At the recommendation of Gail and Clare, my two favorite midwives, I have begun to drink red raspberry leaf tea every day. At first, I was skeptical, having never been much of a tea drinker. I always thought those who drank tea every day were people who had an inner calm and meditated regularly. I can't quite fit those things in, but I have found the tea to be a wonderful addition to my daily routine. A cursory google search turned up many articles touting the benefits for pregnant women. It's a traditional herb used to tone the uterus with calcium and magnesium, and some say ease and shorten labor.
Gail told me at our first meeting that even if I didn't like it at first, to keep trying and eventually I would come to crave it. Perhaps it was just the power of suggestion, but she has been correct so far. We buy loose tea from the co-op for the evenings and weekends, and I keep tea bags at work. The loose tea is more flavorful, perhaps because I'm brewing it stronger. I add lemon balm to it and find it absolutely delicious. The tea bags are convenient and usually contain nettle, another herb which is said to be beneficial for pregnancy. It may even help to prevent UTI's, something that have always been a problem and a pain in my past.
Pregnancy has been so different from what I expected. I vowed to do things naturally, not to freak out about every little thing, and remain true to who I was before I got pregnant. When I look at my routine today compared with a year ago, many things are different:
I take folic acid and fish oil daily
I add metamucil and sometimes protein powder to my banana/raspberry shakes
I have completely cut out caffeine and I drink tea with a vengeance
I have traded my desk chair for a ball at work
I swim laps 3 times a week
All of these things are good, healthy habits, but sometimes I feel surprised that I'm so dedicated. I tried to be a healthy person before, but it's a lot easier to practice beneficial habits when it's not just about me. Even though I still haven't felt a sure-fire kick in my abdomen, I'm pretty sure there's a baby down there somewhere. That makes these changes all the easier - it's hard to be selfish and skip my trip to the gym or the extra protein in my diet when I know that it will make a difference to the baby.