11 Jul The Sixth Month is Time for Porridge Brain
You’ve reached the last month of your second trimester. Your due date is inching closer, your body looks decidedly pregnant and the weight of carrying your child is slowly starting to add some strain to your muscles and joints. You may have left those initial, first trimester symptoms behind, but a few new ones will be popping up to take their place.
I always felt like my baby bump had a mind of its own. Some days it would be this proud little mound, and others it looked more like a food baby than an actual baby. By month six, I had a proper bump. I remember the first day I wore a bump-hugging outfit to work and I could almost feel the collective exhale of my colleagues. I guess all those weeks and wondering whether I am pregnant or not had finally been put to rest. This is usually the part where you tend to face a barrage of questions from colleagues, friends and family. Expect things like:
- Do you know what you’re having?
- Are you going for a natural birth?
- You look like you’re about to pop, when’s your due date?
- Gosh, hopefully, you don’t go into labour at the office! (Not a question, I know, but a fairly common statement.)
Being pregnant and working full time is not easy. Your body is tired and even if your mind is awake, it feels like a constant battle of wills. Porridge brain is a real thing and when you’re at work, “sorry I forgot because I’m pregnant” isn’t really an excuse that your boss wants to hear. I found that being pedantic about to-do lists and time management was the only way to get ahead of the fog that seems to cloud all your thoughts.
In addition to the mental challenges, your body is also going through a few of its own issues. This is about the time that your poor ankles, hands and feet start to swell. At first, it won’t seem like much. Maybe a little tightness on your ring finger or a slight bulge where your ankle bone used to be. Put your feet up, drink lots of water and know that all of this is par for the course. Excessive swelling can be a sign of a more serious problem, so if you feel like your swelling is not normal, please do call your doctor.
This is also about the time that the cravings kick in. I don’t remember having any specific food cravings; mine was more along the lines of sweet or salty. Remember that you’re not eating for two, as much as your hunger may be telling you otherwise. I found that an easy way to limit myself was to make what I craved, if I felt like cake, I would bake one, that way I really, really had to want it (because in addition to being hungry and swollen, you’ll probably also be feeling quite lazy). I also made a 90/10 rule, if I ate healthy, nutrient dense meals 90% of the time, I would allow myself to splurge on decadent treats 10% of the time.
I suppose if I had to sum this month up, I would say that while pregnancy is definitely the best excuse in the book for rampant vegging, eating all the treats and being absolutely forgetful, you’ll need to find a way to overcome those symptoms most of the time. Month six is the perfect opportunity to hone the skills you’ll be using for the remaining three months.