Am I walking too much?

“If I walk too much, will I give birth to a premature baby?”
“Am I having backaches and pelvic pain because I walked too much?”

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Walking with the family is a great way to de-stress

Someone told me she was worried about giving birth prematurely if she walked too much. I asked if she has had issues in her pregnancy so far, and she said no. Then I said, in that case walking is good for you and baby, so please walk more!

These questions are valid concerns and I’m glad these mums-to-be asked me for clarification rather than prescribing themselves more bed rest. Bed rest means less physical activity and less physical activity means more potential problems during labour. So less time on the bed/sofa and more time on your feet is one tip to help ease your labour.

Why is walking good for you? Here are 5 reasons:

  1. More opportunities of being outdoors with fresh air and vitamin D from the sun. Walking produces endorphins, or good feelings from your happy hormones.
  2. Walking is one of the best cardiovascular exercises during pregnancy. It is gentle and does not require equipment other than a good pair of shoes (no heels please!). It keeps your heart pumping and lifts your mood at the same time.
  3. You make your muscles, especially the psoas and the piriformis, work and condition them for labour.
  4. Being upright (gravity) helps get baby deeper down into the birth canal.
  5. It’s free!

So do I have to worry about a premature birth?

Unless you have other underlying medical issues, there is nothing to worry about, InshaAllah! You see, many factors come into play before labour can start. Firstly, baby must be in a good position, and is low or close enough to the cervix. Secondly, baby himself must be ready, and their lungs will secrete a protein to signal onset of labour. Thirdly, the cervix must be effaced (soft and thin) and dilated (open) to allow baby to pass through the birth canal. Fourthly (but not lastly), mum herself has to be in a ready state of mind. So don’t worry about giving birth too soon before baby or mum is ready, walk lots to have a smoother labour when it eventually starts at its own time.

But I feel that walking too much will cause me to have backaches…how?

Walking won’t cause you to have backaches, in fact mobility actually helps to alleviate aches and pains. If you’re feeling like walking causes you to have more pain, check:

  • if footwear is causing the problem (please invest in good footwear!)
  • if posture is good (chest out, belly out, shoulders not hunching and tuck your tailbone in)
  • are you drinking enough? Dehydration could be a major cause for muscle aches
  • do you have symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)? (If yes, then there are strategies to help give relief)

Many degrees of walking

Of course, what kind of walking is best? Window shopping constitutes walking too, but is that helpful for labour? (Ans: Yes, but not much). The most helpful kinds of walks are those that encourage the pelvis to really move and open. Power walking is one example. Walking uphill or on a terrain is also good. And how much walking should be done?  Ideally you should walk as much as you sit. So if you spend 8 hours sitting in the office chair, it is good if you can also cover 8 hours of walking, though this sounds unlikely achievable.  But that is a rough measure of how much walking should be incorporated daily.

At the end of the day, you should be happy with the things that you hope to do. Start with a positive and open mind. Never do things feeling resentful which will end with you in tears and stress. Pregnancy should be a happy and worry-free period! Take a break and tune in to your body if you ever start feeling out of touch. Listen to what your body needs.

May you always be in Allah’s care!

-Hanani

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Yesterday’s random fb post

Random pregnancy post tonight:

1) Several days ago, when I picked and chose AbangH and Rosebud’s newborn clothes to be washed for baby Honeystar, I seem to subconciously pick out more of the blue-coloured outfits and wraps! Confident ke Honeystar will be a boy?

2) Also several days ago, I told my midwife that I am “…confident Honeystar’s head is still high”, only to be met with her wide-eyed response of “…nooo!! She is just *this close* (makes small gap indication with thumb and forefinger) to the middle of the pubis” from her after palpating the belly. Similarly the next day, I confidently told Cik Nor, my pre/postnatal massage lady, that baby is “…still high!” only to be met with the same response as my midwife. “Baby is already in a ‘prostrating’ position (ie occiput anterior), ready to come out! Be sure to stay more at home ok”, she said. Allahhh…. 😅 Whenever you’re ready, baby… 💕

3) I am 37+6 weeks today, Alhamdulillah Mohon doa semua~ And I seek your forgiveness for my wrongdoings! Please keep me in your prayers ok 😘

Coming up: Project Honeystar!

I thought for a long time on how best to approach this, and I even entertained the thought of keeping it a secret at first. Secret because I love to give an element of surprise to my loved ones, readers included!

After much thought, I realise it wouldn’t be fair to keep it from all of you for these 2 reasons:
1) Interested potential participants keep wondering why I’m always on a ‘break’
2) This is happy news, meant to be shared with others and for me to ask your prayers for, right! 🙂

And so, with that I am happy to announce that I am 8 months pregnant with baby #3, Alhamdulillah! I have chosen not to know the gender, so I am going to call him/her little Honeystar for now. Cos lil bub has been so sweet like honey and wonderful like a star!

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Naah, that’s not a real baby. That starfish blankie is cute, though!

I’ve been very busy with the big sister-to-be Rosebud aka Humaira’ (who’s just learnt to walk) and big brother Abang Husainy (who’s starting primary school next year) that I sometimes forget I am pregnant! But Honeystar has been so sweet giving me little kicks & nudges every so often as if to assure me “I’m alright, Ibu!“.

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Me in June 2014 @ 6 months. With the ever reliable Abang Husainy, my firstborn 🙂

Mohon du’a semuanya agar dipermudahkan urusan persalinan kelak InshaAllah! I seek your kind prayers for me to have a smooth and safe labour & birth, InshaAllah! Please forgive any mistakes and shortcomings on my part!

So will I be having another home birth? God willing, InshaAllah, please do make lots of du’a for me. I will do my best to keep everyone updated about this! 🙂

Lots of love,
Hanani, Yaqyn Birth

Handling the emotions

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Sometimes I get fun and quirky couples who will not hesitate to share their pregnancy laments, though most of them tongue-in-cheek. The other day, a husband quipped that he “…nak tengok bola pun tak boleh, wifey moody je, how?”, and that really made me chuckle.

Dear wives, having been pregnant multiple times myself, I truly understand the (sometimes unexplained) neediness and emotional outbursts, which I’m not spared of myself, hee! So here’s sharing with you a quick tip to help you get through the testing days/weeks/months.

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(Before that, quick note for the clueless husbands: yes, pregnant women can get very needy and even a 0.5 sec of inattention away from her can sometimes cause floodgates of tears to open. Don’t ask us why, its the hormones! 😉 These also include but not limited to other things like:

1) not giving her complete attention when she is telling you something (even though unintentional!)
2) forgetting to ask her what she had for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Or forgetting to ask if she had even eaten… Oops.
3) not getting the hints about her cravings she’s dropped to you (Dear wives, stop with the hints already. Just tell him what you want! 😂)
4) forgetting to get her what she asked you to (especially if its a craving!)
5) replying simply with an “eh?” when she complains to you about her backache, leg aches or sore anything
6) complaining that you had such a tiring day at work (unless you’ve already asked her about her day plus act completely interested about it – that, or unless she asks first).
7) …and many more.

And if you wish to focus on your soccer game at night, remember to get her something she likes before that! 💝🎁

My humble advice: do try and put in extra extra effort at this stage because it is not only for her, it is for your own good too. This is really not the time to convince your wife that she is strong and independent so she’ll manage well on her own (oh dear, no!). Remember the golden rule: A happy mummy makes a happy baby! And a happy baby will make a happy daddy kan? Sabar ye, tak lama… 9 bulan aje 😁

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That said, if you’re already the thoughtful husband who’s never committed any of the ‘offences’ above, I say Thank You Very Much on behalf of all pregnant mothers out there 👏. At this point, I’d also like to thank DH for being very supportive throughout my pregnancies, especially in the care of the younger ones, Alhamdulillah 😘).

Where was I?
Oh yes, back to the quick tip on how to deal with our own emotions as a pregnant mum.
So the next time you feel a potential emotional moment setting in, and your hubbies just don’t seem to get it, my advice is not to let your emotions get the best of you. Just tell yourself:

“Oh Allah, I gladly accept this test as long as dear hubby is contented (redha) with me during labour and birth”.

I promise you that this will instantly light up your heart, InshaAllah! Remember that you are never alone, Allah is always with you! 💞💖💞💖

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