If in utero movement is any indication, we might have another athlete in the family! This little dude has to be some sort of karate master. Lily moved a lot but it never felt as intense as this! I mentioned in one of my earlier diaries that I have a posterior placenta, which means that my placenta is located in the back, so there is nothing obstructing me from feeling his movements. I knew I would feel him from the outside faster because of the placenta placement but I had no idea how much strong the kicks would be! He’s head down now (yay) but the movements in my lower pelvis feel SO weird. Lily was all up in my ribs and actually kept knocking one of my ribs out of place, but I don’t feel him in my ribs at all because he’s sitting so low. I think the most uncomfortable movements with him is just the pushing against my muscles and skin. I know in the next two months he’ll get even bigger and then I’m sure rib crowding will be inevitable!
Other than his intense movements, my biggest complaints are my round ligaments and my oblique muscles. For whatever reason, my obliques are SO sore. My chiropractor thinks its because he has a limb that spends a lot of time pushing up against one side of them. The aches and pains of pregnancy will happen to every woman no matter how young, healthy or in-shape she is. There are SO many changes happening in your body & although we are “made to do this” it won’t always be easy or comfortable. I want to share with you my top 4 prenatal specialists (outside OBs/midwives) that make pregnancy so much more tolerable. I swear by these professionals and I highly recommend you do too!
- Doula: If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know that I am OBSESSED with my doula, Alexa. She is the single most important person (outside of my husband and child, of course) that I had in my birth community. Think of a doula as a birth coach. She is not a medical professional but she attends births for a living and can help mommies achieve the birth they want by making them feel comfortable and prepared. Although a doula isn’t going to do anything to help the physical pain of pregnancy, they are a great resource for finding other specialists that can! Hiring a doula is a great idea whether you’re planning on a natural birth or not because they are there to be your advocate and help you with whatever you need. My doula was a calming force for me and a great resource for all of the pre and postnatal care Lily and I needed. I was still going to her for suggestions and advice over a year later before I hired her for the second time! With all that being said, it is SO important that you do your homework. Not all doulas are alike and one woman I met through my search for a sleep trainer was truly awful. It’s totally OK to shop around. Ask a doula you are interested in hiring out to coffee to see if you two have similar mindsets and personalities that click! For me, I don’t like anything too spiritual or hippieish and I really don’t like to be massaged, rubbed or told what to do when I’m in pain! I told my doula that ahead of time and she was able to be exactly what I needed when I was in labor.
- Webster-Certified Chiropractor: I have had serious back pain for as long as I can remember and I’ve seen SO many chiropractors. Eventually, I gave up and thought it just didn’t work for me. In my second trimester with Lily my ligament, hip and rib pain was so intense, my doula suggested going to see someone for it. Webster-Certified Chiros are specially trained to work on pregnant women, infants, and children. I LOVE going to the chiropractor when I am pregnant. Everything feels so much more in place. My chiro spends time working on releasing my round ligaments, too AND chiropractic care can help get your baby in the optimal head down position which makes for a smoother labor.
- Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist: During pregnancy, a PT can give you tips on a bunch of different exercises you can do to strengthen (and relax!) your pelvic floor, maintain your core muscles and keep your hips stable. My PT, Merci is seriously a lifesaver, I don’t know what I would have done without her! They are even more hlepful postpartum, so make sure you go back!
- Prenatal Massage: Girl, you are going to have aches and pains that rival the days after your toughest workouts! I have been lucky to not have sciatic pain or terrible back pain with my pregnancies but my round ligaments KILL me. Find a trained prenatal massage therapist and treat yourself every few weeks or whenever you feel like you need one! I went to a special prenatal massage center when I was pregnant with Lily and I swear the woman I saw was some sort of genie. She new exactly what to do and I don’t know if I’ve ever been so relaxed!
I hope this might help some of you other mamas-to-be find some physical comfort during pregnancy. I know it can be a real pain (literally) but you WILL feel normal again! One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten was to make time to take care of myself, I hope you can do the same!