Recently, I sat down with one of our super clients. Pre-baby, Christina S. was a busy marketing professional who loved to do and teach yoga when she wasn’t traipsing about the globe. She shared her advice on maintaining a fit pregnancy (no easy task for working moms) and bouncing back quickly after giving birth.
You remained very fit during pregnancy, what was your secret?
Consistency is key. Not starting a new routine but keeping up a healthy one. Yoga is a passion of mine and so it was natural for me to continue to integrate a daily practice throughout my pregnancy. There were moments when it was harder than I expected, but I pushed past those or took pauses as needed for my own body. Especially in the lethargic first trimester. I did opt to stop intense weight training and spinning as it was very uncomfortable for me and replaced that with a walking/jogging routine. Also, the opposite side of calorie burning is consumption, so staying within the suggested calorie allowances was key to keep weight gain at a manageable and healthy level (consult with your doctor about what is best for you).
What do you wish someone had told you about pregnancy?
That it feels like a long journey when you are in it, but once it’s over, it feels like a dream you had. I’m glad I wrote a journal every week with the different changes and feelings I had. It helped me stay present and in the moment. Now I’m able to look back and recollect (because preggo brain is real, people!). The excitement is consistent over the journey but it’s more a marathon than a sprint, so stressing or tiring yourself out just wears you out before the finish line (i.e. delivery). Conserve your energy and be kind to yourself with massages and self-care moments. Once you get to the end, it’s truly a miracle!
What classes or services were the most helpful during pregnancy?
First, newborn care class is a must for first-time Moms! You learn to prepare the nursery and makes the first few days of being a mother easier and less daunting. For instance, I had no idea how to sponge bathe a baby, I thought you just put its head under the faucet (big “no-no”). The best part is that there is a takeaway book, like an encyclopedia of “How to Baby” for you to reference in those first weeks of maternity leave
Secondly, Doula, doula, and then more doula. I found that extra support essential. Along with massages pre- and post- pregnancy my body felt more ready and willing to accept nature. I’m usually a massage junkie anyhow, but particularly during and after my pregnancy, I needed the extra relief. Unfortunately, most hotel spa locations do not have specific prenatal masseuses, and so the ones I had outside of a specific prenatal center were hesitant to touch and lack-luster in technique.
Lastly, breastfeeding is not for everyone (and sometimes impossible for some), however, if you get the chance to have a lactation consultant or one of the many classes or outlets at Motherhood Center, or the hospital, take advantage of these opportunities. They will only set you up for success despite the fact that its rarely an easy feat to breastfeed, especially in the very beginning. The more techniques you know…the better.
I know you love to travel and have been all over the world. What are your tips for traveling now, “with a baby in tow…”
Be prepared, have contingency plans, stay calm. I took my little one on a trip to a wedding and his first flight was at exactly 6 weeks old. I had extra diapers, extra formula, an extra change of clothes. When you are flying, see if you can book a flight around when your child has a nap and feed them right before to encourage them to sleep. Nursing or feeding on the way up and down is helpful as well to ease pressure changes. Don’t be afraid to try something different with each journey if it’s not working. What works for one Mom might not for another. Every child is unique. If you are traveling alone, ask for help. Also, long scarves are the best for breastfeeding as you can wrap them many ways to keep yourself covered and to keep your baby warm on a cold plane. Lastly, your baby can feel when you get flustered, so stay cool and ask for help. Most fathers and mothers will have sympathy for you and will gladly assist.
As a career woman, I know sometimes it can be challenging to do it all! You work full time, like to travel and spend quality time with your husband. What tips do you have for other working moms?
A wise and successful mentor (and mother) once told me, outsource anything that takes away from quality time with your family/ch
ild/spouse. Shopping, cleaning, errands, babysitting, cooking etc. Don’t try to do it all because as much as women like to multi-task, it’s impossible to do all that and take care of a newborn. Select a few tasks that take minutes or hours a day and see how you can streamline or ask someone to help you. For instance, cooking has taken a back seat to quality play time with my baby so I order pre-made fresh delivery meals from Fresh n’ Lean out of California. I also look for services that either deliver or are close to my home, work or daycare for easy access.
Now that you have a family of 3, it’s important to remember that your child was born out of love from the relationship. Making sure you put aside time for weekly dates and mini-vacations is important for you and your spouse. We like to try to do the same things we did pre-baby, albeit not as often as we used to. We now prioritize what is most important to us, whether that be an early morning workout or a new restaurant opening.
I thoroughly enjoyed my maternity leave, but coming back full time is key. A night nurse was imperative to making that happen within the 12 weeks so when I returned I was rejuvenated and ready for the task ahead at work and juggling home life. We had one 3-4 times per week and a few babysitters who allowed us the freedom to socialize or attend work events as needed.