For 9 months you are no longer just eating, drinking, sleeping, exercising for you. You are growing a tiny human who is growing and thriving off of what you do. It’s a tough job! But how amazing is it that as your belly grows that baby is growing because of what you do?
There are fun parts of pregnancy like the maternity pictures, the baby shower, some cute maternity clothes. There are some not so fun parts of pregnancy like the morning sickness, heartburn, and frequent trips to the bathroom. Also for some expecting Mommies the wardrobe changes can be an adjustment. Slowly you no longer fit into certain pre-pregnancy shorts and jeans and have to get the ones with the band that go over your belly. Some shirts are too short or tight. Sometimes you even find that your significant other’s clothes are more comfortable towards the end! The weight gain can be hard for some too.
I was not active before or during my first two pregnancies. I ate what I wanted and when I wanted and did not exercise because I was afraid the baby would fall out! I felt like I literally sat with my legs crossed and propped up for 9 months! My most recent pregnancy with our third child I was active and ate healthy. I was working out daily and in the best shape of my life for two years prior to getting pregnant. Out of the three pregnancies I gained the most weight with my third pregnancy. The one I was the most active and healthy for. At first I wondered how that could be possible?! But then I discovered a book by Jillian Michaels called “Yeah Baby!” and it helped me understand that our bodies just know what to do during pregnancy. They know how much weight we need to gain and how quickly we need to gain it. To really trust our body and just control what we can as far as eating healthy and continuing to be active. So I did just that! And I had a healthy pregnancy with no complications. We had a healthy baby boy that was 7 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long. He was the only baby out of our three that did not have any jaundice. He also had the highest apgar scores out of our three. My doctor told me (and I read it in several articles and my book) that being active would help during delivery and with my recovery..while I didn’t have a shorter delivery with him, I did have such a different recovery. I was shocked at how good I felt after and how quick I was able to get around! I did not need pain medication after leaving the hospital like I did with our other two. I really do think this is because of continuing to be active during my pregnancy!
Now I am almost 8 weeks postpartum and just finished my second week of getting back into working out daily at home, following my clean, portion controlled eating plan, and drinking my beloved “milkshakes.” I have stepped on the scale once just to see if I was making progress and lost 3.1 pounds in the first week! It gave me so much hope! I stepped on the scale a few days later and lost .3..what?! Not even another pound? But I had to remind myself that I need to trust my body and that again, it knows what it’s doing. It’s about progress, not perfection. It’s about being healthy and strong. It’s about being able to lift our son’s car seat in and out of my SUV that sits up a little higher..making it a little harder. It’s about being able to get his stroller in and out of the back of my car. It’s about having the energy to get up with him for nighttime feedings and being able to run on less sleep during the day. It’s about continuing to show our children (and not just teach them) that it’s important to eat healthy and be active. They are always watching us and are depending on us! It’s also important for them to see their Momma getting healthier and stronger not only for them, but for herself too. I have learned since starting my health and fitness journey in October 2014 that it is not selfish to take care of yourself. It is not taking time away from your child, but only giving them more time. It’s about you doing all that you can to be the healthiest you can be so that you can be there for them as long as you possibly can. So you don’t miss out on special life events like graduations, their wedding day, or birth of their children.
So Momma, whether you are a few weeks postpartum like me, a few months postpartum, a few years postpartum, or more than a few years postpartum..remember that it’s okay to take care of you too! It’s okay to take that time for yourself! To love yourself! Remember that it’s not just about what we are teaching our children or saying to them, it’s about showing them! So what are you showing them? Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate!