Whether this is your first time or your 50th, somebody has an opinion on how you *should* be approaching your pregnancy. (A big bravo to anyone on their 50th, BTW) Let’s cut the shit. They probably don’t know what they’re on about. As a mum of three, I can tell you, what other people think is irrelevant. What matters? 1. What doyouthink? 2. Actually, that’s about it. Doing what works for you and keeps your health on track (physical, mental or otherwise) is ALL that matters.
The long list of things we’re supposed to do, avoid and change seems to be growing day by day. Especially when it comes to nutrition during pregnancy. “Doreen’s mum’s cousin’s aunty’s friend says you’re not supposed to do that, wear that, eat that, so you should really stop.”
It’s total garbage, but it’s so incredibly common… At the time in our lives where we’re at our most vulnerable, people seem to ramp up the judgy non-help, and it can really take a toll on our headspace. Now, it’s all well and good that I can issue a great big, ‘thanks, but no thanks’. I’ve been there and done that (x3). But not everyone has developed that hard outer shell yet. Especially if it’s your first time on the mummy merry-go-round.
Even the toughest nuts can crack under the pressure of the constant scrutiny. There’s always some well-intentioned do-gooder ready with some little-known ‘fact’ as to why you need to STEP AWAY FROM THE PIZZA.
(As if… pizza’s great. Go hard.)
All I can say is, don’t let them get to you. Those bubbas are tough as nails and you need to look out for #1 (and #2). People-pleasing is OFF the menu, even when it’s your own mum (or mother in law, amiright…?!)
The good news? Your instincts, medical science and me, along with everyone here atMaze are on your side. This is an incredible time in your life, so it really shouldn’t be ruined by Aunty Kim’s next-door neighbour’s husband – nobody gave him a vote.
I’ve pulled together my top three tips for staying sane about your nutrition during pregnancy and beyond…
The honest truth is that no two doctors, midwives or child health nurses are made the same, and it’s worth taking the time to find your ‘people’ along the way. These are the ones that you just feel in sync with (sorry, Timberlake, not you…), and workwith you rather than just telling you what to do with no consideration of the bigger picture of your nutrition during your pregnancy and beyond (unless you like that type of thing. Then do that.).
Take the advice that activelyhelps you and aligns with your choices, and feel free to take everything else with a grain of salt. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that drinking Guinness was recommended to help breastfeeding, and the phrase ‘eating for two’ was bandied about willy nilly. Would we take that as gospel now? Probably not…
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOU TO AGONISE OVER YOUR POST-BABY BODY. No matter what, it’s going to look weird for a bit, and you’re going to feel like someone ran into you with a semi-trailer for the first few days post-birth. After that, you’ll have the cracked nips, the endless sleepless nights and the unyielding desire to murder your partner for getting you two into this position in the first place to contend with.
My point? Your brain is overloaded and your body is exhausted. Pregnancy and newborn life has enough to cope with without adding dieting to the mix. I promise, once you’ve popped that kid out, there will be a million things better to worry about than whether you fit into your skinniest skinny jeans.
The thought may cross your mind, and trust me, you will get there in time. But for now, just get through each day, keepoutdoors and active and enjoy your time with kiddo. Don’t worry about the rest. It’ll come.
Realistically, just steer clear of Googling “what should I eat during pregnancy” and the 345,000,000+ ideas you’ll get in response. I’m firmly from the school of ‘do what works for you’, and while of course it’s important to look after yourself, there is no chance that all 345 million web pages are going to have helpful answers.
In saying that, if you’re looking for a good base of info, try these:
**And while we’re on the topic of staying away from Google, for the love of God, stay away from Googling ‘vaginal tearing’, ‘episiotomies’, ‘forceps’ and ‘post-delivery poos’/’post-partum haemorrhage’. Nothing good can come from that…
Now, I’m not arguing that good nutrition during pregnancy isn’t important. Getting that kiddo the best possible start in life is the very first gift you give them as a mama. And that’s lovely. But you know what else they need? They need a happy, whole mama who’s loving life and embracing the entire messy, incredible, stressful, life-changing transition to life as a mum, and you can’t do that if you’re stressing out over your dress size...
Take care of yourself, mama.
~ Sinem xo
P.S. Eat the goddamn pizza.
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