Accepting deliveries: Babies, groceries + takeout

Accepting deliveries: Babies, groceries + takeout

As my due date approached and then passed (yup, still pregnant), thoughtful friends and family have reached out to offer their assistance.  They've provided advice to naturally induce labor (from long walks, squats, and spicy foods to the doctor-recommended "romantic evenings"), offered to baby (+ dog) sit, and inquired about stocking our fridge.  While the natural induction techniques haven't proven effective (yet!), I've been so appreciative of the multiple offers to help.  And it got me thinking about what I'd actually value most once baby #2 arrives (I believe the answer is sleep, although I don't think you can offer "sleep" as a gift - c'mon science, catch up!).  Pre-babies, I was absolutely clueless regarding how to simplify life with a newborn, so I compiled a few food-related ideas for those in the same boat.  Here's how to show the new parents you care (because the way to anyone's heart is through their stomach, right?).     

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"Your belly is huge!" (And all the joyful commentary that accompanies pregnancy)

"Your belly is huge!" (And all the joyful commentary that accompanies pregnancy)

You look HUGE!  You're so petite.  You haven't dropped yet.  You're carrying high.  Look at that basketball you're smuggling.  Your belly sticks straight out.  I'm going to take a picture of it, so you can see how far it sticks out.  Woah, she's really pregnant.  How much weight have you gained?  (Yup, all things I've heard in the past couple months). 

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Hospital Stay

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Hospital Stay

In the days leading up to my due date (and then leading up to the actual delivery 10 days later), I dreamed about all the delicious, not-safe-for-pregnancy foods that I would eat.  Think raw sushi, potentially unpasteurized soft cheeses, and drippy eggs.  Fast forward to day 1 postpartum - I can't remember if I ate (surely I must have), what I ate (breakfast, maybe?), or if I enjoyed it (doubtful, as it was most likely hospital food).  While eating was at the forefront of my mind, it wasn't my eating with which I was concerned.  I imagine that's usually the case, especially with baby #1 when you're faced with a steep learning curve (or maybe that was just me?) and extreme sleep deprivation.  While I'm expecting sleep deprivation again, I'm hoping the learning curve with #2 isn't quite as steep (wishful thinking?).  Here's my plan for thriving (ok, surviving) during the whirlwind that is the first couple days postpartum.  

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: Labor + Delivery

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: Labor + Delivery

During my first pregnancy, I ate a big slice of angel food cake topped with whipped cream and strawberries...for breakfast...on the morning I was induced.  Twelve hours after my "last meal" and still in labor, I wished I had at least tossed a little protein onto my delicious (but not so nutritious) dessert-for-breakfast (a peanut butter drizzle, perhaps?).  I think my logic at the time went something like "well, I'm nearly 42 weeks pregnant, and there's leftover birthday cake in the house!"  That's it.  No further justification needed.  Hours later as I drank water and enviously watched my husband eat solid foods, I made a mental note to avoid pre-labor birthday cake if I ever became pregnant again (coincidentally, my due date with #2 falls very close to my birthday, so there's a very real chance there will be birthday cake in the house!).  Of course circumstances surrounding planned versus spontaneous labor + delivery vary, but here are some healthy eating tips for the periods preceding the birth of your baby. 

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Fourth Trimester

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Fourth Trimester

The Fourth Trimester (also known as: wait, I thought pregnancy ended after the third trimester)

The term "fourth trimester" was coined to describe the first few months of the baby's life outside the womb.  It's that time when your baby is no longer physically attached to you, but basically still attached to you.  While I haven't hit that point in my second pregnancy, I feel like it's the time I remember most vividly from my first.

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Third Trimester

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Third Trimester

The Third Trimester (also known as: the home stretch)

As I write this, I'm in the thick of the third trimester (read: no rose-colored glasses here!).  Accompanied by a basketball-sized belly and an increasingly noticeable waddle, the third trimester promises a tinge of heartburn, a few (dozen) restless nights, and a flood of emotions, followed, of course, by the arrival of your sweet baby!  With an increase in backache, bathroom trips, and inexplicable (yet oh so explicable) fatigue, I'm working my way towards the light (baby!) while doing my best to remain mindful and appreciative of these last few weeks of pregnancy.    

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Second Trimester

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Second Trimester

The second trimester (also known as: the sweet spot)

For most pregnant women, the second trimester marks the emergence of a recognizable baby bump along with the return of energy and appetite.  Time to take advantage of the golden trimester by doing "all the things" (eat, travel, socialize, exercise!), right?  Of course!  Optimism in tow, I set out to do just that.  Here's how I fared.  

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The First Trimester

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The First Trimester

When I excitedly discovered that I was pregnant with my second child, I quickly realized that the details of my first pregnancy, although recent, were fairly fuzzy.  Did I feel this nauseated/bloated/tired/constipated/[insert undesirable side effect here] last time?  What steps did I take to combat those ailments, and did any of them actually work?  Now that I'm less than 2 months from my due date, I'm reflecting on the stages of pregnancy and the corresponding nutrition and wellness strategies I utilized for each phase, beginning with the first trimester.  For my fellow pregnant mamas and mamas-to-be, congratulations and good luck!  It's a wondrous ride.     

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