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Summer and pregnant don’t go well together. The summer heat has a tendency to blow pregnant women right up and attach water to every toe and finger. Attractive. This is my second pregnancy, where I’m quite big by the time August hits. It’s hot, and I’m stuck waddling around with a big belly, wishing I was lounging with a mohito. I do have some tricks I’ve found that work for me to minimize swelling, so my feet and hands don’t scare my kids. I’ve never seen a list out there with these specific tips, so I’m hoping it’s some new information pregnant mamas can try. Number one is mentioned in most lists, but i take it up a notch. Swelling is very common, and a lot of it depends on your genetics, but these really helped me! And I know because this is my third time around the block.
1. Drink TWO Glasses of Water ASAP in the AM. Do not touch any coffee, tea or breakfast until you’ve done this. You need it after going all night, and the extra glass is for the baby. You must do this, or you will be setting yourself up for balloon limbs. Then, here’s the next most important piece: if you drink any other liquid in the morning, match it with another glass of H2O. Cup of coffee? Glass of water. Tea? Hot chocolate? Smoothie? Have your same amount of water right next to it. Other liquids will NOT hydrate your body like water. Water has a specific, chemical makeup called H2O. Nothing else has this, so your body can’t hydrate with it. Okay moving in in your day, I think you get the point.
2. Apple A Day (or two) Keeps The Swelling At Bay: Eat one apple in the morning, before or after breakfast and one before dinner, around the 3 or 4 pm time. I know this is very specific, but it honestly works! Why apples? They are very special fruits, they have been proven to give you as much energy as a cup of coffee (lord knows we need all the energy we can get), and they have two kinds of fiber, insoluble and soluble which slows the sugar absorption way down, helps you eliminate waste and gives you lots of vitamins. It also has tons of water in it, to help flush things out! There are numerous other benefits in just one apple, and you should eat two a day whenever possible! Now is the season for them, and when apples are too expensive, you’re next best bets are oranges, pears or grapefruit. They don’t have the same beneficial fiber compounds, but are very close, and they provide a lot of water.
3. Cinnamon Concoctions: I put cinnamon in my coffee every morning. Cinnamon will help keep your blood sugar regulated. Blood sugar dips in pregnancy is common, and part of the reason we want to snack on chips and treats often. Our babies are literally sucking the energy from us, so the dips can happen fast, and before we know it we’re starving for anything. Cinnamon is an antidote to this process, and I have some every morning. It’s up to you to find a way to use it that works. You can put it in a protein shake or smoothie, sprinkle it on apple sauce or oatmeal…anything to help you get that in some way. Now that it’s fall, there’s lots of pumpkin and apple recipes that call for cinnamon 🙂
4. Drink Prenatals: Adding to my liquid intake (you don’t want to know how much I go to the bathroom) is the fact that I have these Premama prenatal drink packets. They don’t taste that great, but they absorb better into your system and add to the liquid intake. Your body has an easier time digesting a liquid than it does a pill, and the prenatal vitamins in pill form made me more neaseaus. The more vitamins and minerals you have in your system, the less water your body will store.
5. Get off Your Seat: Now, this is tricky for those of you who have a desk job, but if you do, get an exercise ball to sit on. Then get up and walk any chance you get. You must keep your blood flow moving, and sitting does not do that. Sitting for long periods of time is really hard on a pregnant body. Things tighten up and water gets stored like it’s the end of the world. When your up moving throughout the day, your whole lymphatic system works better, which tells your body to move water through your cells and blood stream, rather than hold onto it. This is naturally easier for moms who chase little ones around all day, but for those of you who require sitting all day, get a ball and set your timer for walking breaks that work with your schedule. Make yourself do it, it’s worth it in the long run really!
Reducing swelling in pregnancy also helps keep your total weight down, which makes things easier on your joints and really helps you survive. We are in survival mode towards the end, and anything you can do to make things slightly easier is worth it. Even if you hate apples, try it for the long hall. See if they help you!
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