pregnancy : gaining weight or gaining confidence?

There’s so much emphasis on pregnancy weight gain. At each doctors appointment, our weight is monitored, assessed and commented on. Every time we step outside, a friend, family member or even a stranger comments on our shape, our size or how ‘big’ we are.

As our pregnant bodies change and grow, it can be reeeeally difficult to love each extra curve, bump and wiggle. Our culture tells us that we need to be thin, to a small waist, a thigh gap and smooth skin.

But during pregnancy? Our bodies change. We lose our small waist, our skin stretches, our thighs rub together and our butt grows to match our belly. We might retain extra fluid making every part of our body rounder and puffier than normal.

And somehow…we need to accept all of this. Overnight (well, almost) our perspective of our bodies needs to change. But does it? For most, no!

Learning to love ourselves throughout each change, learning to love our bodies even with the extra wiggles, learning to love our minds even though we may forget where we leave our phone every time we put it down, and learning to love each moment, to really BE in each moment.

Our female bodies do INCREDIBLE things during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. We grow a HUMAN! Seriously! Our heart is working harder, we have 1.5L more blood than normal, our stomach shrinks, our kidneys move locations, we our hips change shape, our joints become stretchier, the curvature of our spine increases, the amount of air breathed in and our of lungs increases by 40% and many more changes. The amount of changes we see on the outside are small compared to what’s happening on the inside!

So let’s forget about what the scale says, let’s forget about the comments that others make about our pregnant or post-pregnant bodies, and most importantly, let’s forget about what our ‘negative self-talk’ is saying when we look in the mirror. In those moments, let’s remind ourselves that we are beautiful, in this very moment, we are beautiful. Not later, when we lose those extra pounds, but right now. Right now we are beautiful.

My prenatal and postpartum fitness programs aren’t focussed on keeping you thin, keeping your thigh gap, or getting your ‘body back’. They are about building confidence, taking small steps to help bring strength and balance to your body.

Instead of getting ‘bikini ready’ or getting your ‘body back’, let’s focus on what really matters! Let’s aim to be as healthy as we can in all aspects of our health.

Hospital Packing Lists for Mom and Baby

You’re 20 weeks along and you’re anxious to get organized, your 40 weeks and you’ve been so busy you haven’t had a chance to even think about packing, or your partner is newly pregnant and you want to figure out all this hospital stuff for her. ¬†Whatever the case, this information is for you!

Depending on where you live, these lists change!  I have three kids and my first two were born in Canada and my third in Thailand.  The hospitals, the system, the resources, are different!  My advice to you, is to chat with your local hospital, doctor, and/or midwife to find current and location specific information on what the hospital provides and what it doesn’t provide!

Packing List for LABOUR AND DELIVERY

  • Water Bottle.  I’ve found the best type is one with a re-usable straw.  When you’re in active labour and all your energy is spent during your contractions, even trying to tip up a water bottle and not spill it all over you seems like a big task!  Funny but true!  So save yourself some energy.
  • Snacks, electrolyte drink (coconut water, gatorade or make your own labour energy drink)
  • Loose clothing that can easily be taken off.
  • Chapstick!  Hospitals are dry.  Trust me, you’ll need this!
  • Something to wear in the bathtub and/shower (with nurses, doctors, and partners around).  If you’re a free-spirit then go naked!  If you’re not and you’d rather cover up, a bathing suit works well.

Packing List for MOM (Recovery and Comfort)

  • Lanolin cream
  • Nursing bra
  • Breast pads
  • Comfortable pajamas
  • Other sleeping items (special pillow or blanket, etc.)
  • Personal bathroom items (contacts, glasses, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, hair elastics, face lotion, makeup, etc.)
  • Warm socks
  • Sandals that are EASY to slip on and off
  • 2 comfortable and loose outfits
  • Large underwear.  Seriously, go big or go home!  Ha!  But really, after baby comes you’ll be using large pads, ice packs and maybe a herb or two.  Buy some granny panties in 2 sizes too big.  Buying specific underwear for your postpartum will also help your nice ones stay nice!
  • Large menstrual pads
  • Ice pads
  • Small laundry bag for dirty clothes
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Bluetooth speaker (if you want to listen to your own music)
  • Book
  • Important documents (insurance papers, passport, etc.)

If you’ve forgotten anything, then ask one of your ‘visitors’ to swing by your house and pick it up for you!

Depending on where you live, these lists change!  I have three kids and my first two were born in Canada and my third in Thailand.  The hospitals, the system, the resources, are different!  My advice to you, is to chat with your local hospital, doctor, and/or midwife to find current and location specific information on what the hospital provides and what it doesn’t provide!

Labour-Aid Electrolyte Drink

It’s soooo important to stay hydrated and fed during labour! Think of it like a marathon, if you don’t continue to ‘feed’ your body then you’ll hit the wall/run out of energy/bonk/whatever you want to call it. Anyone who’s run more than a 1/2 marathon OR had a particularly LONG labour knows what this feels like. It’s not fun and can be avoided with proper nutrition!

So here’s a home-made electrolyte cocktail that will help give you that sustained boost we all need in labour! I’ve tried to make this recipe as accessible as possible with items you probably already have in your cupboards. And a big plus? It’s not full of sugars and food colouring.

2 cups coconut water
1 cup water
Juice from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lime
1 TBSP raw honey
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
Calcium/Magnesium – You have a couple options with this one. Purchase trace mineral/electrolyte drops at your local health food store OR purchase them online (this one’s my favourite).