It's no secret that I am thinking about having another baby. And, if you are like me, a planner and semi-control freak, I prefer to be in the best possible position for any challenge. Whether it is a new job, a home improvement or major life decision, the more knowledge the better.
Before each of my two pregnancies I was committed to be in the best possible shape physically during this demanding creation of life.
It is not always realistic to plan for pregnancy, but I feel there are several ways we can make small life changes that will encourage new moms and re-energize experienced moms to embrace pregnancy and enter into motherhood with tools to make life a little easier.
1. Make realistic expectations-most of us do not have a personal chef or dietician to help put together healthy meals every day. If you need to, change your eating habits before pregnancy to make your diet a lifestyle. The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose is a practical and realistic approach to diet and living a healthy lifestyle. I accidentally spilled a glass of wine on The Raw Food Detox Diet, which I borrowed from the library, so I had plenty of time to read it cover to cover. Oh, and PS-don't be scared of the word "detox"!
2. Get off your butt, but don't go all crazy boot camp! If you don't currently work out, make it a priority. Not only is it good for your body, but the stimulation your brain receives is well worth it! Remember-you want this workout to become a way of life, not a short term fix. Mix it up so you don't get bored. Weights, cardio, yoga...
3. Start a bed time routine. Tea+Favorite Book+Bed=A Happy Body and Mind
4. Plant some good spiritual seeds. Visit with friends/family who have new babies to create a visual excitement about your baby in your heart. The connections you make with new moms during your pregnancy will foster great relationships after you have the baby.
5. Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts and concerns can help you communicate with your partner and your doctor. Venting with your pen is a lot better than telling off your less than favorite aunt or co-worker in the heat of a hormone surge.
6. Listen to your DOCTOR (and your heart)! Opinions (good or bad) seem to spring out of people's mouths around a pregnant woman. If you have concerns, speak to your health practitioner.
7. Breathe. This is an intense and wonderful time. There is something to be said for sitting down and allowing yourself to just be...
If you implement these small life changes before pregnancy, you won't have to try to force yourself to change during pregnancy! Living a well-rounded lifestyle will be habit and you and your baby will benefit.