5 ways to keep cool when you are pregnant

Did you know that pregnancy increases your blood flow, causing body temperatures to rise almost an additional degree above the normal 37 degrees C? While this can be handy on a frosty morning in the middle of February, when we shift into spring and summer things get can get awfully uncomfortable.

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Iced cocktails are definitely off the agenda during pregnancy! That being said, there are some natural ways to keep cool when you are carrying through the warmer months.

  1. Don’t overdo it

Exercise, household chores, or any physical activity for that matter, will only work to further increase circulation, causing temperatures to soar. Remember to relax. Ask yourself whether that task is really so essential. Can it wait until the real Great British Summer really begins, and the skies start to fall once more?

  1. Make wise food choices

There are so many pregnancy-friendly fruits out there to keep you cool during heatwave season. Nectarines, watermelon, star fruit, mango… lower your temperature by eating some exotic sweet treats. As well as tasting super scrummy, these fruits contain significant amounts of water that works to thin the blood, releasing heat.

  1. Stay hydrated

A raised temperature can quickly leave you dehydrated. By keeping fluid levels topped up, you can tackle any adverse effects of overheating. Drinking more water during pregnancy dilutes toxins in the body, and promotes healthy body functions. This is especially important during the third trimester, when dehydration can cause myriad prenatal problems, from infection to preterm contractions.

  1. Ditch the duvet

Is there anything worse than tossing and turning the night through due to overheating? Dump that duvet, and opt for a light blanket, as they do in tropical climes. The same thing goes during the day too. In warmer weather, choose to wear light, breathable cotton clothes rather than manmade materials, such as polyester.

  1. Maybe try mint?

Just, sadly not in a mojito! Menthol, a chemical component in mint, tricks the brain into believing that it is cold to the touch. As such, whether you consume mint or apply it to the body, you are likely to feel some relief from the heat. A luxurious menthol foot cream is perfect during pregnancy, as it can tackle the hassle of swollen ankles too! Alternatively, pop a few fresh mint leaves into your water, with ice.

5 things to celebrate after giving birth

We obviously talk a lot about pregnancy and some people simply bloom and fill the room with the radiating glow that flows from their face. On the other hand, there are unfortunately some people who detest it, carrying around an appendix of ailments for nine months than causes nothing but stresses and strife. But, no matter your stance on the scenario, after giving birth many women are at a loss without their bump.

Even though your pre-natal journey has come to a close, a huge adventure awaits, and there’s so, so much to celebrate after giving birth.

RD - 5 things to celebrate after giving birth

1. Freedom with foods

Who knew pregnancy could deny you of so many delicious treats! Well after nine months of depravity, get ready to feast your favourites. Gooey baked camembert, muscles in white wine, a little pâté when you’re peckish… it’s all back on the menu. What’s more, concluding nine months of solid sobriety, you can celebrate with a glass of something sparkling.

2. Slipping back into the stilettoes

Let’s not stress about post-partum figures, losing the “baby weight”, or starting up a strict fitness regime. New mums should feel able to enjoy time with their newborn, minus the pressure of snapping back into size 12s within a week. That being said, now bump free and approximately four ankle sizes smaller, you’re ready to head out in heels, without the worry of any serious stumbles

3. Post-pregnancy pampering

While most beauty products are perfectly safe, some do contain nasties such as phthalates, retinol and accutane, which should be avoided during pregnancy. Some expectant mums also delay the hair dying process until the second trimester, too. While plenty of salons and spas offer packages for mums-to-be nowadays, post-pregnancy pampering means you can indulge without the worry of dangerous chemicals or any adverse effects from herbal treatments. So when you feel up to it, treat your self to some gorgeous new cotton pyjamas, rather than the typically unflattering maternity ones and check yourself into a spa for the weekend.

Cotton Pyjamas

4. Cutting free from the cotton wool

As soon as you read the positive result, it can feel as though you’re being wrapped up in cotton wool by friends, family, and medical professionals. Being rigidly restricted for almost a year takes its toll, even when people have your best interests at heart. Huzzah! Bump away! You can build bookcases, lift ten-tonne weight shopping bags… go rock climbing or deep sea diving if you want to! Finally.

5. Your breath-taking bundle of joy

Let’s not forget the most precious part of post-partum, your beautiful baby. You’ve waited so long to meet them, to hold them close, to watch them grow, and you can now experience every inch of it with a love beyond anything you ever knew existed. No matter how your family unit is structured, no matter who else it involves, at the core, you have you and your child. There’s nothing in the world quite so special.

Tickling Babies Feet

The 5 best natural things you can do to ease morning sickness

Largely, pregnancy is one of the most wonderful, extraordinary experiences. Yet, for many women, morning sickness can spoil what should be a special time, making it feel utterly intolerable.

There are many reasons that expectant mothers suffer from morning sickness. As your body creates life, hormone levels surge through the roof. Those sudden, extreme hormonal changes can lead to nausea. This is, of course, on top of the additional symptoms, such as increased sense of smell and fatigue, which all contribute to that sickly sensation.

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Please do note that in extreme cases of pregnancy-related sickness, you should always consult with your midwife or family doctor. That being said, if you are in the initial trimester and your sickness is more a blasted bugbear than a serious condition, there are some natural options out there to help relieve your morning sickness.

  1. Ginger

It is likely that you will have been recommended ginger the very minute you first complained of morning sickness. A highly effective antiemetic in pregnancy, ginger in any form can help reduce your sickness symptoms. Try drinking hot water over grated ginger root, chew on crystallised ginger, or pop to the shop for a packet of ginger nuts.

  1. Relaxation

Prenatal sickness is intensified when we are tired and stressed. Which makes perfect sense, really, as your body is simply adding more hormones into the mix as it tries to cope with daily stresses and strains. Take a relaxing evening bath, fall into a regular, structured sleeping pattern. Relieve those heated hormones by engaging in mild, relaxing activities such as walking or pregnancy Pilates.

  1. Acupressure

Deep-rooted in Chinese medicine, acupressure works by redirecting the energy flow in your body. Using particular pressure points, the technique encourages energy within the stomach to move down, rather than up, alleviating morning sickness symptoms. Different points in the body work for different people, one of the most effective being approximately an inch down from the crease of your left wrist. While you can massage the area to calm the stomach and the mind, it is also possible to purchase sickness bands that apply pressure to the ‘pericardium six’ point.

  1. Vitamin B6

Choosing what to eat when you’re sickly can be such a chore. Nothing seems appealing at all, but you know that it’s a Catch-22, and going without will only make things worse. Opt for foods rich in vitamin B6, including bananas, brown rice, and wholegrain cereals.

  1. Hypnotherapy

As we’ve established, stress switches up those hormone levels and increases morning sickness symptoms. Hypnotherapy, if nothing else, encourages you to dedicate a small portion of your day to calming the mind. Sessions specifically designed for pregnant mothers will fuse your relaxation together with coping recommendations for your prenatal problems. This combination of stress relief and strategies for soothing sickness leaves you equipped to tackle whatever pregnancy throws in your direction.

5 Myths about Hypnobirthing

Despite being practised for many many years, hypnobirthing is still met with some caution, especially from those who have never seen the benefits. At The Rose Diaries we are huge advocates of the Marie Mongan hypnobirthing techniques having used them ourselves for our own birthing experience but we frequently come across hypobirthing myths that make us smile.

RD - 5 myths about hypnobirthing

1. Hypnobirthing means you are under hypnosis and not in control

The Mongan method is a technique that aims to help women use deep relaxation, breathing, and self-hypnosis to experience birth in way that’s very different from the “tradional” painful pushing method that most women believe they have to endure. You are not under any one else’s control as hypnobirthing is really about deep relaxation and being able to get yourself into such a natural, relaxed state that ensures outside stimuli don’t interfere with your relaxation.

2. Hypnobirthing promises you a pain free labour and birth

Pain levels are obviously a very personal thing as one persons pain threshold can be very different to another. There will always be mothers out there who want to tell you their horror stories about their birth experience but these conversations breed fear, not empowerment and hypnobirthing is designed to empower you and have the birth that you choose.

3. Hypnobirthing is for hippies

I am not a hippy. Enough said.

Hypnobirthing is for everyone (which also means that baby’s dad can get involved in the relaxation techniques).

4. You can’t use the hypnobirthing techniques for your first baby

Why not?

A first time mum is just as capable as learning the techniques of hypnobirthing as a second or third time mum. She will have the added benefit of never knowing any other type of birth.

5. Midwives and doctors don’t support hypnobirthing techniques

In latter years, the correlation of your support team has become more common place in hospitals and birthing centres and many doctors and midwives actively welcome the techniques. From my own personal experience, my midwife was the one who suggested that I may like to consider a home birth so that I was away from the hustle and bustle of a hospital and could really engage in the relaxation techniques in the comfort of my own home.

Hypnobirthing won’t be for everyone but if you believe in the core elements of the technique, you can tailor this to your own birth plan!