Hey there, friend. I want to share with you today about my journey with pregnancy and postpartum nutrition and fitness.
Before you dive into my story, I think it’s so important to note that EVERY mama’s journey looks different. However, I do think we can all learn something from hearing each other’s stories. I am mama to a nearly 22 month old baby girl. And motherhood has definitely been a wild ride for me!
Keep reading to learn more about my journey. Or if you’d prefer to listen, check out this podcast episode where I dive into my personal journey and helpful pregnancy and postpartum tips.
Let’s rewind to 2020 when I was pregnant. As a personal trainer and certified nutrition coach, I had all kinds of expectations for what I would do during pregnancy that would determine my postpartum outcome.
I was going to eat really well and keep strength training through my whole pregnancy. In my mind it was, A + B = C. Nutrition + Movement = desired postpartum outcomes. I look back now at that naive version of me, and wish I could tell her a few things.
While I had some issues with heartburn and occasional issues with aches and pains, I would still say that I had a pretty smooth pregnancy. I felt good about the way I handled my nutrition. Side note, I had struggled in the past with disordered eating and just a very unhealthy relationship with food. It’s another topic for another time, but because I had already worked on that before pregnancy, it really helped me during pregnancy. I felt balanced in my choices, eating nutritious things and also the fun sweet things that I enjoyed and wanted.
I strength trained through most of the 3rd trimester. I kept riding my bike up until the week before labor. Again, in my mind, A + B = C. I checked all the boxes.
I had grand plans of a natural birth. My husband and I took a 12 week birthing course (the Bradley method) with our amazing doula. We made our plan. We felt as ready as we could be. It’s a long story, but basically my 36 hour labor, turned into a C-section.
Just like my very long labor that went nothing like we’d planned. Postpartum hit me like a ton of bricks. This is also another story for another time, but I really struggled the first 8 months after having my little girl. I had done all this work during pregnancy to be prepared….and honestly… I wish I had spent more time preparing for postpartum. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally.
While I did my A + B, it didn’t equal C. I had expectations to “bounce back”, not so much in terms of weight. (I knew better than to pressure myself there.) But bounce back in terms of movement and doing all the things I used to do. The short story is that I ended up with a prolapse and it’s been a windy road (and VERY emotional) journey of getting back to movement that I love without symptoms.
When it came to nutrition, I have to say, I was a little hard on myself. I kept pressuring myself to get back to eating “healthier” and not indulging in something sweet everyday. Looking back, I would have given myself more grace during that time.
Also, looking back, 2022 me would have told 2020/2021 me that, I didn’t do something wrong. I did A + B and wasn’t in control of C. And that’s ok. I did my best.
Over the last 22 months, I have been working on my physical healing and getting back to doing things I love without prolapse symptoms. I’m finally getting into a much healthier space not just physically, but emotionally and mentally.
Having a supportive community around me for the journey has been crucial. Family, friends, and finally finding the right health professionals to be on my team. This is exactly why I recently completed my pregnancy and postpartum corrective exercise specialist certification. Because I want to help mamas feel strong and get back to doing the things that they love!
P.S. I was recently a guest on a podcast with my friend and amazing health professional Dr. Tiffany Breeding. If you want to hear more about my story and helpful tips on movement and nutrition during pregnancy, check out the episode here.
If you are pregnant or postpartum and have questions or are looking for help on your journey, contact me. I would love to help in any way that I can!