After I shared these photos on my social media I had quite a few questions about my plan post partum. While I am a long ways from being "back" I know that my diet and staying active during pregnancy played a role in that. While I would like to note I am not a professional and I am just sharing what has worked for me. We are all different, our pregnancies are different, our fitness levels are different ... but I strive to share my story in the case it may help others on their journey.
1. Nutrition, Fitness, and WATER
This starts PRIOR to pregnancy!! Take it straight from me, with my first two pregnancies I was not healthy and I didn't take care of myself and this round I was working out, eating right, and WOW did it make a difference! Take care of yourself ladies ... it will make things so much easier. If you get the OK from your Dr. and aren't high risk don't stop working out!!! I was asked so many times if it was ok to continue while pregnant ... YES (with Dr. approval) Of course, listen to your body. Don't overdue it! Sweating and being active is good for Mom and Baby! It is good for your heart & babies heart. It is good for circulation, swelling, and not gaining excess weight. I know in the beginning you can feel sick, tired, and being active is the last thing you want to do, even just a walk can make a difference. Then lets talk cravings...I know it is hard and I know they are real but if you have planned and prepped your meals and snacks it will make all the difference in your craving you give into and your energy from eating right. I stayed on track following the 21 Day Fix meal plan and drinking my Shakeology daily. I think common misconception is you need to eat for two while pregnant, that is not the case. If I felt extra hungry I would listen to my body and have an extra protein or add fruit to my shake!!
As I mentioned above, this was a key factor in my nutrition while pregnant and will be now post partum. Talk about cubing a craving or a sweet tooth. I took Shakeo to my OB and nutritionist at the beginning of my pregnancy and got the OK to use as my prenatal during pregnancy and I will continue post as well. I think a lot of people questioned me drinking a "shake" while pregnant as so many have a bad wrap but Shakeology is packed full of 70 clean, essentail vitamins and minerals! Even the healthiest of healthy are probably missing out on a lot of vitamins. Also lets talk about keeping regular ... TMI? Ha well we all know pregnancy is notorious for backing ya up and no one needs that on top of all the other effects pregnancy can put on our body. Talk about curbing cravings and getting my chocolate fix, it was perfect for me. In my 1st trimester I swear I made a perma dent in my couch and soup and shakeo was about the only thing I could keep down. Now that I had another c-section and can't workout, my nutrition is essential even more and Shakeology is how I can ensure I am staying on track.
3. Coconut Oil
I LOVE coconut oil, for real. I use it to cook, heal, I eat it, and its amazing for skin care. While I think genetics plays a huge role in stretch marks, there are a few other things we can do to help keep them at bay. HYDRATE. Cardio + Weights help your skin become more elastic (think going back post baby)! Then smearing coconut oil over your belly!! I liked to lay in front of a fan after to dry it a little since it is oil I would also find an old shirt you don't mind getting stains on!!
4. Belly Sports Bra
Ahhh ... lifesaver or back saver is what I like to refer to it as. I wore one especially during my workouts for extra belly and back support but also in everyday activities. I carried low this go around and having the snug support helped SO MUCH. I wore the mesh back one from Bao Bei Maternity. SO worth it. One reason I am bummed this was my last baby is because I swear by how much this helped me!!
5. Post Baby Girdle
This one was new to me. I had heard so much about them this entire pregnancy that I did some research and while costs range all over the board I had two options narrowed down. The hospital provided me one per my request. It is a basic velcro wrap to help support your back and lower abdomen. I know for me the lower belly feels so sensitive after delivery (I am 10 days out now) and it feels so good to keep it all under a support. Another amazing option (much better than hospital one) is over at Bellefit. This came highly recommended from other post partum Mommas ... while it is fairly uncomfortable putting on the first couple days, that feeling of being put together is nice.
6. Health Support and Milk Supply
The first part of this tends to take some by surprise but placenta encapsulation. This one was a shock to me too but after speaking with my midwives and doula I was highly intrigued. I set out to do some research, while there aren't a lot of scientific studies to back the benefits, the testimonials from other Moms were enough for me. It is said to help with milk supply, post partum depression, and regulating your hormones. I think post baby there is a lot of pressure for moms to have it all together when truth be told it takes a toll on our bodies. Not only are our hormones surging from delivery and trying to regulate we have the overwhelming love and sometimes anxiety over this little human we just brought into this world. I will take all the help I can get to keep my hormones in line and boost my energy as well as boosting my milk supply. Speaking of milk supply, my favorite tea is mothersmilk tea!! It helped me so much with my first two and I had quite the healthy supply. Also I had a few times during growth spurts and later in months after baby that I experienced dips in my supply and Fenugreek to the rescue!! This time I have the ingredients to make lactation cookies as well!! I mean who doesn't want an excuse to eat a cookie ;)