Have you ever been around a group of moms chatting about their pregnancy, and out comes the line,
“I loved being pregnant!”
Listen, I am glad some of you loved your pregnancies so much, but I really did not enjoy being pregnant. Just being honest! However, I am extremely thankful for a healthy pregnancy and I would do it all over again a hundred times to get my little munchkin.
There comes a time in every pregnancy where you just feel rough. Whether it lasts for one day or a whole trimester, here are some essentials that helped get me through guided reading groups and math lessons and everything in between.
Snacks Snacks Snacks
And not just any snack-you need PROTEIN! Spoken from someone who is one step away from a vegetarian, protein was not always my first choice, believe me. Trust me though, when you are packing snacks for work, pregnant mamas need a good mix of carbs and protein to keep the nausea at bay and your energy up. My personal favorites:
- cheese and crackers
- hard boiled eggs
- Greek yogurt and granola (or in my case, Honey Bunches of Oats cereal!)
Water Water Water!
Drink like it’s going out of style! Unfortunately, I am not talking about Pinot Grigio. Bring a big bottle of water to work every day and refill it at least twice. The more you drink, the better you will feel and the less swelling you will have. It may sound counter intuitive to drink more for less swelling, but when you have adequate water intake, your body does not need to retain any. The caveat of course, is that the more you drink, the more you pee! Which brings me to …
Everyone knows that going to the bathroom is one of those luxuries not built into a teacher’s contract. Make a friend with someone in the school who is available to watch your class. This could be your neighboring teacher, a TA, or anyone available! I was lucky enough to get in good with the school nurse. She would come stand in my room while I waddled down to her office and used the bathroom. I cannot tell you how key having a bathroom buddy is!
Varicose veins are a real possibility during the latter stages of pregnancy, and anything to prevent this is a must-have! Not to mention, your feet and ankles feel so fatigued after a day of teaching. There are some pretty cute options out there now, too! I purchased these Celeste Stein Therapeutic Compression Socks because they come in super cute colors and don’t look like workout socks, but there are a ton of different brands and styles. Find one you like and wear them during the school day if possible. If it is warm and you can’t wear them at work, wear them at home when you get off. Your legs will thank you!
This can be one of the most difficult things to commit to, but your post-baby body will thank you. Try try try to get at least a little bit of exercise in every morning before work.
I can hear you now, saying, “Oh I will just exercise when I get home!”
No, no you won’t. You will be way too tired after work. I am a runner, so I kept that up until about 30 weeks, then it became too uncomfortable on my lower back. My stationary bike became my new morning date, and some days it was only 10-15 minutes, but it is better than nothing. I found some free prenatal yoga videos online (Pop Sugar is my fav website!) and I would do those, too. Research supports the connection between staying active during pregnancy and an easier delivery. Obviously I don’t know how my delivery would have been had I been more sedentary, but it was about 15 mins from first push to last for me, so it didn’t hurt!
Find a Workday Formula
As you get into your third trimester, your ability to stand for 7 hours while teaching will begin to falter. My formula became: sit while you teach, circulate during independent work. In addition to standing for long periods of time, sitting for long periods isn’t great either. Depending on the grade you teach and your schedule, you may need to make some adjustments to your classroom routine. I actually swapped my teaching podium to a writing table so I could sit during direct teaching. I am a pretty energetic and active teacher so this was a big change for me, but it was necessary. Find what works for you, and change things as needed!
Morning sickness became “all day” sickness from about 7 weeks until 16 weeks. Ginger tea, ginger ale, and these Three Lollies Preggie Pop Drops got me through many a math lesson without feeling like I needed to hurl. Take heart, the nausea won’t last forever!
Finally, Enjoy This Time!
You will never again approach a school year the same. Next year, you will be balancing new mommy-hood with your new students, and the teacher you knew yourself to be will be long gone. Not a bad change, but still, life is just different when you become a parent. (Here is My Story of my first year as a #TeacherMom)
Have fun with your class, enjoy this time, take care of yourself, and rest up. The best is yet to come!
Did I miss anything? What tricks did you use to survive those rough days during your pregnancy?
Want to look your best during and after pregnancy? Check out this post for my favorite products for moms!