While I don’t want this space to start centering around my pregnancy and the coming baby, it is an integral part of my life — of our NCsquared Life, if you will — so I can’t ignore it. One aspect that I’m really excited about is the Centering Pregnancy classes that Nick and I decided to join. Centering Pregnancy is prenatal care that happens in a small group of expectant mothers and their partners/companions and follows the recommended schedule of prenatal visits, but each visit is about 90 minutes hours long, giving women 10 times more time with their provider. Women are empowered in their prenatal care by taking their own weight and blood pressure and recording their own health data with private time with their provider for belly check. Then everyone in the group (there are 2-3 other couples in mine) circle up where a healthcare provider leads discussions and interactive activities that address important and timely health topics. I think one of the coolest aspects about this form of care is that it brings 8-10 women who are all due at the same time together for care. I’ve only been to one class so far but I really like it. My particular class (there are several classes that meet at different times) is very diverse with lots of different ages, ethnicities, races, etc. and I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone and creating a bond with these other expecting mothers.
In our class, we talked a lot about nutrition and what we should and shouldn’t eat. Here are the lifesavers that my provider approved:
- Lunch meat. Because food standards are so high in the U.S., there’s almost nothing to worry about when eating turkey, ham, bologna, etc. In fact, she said we’re more likely to get sick from spoiled mayo from leaving the sandwich out too long, if, for example, you make a sandwich in the morning for your lunch later that day and you don’t properly refrigerate it.
- Sushi and smoked salmon. Same as above! She also said that if you ate a lot of sushi pre-pregnancy then your body is already used to that bacteria so you’re going to be fine. She did advise to use your nose: because of pregnant ladies’ super-heightened sense of smell, we’d be able to smell if something wasn’t right. If it smells off, don’t eat it. And that goes for everything! But look, this girl loves her sushi.
- Soft cheeses, from the grocery store. Again, same as above regarding the high food standards in the U.S. Just make sure the cheese was made with pasteurized milk and you’re good to go.
- Soft or runny eggs. My favorite part of the egg has long been the runny, gooey yolk. Dipping toast in yolk to me is like breakfast heaven. So I was really excited to hear my doctor say it’s perfectly fine to eat runny eggs.
- Coffee/caffeine. Most recommendations say you can have up to 200 mg per day, which is about one cup. My doc said we could have more than that and we’d be fine, but these days my heart will let me know if I’ve had too much because it will start beating so fast or feel fluttery. One cup is enough for me right now, for sure.
- Alcohol.* Controversial, I know, but hear me out. My doctor said that having the occasional glass of wine (the key word here being occasional, obviously) will not give your baby Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Examples she gave as ‘occasional’ was having one glass of wine with Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or having one glass of champagne on New Year’s. I think this is reasonable. After all, you hear of European women drinking wine all the time during their pregnancies and their kids turn out fine.
*Listen, I’m not a healthcare provider so I’m not claiming that I know best and I’m definitely NOT trying to give you medical advice so please don’t try to sue me. I’m simply sharing the information that my provider gave to me. Obviously, every person has to make their own decisions and if they choose to avoid every single one of these things, then more power to them. I applaud their decisions. My decision, however, was to drive straight to Bruegger’s Bagels after this appointment and scarf down a smoked salmon bagel. And so far, I’ve been just fine!
I can’t wait for class next month when we discuss body changes and the common discomforts of pregnancy, and how to take care of yourself. I’ll be sure to share any interesting information we receive!
Until next time,