It dawned on me the other day why I love Paleo eating so much. It totally fits my outlook on life. I have never been one to take pain relievers when I have a headache (to my husband's dimise actually...cause I don't stop the complaining about it part) or even drinking soda since I couldn't understand how carbonation and those bubbles could ever be good in your body. To many, this may be weird. Especially since we are in a time where there is a drug to fix everything. I am definitely no expert on drugs or medical anything, but I still found it all to be sketchy business. I'm also not saying that modern medicine isn't helpful... I'm just givin my general thoughts on life here.
So last year I read Robb Wolf's, The Paleo Solution. It made so much sense to me. He addressed these ideas that I have always had in the back of my head and basically verified my hesitation to taking drugs and putting not only chemicals, but anything processed, into my body. Our bodies are just not made to process some things. So I was sold. Eat things that grow on trees or things you can hunt. Simple. Natural.
So then, I got pregnant with boy #3 last summer. All my friends are starting their families as well, so I have been able to talk more about birthing stories, views, and expectations. I soon realized that my pregnancy views go hand in hand with my views on health and paleo eating. I, again, am not a medical professional, but just blurbing out my own views of how I like to birth my babies. There are options these days...All natural, C-sections, and epidurals seem to be the major 3. Since I already said I didn't like taking pain relievers with a headache, I was definitely scared of either a c-section or an epidural. I decided to commit to a natural birth without drugs. This time around I have more motivation than the 2 times before I'm not just scared of the side-effects of an epidural or recovery time from a c-section. This time I think its cool that I'm choosing to birth my baby naturally and that it goes hand in hand with my views of a healthy natural life.
It's not only the idea of how I am going to birth my baby, but more the little steps along the way and the little successes I have had this pregnancy compared to my other 2. My first 2 boys were born in hospitals, both great experiences and no major complications. I am very blessed about that. I wasn't eating paleo, and didn't even know about it, during those pregnancies. This has been the first "paleo pregnancy" that my sister's family and my family have gotten to experience. I'm the experiment and I love it! Since I have had pretty good pregnancies in the past, I can't say that eating paleo is a sure fix to everyone's pregnancy concerns. But for me it seemed like much more than a coincidence that this time around things are going so much smoother.
So the first fun difference is that I will be having this baby at home with a midwife. At first it was a financial move to skip out on the thousands of dollars we would have had to pay to the hospital vs. not paying that and having the baby at home. Then as I looked into midwife's in my area and met with one near by; we were sold immediately. She knows natural remedies for things that pop up during your pregnancy. My kind of style for sure.
So the next pregnancy success came when I asked about bleeding. With my first 2 kids I tended to excessively bleed after I birthed them. My midwife set my mind at ease and told me that she prevents bleeding during the last month with vitamin k. I am about to start taking that supplement and am excited to share the results after the baby is born.
During an earlier visit when i was around 6 months along, we noticed there were traces of blood in my urine without any other indications of a Urinary Tract Infection. Her response...eat more cranberries. That's a nice paleo food to increase. Just to make sure it didn't turn into a full blown UTI, she had me go to the farmer's market to get Grapefruit Seed Extract. I took drops of that for 3-4 days. I came back to make sure everything was still ok, and those traces of blood in my urine were gone. Done. Handled without antibiotics.
A major worry of mine was my iron levels. I have been anemic many times in my life. When I was a child I remember the icky iron medicine, in college I became anemic again, and then again with my first 2 pregnancies. The solution for the first 2 times around was an iron supplement. I was fine with that and it helped...especially when I knew I loose a lot of blood during labor. I was waiting for the midwife to tell me that my iron was low again this time around. Then, as she checked my iron level, she said it was perfect. Not low at all. It makes sense. I consume so much more iron sources from my food since i have started paleo. Check that worry off the list too.
Then there were the "little" pregnancy symptom differences that are interesting to note:
- Energy Levels - Super low energy for first two; Normal energy levels with Paleo
- Headaches - experienced often in 1st and 3rd trimesters; No headaches with Paleo
- Nausea - No nausea for first prenancy; bad nausea during 1st trimester of 2nd baby; food adversions that probably caused the nausea for baby #3 during 1st trimester.
- hormone craziness - I was definitely hormonal and remember it with my first 2. (Poor hubby); Big decrease in hormonal craziness with #3. All around happier or something. Weird.
- skin blemishes - First two I got weird skin blemishes and broke out; Skin is lookin GOOD for Paleo Pregnancy baby. Actually it has been awesome since starting paleo in general (and I have grown up with skin and pimple issues...so that is awesome).
And then there is always weight gain. First two I gained 30-35 lbs. when all was said and done. It was considered to be in the range of what is "healthy" weight gain. This time around I started at a much lower weight than started with my first two. That is due to my going paleo 4 months before I got pregnant this time around. It has been interesting though. I started at 130lbs. and now I am 152 lbs. at 35 weeks. So 22 lbs. Pretty steady gain the whole way through. There hasn't been a week where i gain 5 lbs one week and loose 2 the next (like with my first baby.) So one more month...finishing strong.
So there it is. The experiment is almost over. Only one more month to go! Go Go Paleo!!!