping me to prepare the perineum (along with #8) for the task at hand.
Here are 6 Kegel Exercises that you can do, safe all throughout pregnancy and afterwards too.
#10: UGGS (or any variation on the theme of a slip-on boot)
I have 2 reasons for this odder point.
Reason #1: Slip on
The first reason will be understandable to those living in climates that know cold. (and/or snow). When I was pregnant with my first, I had boots that needed to be laced. And I was at my biggest in the deepest months of winter…you see me coming, boot lacing! Much help was needed from my partner and/or any other innocent bystanders when it came time to getting my boots on and off, hee hee, I exaggerate, but you get the idea.
This time around, being pregnant at the exact same time of the year, I knew what was needed on my feet when the cold months were going to roll around, Uggs! Or a version there of. So I found some (not even the actual brand, but a lovely version) and I fell in love.
Warm, so snuggly and of course and most importantly, all winter long, so easy to slip on.. and slip off! slip on, slip off. (Mr Miyagi? Daniel-San?)
..Which leads me to
Reason # 2: Slip off
The other reason they proved to be very useful was because we ended up being in quite a hurry when labor came around (again, during full winter with snow). We had to get out of the house fast (slip on) and by the time we got to the birthing center, I was about to birth the baby, so needless to say I needed to get the boots off, fast!
And..off they came, slip off 🙂
Hi! I’m Myriam, a former dancer turned yoga teacher based in Montreal. I’m also the mother of 2 unbearably beautiful children. 🙂 I believe in the virtues of bringing breath and body awareness as well as humor and loving-kindness to new mamas, and mamas-to-be! Read more→
Here is a link to the cream that made my pregnancy eczema bearable. It is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using it. Your price doesn’t change but this commission helps me buy more E-Cream. 🙂 Thank you for your support!
MY LOVED E-CREAM!
I also mention this cream in 11 Natural Ways To Manage Pregnancy-Induced Eczema as it has been so helpful in my life.
Made by Skin Essence, some of the ingredients include: Gotu Kola extract, White Kaolin Clay and Blue Chamomile Oil, all organic. It takes 2-3 minutes for it to start working.
I used it in the morning and night, but also at any other time of the day when the flare-ups were just too intense. I had a jar that I carried around with me everywhere, lol.
I went to the extent of contacting the company with my enthusiasm, and they are extending a 15% discount to 10ThingsYogaMama readers.
This is what it really looks like 🙂
I also use this cream on my son’s winter cheeks, and it can be used as a sunblock, and even a diaper rash cream. I have also offered this cream as a present to some of the cherished women in my life. One might say this cream made an impact on my life.
I love this cream. I love this cream!!!
I know that the same thing doesn’t work for everybody, but if this does end up helping you, I am so happy to have spread the good word.
I wish you all the best on your journey, and mostly, some peace.