Book Review: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League International

I’ve been meaning to post this for a little bit now but with preparing for the baby to arrive I’ve lost track of time and haven’t gotten to it until now. This book I actually finished probably about a month ago. I plan on bringing it to the hospital with me in case I need any refresher points to get nursing started. If you’re planning to nurse or breast feed (call it whatever you want) you will want to read this book. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding was written by the La Leche League International which is the poster child for supporting women with their breast feeding journey. I haven’t had the opportunity to attend one of their meetings yet but may plan to postpartum if I need any support. I hear they’re truly amazing.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is broken into four parts; New Beginnings, Ages & Stages, The Big Questions and La Leche League Resources. Within each part there are several chapters that are designed to answer questions and give guidance. I’ll break down each part so you have an idea of what you’d be looking at and my thoughts on it.

Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

PART I: New Beginnings

ONE: Nesting — This is the chapter that will help you determine if breastfeeding is right for you, the importance of it and how it really all works. It will even give guidance on how to prepare your mind and body. I’ve decided to breastfeed even prior to reading this book however this chapter really helped me understand it and why I should do it and how I can prepare myself. I will probably re-read a couple points in this chapter as I prepare for my boy to arrive.

TWO: Building Your Network — This chapter is all about who to contact if you’re struggling, need advice or just want support. For some breastfeeding is considered taboo and that could mean you don’t get the support you need from family and friends. This chapter offers great ideas on how to build a network that supports your breastfeeding journey. I’m personally not worried about this for myself but for others it would be a great help.

THREE: Birth! — This chapter is a must read if you haven’t already had your baby. It will provide information on the connection between your birth and breastfeeding. Also, if you have a difficult birth or maybe a cesarean birth it will give information on how to get breastfeeding started and how to bond with your baby which will bring your milk in even if it may be slightly delayed. It’s also important for bonding. I am definitely going to read this chapter again!

FOUR: Latching and Attaching — Learn a new way to breastfeed that isn’t really new which makes a lot of sense when you read about it. You’ll learn all about different positions you can try and if you’ve had an episiotomy or a c-section you’ll find adoptions for those. If you’re experiencing pain you’ll find ways to cope and maybe correct your baby’s latch. Like with other things it’s all about practice which will be emphasized. I don’t see how this chapter couldn’t help everyone who reads it in some way.

PART II: Ages and Stages

FIVE: The First Few Days: Hello, Baby… — You are finally home and now what? This chapter is all about getting to know your new little one. You’ll learn about establishing a habit, how to handle nights & naps and knowing what to look for in regards to your little ones bowel movements & frequency of urination. Weight tracking will be discussed in this chapter and you’ll learn how to work with any issues that come up in those first days home. When all is said and one you’ll ultimately learn how to trust yourself and your instincts.

SIX: The First Two Weeks: Milk! — In this chapter you’ll still learn new habits which will continue throughout your breastfeeding journey.  Again in this chapter it’s going to be all about your babies diaper and how much milk you’re providing and making sure you’re eating enough. It’s going to be an emotional roller coaster and this chapter provides guidance on that with ideas on how to work through any concerns you have in those first two weeks.

SEVEN: Two to Six Weeks: Butterfly Smiles — In this chapter you’ll learn more nursing habits for this time frame in your babies development. You’ll also learn how to figure out when to nurse him and ways to work through your concerns. Plus you’ll be reminded to follow your heart because that’s really what will be your guiding force.

EIGHT: Six Weeks to Four Months: Hitting Your Stride — This is a small chapter focused on just the habits of this time and dealing with concerns you have. At this time as the chapter header suggests you’re hitting your stride and most of what you need you’ve learned or won’t need to know until past that point.

NINE: Four to Nine Months: In the Zone — This chapter again provides you more habits that you will develop on your nursing journey as well as walk you through some regression that might happen which is totally normal for this timeframe. You’ll also learn about how your little ones weight gain will slow and what concerns you might have and how to cope.

TEN: Nine to Eighteen Months: On the Move — More habits to learn about for a much larger time frame. You’ll learn about other liquids besides water to either introduce or not. You’re milk release has probably slowed and your babies weight is still slowed. More concerns will be addressed as a lot can change during this time and you might have unanswered questions.

ELEVEN: Nursing Toddlers and Beyond: Moving On — In this chapter its’ all about what’s normal in regards to nursing post eighteen months. More importantly though; is it important to continue to nurse? If you decide to continue nursing you’ll learn what habits to develop or will develop. You’ll learn about the pros and cons of nursing as far as how your now toddler will work with or against you when trying to nurse. Concerns will be discussed for toddlers and nursing and tips on raising a kid that you’ll like when they’re an adult. Who doesn’t want that, right!

PART III: The Big Questions

TWELVE: Sleeping Like a Baby — In this chapter you’ll learn about sleeping which you’d also learn in the Sweet Sleep book which was also written by the La Leche League International.  In that book though you’ll learn even more but here you’ll learn about bed hearing, nursing during sleep, sleep training and other information. I would recommend the Sweet Sleep book for an in depth look at sleeping your breast fed baby.

THIRTEEN: The Scoop on Solids — In this chapter you’ll learn about solids and how to introduce them, what signs don’t mean you start solids and how to work thought it all.

FOURTEEN: When You Can’t Be with Your Baby — So you’re having to return to work what do you do? This chapter will help you with that in addition to other reasons you may need to be away from your baby.

FIFTEEN: Milk to Go — This chapter is broken into 3 parts which is getting the milk out, storing your milk and getting milk in. Them milk in part will actually guide you to another section regarding supplementation which is in chapter 18. There will also be discussion on problems with pumping and how to make it all work together.

SIXTEEN: Everybody Weans —  Weaning; it will happen one way or another.  Learn how and when it might happen and all the best ways to get through different scenarios. This section even includes night weaning.

SEVENTEEN: Alternate Routes — This chapter will discuss other options such as exclusive pumping, premature babies, multiples and other options or concerns

EIGHTEEN: Tech Support — This chapter covers a lot. For pretty much any problem you’re facing it may be in this chapter. Anywhere from drinking while breastfeeding to, food allergies, postpartum depression and tongue ties. It’s all here to help you get through your journey with nursing your baby.

PART IV: La Leche League Resources

NINETEEN: About La Leche League — In this chapter get an inside look at the La Leche League and how they got started. Learn how they can help you, how you can help them and their influence on breastfeeding.

TWENTY: Tear-Sheet Toolkit — This is the best part! In this chapter there are all sorts of tear-sheets with tips to help you and have at your side easily. Pull out the ones you need and keep them near you!

I know this is a lot to take in but it’s all information worth knowing if you’re embarking on this journey. I plan to re-read many sections in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding; especially as I go along my personal journey and plan to tear out my toolkit options. I can’t wait to experience this and look forward to hearing about other peoples journeys. Please share with me your experience; I’d love to hear them!

Diana

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Less than 2 weeks until his arrival!! Week 38, Day 2!!

Maternity leave has been busy so far. I’m getting close to the end of my first week off work and I’ve had much to do every day. I’m happy to say I got my massage I so desperately needed and I got a mani/pedi! I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow and then it’s full on relaxation and finishing up things around here. I’m so excited for what the next week or so has in store for Jon and I!

It’s getting so real now; in less than two weeks our little guy is set to arrive. I found out on Tuesday that I’m 1cm dilated and 75% effaced which is awesome!! Downside is he’s at a -3 station which means he’s still high in my pelvis. For now I’m just doing my best to give him as much room as possible so he can sink in lower. I’m not worrying too much though because most babies are born between 39 & 41 weeks so he’s got plenty of time. It seems thus far everything has been moving along perfectly so I’m not very concerned.

I know when he’s ready he’ll get into an even better position and make his debut! My main focus has been just finishing up what needs to be done around the house; finishing my rocking chair, with Jon’s help, and doing my exercises. I’ve also been taking time to visualize his birth and talking to him. I want him to know that as long as he’s in position and is ready to go I will surrender my body to do what will come naturally. As long as he does his part my body will do the rest!

That may sound silly to some but I really believe that my body will do what it needs to. It will do what it’s designed to do and he will do what he’s supposed to when the time is right. I believe that talking to him helps. For now we’re still very physically connected and I also think there’s a bond between us that is deeper than anything I’ve ever known. I think that bond keeps us very much in sync and I hope it helps us now as we move closer to his arrival.

Some days I feel there’s still so much I need or want to do before he arrives but if it doesn’t all get done that’s ok too! I really hope that Jon and I can take some maternity photos before it’s too late but with everything else going on that we’re trying to finish it’s a slim chance but who knows. If our little guy waits until after this weekend we might just make it!

Wish us luck and I’ll keep you all posted on how the everything goes!

Diana

Book Review: Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family by La Leche League International

If you haven’t noticed yet you’re starting to…I like to read. A lot. Actually I’d go as far as to say I love to read! Knowledge is power and I gain most of my knowledge and thus power from books. Finding out I’m going to be a mom has probably made me the thirstiest I’ve ever been for knowledge. I think I just feel better knowing that I’m educated, enough anyway, that if a doctor or someone says something to me about childbirth or raising my child that I know whether or not I can disregard it or accept it. Or maybe even spark a debate about it. I just don’t want to end up in a place where I have no choice but to just accept what I’m being told. Will it happen? Yes, of course, I’ll never be as educated as a doctor. Will I for the most part be empowered to standup for myself and my child? Hell yes I will!

Sweet Sleep by the La Leche League International is a book about, you guessed it, sleep! Not just any kind of sleep but sleeping with your baby. Scary for most of you to think about I know, shit I don’t even now how much of a co-sleeper/bed sharer I’ll be but I wanted to educate myself. This book is so enlightening. You will look at bed sharing or co-sleeping (which can mean in the same bed or in the same room) in a different light. You will now understand that for a breastfeeding mom, bed sharing, or at the least co-sleeping, is the safest thing for your baby. There are other factors to consider and the book does an excellent job at outlining those for you before you bed share but it is possible.

Sweet SleepAfter reading this book you will be more educated about sleep personality than you ever thought was possible. You’ll also learn a little about breastfeeding as well as how to deal with changes and developmental milestones and how those all impact a babies sleep. The awesome thing about Sweet Sleep is nothing is left out. Pretty much anything you could wish to know regarding co-sleeping or bed sharing is in this book. There are even topics that aren’t the most fun to read about but you will be educated about them and that’s important.

In this book you learn about so much and a big piece that I think is really important to truly be educated on this topic is the section on Safe-Sleep Science. In this section they cover sleep-training concerns, suffocation & SIDS (reality & risks) and bed sharing controversies & common sense. When I read this section it really opened my eyes and I felt like a new person with a new understanding. It’s amazing how much is misconstrued or misrepresented. This is why it’s so important for us to educate ourselves. Now granted I’m sure there are other books that would refute some of the findings but for me it’s all pretty solid evidence and uses common sense which I feel so many people lack these days.

At the end of the day how you choose to sleep with your baby is your choice but I like knowing the reasons why some ways are perhaps better and why that may be the case. So often I read articles or peoples opinions on something but they really never tell you the why. With this book you not only get the ideas and how to do it but you get the why it’s actually beneficial developmentally for the baby and for mom and partner. There’s even a section on help. Whether that is dealing with criticism or you have questions maybe you weren’t sure were covered as well as how to get help in the community through the La Leche League International or giving help to other moms.

Sweet Sleep is the first and most complete book on nights and naps for breastfeeding families. It’s mother-wisdom, reassurance, and a how-to guide for making sane and safe decisions on how and where your family sleeps, backed by the latest research.

In the back of Sweet Sleep they also have tear out sheets that you can keep handy to help you when you need it. I love things like this because we don’t always have time to go back and reread every chapter. Sometimes we just need the highlights and this provides that to you.

You can find Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family on Amazon. If you’re on the fence about what you want to do that’s fine. I still am. I plan to just see how things go; starting with my baby in a bassinet by the bed and go from there. My main reason for reading this book was so if I decided to co-sleep or bed share in my bed I fully understand it and know how to make it safe.

If you’ve read this book or when you do please let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you!

Book Review: Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn, The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin, PT

Two weeks ago I wrote my first book review and promised more so here you go! After reading Birthing From Within I picked up another really amazing book called Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn, The Complete Guide  (4th EDITION) by Penny Simkin, PT, Janet Whalley, RN, IBCLC, Ann Keppler, RN, MN, Jangle Durham, MSW, ICCE, LCCE and April Bolding, PT, DPT, CD, CCE. This book came highly recommended by a friend who had given birth naturally as I want to do. I can honestly say this is by far the best book you will ever read to prepare for childbirth.

If you’re not one for the spiritual guide type of book such as Birthing From Within this should be the book you read. I think both are important however if you only want to read one, this my friend is it! The PCN Guide, which it’s often referred to, is really the only book you need. You will be guided through every phase you can think of as it relates to pregnancy, childbirth and how to care for your newborn. I haven’t found as comprehensive a book as this that isn’t thicker than the dictionary. Yes it’s a thick book, but you will not feel like it takes forever to read.

PCN GuideThe PCN Guide gives it to you straight, the facts, and leaves all the bullshit out. I read about things I had never heard of as it relates to pregnancy and childbirth. Even in the newborn section I was learning so much. That’s probably not hard to believe seeing as this is my first child. With pregnancy you hear people talk about it all the time. You can read so much on the internet it’s insane! What you can’t find with your general searches on the internet though is in this book and then some. I felt so comforted knowing that the information I was reading was going to help me out tremendously in understanding the changes my body was and is going through. It’s scary being pregnant and everyones experience is different. This guide really helps you understand what you’re experiencing is normal and this is why. It also guides you through each trimester which is so crucial. Every three months or so your body can make a dramatic shift and you’re not always prepared for it or sure that it’s normal. The PCN Guide can calm your fears and prepare you for what’s to come.

The childbirth section is beyond words. I mean who knew there was so much shit you had to know! I’m even planning to go back and re-read some sections just to freshen up since I read this earlier in my pregnancy. If you want to know about every possible procedure that you might encounter it’s there in this guide. If you want to know what positions are best for labor it’s there; with pictures! Interested in understanding the risks associated with labor and delivery you can read all about it and plus when you’re in the hospital you’ll be educated and ready to advocate for yourself during any situation. Anything you can think of wanting to know about childbirth you will find in this book or a referral point of where you should look to get it. This may sound super dorky but I’m actually looking forward to reading again the chapters on childbirth!

It’s the most up-to-date. It presents the latest research-based information, including new information on complementary medicine approaches, updated information on interventions during childbirth, revised statistics and discussion on cesarean birth, and new advice to help you make informed decisions about your care.

The newborn section is also another section I plan to read again. Like I said I read this earlier in my pregnancy and as we all know with pregnancy brain I can’t retain it all! The newborn section is comprehensive and covers not only about taking care of a baby but taking care of yourself postpartum and if you have challenges how to cope and when to get help. There’s a chapter on caring for your baby where sleep is discussed as well as growth and development which I think for new parents is worth having a basic understanding so you’re not going into it blind. You’ll also find a lot of information on feeding your baby whether it’s formula or breast milk and who to spot and overcome challenges associated with that.

The cool thing is there’s also a section at the end regarding getting pregnant again and what to expect. It think it’s great they included that. I have not read that section, it’s a little under 10 pages long but I figured it will be something I can read when and if a second child is going to be brought into this family.

As I said before this is it; Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn, The Complete Guide is the main, and maybe only, book you need if you’re pregnant. There are appendixes in the back for reference regarding labor and resources. Also, with their online guide there are printouts to help you with your birth plan and other items you may want to prepare or print out to have with you. I promise you won’t be disappointed if you purchase and read this book. It truly has it all and I highly recommend it to any expectant mother or partner.

If you want to purchase it head on over to Amazon for a great price! I normally always recommend shopping at your local bookstores because they’re a dying breed but you can’t beat the convenience Amazon offers.

Happy Reading!! And please let me know if you’ve read it and what you think!

Diana

 

36 Weeks & The Countdown Begins!!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already that time to start counting down to the big day! September 21st is the little guys scheduled debut so it will be interesting to see if he’s on time, early or late. I’m really looking forward to meeting this little guy. I almost can’t contain my excitement!

I’m technically 36 weeks 3 days and it seems like 37 weeks will be here tomorrow. I’ve been very fortunate and can say things have been relatively easy for me. I know some women are not so lucky and that sucks but man am I glad I am that lucky! I’m not saying it’s been a cakewalk; it hasn’t. However I can say that the minor aches and pains and the nausea and tiredness will all be worth it and I’d do it again (so far) in a heartbeat. The hard part of my pregnancy has not been pregnancy itself but rather life stressors. Like looking to buy a home and that falling through over and over again for months, then deciding to just keep renting but moving to keep costs lower and then oh yeah issues wit the new place when you have four weeks until your due date!

I’ve never been one to relax much which I assume I get from my mother. She never stops and when she does it’s for 15 min. stints to “rest her eyes”. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing but I think I am fortunate enough that I can relax a little bit more than 15 minutes. The only problem is I haven’t been able to lately. When we were trying to buy a home it was the most stressed out I’ve ever been. House after house we’d make an offer, get jerked around and then I’d end up in tears because it would fall apart and I’d be so disappointed and stressed about wanting to raise my son in a “home” that I couldn’t take it. Something happened though around the 4th or 5th time this happened. I didn’t care anymore about having “home” or at least my idea of what a home was changed. I realized it’s not the location or the physical building that makes a home but it’s what you do with what you have. I decided right then that living in an apartment would be just fine; especially for a few years or so longer. The type of building doesn’t determine what type of feeling that gets created for my son or what type of life he’ll have. My husband and I will be responsible for that and we can do that anywhere.

That change of my frame of mind did wonders for me. I felt so much better once I let that notion of having to raise my son in a house go and realized we can give him a good life anywhere. There was only one flaw in my change of heart and that was realizing we would need to move to a cheaper apartment to keep costs lower. Which in turn would also make sure we could enjoy living. In our old place we hardly enjoyed our outdoor space because we had to go up two flights of stairs to get there. And to go anywhere you had to go down the elevator to your car in the garage and then you could go where you want. In our new place we have a great outdoor space right off the living area and we’re on the first floor so our vehicles are easy access. The problem with having to move was timing. It was right in-between my two baby showers (one in my home town and one where I live) and we would have to break our lease. For my second baby shower the apartment was in boxes and it was a little embarrassing having people over. We held it on the rooftop patio which turned out great but it was so stressful.

The actual move went really well and was uneventful which was what I needed! A week passed and things were great all up until I had to clean the bathrooms. That’s when we discovered a problem with the new place. The tubs had been like painted or something! I couldn’t believe it. When I went to clean the tubs a white residue was coming off on my sponge and chips of the tub came off. It had already had some peeling which we were aware of but I thought it was just something that was not something that would get worse. Luckily the apartment management offered to reglaze the tubs which is awesome but with four weeks to the due date I was freaking out! I was stressed and worried. what if he came early, that I wouldn’t have time to put the house back together. We were so close to finishing the nursery and then this happened. It’s over now, and I can put the house back together but man was I not expecting to have more stress this close to the end.

All in all things have been so easy for me. I just hope that I still have enough time to finish preparing the nursery and preparing for birth. I haven’t been good about getting my exercises for labor in with all that’s been going on. I know I’ve been active with packing, moving and unpacking so I just hope it’s enough. Thankfully now I can focus again on my exercises for labor and preparing mentally for what I’m about to go through. Let’s just hope it’s enough to make it through! Positive thinking!!

Sorry for the long post but a lot has been going on and I haven’t been making time to update regularly. Please send your positive thoughts my way as I get closer to labor! I really want to do my best to try to keep this labor and delivery all natural as much as possible!!!

Book Review: Birthing From Within by Pam England

Not far into my pregnancy I started reading a book called Birthing From Within. This book was written by Pam England. I came across this book at my local Barnes & Noble and was happy that it was the first book I read. I’m glad I read it first because it wasn’t extremely technical as far as birth itself. It was a journey and it really spoke to me on a deeper level.

I loved that Birthing From Within was almost a spiritual guide regarding birth and learning how to become one with yourself as your body changes and how to stay one with yourself as you go through birth. Now I haven’t given birth yet, I’m 34 weeks and change, but I know that the information I learned in this book will help me greatly. I also took the Birthing From Within class at a local center called Harmony Birth which I also really loved and will write about that later.

Birthing From Within

Birthing From Within is fabulous if you’re looking to connect with yourself on a deeper level and if you’re interested in a natural birth. The book doesn’t discriminate against those interested in a cesarean birth or planning for an epidural. It’s the opposite really — it guides you no matter what your choice but I would say it is geared more towards mothers planning for a medication/intervention free birth. You will read stories about other women and their experiences and how they coped using methods they learned. There are also mini lessons that are hands on and creative that you can try on your own. I have found from this book and the class that birth art is really inspiring, eye opening and therapeutic.

At first I was really apprehensive about doing the birth art, and I didn’t do them all, but the few I did from the book I found it really comforting. I realized things I wasn’t originally aware of and it helped me connect with my changing body. Once I started doing the birthing art my perspective of my body really shifted. I have found my pregnant belly beautiful and I actually like the way I look pregnant. I think if you give in and try the art you will find yourself awaken to a deeper connection to your baby and body.

Here is a holistic approach to childbirth that examines this profound rite-of-passage not as a medical event but as an act of self-discovery. – Pam England, Birthing From Within description.

This book also does a great job of educating you about birth and how to cope with pain, different interventions if they are suggested and complications that can arise. It doesn’t go into a great depth of technical detail like another book I’ve read but I found it adequate if that’s not what your’e looking for. If you are looking for that technical deep dive I still highly recommend this book. I’m actually considering investigating their classes to become a birthing teacher because I love their methodology that much!

If you’re looking to connect with your body and baby on a new level I highly recommend this book. It will definitely open you up to birth from within!

By it on Amazon today for only $11.86 or go to your local Barnes & Noble or other local  bookstore!

If you decide to read it or have read it I’d love to hear what you think!

Diana

Keeping your body fueled during pregnancy…and beyond

I hate to say it but I haven’t been the best about getting to the gym. Between work, school and general tiredness from being pregnant it just hasn’t happened. Luckily, I’ve been able to keep my weight in check by simply keeping up with my diet and walking. By diet I mean the way I eat. I’m not a “diet” fan because really you should eat to fuel your body and if you’re trying to lose weight you adjust how and with what you fuel it with.

My goal for this pregnancy has been to just keep moving anyway I can and to make sure I keep myself from getting so hungry I feel ravenous. When I let myself get that way that’s when I tend to make the worst decisions. The best way I’ve found to do this is not new information to most of you. It’s simple really, the key is eating small meals throughout the day to keep your body fueled. Plus eating the foods that will actually keep you satisfied and your energy up!  I understand first hand that this is not easy during the first trimester if you have morning (all day) sickness or feel off in any way. The point is to do your best. Once you feel better, probably in your second trimester,  it will be much easier.

I’m not going to bullshit you, I personally hate that, skipping out on the gym will cause you to notice changes in your body beyond the normal belly growing. You will find that some ares will not be as firm as they were pre-pregnancy and you surprisingly may even lose a few pounds. Unfortunately those few pounds will be your muscle saying goodbye and fat saying hello! It’s not the end of the world and you need that fat as your body grows another human being so just chill and know it’s ok. It doesn’t mean you are going to balloon out either. It just means that your body is adjusting to the lack of training your body is used to.. If you can I highly suggest keep doing those squats  at home and keep walking even when you can’t get to the gym. I”m not perfect and haven’t been the best at doing it either but together we will have a fit pregnancy that works for each of us individually. Whatever you do please don’t let others make you feel bad because who are they to judge. Wait until they go through the same thing and then see how they do.

There are some people who have no problem sticking to their fitness regimen and good for them but everyone’s different. I wanted to be that person. I wanted to CrossFit 5 days a week and be a badass but I couldn’t do it. My body was like ‘um no’ so I haven’t worked out much but I feel good and I know I’m taking care of myself so to me that’s what matters. I walk as much as I can and some days I do better than others. I”m trying to get prenatal yoga in and I’m about to start doing more squats and other prenatal exercises. Should I have been better and started earlier hell yes but pregnancy is an emotional rollercoaster, exhausting and different. My husband and I recently started walking for 45min first thing in the morning after waking up and wow has it changed the day for us! We have more energy and we feel great! Try it and see how your day changes for the better.

Ok, back to fueling that baby making body! There is not a one size fits all plan here so what you see you should adjust to fit you. As I’ve said before I’m not perfect. Have I eaten like this 100% no but I try and to me that’s half the battle. Some of you will be better at than others and that’s ok. We’re human and we should do our best and on days we suck tomorrow we don’t. That’s just how it is. Anyone who says they do it perfect are either lying or they’ve been doing this for a very long time and it’s engrained into their lifestyle. That is the goal after all for us. To make this a lifestyle change. You’ll want to continue this post pregnancy with probably some tweaks as you find your stride with your new baby. If you’re going to breastfeed you’ll tweak it for that as well.

On a typical day here is what it looks like for me. Again, I”m not perfect but this has kept me full, energized and my weight right where my OB wants it.

Upon Waking:

  • Coffee with 1 tsp sugar in the raw (I tried just black and I can’t do it)

Breakfast:

  • Weekdays are usually…
    • Gluten free oatmeal with bacon and walnuts;
    • Organic Raisin Bran with Banana by 365 @Whole Foods;
    • Gluten Free Toaster Waffles from Trader Joe’s with almond butter/real butter and organic maple syrup
  • Weekends it’s usually…
    • 2 pasture raised eggs with 3 pieces of bacon (Applegate Sunday Bacon) & toast with real butter and one slice with organic berry jam or
    • Something totally not good for you! Sometimes you need a cheat day!

Mid-Morning Snack:

  • Banana or apple;
  • Almond butter with enjoy life chocolate chips (sometimes I skip these but they make it so much better!)

Lunch:

  • Applegate Salami
  • Organic butter chip pickles
  • Boulder Chips cooked in Avocado oil
  • Salad with spinach & arugula with some sort of dressing, cherry tomatoes & real bacon bits
  • Or if I forget to bring a lunch I get something out (like I said I’m not perfect)

Afternoon Snack:

  • Fresh berries (strawberries & blueberries usually)
  • Organic energy bars from Costco (I can’t recall the name but they’re mostly seeds)

Dinner:

  • Varies but usually some sort of meat and veggie for example
    • Lettuce wrapped burgers with baked sweet potato fried;
    • Chicken breast with green beans/bacon/mushrooms
    • Macadamia nut crusted tilapia with steamed rice and a mango sauce
    • Any recipe I find in one of my paleo cook books

Evening Snack:

  • 2 spoonfuls of almond butter and enjoy life chocolate chips (I eat a lot of almond butter but I think it has really helped me stay full and satisfy my sweet tooth that has gotten worse with pregnancy)

I will be posting a couple sample meal plans that are what I would say are more ideal than what my typical day looks like. I haven’t had the time or energy to do big prep days or cook decent dinners every night due to school/work etc but my goal is to start following these plans as well. Why write them if I’m not going to follow them right?

I’m not an expert but this has been working for me. I try to follow my paleo/primal diet 80/20. Sometimes that ratio is different but I try and to me that’s what’s important. At 24 weeks I think I had only gained 9 pounds total for the pregnancy so my doctor said I was right on track. I just had my 28 week appt and my OB was very happy with my progress and my weight! My baby is healthy and so am I. I passed my gestational diabetes test with flying colors, I’m not anemic and my blood pressure is perfect so what I’m doing is working for me.

If you remember anything from what I said I hope it’s that you just need to keep your body fueled by eating throughout the day. If anyone tells you to eat for two tell them to shove it! LOL just kidding but really that’s such an antiquated way to think and that’s how people fatten up! I’m not saying don’t treat yourself… by all means do sometimes. I didn’t even talk about my entire weekends so like I said I’m not perfect but I sure don’t have the mindset that I’m eating for two. I eat to keep body going and to keep my hunger satisfied. I highly recommend the same to you.

Pregnant or not we should be eating for fuel!