There isn’t a single moment I would change in my daughter’s birth. Labor and delivery were as amazing as you could imagine. And afterward, I had so much energy I felt like I could get up and resume life as normal. My incredibly gifted midwife made sure I didn’t.
Physically, I needed the rest.
And having learned my lesson the hard way after giving birth to the first, my better judgement took over. I stayed off my feet for two weeks. It was really tough to do. I’m not much for lying around, letting other people wait on me. Something in me says I should serve, not be served.
But… I wanted the birth experience to carry over to post partum. I wasn’t going to end up sleep deprived and overworked like I had with my first.
This would be different.
My commitment to that goal started almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant. One of the many benefits of choosing a licensed midwife who can practice outside of the medical model is the time they have to spend in prenatal appointments. They do the regular stuff you get in an OB practice. Measures and checks, but they also do a lot of counseling. At least, the good ones do. And I had a good one. actually, I think I may have had one of the best ever.
She’s an old soul, who knows a lot about birthin’ some babies.
She offered so much spiritual guidance and counseling that once I was a few short weeks from my “due date,” I was more confident than ever that I could deliver this baby and I needed little to no intervention.
I was in great physical shape.
My midwife didn’t hound me about diet, but she did ask what I ate. Of course, most of what I consumed was good for me. A lot of fresh fruit and veggies. We would chuckle at the things I cheated with.
Chocolate cake is the biggie with me. I can’t stop eating it. I was never a sweets eater until I got pregnant with Leah. But I did it sparingly and only toward the end.
At 38 weeks, I had only gained about 25 pounds. That’s almost half what I gained with my first.
The biggest reason I gained only what Leah and I needed was what she put me on: a nutritious protein shake chock-full of great minerals and vitamins. It was easy to fill that monster pregnancy food craving in addition to getting so many wonderful nutrients a growing mama and baby need. I consumed two Garden of Life protein shakes a day that I also added frozen bananas and blue berries to.
My midwife also made a commitment to making sure I got off to the right start in breastfeeding my second, who I plan to nurse until the age of two, which is recommended by the World Health Organization.
This coupled with focusing on more protein, fewer carbs, I’ve been able to recover that little body I lost about 5 years ago.
Having a baby doesn’t have to mean getting “fat.” But it does mean making better choices. And probably eating a lot less chocolate cake.