Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Book Review: Full of Life

by heather

Full of Life: Mom-to-Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was PregnantIt is my belief that just because this is my third baby and I have a BS in Nursing doesn’t mean that I know everything there is to know about pregnancy and having babies. So I picked up Full of Life: Mom-to-Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant by Nancy O’Dell, hoping for some new insights. This book is not an encycolpedia reference for pregnancy and motherhood, however it was more enjoyable to read than any of the other pregnancy books that I have read. It didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t know, but it does have some really good tips and is written in a style like you are talking to a friend. I would recommend it to first-time moms. Here are some the tips that I thought were most helpful.

  • A typical fertile couple has a 20% chance of conceiving with each cycle and an 85% chance of becoming pregnant within one year.
  • Your pregnancy is really 40 weeks, not just 9 months.
  • Your cravings may be very specific and may change at a moments notice.
  • When telling your boss the news, know your rights before hand. If you have worked for a company full-time for at least 12 months before your date of delivery the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles you to 12 weeks of maternity leave, during which time they have to hold your position for you. Whether or not you get paid during that time is another story.
  • If you were exercising regularly before you were pregnant, it is safe to continue to do so while you are pregnant.
  • It is not uncommon to have irrational, panic-inducing dreams while you are pregnant.
  • If you are having constipation issues, try baking pureed prunes (yes, baby food will do just nicely) into a spice cake. It should take care of the problem without the taste and texture of actually eating prunes.
  • When creating a baby registry, don’t register for blankets, stuffed toys and smaller baby clothes. You will probably get enough of those anyway. Register for sizes 9 months and above, and items like a 2nd car seat base, strollers and baby socks.
  • Sleeping on your left side is best for baby. It improves circulation. Sleeping on your back can cut off circulation (and oxygen) to your baby.
  • Things that can prevent leg cramps: drink plenty of water, eat Potassium rich foods, take a warm shower and stretch your calves before bed.
  • Things to relieve leg cramps: get you husband to massage your calves (yes, I realize these will probably occur at some ungodly hour, have him do it anyway), stretch and flex your calves repeatedly, get up and walk it off.
  • Fetal hiccups show that baby’s diaphragm is working.
  • Your breasts can leak breast milk even before you have a baby.
  • Bladder leakage can happen: wear a pad, do your kegels, limit bladder irritating beverages (those that are carbonated, acidic or contain caffeine), and cross your legs when you cough.
  • Breast-feeding is not automatic. Take a class or read a book before you have your baby.
  • Register at the hospital before the big day.
  • In addition to comfy clothes, make sure that you pack your laptop, camera, extra batteries and camera card for your trip to the hospital.
  • The most effective way to push a baby out is like you’re pushing to have a bowel movement. Yes, it is true.
  • Despite all of the discomforts and trials of pregnancy, it is all worth it in the end. :)

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