A lot has changed in my life over the past 4 months. My husband and I went from a party of 2 to a party of 3. I remember when I was pregnant, people kept telling me that EVERYTHING was about to change. Comments like, “Get your sleep now,” “Just wait till you have a baby,” and “You’ll never be able to _______ (insert verb and eye rolling here) again!” were frequent and sometimes a little unsettling. Yes, I knew our life would change. We would have a little bundle of love to take care of everyday!
So when little Gianna came into our world, we knew it would be wonderful and exhausting and funny and all of those emotions, and we were ready. We had planned ahead before we got pregnant to make sure that we were as ready as we could be when baby came. Those plans included money set aside for when I was on maternity leave, dinners stored in the freezer for the nights we didn’t want to cook, and HELP on the line for times when we needed a break.
After the first 6 weeks postpartum went by and our sleep started returning to normal, we started to settle back into our “normal life.” I started to get back in the gym several times a week. My family helped babysit, specifically my mom and my in-laws, who were all such a great help to me during that time. At first it was a little difficult to leave the baby, but I always reminded myself that she was in great hands and that I needed to do this for me – to get out of the house – to clear my head – to be on my own! As the weeks went by it got easier to balance motherhood, being a wife, cooking dinner, teaching 4 spin classes a week, and doing all of those little things everyday that moms and wives do that go unnoticed (like cleaning out the refrigerator or the splatter in the microwave). At 12 weeks postpartum, I went back to work full-time. I work out of my house, so the transition was easier for me than it would have been if I had to commute to an office. I found a wonderful nanny, who loves G and gives her undivided attention, and I can continue to help financially support our family – while sneaking out of my office from time to time for snuggles.
Now that I am busier than ever, I have to be more organized than ever. I have to be a time efficiency master in order to balance all of my responsibilities – also known as blessings! I have an awesome Erin Condren planner that I live by. It has everything in there from my scheduled workouts to my meal plans for the week. Plus it’s just fun to write in because it’s so pretty. On Sunday mornings, I sit down with my cup of coffee and plan the week. What we are eating, when I am working out, when I can squeeze a personal appointment, all juggling that around my work schedule and my nanny’s schedule. On weeks when I can stick to the schedule I am relaxed, present, happy. On weeks when I am off, I AM OFF. I am more irritable, annoyed, and not as good of a mom or a wife.
I also have 9 pounds to go to get back to my prenatal weight of 132, and I am determined to get there. So I can’t “wing” lunch or dinner if I want to stay on track in a healthy way. On Sundays I meal prep and make sure we know what is on the menu for lunch and dinner during the week, making my health and my husband’s health a priority.
Another part of making me a priority is making sure I don’t over schedule myself. If I look at my calendar and it’s packed with commitments, it makes me feel unsettled. Will I be too tired to handle all of this? When will I have time to just sit and relax? Are all of these appointment necessary, or can something be cancelled? We are in the thick of an awesome football season. My husband is at work between 5:30-6:30am most days and is home close to 7pm at night. He also works Friday nights and all day on Saturday. Our time together is precious and very limited, so we make time for date nights every other week where it’s just us – focusing on us!
And then there is the little peanut whom we love so much. The more downtime I have, the more I can focus on her. So when I feed her, I don’t watch TV or look at my phone, I just look at her. Time has already gone by too fast, and before I know it, she won’t want me to hold her anymore. On that note, I am signing off because I am tearing up, and I need to get back to my schedule, so I can hold her later.
Make yourself a priority. It’s not selfish. It’s self-love.
I get a lot of questions about supplements from clients and friends, so I wanted to share with you the supplements that I have taken personally during my pregnancy. Let me remind you that my degree from James Madison University is in Hospitality and Tourism Management NOT in Medicine, so please consult with your physician on any supplements that you plan to take during, pre or post pregnancy.
Kind Organics Prenatal Multi
I follow a mostly organic diet based on whole foods, so I wanted my prenatal vitamin to mirror that trend. The supplements are made from real whole food like organic fruits, veggies and herbs such as lemons, ginger, peppermint, annatto, amla berry, and provide what you need in a natural form. It has all of the essentials that you and your growing baby need, from iron, B vitamins and folate along with the added bonuses of ginger and peppermint which are supposed to help aid nausea. I was not nauseous once during my pregnancy, and while I don’t think it had anything to do with these vitamins, you never know!
Dosage: 3 capsules daily with food
365 Brand Fish Oil (180mg EPA; 120mg DHA) 1000mg
Omega-3s have been found to be essential for both neurological and early visual development of the baby. Pregnant women typically become depleted in omega-3s, when the fetus uses omega-3s for its nervous system development. Omega-3s are also used after birth to make breast milk. With each subsequent pregnancy, mothers are further depleted. Research has confirmed that adding EPA and DHA to the diet of pregnant women has a positive effect on visual and cognitive development of the baby. Studies have also shown that higher consumption of omega-3s may reduce the risk of allergies in infants. Omega-3 fatty acids also have positive effects on the pregnancy itself. Increased intake of EPA and DHA has been shown to prevent pre-term labor and delivery, lower the risk of pre-eclampsia and may increase birth weight. Omega-3 deficiency also increases the mother’s risk for postpartum depression
Dosage: 6 capsules daily (2 in morning/afternoon/evening)
365 Brand Probiotic Complex
I always take a daily probiotic, but it is especially important during pregnancy. It’s one of those little secrets no one talks about until you’re actually pregnant – the system gets a little off track when you start growing a little human inside of you. Whether it’s heartburn, constipation, or cramping pregnancy causes hosts of digestive ailments. Some also believe that exposing the fetus to probiotic bacteria helps to stimulate the growth of the immune systems and potentially prevents allergies.
Dosage: 1 capsule daily
Zinc Lozenges with Vitamin C
I have to admit, I have been nervous about getting stretch marks during pregnancy. I know that much cannot be done to avoid them and that it’s primarily based on genetics, but I’m going to try! I have read that Zinc is one of the few remedies that have actually been proven to prevent the development of stretch marks. Zinc creams can be topically applied and there are also several zinc dietary supplements that are highly effective. Adults should not ingest more than 50 mg of zinc per day.
Dosage: 1-2 capsules daily (they taste great)
Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Oil
While we are on the topic of stretch marks, this is the product that I have been using since 12 weeks post shower and before bed. It really helps as the skin stretches to moisturize it with essential oils and amazing organic ingredients all proven to reduce the likelihood of stretch marks. Here are just some of the ingredients:
- Organic Sacha Inchi Seed Oil From the Amazon, packed with Omega 3, antioxidants and amino acids.
- Organic Argan Kernel Oil nourishes, moisturises and improves elasticity. High in Omega 9 (Oleic Acid) and 6 (Linoleic Acid).
- Organic Coconut Oil Soothing and healing, mega-rich with Lauric Acid, powerful Omega that helps skin’s natural immune system.
- Organic Avocado Oil Omega and Folic Acid rich, hydrates, helps circulation, increases collagen production, ensuring skin stretches safely.
- Vitamin E (Tocopherol) Protects against stretch marks, speeds up cell renewal to help keep skin strong.
Vega Sport Chocolate Protein Powder
I love Vega products! They are full of complete plant-based protein and are organic and non-GMO certified. Usually I have a chocolate shake post workout blended with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and ice. It’s refreshing and is packed with 25g of protein to refuel muscles after a long workout. Vega Sport also has 5,000mg of BCAAs and 5,000mg of glutamine per serving.
NLA for Her – Her Aminos
I am still lifting heavy weights regularly during my pregnancy and hope to maintain as much muscle mass as possible so I can bounce back quickly post baby. BCAAs help to increase endurance, build lean muscle and aid in post workout recovery. This brand also tastes great. It does have an artificial sweetener in it which I did not know about until I tried it – it tastes like Crystal Light Pink Lemonade when mixed with water – but this is the only artificial sweeter in my diet, so I am okay with it in moderation.
Dosage: During Pregnancy 1 scoop mixed with water
Once again, please consult your doctor to make sure that the supplements that you choose to take are safe based upon your heath and medical history. Here’s wishing you a healthy and safe pregnancy!