Sometimes, early pregnancy can feel really lonely.
You've taken a test. Maybe you feel elated. Maybe you feel overwhelmed. Maybe you feel worried. Maybe you feel all those things and more - all at once.
Ooof. It's a lot.
Do you wish you could talk to someone and be completely honest about all these feelings, someone who really gets it?
Enter Prenatal Doula Support for early pregnancy.
The first trimester of any pregnancy can be hard as hormones increase dramatically and the pregnant person's body experiences changes. Add in other factors like previous experiences with loss, fertility challenges, pregnancy that came sooner (or much later) than expected, big feelings from a previous pregnancy or birth, or any number of things, and these early days and weeks can feel tremendously hard.
Here at Nested Mama you'll find Prenatal Doula support designed with you in mind. Online packages offer emotional and informational support no matter where you are, and if you are local to me, you can pair this with In-Home visits when you need a helping hand.
Jones, Catherine and Rose Ann Hudson. Eating for Pregnancy: Your Essential Month-by-Month Nutrition Guide and Cookbook. 3rd ed. New York: De Capo Press, 2019.
Recipes in the early months include ingredients targeted to ease the difficulties of nausea, too, which can be helpful when the thought of deciding what to eat feels much harder than it should. In addition to this middle recipe section, the book includes introductory chapters on prenatal nutrition as well as a discussion of eating, breastfeeding, and postpartum weight loss.
There is much to appreciate about what Jones and Hudson offer in this weighty book. When we found out we were having our first child, it inspired us to take a serious look at our eating habits and learn more about optimal nutrition and how we could make that more of a priority for our family. I love that the recipe section includes easy to read labeling for those looking for gluten-free meals or vegan meals or several other dietary concerns.
Though this newest edition advertises itself as "completely revised and updated," the discussion of alcohol and breastfeeding could use an evidence-based update. And, in the discussion of the difficulties of life after baby, more talk of reaching out for professional help if possible would make this book even more comprehensive. I do note, however, that having a chapter on postpartum mental health in this nutrition book was unexpected and much appreciated!
If you are a reader who has a history of disordered eating or struggles with body image, I would caution against the opening and closing sections of the book. With its emphasis on calorie discussion and "ideal" weight gain, the early chapters may be less rather than more helpful for some readers. Similarly, the discussion of dieting in the later chapters, while gentle, still uses a lot of the mainstream language common in diet culture and may be triggering for some readers.
If you'd like a helping hand exploring new recipes and emphasizing whole food habits as you gestate your sweet babe, the thoughtful month-by-month layout of this book may work well for you. But, please be gentle to yourself and understanding of your own relationship with food as you approach the opening and closing sections of the book.
Looking for more evidence-based info as you prepare for birth and baby? Nested Mama offers a full range of classes including childbirth education, breastfeeding, infant sleep education, and planning for postpartum.
Johanna received a Ph.D. in English in 2014. Now a postpartum doula and educator of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant sleep, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.