So you might have noticed that I haven't been blogging as much lately. I've been thinking a bit about why this is so and I don't have a particularly good reason. It just is so at the moment and in the end I've decided not to worry too much about it.
Anyway, I'm still pregnant. Incredibly slow, a little over the bump and embracing Germany's obsession with tea and all things herbal. Of all the strange cultural differences between Australia and Germany the thing that I've found most amusing during my pregnancy is how obsessed Germans are with tea. There is a tea for everything. In first trimester it was ginger tea for nausea. Then there's the general Pregnancy Tea - good for all round pregnancy goodness and filled, I think, with a mix of fennel, raspberry leaf, dandelion and other herbal leaves.
When Germany had it's first burst of hot weather my body decided that retaining all the fluid that I was consuming was a good idea. This resulted in a crazy amount of leg oedema that prevented shoe wearing, precipitated leg cramps and was the general source of a lot of grumpiness in our house. The solution? Yep, tea. Nettle Tea to be precise, and a stronger version Pregnancy Tea against Oedema combined with lymphatic massage and a slow and steady adjustment to the hotter weather.
My hairdresser (the keeper of all good German related information) informed me the other day that I should switch from Peppermint Tea to Fennugreek Tea, as peppermint is bad for breastfeeding whereas Fennugreek Tea is well known to help bring in the milk. Unsolicited pregnancy advice tends to come in the form of Tea recommendations here which I find culturally incredibly fascinating. Better than unsolicited "bump touching" anyway.
Perhaps the most amusing Tea/Herbal remedy that is wildly talked about here is the Heublumen sitzbad (Hay Sitting Bath). This is not a tea, but a steam bath to soften muscles and relax your cervix in readiness for labour. You essentially boil up some Hay in water and then sit your bottom half over the steam. I can't find any information in english about this particular labour preparation technique. But I've decided to embrace it despite it reminding me a little of steaming open an envelope. A Berlin baby deserves the full Berlin experience - Heublumen sitzbad and all!