A word about weight gain during pregnancy. And a word of warning about unrealistic standards, social expectations and demands with regards to the “ideal” weight you will gain, and how quickly you will lose it.
Here are the facts: You will gain weight in pregnancy, right? And lose at least part of it afterwards. Pretty simple. And pretty natural.
Please accept this. Unless you have specific health concerns, don’t stress about it, crunch on numbers, obsess over a scale, or leave yourself hungry when what you need is nourishment. It’s not the numbers that matter, it’s your health. It’s your well being. It’s the value of the goodness you are putting in to nourish, maintain and allow for growth. It’s the quality, you know, which matters, not the quantity. So focus on that quality – as in, whole, healthy, natural and simple foods, not the quick, fast, convenient stuff. And if I may be so bold to say, forget about the quantity as long as it is good food, well balanced, and feels like “enough” for you. No charts, facts or figures will tell you what your body knows.
Now is not the time to worry about weight. I don’t care how much weight you gain now as long as you feel good. And just as too little food robs us of energy so needed now, likewise does too much food, and the wrong foods. These can drag you down as much anything. Listen to your body – it will tell you, loud and clear if you quiet down and tune in.
Before and after the birthing continuum may be the time to find and maintain the ideal body weight if that’s your goal. It’s not a matter of appearance we strive to maintain this in the long run, but of essential health and well being. However, pregnancy and the entire childbirth continuum which extends possibly for years postpartum as a nursing mother, is the time to simply love, nurture, nourish and care for your body. If you have issues with weight, perhaps eating disorders or deep concerns with body image or carrying the heavy burden of abuse or other wounds buried deep within your body, now’s a good time to talk about those things, as this is your Sacred Transformation, the time of your healing and your personal growth as you are growing your child and birthing the mother. Combining this powerful time of self reflection and transformation with your desire to do the right thing for your baby, this is a wonderful time to open up about these concerns and begin healing. Although body image or understanding these and related issues at times feel like the defining issues of our lives, right now, they are not. Right now, your priority is self care. Caring for yourself is the best thing you can do for your baby, too.
I know learning to love your body is not easy. You are certainly not alone in that. For some of us, it’s a long, painful journey. But now more than ever, it matters. Promise yourself at least to try. Try to love and care for yourself lovingly. Don’t expect miracles, but celebrate the baby steps. That way, you celebrate a part of yourself, and honor your attempts at caring for yourself and your body. This is self love in action, and your responsibility to yourself. And if you fall down, get back up. That’s all there is to it. And yes, we all fall down plenty. So now, let’s work on getting really good at getting back up!
There are plenty of practicing midwives who, on principle, will not weigh the mother. Their point is not to be disinterested in the cycles of natural growth and the progress of your pregnancy. Much of this is visible and we don’t need numbers confirming what our eyes and intuition clearly share. The point is to remove the concern and obsession with food, body image and weight issues. There’s way too much of that out there today. Who needs more reminders, especially when they may not even be right or relevant? If you have chosen to work with a caregiver that focuses on numbers, figures, reading your off a chart, that is your choice and your decision. You can discuss your preferences with your caregiver, and/or still rise above these concerns and focus instead on learning to love, pamper, care for, nurture and simply enjoy your body.
Our bodies matter. Your body matters. And now, more than ever, how you treat your body matters. The Wild Mountain Matrona services, workshops and articles are created with the self directed woman in mind and heart. As a self directed woman, you take responsibility for your actions. Your actions can determine and affect your body.
So, what are the basics of self care for your body? Besides keeping well hydrated, quitting smoking and reducing or preferably eliminating alcohol, eating whole and healthy can be one of the most important moves you can make as a mother. This isn’t a matter of appearance, but a matter of health. For your, and for your baby.
What can you do now to increase the love, respect and nurturing of your body?
- Eat well! (more on this to come)
- Bless your food before you eat.
- Look in the mirror and talk to the person you see. Tell her you love her.
- Exercise regularly.
- Walk every day. Not only for the exercise, but for the fresh air and nature (even if that’s just a crack in the sidewalk)
- Take time every day to sit, read, talk, unwind, have a cup of tea.
- Meditate, relax, reduce stress.
- Do less/enjoy more.
- Smile a lot.
- Laugh out loud.
- Read, look at or listen to positive messages/affirmations.
- Reach out to loving, supporting, understanding people.
- Pamper yourself!
- Promise to love yourself! I know, you won’t always. None of us do. So we mess up, fall down, get back up, and try again. Just don’t stop trying. This one matters so deeply. Why? Because you matter!
- Take a look at THIS WEB PAGE for some beautiful inspiration. I totally love this. There is a link too for a printable version. I recommend printing it out, pasting in your mirror and reading, dancing, celebrating your body as it is, every day.
These are just a few ideas to get you going. What else works for you?
Why not explore more ideas and options for nurturing your body as by turning to the Nurturing Wheel for your answers.