Since starting school, meeting Joe and taking on full time work hours five years ago, I've struggled to find the time to keep up a healthy lifestyle. In those first four years of mine and Joe's relationship, I let go of all of the healthy habits that I'd had in the years before my life pace became hectic. I gained weight, became sluggish, and was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. Making healthy choices was a priority for me anymore but then I realized that leading a healthy lifestyle was important not only for my own good my little family as well.
When I got pregnant with Bensen, I made some changes to the way I was living because I knew that gestational diabetes was a high possibility for me. I wanted to have the healthiest pregnancy possible and give my baby the healthy start he needed. I may not have been able to avoid gestation, but I feel like I had a healthy pregnancy overall, my baby was healthy and I know that I was much a much healthier me postpartum than I was before I got pregnant. My goal is to continue my healthy habits and pick up more so that I can be the healthy wife and mama that I need to be for the guys in my life.
Self Care for New Moms
I spent the last half of my pregnancy on a low carb diet, learning to love vegetables. Not only was I able to keep my blood levels regulated, I ended up losing weight in my pregnancy, my A1c (average of blood sugar control over last 2 to 3 months) number is the lowest that it's been in over three years and I'm not considered pre-diabetic anymore. After Bensen was born, it was all too easy to go back to my habits of eating delicious carbs and sugars, but when I'm tempted, I just remember the progress I've made and where I hope to be the next time I get pregnant. Currently, I track what I eat each day so that I'm aware of what I'm putting into my body and I try to incorporate a vegetable into each of my meals.
During my pregnancy, I was more active than I've been in years. Joe and I both got fitness trackers and challenged each other every day. Because I work at a desk all day and his job requires him to walk around the store a lot, it was easy for him to win, but it challenged me to get as close to his activity level as possible every day. My trek to and from campus this last semester got me 30 minutes of "very active" activity three days a week. We also found a great nature trail by our house and because of our mild winter, we were able to take Howie out a couple of times a week. Currently, I try to take Howie and Bensen on a 50 minute walk, three or four times a week. Bensen loves to be outside, Howie acts like he's never allowed outdoors and I get some physical activity and stress relief.
I slept so much during the first trimester of pregnancy. I'd come home from work each day and take a nap and I was back in bed for the night by 10:30 at the latest. I didn't feel like I had lots of energy because pregnancy was draining, but I didn't get sick and my body felt rested. As soon as I felt like I had more energy, I went back to my normal sleep habits and I ended up sick with a sinus infection for 10 weeks. Now that Bensen is sleeping through the night, and goes to bed a lot earlier than he used to, I try to put myself to bed at a decent hour. A good night's rest makes this mama happy and keeps me from hopefully catching any illnesses that are going around.
Set a Schedule
With work, school, and blogging, my planner has been a lifesaver. If you saw my days mapped out, you might laugh tat me, but it makes all the difference. I plan out every hour of my day, and make a short list of the things that I want to accomplish. Once I've done something, I put a check mark next to it and move onto the next thing. Sometimes my schedule doesn't go according to plan, but I just move things around and start over again the next day. I've gotten so much more accomplished since I started doing this and I feel a lot more productive at the end of the week when I can look back and see everything I've done. I also feel more balanced knowing that I've scheduled my day so that I can spend time on every aspect of my life and not neglect something.
Take Time for Myself
I don't have a lot of time to spare, but I make sure to do one thing for myself each day. By the time Joe gets home from work each night, I'm usually ready for bed, so it's not always possible to get just me time in daily. Sometimes I count my walk with Howie and Bensen as me time, or I turn my hhalf hour commute into a singing session. Other days I'll have someone come over for an hour so that I can get a project done or run an errand without the baby.
Spend Time with my Boys
Because I'm working full time and have so much else on my plate, I have to make it a priority to spend time with Bensen and Joe each day. Bensen and I hang out in the backyard for a little bit every night, look at pictures around the house together or giggle and talk to each other after a diaper change. Joe and I make date night a priority each week, spend as much time together as possible on the weekends and try to find the energy for a conversation or two at the end of our busy weekdays.
I wish I had discovered healthy mama® when I was pregnant, but now I'll know for next time around and I can use some of their products right now, as a new mom. healthy mama® was created to help pregnant mom's take the guesswork out of what is safe and effective to take during pregnancy and while they are nursing as well! Their products were named to put a smile on your face and their packaging is bright and cheery as well.
All healthy mama® products can be found at Walmart, next to the prenatal vitamins. There's a bright, fun display with a sign that sticks out into the aisle, so you can't miss them! I'm not ready to have another baby any time soon, but I'm kind of looking forward to that time in the future when I am pregnant again so that I can take full advantage of this line and see just how helpful it is against less than desirable pregnancy symptoms. I wasn't the healthiest, happiest, most energetic wife for the first six months of my pregnancy, I'd like that to be different in the future.
My favorite healthy mama® product right now is Boost it Up!, a caffeine free, protein energy drink. I never drink soda or energy drinks, they've never appealed to me, until I became a mom. Some days I'm so worn out that I'm tempted to drink one, just for the energy. healthy mama® has made getting the energy I need easy, without the unwanted caffeine or sugar crash later on. When I have a busy morning, I can grab one of these out of the fridge and get the protein and nutrients that I need to start my day off right and in a healthy way. I'll be drinking one of these often because I know they'll keep me going during all of my busy days.
Other healthy mama® branded medicines included: Move It Along! for constipation, Shake the Ache! for pains and sleepless nights, Tame the Flame! for that obnoxious heartburn and Nip the Nausea! for morning sickness. I have a use for every one of these products as a mom, and I love knowing that they contain the safest ingredients for me and my future pregnancies.
No medication can be deemed 100% safe during pregnancy. Always consult your doctor prior to taking any medication while pregnant or nursing.
What habits do you have to help you be the healthiest wife and mama possible?