Week 9: How to choose your birth practitioner
Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.
Celebrate your pregnancy with other moms who are due the same month as you. Join a Due Date Club!
What's Happening in Your Body?
Your uterus has expanded to about the size of an orange by now, although you still probably won't be able to see this increase from the outside.
What's Happening with Your Baby?
It is not yet possible to determine if your baby is a girl or a boy by looking at the external sex organs. The baby's internal sex organs, however, have begun to develop this week. Your baby weighs about 1/8 of an ounce and is nearly 1 inch long.
Choosing Your Birth Practitioner
After choosing the place for your baby's birth, your next important decision will be Choosing Your Birth Practitioner. Get all the details about available choices and find out what to ask when interviewing a potential birth attendant.
Snacks that provide a quick pick-me-up will come in handy during pregnancy, especially in the early weeks when finding energy can be a challenge. This recipe for Raw Energy Bars makes about three dozen, so you can keep some in stock.
The Modified Sun Salutation is an excellent stretcher and invigorator. Go slowly at first and learn each step thoroughly. Then you can begin to let each step flow to the next one.
A sometimes unexpected (and generally unwelcome) side effect of increasing pregnancy hormones is constipation. Pregnancy hormones can make the intestines relax and become less efficient.
Drink as much water as you can, and try to get sufficient fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Exercise will also help keep things moving.
Try blending 2 ounces of sweet almond oil with 20 drops of marjoram and 5 drops of rose geranium essential oils. Use this aromatherapy blend to massage the lower back and lower abdomen. This may help relieve constipation.
If constipation becomes unbearable, you will need to see your caregiver for further help.
Taking Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself in all ways -emotionally, physically, psychologically, and spiritually -is the best beginning for your life as a mother and the best beginning for your child.
Pregnancy may be the first time that you make it a priority to take time for yourself. These months, before the baby is born, offer a prime opportunity to establish habits of devoted self-care.
One way to cultivate time for yourself is to try meditation. Meditation may sound intimidating to someone who has not had any previous experience with it. It does not need to be complicated, however, and it is a great way to learn the ability to focus one moment at a time, which will help you during delivery. Meditation can be as simple as observing your breath, or even sitting in a rocking chair and quietly knitting.
Here are a few suggestions for simple meditations to get you started.
- Close your eyes and observe your breath as it enters and then leaves your body. You may accompany each breath by silently thinking of the word rising as you inhale and falling as you exhale. As thoughts come into your mind, simply observe them and let them go.
- Close your eyes and repeat a simple mantra that you are comfortable with, such as the classic ohm. You can repeat it in time with your breath, if you like.
- Try a walking meditation. You can do this in a quiet place outdoors or even in your own living room. Walk very slowly; try to feel each part of your foot as it contacts the ground (you may want to do this barefoot). Observe what is in front of you. If thoughts begin to rise, simply observe them and let them go.
Image by Durga Yael Bernhard