Pregnancy FAQ's

April 28, 2020


Holy crap people, time is flying and I am not ready (yet)! I'm obviously ready for her to be here, we just don't have a crib, changing table, or anything prepared! But that's what the next 12 weeks will be dedicated too. Our hearts are prepped, now its time to prep all the details.

Today on This Girl Life, Whitney and I are diving deep into the world of pregnancy. Since we are both pregnant, we thought it would be so fun to do a Q&A with questions from our IG followers, friends and TGL listeners. And boy did you guys show up! We got so many amazing questions!

I've broken down the questions here, some basic answers, and linked some correlating blog posts to help. If you're pregnant, congratulations, we are so excited to walk through this crazy journey with you.

Also, if you are currently working to get pregnant, struggling to get pregnant, or still deciding if having a baby is something you want, I hope you know both Whitney and I are here for you. We've both been through fertility issues of some kind, both of us suffered miscarriages, and Whitney has been very vocal about her journey through fertility issues. We are here for you, to listen, to be a place of resource, and a place of love.

We're praying for you guys, regardless of what stage of this journey you are in and we hope you feel our love and support.

Let's get to the questions!

ONE || What are you naming your baby? At this point, we have NO clue. Send name suggestions! As with Quinn, once we decide on a name, we won't make it public until she is here! It's the one little secret we get to keep to ourselves. We found this app called Baby Names and it is kind of like baby name tinder. You and your partner download the app and then you swipe on baby names, if you match, it tells you! So far we've matched on 2 names! We have two we currently love, and are hoping to narrow it down soon!

TWO || Do I really need a prenatal vitamin? Yes. But before we get into this, please know neither Whitney or I are doctors. NONE of this is medical advice and make sure to always ask your doctor first, but Whitney broke down some super interesting facts and reasons why a prenatal is so, so important. Obviously a healthy diet is the best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need so starting there is always KEY! But being pregnant we really need to ramp up on our vitamins and a few in particular.

**Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects. These defects are serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. The CDC states that up to 50 percent of spina bifida cases could be prevented simply by taking enough folic acid. It suggests that all women who could become pregnant should consume at least 0.4 milligrams, or 400 micrograms of folic acid per day which is the recommended daily allowance for both adult men and women.  Side-note: Do some research but Whitney always opted for 5MTHF, an active form of folate that shows superior bioavailability compared to folic acid. If you have MTHFR your body can’t just accept folic acid as it is—it has to go through a conversion process into a form called Methyltetrahydrofolate, or MTHF, in order for you to use it.

**Iron supports the baby's growth and development. Iron also helps prevent anemia, a condition in which blood has a low number of healthy red blood cells
*Remember vitamins and supplements cannot take the place of a healthy diet*

THREE || How many ultrasounds will I have? 4 ultrasounds is typical! The typical ultrasounds include one at 8 weeks (the pregnancy confirmation ultrasound), 12 weeks (post first trimester), between 18-22 weeks (the anatomy scan), and 35-37 weeks (the one pre-labor!). But keep in mind, every pregnancy is different. With both Whitney and my first pregnancies, we had extra ultrasounds due to Whitney having a high-risk pregnancy and me having a subchorionic hematoma. You may have extra ultrasounds for a variety of reasons, placenta previa, previous pregnancy issues, or anything that comes up throughout the course of your pregnancy.

FOUR || When can I find out the gender of my baby? Most women find out the gender at their 18 -22 week ultrasound appointment (the anatomy scan!). You can opt for blood tests at earlier stages. Most doctor offices have blood test options you can do for genetic testing and they include gender results too!
  • I went to an ultrasound location around 13 weeks. You can just google, early gender detection ultrasound and I'm sure you'll be able to find one in your area. 
  • Whitney did DNA testing via Sneak Peek at 9 weeks. 

FIVE || Can I still exercise during my pregnancy? Again, ask your doctor! But both Whitney and I exercised and have exercised during their pregnancies. Keep in mind, your body is constantly changing. Your workouts will change as your pregnancy develops! Do whatever is comfortable for your body. Also, make sure you are drinking way more water than you are probably used to.

I really love Beachbody for all my workouts, pregnancy and non-pregnancy. They have some great pregnancy workouts on their app, including even breaking them down in to trimester specific workouts. My best advice, listen to your body. For instance, yesterday I went out for my usual 2 mile walk (I do it every day) and my body quicklyyyyy told me it was not up for it. I did about a mile and called it quits, and that's OKAY!

SIX || How much weight should I gain during pregnancy? Again, ask your doctor! (Do I sound like a broken record?!) Quick chat on weight. Pregnancy is a lot, our bodies are constantly changing and developing. How we conquered the weight question, was we broke down weight based on your BMI. If you want to figure out your BMI, you can use this quick calculator to do so!
  • Underweight: Meaning your BMI is under 18.5 -suggested weight gain is 28–40 lbs
  • Normal: Meaning your BMI is between 18.5-24.9 - suggested weight gain is  25-35 lbs
  • Overweight: Meaning your BMI is between 25–29.9 - suggested weight gain is 15 to 25 lbs
  • Obese: Meaning your BMI is 30 and greater - suggested weight gain is 11 to 20 lbs.

SEVEN || What are your pregnancy cravings? And when is it okay to give into them? 
  • Whitney: hardboiled eggs, salads, and I eat at night because of my pregnancy nausea.
  • Kristen: very cold fruit, and sweets. 
Again, back to question two, a healthy, well-balanced diet is always the best way to eat during pregnancy. But keep in mind, your body is so smart and knows what it needs. Trust it, lean in to it and nourish your body accordingly. An ice cream treat here and there isn't bad, and neither are snacks at night! What you crave and what sounds good to you will change throughout your pregnancy. So if carbs is all you can stomach in your first trimester, then eat carbs! When you hit your second trimester, things may change and you'll be back to eating like you're used too.

EIGHT || What is the first piece of advice you give any expectant mum? Whitney and I have similar advice here:
  • Whitney: Listen to your own intuition. You know what is best for your baby. A lot of people may try to shame you, guilt you, or tell you 'something better.' But at the end of the day, you are this babys mom, and you know what is best. 
  • Kristen: Listen to the people you trust the most. Throughout your pregnancy you get a LOT of advice from everyone. Listen to the people you trust, your best friend, your mom, your doctor, and leave the other advice to the wind. Kristen's blog post about pregnancy advice is linked here.
I'll never forget, when I was about 36 (huge!) weeks pregnant with Quinn, a lady at the grocery commented on the almond milk yogurt I was buying. She told me that giving my baby that yogurt would cause infantile diabetes. I looked at her in shock (I'm not very quick witted on the spot), tried not to cry, paid for my groceries and hurried to the car. I called my mother in law bawling because I was so upset. And ya know what, my mother in law reassured me. I trusted my mother-in-law and not the awful lady in the store. 

You know what they say about opinions, they are like assholes, everyone has one :) 

NINE || What is your birth plan? Whitney and my birth plan is simple, birth our babies in the healthiest way possible.
  • Whitney had a c-section with her first pregnancy and will have a c-section with her second!
  • I had a vaginal birth with my first and I plan to have one with me second. You can read about Quinn's birth story here.  
Our advice about birth plans is simple. Birth a healthy baby. There are so many unknowns in pregnancy and delivery and at the end of the day, we'll both listen to our doctors and do that they say. It's really easy to get stuck on this idea of "I want to do exactly this." What I've come to realize, is you may be disappointed. 

TEN || Let's talk about weight gain. How to be aware of weight gain and navigate with daughters. This is a really big question for both Whitney and I. We both have been vocal about our own eating issues (you can listen to the TGL podcast on that here), and now we are both raising daughters! It's important to us that we provide them an amazing example of strong woman, proud of their bodies. Now that, is easier is said than done :) 
  • Whitney: Good question and very real and personal for me. Fake till you make it. So I may not enjoy the weight gain/ body changing part pregnancy but my daughter associates a big belly with a growing baby. So she is waiting and watching for my stomach to get BIG. So I never mention food in a way that I can’t have it cause I’ll get big. I constantly show her that I am trying to stay healthy through exercise, helping me making celery juice or AM green shakes.
  • Kristen: Give yourself some grace. This is a big life transition and your body is growing at all times. Some days it's super hard and some days it's easier, but give yourself grace. 
In full transparency, the weight gain during pregnancy isn't the tough part for me. It's after. After I had Quinn, I didn't "bounce back." A lot of people told me, oh wait until you're 3 months postpartum, you'll feel 'normal' again. And guess what? I didn't. I didn't get to a weight I felt comfortable at until Quinn was 8 months old! 

I'm learning through my second pregnancy that the different feelings of weight gain shift all the time. Some days I feel huge and gross, honestly, and some days I feel great. My advice to myself, is to constantly remind myself that this is a season. We will eventually have our babies, and we will be able to eat normally again, and work out normally again. And being pregnant is such a blessing. As long as I'm taking care of myself throughout my pregnancy, I can feel good about the weight I'm gaining. I hope leading by example in the kind words I speak to myself, my relationship with food (both healthy and not so healthy food), and the way I talk to my daughter are all examples to Quinn of how to treat this new time in life. 

ELEVEN || What's in your hospital bag? Whitney and I are sharing our three favorite items! 

TWELVE || Favorite pregnancy leggings and dresses? I love Lululemon Align, extra-high rise leggings and the Ingrid and Isabel pregnancy leggings from Target. True story, the last thing I wanted to spend a lot of money on was pregnancy clothes. My advice, buy a bigger size in regular clothes! If you're pregnant in the summer, my go-to are dresses! Target has great, cheap dresses and you can buy a little bit bigger. Then use them postpartum!

THIRTEEN || Sex and pregnancy! 
  • Whitney: Truth is our hormone levels during the first trimester can cause mood swings and nausea all of that can really mess with our libido. Be super honest with your partner, where you are at and let them know... listen when I’m into it you just need to be into it because I can’t promise anything more than that. And GO slow— use lube if needed and worried about bleeding 🤷🏼‍♀️
  • Kristen: Same advice, talk to your partner! Your hormones change throughout your pregnancy, different trimesters may make you feel differently. Be open about your feelings! 

FOURTEEN || What skincare? 
Whitney: Whitney wrote a blog post on how to avoid stretch marks here!
  • Japanese Camellia Body Oil Blend ( pregnant and postpartum skin moisturized and supple, helping to prevent and treat stretch marks) for stretch marks and HATCH body oil is soothing with calendula and sweet almond oil to help nourish skin and prevent stretch marks.
  • Juice Beauty's Hydrating Mist it has in it rosehip, ylang ylang, grapeseed oil and antioxidant-rich organic juices for a fresh, radiant complexion
  • Niu body facial serum -Super clean natural means 100% plant-derived, with nothing artificial and have banned over 1,300 ingredients from our products.
  • Drunk Elephant C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum- fighting that hyperpigmentation this product is a brightening serum with natural ingredients like vitamin C and fruit enzymes
  • Bio Oil: I love this for stretch marks! 
  • Glycolic acid: My skin this pregnancy was hard on my skin, so I visited my dermatologist and she gave me a pregnancy safe serum and cleanser! 
Listen to this week's episode of This Girl Life here: 

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I love hearing from all of you and greatly appreciate all your feedback and comments! xx Kristen