Unexpected Benefits of a Healthy Pregnancy

October 28th, 2011 by Dionna | 15 Comments
Posted in Healthy Living, natural parenting, Pregnancy and Birth, Strive for Balance

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Welcome to the I Love Me! Carnival!

This post was written for inclusion in the I Love Me! Carnival hosted by Amy at Anktangle. This carnival is all about love of self, challenging you to lift yourself up, just for being you.

Please read to the bottom to find a list of submissions from the other carnival participants.

My sister has always talked about pregnancy with glowing reviews. She loves the changes in her body, she loves seeing her stomach get big and round, she loves every single part of the new life growing inside her. When I was pregnant with Kieran, I could not relate to that at all. While I was ecstatic to be pregnant, I was in the middle of some life stress that negatively affected my health (a cross-country move, finding a new job, etc.). I was borderline GD and gained a lot of water weight, I wasn’t eating as well as I should have – it made for a very uncomfortable third trimester.

This time around my experience has been vastly different. I’m pleasantly surprised every single time we go to our midwife appointments. My midwife raves about how healthy I am – the only thing she’s ever mentioned is that I could drink more water – and that was only at a couple of appointments. And hey, it was the middle of a hot summer, who couldn’t stand to drink more water?!

33 weeks pregnant

My blood tests came back completely normal, my levels are great when I test my urine, my weight gain is within a healthy range, and my only real complaint is a sore tailbone, which I am getting help for from a wonderful chiropractor.1 And to completely (and unexpectedly) satisfy my vanity, my very healthy weight gain means that most of my pregnancy weight has gone to my stomach. The water weight that affected every part of my body with Kieran has not made an appearance. I’m not feeling constantly worn down and overtired – even though this time I’m doing more physical work with home improvements and chasing around a preschooler.

This whole pregnancy experience has made me feel . . . proud. I’m proud of myself. Because these positives? The healthy levels and great weight gain and the fact that I feel good? They are all positives because I’m taking care of me. I’m doing much more regular prenatal yoga. I’m eating healthier. I’m being proactive about taking care of physical complaints (by exercise and chiropractic care) and emotional stressors (by trying to get enough sleep, asking for help with Kieran, and reaching out to friends).

I want to stress that it’s not just the fact that I look better this pregnancy, although that is a great side effect. It’s more that I’m just so flippin’ pleased that I’m healthy. And it’s all me! It is such an empowering feeling.

Have you ever made positive changes in your life that have impacted your health and well-being? What did you do, and how did those changes affect you emotionally?

Thank you for reading this post from the I Love Me! Carnival. Please take some time to read the contributions from the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by the afternoon of October 28th with all the carnival links.)

  • The Art of Being Thoughtful – Becky at Old New Legacy likes that she is mostly thoughtful but wants to become more thoughtful. She shares a story that demonstrates that giving gifts doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • I love me (and running)! – Sheryl of Little Snowflakes writes about her new love of running and how it has helped her learn to love herself!
  • For the Love of Moe – Valerie at Momma in Progress shares her thoughts on a body forever changed, but forever loved.
  • Where I Find My Worth – Sarah at Parenting God’s Children shares how finding her worth in worldly things always falls short.
  • Oh Yeah, I’m Cool – Tree at Mom Grooves shares her very favorite gift and the thing she most wants to pass on to her daughter.
  • Loving – Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about some of the things she loves about herself – some easily, and some by choice for the sake of healing.
  • caught in a landslide – jaqbuncad of wakey wakey, eggs and bakey! shares a list of reasons why zie loves hir body.
  • I Love Me! – A Rampage of Appreciation! – Terri at Child of the Nature Isle stops waiting for anyone else to tell her she is wonderful and goes on a rampage of appreciation for herself!
  • Raising Healthy Daughters – In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Kate Wicker offers tips to pass on a healthy self-image to the young ladies in our care.
  • Unexpected Benefits of a Healthy Pregnancy – How does it feel to have a healthy pregnancy? Dionna at Code Name: Mama discovers that making positive choices can be empowering.
  • Filling Up Our Watering Cans – Nada at miniMOMist believes that practicing Sabbath is the same as being a gardener who lovingly tends to the flowers in her garden. She needs to fill up her watering can first.
  • Better Body by Baby – Jess from Mama ‘Roo and Family Too! shares how having her first baby makes her feel even more beautiful and confident about her body than ever before.
  • These Breasts Were Made for Nursing – Becoming a mother helped Mandy from Living Peacefully with Children to embrace her womanhood and improve her self image.
  • Yeah, I’m Pretty Cool – Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro writes about her own self love and how she hopes to foster the same self-respect in her children.
  • Who I’ve Become – The future is bright with That Mama Gretchen who shares her past and present perspective on body image and how she hopes to become a change agent with her daughter.
  • Ever-Evolving Me – Joella at Fine and Fair writes to her daughter about her innate drive to continue learning, growing, and evolving.
  • I love you for your mind – Lauren at Hobo Mama turns a dubious phrase on its head with a little self-loving slam poetry.
  • Stop Think of Love with Your Body – Amy of Peace 4 Parents shares an exercise to gradually transition from hating to loving your body – stretch marks, sags, imperfections, and all.
  • I Love Me! – Jenny @ I’m a full-time mummy shares the things that she loves about herself!
  • First, I’m Superwoman. Later, I’m SupperwomanPatti @ Jazzy Mama explains how she loves taking care of her amazing body. It birthed 4 children, after all!
  • Baby Strikes A Pose – Emma from Your Fonder Heart writes about her family’s decision not to let their 7 month old model, and uses the opportunity to think more deeply about girls (young and old) and how they determine their self-worth.
  • Love Your Tree – How do you picture the ways your body and mind change? Amy at Anktangle writes about how trees help her have perspective about her own growth over time.
  • Pumpkin Butt – Zoie at TouchstoneZ writes about how birth and pumpkins are the way to accepting her body
  • I do love me – Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about the lessons about loving herself she wants to pass along to her daughter.
  • Appreciating Who I Am – Linni at An Unschooling Adventure describes the things she likes about herself and the way she appreciates who she is as a person.
  • I love me! : A journey – Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares her journey on arriving at the point where she can say: I love me!
  • My Daughter Doesn’t Care So Why Should I? – Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama calls herself on the carpet for the image of self love and beauty she portrays in front of her toddler.
  • Finding out who I am – Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares an exercise that helped her identify positive qualities she possesses, and how that has helped her learn to love herself.

  1. Well, my only real complaint after the nasty bout of morning sickness and my continuing nursing aversion, of course.

15 Responses to:
"Unexpected Benefits of a Healthy Pregnancy"

  1. Amy   anktangle

    It’s incredible how a feeling of health and well being can totally change the way we look at and feel toward our bodies. I’m experiencing that shift more lately, too, as I feel my body (still) adjusting back from the changes of pregnancy. And it feels really good! =)

  2. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    That is so cool that you feel so healthy — and know that it was you who got you there! Way to go, Mama. :)

  3. Melissa   VibrantWanderer

    That is awesome, Dionna! I’m sure the way you’re taking care of yourself makes it much more possible for you to give of yourself to Kieran, too. It can be hard to ask for help as a mama, but sometimes I think our children benefit as much as we do from our “me” time. So glad you’re feeling happy and well!

  4. This is wonderful, and inspiring. I had a horribly unhealthy first pregnancy, for various reasons plus I picked up a virus. Lets hope my second pregnancy is a complete turn around like yours :)

  5. Hooray!! This is so great! I felt this way during pregnancy too (though I still didn’t like being pregnant much) and it’s weird how I almost felt ashamed of it. It seemed everyone expected me to be miserable, and I just, well, didn’t. Good for you for taking care of yourself! :) You look great and it’s even better that you feel great too!

  6. Kate Wicker   KateWicker

    I’m so happy for you. Something that is beautiful about this post is that you’re not only trying to be healthy for your baby but for yourself as well. I can remember during my first pregnancy making a promise to be well and eat well. Why? Because I loved the baby growing inside of me and wanted her to be healthy and strong and come into the world naturally. But what about me? Why didn’t I want to be kind to myself as well? We not only owe it to our children to be healthy; we owe it to ourselves as well.

    Blessings to you and your little miracle. (Typed this on my phone, so please forgive any typos, etc.)

  7. I think it’s sometimes easier to stay healthy with the second pregnancy if we’re running round after a toddler instead of sitting at a desk all day as happens to so many with the first. It must help, at least a little.

  8. What an inspiring post! I’m so glad you’re getting a lovely and empowering 2nd time around. Good health is priceless and even better when you can really appreciate it :)

    My pregnancy with Munchkin was also less than “glowing”. I was “healthy”, but I was sick for a long time and constantly exhausted. I never had that 2nd trimester high I heard about (and sadly, never made it to the 3rd trimester). I wondered why so many women loved pregnancy because I certainly didn’t! Hearing how different it is for you the 2nd time reminds me that it really can be different. Thanks for sharing this and lifting my spirits!

  9. Nada @ miniMOMist   minimomist

    You should be proud of yourself. Good for you!

  10. Sheryl @ Little Snowflakes   sheryljesin

    It’s so wonderful to hear that you are feeling great on the inside and the outside this pregnancy! I’ve recently started exercising more and eating better, and I love how it makes me feel strong both mentally and physically.

  11. Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama   hybridrastamama

    The fact that you are healthy is such an important and powerful part of why this pregnancy “feels and looks” better to you. Whether or not you gain 30 pounds of 80 pounds, your overall health and wellbeing will be passed along to the life growing inside of you. If you are healthy and happy then your emotional well being is positive which also provides the energy and vitality your wee one needs.

  12. I’m glad to hear that this pregnancy is going so well for you, particularly following what sounds like a rougher first pregnancy. Health is so important – things are just plain easier when we feel healthy! And the confidence boost is a welcome bonus :)

  13. mamapoekie   mamapoekie

    Do I ever understand. The first 4 months of pregnancy with DD were pure bliss… then I got diagnosed with GD and it all went downhill. I was so preoccupied with what I ate, with the constant injections, I didn’t enjoy pregnancy anymore. ANd towards the end, I had lots of water retention in my legs too.
    This time I said sod it with the GD. Didn’t get tested (though I do home tests every so often) and just eat healthily – no sugar or dairy or grain products. I feel great physically and so far, no water retention. STrangely, I have gained a lot less weight than with dd (so far)

  14. Hi Dionna. I know that I’m more than two months late in commenting. I felt the same way during my pregnancy! For the first time (since I was 13), I felt completely comfortable in my body. I was gaining the perfect amount of weight as each month went by. I had great body image because I felt for the first time, in a decade, that I was at the right weight for me. Now I’m trying for another baby and hope the pregnancy is as easy as the first time around! Congratulations on your baby! She is truly precious.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Thank you Rebecca! And baby dust to you – I hope you have another healthy pregnancy that makes you positively glow with confidence :)

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