Fighting Preg Fatigue: 8 Easy Ways to Feel Energetic During Month 8

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I’m entering month 8 of my pregnancy, and I must say that I just feel tired more easily. If you’re approaching the end of your 3rd trimester, you know what I mean. But rest assured (literally), it’s not just you! There are a host of physiological factors contributing to this 8 month preg fatigue, including but not limited to:

  • Shortness of breath, due to the rapidly growing baby and ginormous uterus pressing on the lungs and diaphragm.
  • Racing metabolism as body prepares for baby.
  • Extra weight in the core, making everything just that much more difficult.
  • Ridiculously caliente core temperature, causing overheating, and making dehydration and dizziness so much more possible.

The good news is twofold, though. First of all, we’re in the home stretch, and will be welcoming our adorable little babies into our arms in less than 2 months. And second of all, preg fatigue is super-easy to manage. You’ve heard the saying of the great generals: “Know your enemy.” Well, if we know why we’re feeling exhausted, we can combat and eventually defeat it!

Enjoying the breezy beach at sunset is my preferred way to keep cool during month 8.

Enjoying the breezy beach at sunset is my preferred way to keep cool and energetic during month 8.

With that in mind, here are 8 easy ways to keep up your energy during month 8:

  1. Hydrate – During pregnancy, our fluid demands increase, and it’s recommended to drink eight to twelve 8-ounce glasses of water per day, as opposed to the usual 6-8 glasses for a non-pregnant person. I drink water throughout the day to keep my energy up, since dehydration can increase the risk of fainting, malaise, and feeling hungry when you’re in fact thirsty. Remember: If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
  2. Exercise – The energy lag hits me hardest in the mid-afternoon, about an hour after I eat lunch. For this reason, I changed my exercise routine from the morning to the afternoon. It’s always a battle to go to the gym or exercise along with that yoga video, but once I start and the blood begins to circulate, I feel so much more awake and alive. And afterwards, my energy is amped up for the rest of the day. My best advice is to identify your own personal energy lag time, and schedule your exercise in then. Not only will you feel better during and after the exercise, studies have shown that your baby may actually be born smarter because of the increased oxygen and blood flow–bonus!
  3. Test for anemia – If you’re feeling incredibly tired all the time, the reason might not be pregnancy directly–it could be anemia. Anemia can set in during pregnancy, even if you’re taking the recommended supplements, because the baby leeches your iron, storing it away for later. Medical protocol calls for an anemia test around 28 weeks. If you show up anemic, it’s important to remember a few things. First of all, iron from green leafy veggies like spinach is more difficult to absorb than heme iron (from sources like red meat), but vitamin C facilitates absorption. Therefore, adding a vitamin C supplement with your iron–or even just eating an orange or cooking with lemon–can help your body to retain more iron. Also, calcium impedes iron absorption, so separate your iron and calcium supplements by at least 3 hours.
  4. Keep up Your Blood Sugar – Blood sugar crashes are another huge cause of tiredness in pregnancy, and they can be exacerbated by giving in to “cravings” for sugary, carb-y snacks. The best way to keep up your blood sugar is by avoiding junk food and eating healthy snacks with some protein for extra staying power. Plain Greek yogurt with 10 almonds, 5 walnuts, and a handful of blueberries is one of my favorite late-afternoon snacks to carry me through that blood sugar crash period between lunch and dinner. Other good snacks are carrots and celery with hummus or a banana boat (banana with natural peanut butter).
  5. Power Nap – Sometimes, you just need a nap; nothing else will do. If this is the case, indulge in a 30 minute to one hour-long power nap. You will awaken rejuvenated and ready to finish out your day with gusto. Just avoid napping for longer than an hour, since sometimes those loong naps can make you more sluggish, and they can disrupt your sleep cycle at night.
  6. Breathe Deeply – Sometimes in pregnancy, we can feel more fatigued if we don’t pay attention to our breathing. As I mentioned earlier, many pregos experience shortness of breath as the uterus presses on the lungs and diaphragm. For this reason, it’s important to pay attention to your breathing. Yoga is a great way to become more aware of how deeply and how often you’re breathing.
  7. Stay Cool – Feeling overheated can make you languid and lazy, and pregos are especially prone to this because of our hotttt body temperatures. Seek out the breeze, amp up your AC, stay out of the sun during the heat of the day, take a swim–do whatever makes you feel more cool, calm, and collected, and your energy will surge.
  8. Sit up Straight – If you, like me, sit at a desk all day, it’s easy to absentmindedly slump over, which actually makes you feel tireder. Instead, focus on your posture, consciously keeping a straight back. Not only will you look better, you’ll feel better, since sitting up straight allows the lungs to fill more completely and facilitates circulation.

Moms-to-be out there, I hope these tips help you to feel more vibrant and exuberant during your 8th month of pregnancy!

Planning a Gender Neutral Shower Part 2: The Aftermath

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Recently, I wrote a blog post about planning a gender neutral baby shower, and guess what? We just had the shower this past weekend, so now I can tell you everything I know about planning a gender neutral and fabulous soiree!

We decided to go the casual route: a backyard barbecue with about 20 guests. The theme was, of course, baby! Therefore, we had a platter of baby veggies (broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, etc), mini chicken drumsticks, baby burgers (aka sliders), and baby potatoes (aka tater tots). We also had the usual chips, crackers and hummus, exotic cheese plate, and my own personal favorite crabmeat avocados. Dessert was a baby watermelon and super-cute rattle pops made of Rice Krispies. I would definitely recommend this recipe–my bestie Janice and I made the pops and some mini treats without sticks the night before, and the morning of the shower, we drizzled them in melted Godiva white chocolate and doused them in sprinkles. They made an adorable display with shiny, Tiffany-blue gumballs from Target.

Rice Krispie rattles and decorative gumballs are super-fun, easy, and yummy shower treats!

Rice Krispie rattles and decorative gumballs are super-fun, easy, and yummy shower treats!

For decorations, we went crazy with paper lanterns in the theme colors (white, yellow, and Tiffany-blue), and created yellow and white balloon flowers for the staircase. I also made a silver “Welcome Baby C” banner, since I didn’t like any of the ones you could order. I made the letters myself, cutting them out of silver wrapping paper. Then, I cut backing out of sheets of thick drawing paper and used a glue stick (so second grade, I know!) to mount the wrapping paper letters on the drawing paper. After that, all I had to do was tape the letters to two Tiffany-blue ribbons, and we were golden.

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We had planned quite a few shower games, and had even made favors: boxes of candy in paper towel diaper holders. We didn’t end up playing all the games, but we did bring down a white board, on which we wrote “Guess Baby C’s Gender.” Then, everyone voted “Boy,” “Girl” or “Other.” The guests voted girl by a narrow margin, so we’ll have to see. 🙂 We also bought sippy cups at the dollar store (Bonus: We can use them later on for Baby C.), and filled them with beer for a brief college-style chugging game with a couple of the guys. Funny, we thought we came up with this idea, but it was all over Pinterest!

The party lasted from 3 PM until 1:30 in the morning! After dark, we brought out glow jewelry and glow sticks, and the shower turned into an all-out party, with dance music and dress-up karaoke. It was awesome that we had some leftover chicken drumsticks and rattle pops for late-night eating!

And finally, a word about the registry. We used Amazon, and it rocks–seriously! Some guests opted to have their gifts delivered directly to our house, while others had the presents shipped to their own addresses and brought them to the shower. But regardless, everything that was ordered arrived on time and looked just like the pictures! We loved everything, so I can’t attest to the ease of returns, but the ordering and delivery processes were seamless. Also, as I mentioned in Part 1 of this blog post, Amazon has a “Thank You Note” section that makes writing thank yous so easy.

The amazing thing about the baby stuff we ordered was that it matched the decor of the party, and the items matched each other. Gender neutral stuff is so easy to find, and so cute!

Moms-to-be out there, have you had your baby shower yet? What were some of the highlights? I’d love to share in the celebration with you!

7 Tips for Preg Bliss at 7 Months

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As the third trimester progresses, I’ve heard so many pregos say that they just can’t wait for it to be over. And it’s true; not only are we excited to meet our babies, 9 months is a loooong time to go without certain things we love (in my case, cocktails and bandage dresses). Plus, many of us experience some degree of discomfort as our babies grow, and sometimes we just want our bodies back!

Still, there are so many ways to enjoy pregnancy at 7 (almost 8) months, and here are just a few.

Doing what you love will help you to have a more blissful 3rd trimester. Here I am on the beach this past weekend, enjoying the sand and sun.

Doing what you love will help you to have a more blissful 3rd trimester. Here I am on the beach this past weekend, enjoying the sand and sun.

  1. Keep doing what you love – Preg fatigue sometimes makes it tempting to sit out activities that you usually enjoy, mostly because you’re sooo tired. News flash: The best way to energize yourself is to do what you love! Initiating the activity will be the hardest part, but once you’re up and about, you’ll feel so vivacious that you’ll forget all about feeling tired or cumbersome.
  2.  Stay social – Just as some pregnant women skip out on their favorite activities, time with friends might take the backseat, since the couch looks oh-so-inviting. Resist the urge to become a prego hermit, and go out with your friends! Have date nights with your significant other. Remember that after your baby is born, it will be much harder to go out, so live it up now! Your zest for life will increase, and your mood will be as insta-lifted as your boobies in your favorite going-out push-up bra. 🙂
  3. Feel beautiful – Take care of yourself throughout your pregnancy, even though you might not feel like it. Keep up your beauty routine just as you would if you weren’t pregnant. And don’t forget to dress cute! I know that it’s what’s inside that truly counts, but feeling beautiful puts an extra bounce in your step and a brighter smile on your face, adding to that lovely preg glow.
  4. Don’t worry, be happy – The last trimester can be a bit stressful, since there’s so much to think about. First there are the battery of tests you have to take (i.e. anemia, screening for gestational diabetes), and then there are the bi-weekly doctor’s appointments. On top of that, you’re preparing your house and your life for baby. But just take a deep breath and remember that this is an awesome time. It’s the best time of your life. You’re giving life, and in only a few more weeks, you’ll be meeting this amazing little creature to love. Know that, in a pregnancy, there are some things you can control (healthy eating, exercise) and some things you can’t (situations, genetic health complications). Control the factors you can, and just go with everything else. You’ll be happier–and mentally healthier–for it.
  5. Start prepping for baby – Organizing your baby shower, putting together the baby registry, buying cribs… All of these things are so much fun, and make the blessed event feel much more real. Another word about preparedness: If you’re going to be ordering any baby furniture from a store, make sure to allow at least 6-8 weeks before baby’s due date, since that’s often how long it takes before the furniture will be shipped in. Buying a crib is almost like buying a wedding dress, minus all the fittings. If you don’t have that much time, Amazon has a great selection of cribs cheaper than you can find them in stores.
  6. Stay active – Exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing, but it’s so beneficial throughout pregnancy. Just a walk on the beach or an hour of prenatal yoga can do wonders for both your muscle tone and your energy level. I love the All Belly Pregnancy workout, and have stuck to it throughout my second and third trimesters. (First trimester, I continued my normal workout routine, which had been approved by my physician.) Working out and staying toned throughout pregnancy has so many benefits: healthy weight gain, less strain on joints, decreased risk of swelling… The list goes on and on!
  7. Don’t expect too much of yourself all the time – Preg or not, we all have our good days and bad days, and sometimes, when we’re pregnant, the bad days can just feel worse. Thank you, rapidly fluctuating hormones! On those days, be kind to yourself. Indulge in a nap or a little time in the sun. Resting up and taking care of yourself on the bad days will make the good ones feel even better.

Pregos out there, how are you blissing out during your third trimester? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Planning a Gender Neutral Baby Shower: Part 1

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Earlier this week, I officially crossed the 30-week line! Only 10 more weeks to go, more or less. Woohoo!

My favorite part of the 3rd trimester is definitely the anticipation–feeling those strong kicks and imagining how cute Baby C must look as (s)he swims and flips around. Antonio and I are soooo excited to get to know our baby in only 2 short months!

Baby C is a total mystery, because, as I mentioned in an earlier blog post, we opted not to find out the gender. I’ve reached the conclusion that I have none of that famous female intuition I’ve always heard about, since I’m not “feeling” whether Baby C is a girl or a boy. In my vivid and colorful preg dreams, I’ve seen Baby C as both genders (on different occasions, of course), so I’m absolutely no help.

Right now, Antonio and I are planning our baby shower for mid-August, and it’s been so much fun! We’ve opted for a couples baby shower, and invited both our girl- and guy-friends. The shower will start in the afternoon with some yummy catered food, and perhaps some BBQ on our grill, and will last into the night with an after-party. Shower planning reminds me a lot of wedding planning, except on a waaay smaller scale. And since I adored wedding planning, I’m having a field day organizing the baby shower!

Adorable gender-neutral baby shower image, courtesy of alphamom.com

Adorable gender-neutral baby shower image, courtesy of alphamom.com

A lot of people ask me how we’re planning for the baby without knowing the gender, and I think it’s super easy. Here are some tips for planning a gender neutral baby shower, such as what to include in the registry, decoration ideas, and cute favors!

  • We used Amazon for our registry. I am a huuuge fan of Amazon; I use it as a platform to publish my eBooks, I download Kindle Unlimited books constantly, and I order tons of hard-to-find items, often with next-day shipping on my Prime account. True, I may be just a bit biased, but I researched various baby registries and found that Amazon not only offers the largest selection of items, it also has hassle-free returns, quick shipping, and a wealth of reviews about each product, making shopping so much easier. Plus, the Amazon baby registry setup is extremely user-friendly with privacy settings that you can easily tailor to your needs, and it includes a checklist of different categories, so you don’t overlook anything important. It also simplifies writing thank-you notes, since you can click on the “Thank You List” section to find out who bought you each gift and access their addresses as well. We’ve already started to receive items from our registry, and it makes Baby C’s impending arrival seem so much more real!
  • We nixed the idea of the traditional pink and blue shower decor, and decided to go with yellow, white, and sea-foam green, with accents of silver. I ordered paper lanterns and hanging decorations from Oriental Trading Company, which is an awesome website for just about anything party-related. Our baby shower will be a Cali-style indoor-outdoor affair at our house, so we’ll be decorating the patio and the kitchen / dining room. I’m planning on lots of flowers–in the color scheme, of course–and “Welcome Baby C” on the lanterns in sparkly, silver letters. Plus, we’ll do some shimmery white outdoor lights to keep the party going after dark. I don’t want to ruin all the surprises, but I’ll be sure to post pictures of the decorations after the shower!
  • For favors, there are sooo many cute ideas on Etsy, Pinterest, and Oriental Trading Company’s “Shower Favor Ideas” section. I love the new chocolate-dipped marshmallow rattle trend, and the peas in a pod! Since we’re having a girls’ and guys’ shower, I’m in the process of devising the perfect unisex favors. 🙂

Pregos out there, what kind of baby shower are you having? Are you going the traditional route or trying something new? Are you doing a gender-neutral baby shower, or going with a super-girly or “little man” themed shower? I’d love to share in the fun with you!