10 Secrets to going 9 Months of Pregnancy Pain Free

Attempting to get pregnant after the age of 40 can be quite discouraging. Doctors and other health care staff may caution you against it and receipt the long list of red flags you may face (as mine did). And people often claim that aging itself is to blame for the increased amount of body aches and pains even without child!

I’m am now 2 days shy of being 40 weeks pregnant, and happy to say I’m free of pain at age 46 (47 next month). My intention for writing this article is certainly not to rub it in for the many women who do feel pain during pregnancy, yet instead, to provide inspiration, support and encouragement that you can do it too!

Secret #1 — Tuning into your body’s physical needs

You hear so much advice from the Dr’s, esp around taking it easy when you are pregnant. Although I’m not disdaining this advice, no one knows your body’s physical needs better than you do.

I have always been a very athletic person who works out at the gym or bikes 5–6 days/wk. So for me, waking up and going to the 7am fitness class was just a part of my normal daily routine.

However, during the first 2 months of my 1st trimester, it felt like an incredible effort to even walk my dog around the block. Each attempt I made to go for a bike ride or exercise felt like so much work. All I wanted to do was sit on the couch and relax into lethargy. At first my inner voice was saying “don’t be lazy, you need to be productive.”

Yet, eventually I gave into my body’s needs and settled into doing more grounding and leisurely activities such as reading a book and taking naps. If I had known this phase would have been so temporary, I wouldn’t have pushed myself as much as I did. After all, during the first trimester the body is working the hardest to form the baby’s organs and the like.

Developing a more acute sense of your body’s internal needs is a big step towards connecting at a deeper level with your inner self — that which some might even consider your soul or spirit. This is a wonderful way to develop the attunement skills to communicate with your developing child while still in the womb.

Yet, if you have other small children or a busy lifestyle that puts so many other demands upon you, I get this could be easier said than done.

But at a minimum, do your best to prioritize quiet time for yourself each and every day!

Secret #2 — Exercise
Ok, you might think this goes against point #1. Yet I do think this is one of my top secrets for my body being in such good health even till the end. Although there are many cautions contra to doing significant exercise, once again, learn to listen inwards to trust yourself and your body’s own needs.

After the 1st 2 months, my energy did come back. At first I went to toning and low impact fitness classes and biking up to 30 miles/day. I put on very little extra weight. By the 3rd trimester I switched primarily to swimming — there’s nothing better than the weightlessness and buoyancy of the water. In the last month of pregnancy I switched solely to yoga.

I used to think that the extra weight women put around their upper arms and thighs during pregnancy was due to the pregnancy itself, yet I’m now realizing that it’s more a matter of muscular disuse and atrophy.

Secret #3 — Diet 
My diet is primarily organic whole foods consisting of about 85% vegetables, 5–10% natural grains such as brown & black rice, quinoa, amaranth, and about 10% fish and chicken. And I do start each AM with Kombucha or fruit. or occasionally eggs over-easy with vegetables.

I have a very VATA diet (see aryuvedic doshas to find out how to best eat right for your constitution). Avoid processed foods and refined sugars. Avoid eating too late at night. Avoid toxins such as alcohol.

Remember, it’s the foods you eat that the child is more likely to develop an affinity towards, so why not start them off on the healthy track. These foods also all help with brain development and the formation of healthy cells, bones, and tissues.

Eating healthily is a huge step towards self love. When people I work with fail to eat well, I find it’s usually because either they are disconnected from their physical body and/or they are lacking a sense of self worth/self-love. The three next suggestions can help you with this.

Secret #4 — Reiki
I received Reiki healing from Aymee Coget 2–3 times/month. Many days (after long days of work) I felt very little left in my energy reserves. The Reiki healing she provided seems to know right where to go to heal and replenish my depleted cells. See Happinessforhumankind.com.

Secret #5 — Feldenkrais®
I received a Feldenkrais 1:1 session (also known as Functional Integration®) monthly at the beginning and then weekly for the last month. Feldenkrais is the most amazing form of body work I know….Well, I’m a little biased being a practitioner myself — https://www.sharaogin.com/feldenkrais/.

The sessions are performed with very light and gentle touch that has an extraordinary effect upon the entire nervous system. Realigning the bones and other body structures and helping to release tension or holding patterns.

Most pregnant woman develop a mild lumbar lordosis due to the excess frontal weight of the belly. I owe it largely to the Feldenkrais that I managed to maintain a fairly straight and supportive spinal and neck posture.

I actually just had a Feldenkrais 1:1 session yesterday. The session focused on opening my hips, expanding my ribs, realigning and opening my shoulders, and wow, it feels like there’s so much more room for baby now, and it’s much easier to breathe! I did have some mild reflux which instantly resolved.

Secret #6 — Accupuncture
I love circle acupuncture on Harrison & 10th st in SF (only $20). I went here quite frequently towards the last month of pregnancy and during my 1st trimester.

Secret #7 — Sleep

Ok, I’m blessed to be one of those who can lay my head down upon the pillow, shut down the business of the mind and fall right asleep.

I disagree with the national recommendation to get 8 hours of sleep. I think more important than the number of hours of sleep you get is the quality of the sleep.

If you have a restless mind, most often you’ll have a restless sleep. It’s crucial to circle through all 4 stages of sleep, for the last stage, is where the delta brain waves becomes active. This is the stage of sleep where our connective tissues heal, our hormonal system becomes rebalanced and new hormones grow, and our the minerals and ions of our cells (such as sodium-potassium) become restored.

Sleeping pills deprive us of this.

Acupuncture and Feldenkrais are 2 modalities I have found that can take me into such a deep tranquil state of calm that is comparable to this stage of sleep. Even though there may be some nights I get only 6 hrs of sleep, 20 min of a deep state of relaxation during either of these 2 modalities seems to have a similar effect to me getting a full 8 hrs of sleep.

Secret #8- Happiness
I believe stress, worry and unhappiness are at the root of muscle contraction and tension patterns, which overtime will lead to some sort of physical discomfort and bodily distress. We want to live in harmonic resonance with the ebbs and tides of our breath, our natural circadian rhythms, and the natural flow of our true life force and essence.

It’s taken me a long time to get here, yet I have to say, this has been the happiest year of my life, and I wake up each morning looking forward to my day ahead.

Proclaim to yourself first thing when you wake up “Today is going to be a GREAT day.” Connect with your heart and ask your heart to guide you as to how best to follow your bliss for the day.

Work with a healer to help you to release your worries, anger, angst, resentments and stress. Most of the time these are stories from the past recreating themselves over and over again in new more mature scenarios in your life.

When you gaze into your child’s eyes, and experience pure love, you’ll realize none of that really matters in the grand spectrum of things.

Secret #9 — Love what you do & find a sense of Balance
Its taken me a long time to achieve this level of career & life satisfaction, yet for the most part I love what I do. I work as an intuitive coach and somatic healer and feel like I get more revitalized and mentally clear when I do readings/healings.

This is such a contrast to the days when I felt so depleted and exhausted during and after work. So many woman I know work a J-O-B that they lack deep passion for. They put in so much time and effort into their career and end the day feeling somewhat depleted.

Perhaps we’ve now found ourselves in a career that we’re now realizing was more based upon what we thought we “should” have been doing rather than our true hearts calling.

Or maybe it’s because in this overachiever American lifestyle, we feel the need to put more pressure onto ourselves to do and become more than we are. Is just being ourselves ever going to be enough or do we always need to effort and prove ourselves?

YES I proclaim. You are enough! And it’s your rightful stake to own this. We put so much emphasis on the “doing” to establish our sense of self worth and identity as opposed to the “being.”

When we truly step into the truth of whom we are it’s much easier for us to find the job/career that is life giving and replenishing rather than one that zaps our energy. Perhaps this is one of the advantages of being an older mom and having taken 20 years post college to find and develop my life’s calling. We all need to feel a deep sense of purpose….For some of us, this will come from motherhood, yet we can not rely solely upon the child to give us this. We must first develop it on our own.

The good news is that wherever you are (age, socio-economic status etc), it’s never too late.

Secret #10 — Sensuality, passion, and play

This is quite different than using intercourse as a form of release.

The experience I speak of is one with deep limbic resonance, where the electrical impulses, the emotions, the peaks and levies that are experienced by one is supported and experienced by the other. A connection that allows you to open your heart, body, and spirit to higher rhealms.

A good place to start is simply by sitting or lying with your partner and gazing at him/her. Push the “pause” button on words and actions so you can simply feeling into him/her. Tune into his/her wants, needs, and desires while at the same time inviting him closer to your heart. Allow yourself to receive him fully.

Keep the spontaneity and playfulness alive. Find gratitude in, for, and around your partner for being a strong powerful presence for you in your life. When this foundation is created, it allows the free bird in you to soar, knowing that it’s always got this grounding pad to return home to.