Just enjoy it.
Being pregnant, then having your baby, breastfeeding, caring for your baby—we know we need to just enjoy this whole process and what happens to our bodies. This is easier for some to do, but for many of us, it can be very overwhelming and frightening.
So many changes happen to your body during this period of time. Often it feels like this baby strapped you into a roller coaster and you’re just along for the ride, unable to control anything. But that is the miracle of it. Your body was made for this, and it knows what to do. Don’t fight it—try to enjoy it.
Having a good perspective during pregnancy and on into the first year of your baby’s life is so important. Your body will change shape dramatically. You will get big, and when you think you can’t get any bigger, you do. You will feel chubby in spots that never felt squishy before. Your hips and back will scream sometimes, and your sheer size will limit how you can move. Putting shoes on will suddenly become an impossible job. Clothes won’t ever fit right, and by the end of your pregnancy you will have only two outfits that serve as passable in public.
After childbirth is a whole other roller coaster. If you choose to breastfeed once baby arrives, you will turn into a milk factory. Suddenly, there are pads everywhere--all over you and all over your baby. There is never an end to the bodily fluids. Your body will not bounce back like magic--it will be forever changed. You may now have stretch marks and extra skin that will permanently remind you of those 9 months. You will have dark circles and the beginnings of bags under your eyes from a lack of sleep. And when you’re done breastfeeding, your boobs will be far flatter than your tummy ever will be.
So, just enjoy it.
Yeah right! Enjoyment seems nearly impossible after this pretty bleak picture of pregnancy and life thereafter.
The truth is that all of these changes that take place to your body are worth it, aren’t they? Is the shape of your body and your control over it more important than the life of your child? Nope. Not in a million years.
You need to gain weight and soften up a bit, and you need to be ok with that. You will have to slow down, take more breaks, and stop doing certain activities. You will need to be gentle with your body, carefully nurturing your body as much as you’re nurturing your baby. Sit back and embrace these changes, because they’re for your baby!
With my first pregnancy, I had a really hard time with these changes. I was petrified of seeing the scale change. After my first trimester I had only gained two pounds, and I carried some sort of awful pride for that. Did I think I wasn't going to gain any weight? I also convinced myself that I was going to be one of those pregnant women that could run well into the third trimester. But I remember attempting a three mile run at three months pregnant and feeling awful. Everything hurt and my heart rate was through the roof. Clearly not a good choice for me.
Pregnancy humbled me. It sat me on my butt and forced me to see what my true priorities were.
Your job during pregnancy and into the first months of your baby’s life is to provide the healthiest environment you can for your little one. Your personal goals for your body need to get put on hold for a little while. I promise that there will come a time in the not too distant future that you can pick up these goals again and chase after them. Just not now. Your baby is more important than you at the moment.
Despite all the changes and the lack of control you have over them, you CAN make it your goal to stay strong, maintaining your muscle mass and a certain level of conditioning. You also need to eat the healthiest you possibly can right now. The food you eat is directly nourishing your baby, so choose wisely. Being strong and eating nutritiously are crucial for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy and quick recovery from pregnancy and a healthy baby.
This week I will be sharing with you how to eat and exercise for a healthy pregnancy. You will also learn about good nutrition while you're breastfeeding and how to begin safely exercising again after childbirth. If you or someone you know is pregnant or recently had a baby, this is important stuff. Read up and share.
You can enjoy this phase of life. Sure, lots of changes are happening to your body and you feel like a victim at times. But you’re not the most important person, anymore. Enjoy the tiny one that is making you a mother and welcome your new body. And be sure to just laugh instead of cry when you need help getting off the couch!
Megan P. Dahlman
Hi friend! I'm a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Precision Nutrition Certified Coach, Wife to Scott, and Mom to two crazy boys, Calvin & Peter. I train hard, eat well, rest just enough to keep going, and do my best to maintain a heavenly perspective. I'd love to coach you to do the same. Cheers!
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