Category Archives: Pregnancy

A Prayer for Labor Induction

Prayer for labor induction - RunHoly.comA Prayer for Labor Induction

I just had a beautiful little girl. I made it through 9 (or ten) long hard months. I am not one of those women that glows and enjoys pregnancy. I think they are actually a myth as I have never met one **correction: on July 31st, I met ONE of these women, Bre.  Beautiful woman.  Anyway…** . For those other women that do not enjoy pregnancy especially at the end, I previously shared some things that I believe induced my labor.  Now, I wanted to also share with you the specific prayer and scriptures that I prayed the night before (of) my labor.

Haven was the only baby of my three that came naturally. I had to medically induce with the first two. She came at 37.5 weeks. She was the smallest of my babies which is very unusual since she was my third. I was amazed at how scrawny she was compared to my other two, but she was perfectly healthy in every way.  (She also gained weight quickly after being born.) This confirms to me that God was faithful to my prayer.  Quite possibly she came earlier than she would have if I had not prayed.

***You will see in this post that I also used several natural induction methods.  But I believe in God’s sovereignty, he would only allow these to “work” if it was his will. Along with this prayer, I also asked a group of about 5 of my prayer group friends to pray for a “Holy Spirit-induction” that very DAY that I went into labor.

By the way, going into labor naturally was one of the greatest experiences.  I was able to labor at home until the early hours of the morning: walking around my house, showering in my shower, sitting in my living room by the peaceful light of my Christmas tree.  No one “checking me” every hour.  And the contractions were super easy and gentle compared to Pitocin contractions!

 

Prayer for Labor Induction

Abba Father,

You know I’m not the most patient person.

But you also see and understand how difficult pregnancy is.

You used pregnancy as a metaphor for the most difficult and uncomfortable tests in the bible.

This pregnancy is definitely testing me.

You lead gently those with young and you desire to be merciful to me.

Your banner over my life and this pregnancy is love.

I know that there is an appointed time for the birth of this baby just as there was for yours.

I also know that in your mercy and love, you changed the times for people like Joshua and Hezekiah. 

All my times are in your hands. 

The time for this pregnancy to end and birth to happen are in your control and your wisdom.

But I am your daughter, you care about my discomfort, my pain, my desires.

So just as Jesus cried out for the possibility of you to change your plan, I’m asking you in boldness to have the timing of this birth to be TODAY / TONIGHT!

You know that my heart’s desire is to go into labor naturally, and you promise to give me the desires of my heart.

So, I’m asking that my water would break and that I would have a healthy labor and a vaginal delivery free of complications.

Make this child ready… body-soul-spirit to come into this world today/night.

Cast out all fear from her and strengthen her.

I speak maturity to every organ from her brain to lungs to digestion and immune system.

Thank you God that you hear me and that you always hear me.

Thank you for the gift of prayer and your promises, and for being a father that always cares about me.

 

Bible Verses for Prayer for Labor Induction

As a woman with child, when she draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs: so are we become in thy presence, O Lord. Isaiah 26:17

He gently leads those that have young Isaiah 40:11

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. Luke 2:6

My times are in your hands Psalm 31:15

Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass. Job 14:5

He changes times and seasons Dan 2:21

‘I desire mercy Matt 9:13, 12:7, Hosea 6:6

and let his banner over me be love Songs 2:4

So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped…The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. Joshua 10:13

Time moved backwards for Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20

‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years Isaiah 38:5

He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me…that you always hear me…Jn 11:41-42

I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven Matt 18:19

Inducing Labor: What Worked For Me

How to induce labor naturally. Natural induction method that works! RunHoly.com

Naturally Induce Labor: The Natural Induction Method That Works!

Inducing Labor: What Worked For Me

At the end of pregnancy and I mean around 32 weeks, I begin searching-madly googling, searching forums, Facebook groups, etc.-ways to induce labor. I am DONE. The last few weeks of pregnancy are torture for me. Sciatic pain, discomfort, not being able to breathe, exhaustion…and generally just not being able to be ME all drive me to a willingness to do almost anything. This time, I believe I might have been successful at inducing labor. What worked for me?

How to induce labor naturally. Natural induction method that works! RunHoly.com

How to induce labor naturally.

Natural Induction Method 1: Electro-stimulation of Nipples

 

Naturally induce labor with tens unit electrostimulation of nipples RunHoly.com

Me using the TENS unit while pregnant.




I began this around 36 weeks. As I mentioned, I have terrible sciatic pain during pregnancy. (I don’t know if baby gets on my last nerve or what! Har har!) Anyway, so I have to wear a TENS unit on my back and butt to be able to sleep. So imagine my surprise and delight when coming across this clinical study: breast electrostimulation for the induction of labor.

Here are some highlights from this study:

“We studied breast electrostimulation as a controllable method of initiating labor in 21 women. This technique successfully induced labor in 15 women…”

 

“All of the successfully induced women delivered vaginally.”

Natural labor induction through nipple stimulation tens unit, RunHoly.com

 

The Problem with Nipple Stimulation to Induce Labor

Okay so the problem with nipple stimulation isn’t it’s proven success rate in studies. Actually it is one of the ONLY successfully proven, science-backed natural induction methods. The problem is that the only way for breast stimulation to work it has to be done for 3 hours/day or more. Now if you are doing that manually…that is just weird. I’m not rubbing my nipples for 3 hours a day. Might make for an awkward checkout at the grocery store, ya know? Okay, so the other option is an electric breast pump. I tried this during my second pregnancy. Some people might be able to handle this for multiple hours a day. I could not. Excruciating. You might go into labor, but you might also have your nipples fall OFF. So the last option is what I chose. Like I said I already needed the TENS unit for back/sciatic pain. I also ended up using it for painful labor contractions. Turns out you can also use it for nipple stimulation. So, basically you stick one electrode pad on the right and left (or top and bottom) of your nipple.

A risk to note is that it might actually make you go into labor early.  Many women breastfeed babies all the way through pregnancy (including the third trimester); so the risk isn’t too high.  But, you don’t want to start this any earlier than 37 weeks if you are having a complicated, high-risk pregnancy or have been showing signs of premature-labor. *I started this at 36.5 weeks because I read in a couple of studies that it takes at least 72 hours to begin working/to start labor. Also, I have always gone to full term and had uncomplicated pregnancies.

I actually ran into a strange problem that I’m pretty certain won’t happen to most people. I got mastitis during these last days of my pregnancy. Now mastitis usually only occurs while breastfeeding – but I guess my body *thought* I was breastfeeding.  The bad thing about getting mastitis while pregnant is that there isn’t a baby to flush out the infection by breastfeeding which is how most mastitis infections are cleared up.   I am a high risk for mastitis.  I got it 4 times with my second baby.  To prevent mastitis, you can take soy lecithin or you can treat it as soon as you feel the symptoms like breast soreness, heat in breast by calling your doc and getting prescribed antibiotics.

So, here is the specific method: Attach the tens unit like below. Raise the level (ghz) until you can feel a light buzzing in your nipples. I also chose the setting that pulses. I felt like the intensity fluctuations mimicked breastfeeding most. I wore these pads underneath my clothes and slipped the controller in my jeans pocket so that the cords were pretty much out of sight. I ran the unit about 3-4 times a day for about an hour each time. The controller will automatically turn off the current after an hour. I did this during the day and at night.

Naturally induce labor with tens unit electrostimulation of nipples RunHoly.com

Here is the TENS unit that I used. (Buying through this link supports all the hard work I do for this site.)

Inducing a VBAC labor…Attempting a VBAC?

Here’s a study on women with prior c-section deliveries who did nipple stimulation and 84% of them were able to have a successful vaginal birth.

Natural Induction Method 2: Membrane Sweep or Stripping Membranes (twice)

You probably already know about this.  It’s where the doctor uses a glove to “to gently separate the amniotic sac from the wall of the uterus”. Ouch.  Firstly this did cause some cramping and contractions both times.  It’s supposed to work within 48 hours.  The second time I had them done, I went into labor that night.

Also, I would not recommend looking on forums and boards for whether this is successful.  The only women that get on there and comment are the ones that are still pregnant. Because the ones that it was successful are too busy HAVING A BABY to go and post that it was a success.  Some go back and post that it was successful, but I didn’t.  It wasn’t really at the top of my list of priorities.  So yeah… I just wanted to put that out there on the interwebs so that other desperate google/babycenter searching pregnant moms can avoid that discouragement.

This study says that membrane sweeps work to induce labor. This study says that membrane sweeps do not pose risks.  There is another study that I can’t seem to locate again that said that membrane sweeps were most successful when combined with other induction methods.

Are There Risks to Having Membranes Stripped?
  • The cramping that may occur in the 24 hours after your membranes are stripped can make it hard to rest or sleep; this means that you might lose some sleep before actually going into labor.
  • Some people worry that membrane stripping may cause the bag of water to break or cause mothers or babies to become sick. Studies have found that membrane stripping does not make them more likely Source

Natural Induction Method 3: Prayer

Yes prayer. I was desperately searching for all these methods and ways to induce and God tapped me on the shoulder…like “hey, have you thought about praying about it?” DOH! So I began praying this prayer, and also texted my “prayer group” asking for them to pray for a Holy Spirit-induction.  That night I went into labor.

You can read my post on a Prayer for Induction of Labor HERE.

Natural Induction Method 4: Naps

Okay I thought this was strange. My doctor who has been in practice a loooong time gave me this tip after my membrane sweep and in response to my question as to whether walking might help the “sweep” work. He told me to go home and take a nap or two or three. He gave a couple of reasons for this.

When you put more stress on your body and are stressed emotionally to boot, this raises cortisol. This kills the oxytocin boost that you need to start labor. It’s all about hormones!  But when you relax, nap…meditate then oxytocin thrives and labor can start naturally.

Along those same lines, napping prepares your body for labor. Since labor is long and hard work, it’s good to let your body rest. It makes sense, right? How many women walk their butts off then end up going into labor already tired and worn out?

I took two or three naps the day I went into labor.

Well I think those cover it…

Once contractions started, I did bounce on a ball to try to keep it going. I did that the rest of the evening, and I bounced pretty hard at one point.

So if you’re like me and desperate for your pregnancy to be OVER, you can give these a try! Let me know if it works for you.

Quitting Cookies – Plant Based Pregnancy Challenge

Quitting Cookies. Plant Based Pregnancy Challenge

Day 2 & 3

Yesterday was day 2 of my plant based pregnancy challenge. It went pretty well & according to plan until I found myself out and about around dinner time. (I actually had leftover lunch from day 1.) The healthiest choice was Pei Wei so I got some sushi and a Vietnamese chicken salad wrap.

I was actually shocked by how little plants were even in the menu items here. What I got the girls was basically meat, sauce, and rice. And most of the items were the same. The wraps that I got could have been filled with all kinds of colorful veggies like sprouts, red cabbage, carrots…Instead it was basically a chicken & mayonaise mixture. How boring! Plant based recipes are so colorful & creative.

Anyway, this morning I was too tired to make a shake. So I split a Lara bar and banana with Kate.

Plant based pregnancy - grilled tofu Caesar salad- RunHoly.comMy prayer group was having chicken Caesar salad. I grilled up some tofu & cut up some rainbow carrots to take over there. Oh and those are pine nuts on top. It was yummy.

By the way, the ladies broke out desserts including gelato ice cream. Thankfully I had brought a chocolate shakeology shake with be so I was able to abstain.  But sheesh! I told them it was the straight up devil waving gelato in front of a pregnant lady trying to lay off sweets.

Plant based pregnancy - grilled tofu, egg, hominy lettuce wrap- RunHoly.comThen for dinner, Paul & I ate some of that leftover tofu with hominy,  avocado, scrambled eggs, and tomatoes. I put mine in a lettuce wrap. It was so beautiful & delicious.

Tonight when when I was dying for something sweet I mixed up that shakeology brownie batter but added oatmeal, pb, and honey. The girls shared it with me & loved it.

I completed my scheduled Piyo workouts for yesterday & today. The workout today: Drench was rough. It felt great, but as you progress through a workout program, most of the time it should get easier. As I get more pregnant, it actually gets harder.

I’m pretty proud that I have stuck to my 8-week Piyo schedule and only missed a workout the day I was moving. Every now and then I don’t finish all of one, but I give myself credit for the attempt.

You’ve got to be gentle with yourself while pregnant. I tend to be kind of hard on myself.

Well that’s day 2 & 3 of this plant-based pregnancy challenge. Just gotta keep going strong for the next few days. It gets easier once you get back on the plant-based groove.

Quitting Cookies. Two Week Plant Based Challenge, During Pregnancy

Plant based lunch - RunHoly.com

Quitting Cookies. Two Week Plant Based Challenge, During Pregnancy

“Let’s eat clean (he means plant based when he says this) until Thanksgiving!” Those are the words my husband dared to speak to my pregnancy-fatigued soul, amidst moving boxes and off-schedule toddlers.  I looked it up today “how many days until thanksgiving, Google?”  16 days.  Basically two weeks.  So, I decided to blog about our 2 week plant based challenge.

Now, I accepted this challenge because number one- I love my husband! But also,  I have gone crazy this pregnancy. Candy, cookies, sweets have been a staple in my diet.  Not only has it made me feel crappy and low-energy, but I know it’s not good for little unborn baby Haven. Plant-based makes me feel energetic and great! So, I’m hoping this two week plant based challenge will set me back on course to have a more plant based, nutritious diet.  This will also make it easier when I switch back to normal eating after pregnancy cravings have dwindled.  I’m just focusing on keeping the diet exactly that – plant BASED, meaning the foundation of every meal is plants.  I’m not stressing over keeping it vegan.  And I’m not stressing over portions.  If I want a whole head of kale, well I’ll just eat until I am satisfied and filled.

Day One of the Two Week Plant Based Challenge

This is day one. So tired. Moving all weekend was rough. And I’m determined to complete all my Piyo workouts on my 8-week schedule so that means 2 workouts today. I see the schedule taped to the wall. Ugh. But that’s later. Time to get the girls ready for daycare/work. I struggle with Sofia who is about as excited about getting up as her mama.

Kate actually slept through the night, and I’m so glad we didn’t have a repeat of the night before where I ended up sleeping with her after two hours of crying/consoling/crying/…. Shew that girl is stubborn!   Paul changes her diaper & I put her clothes on. Then Paul & Fia head to the city and Kate and I head to the office.

But not before I make a vegan chocolate shakeology shake. I throw a cup of strong coffee into the blender so that maybe that will help. It doesn’t really. I feel like the walking dead for a good hour and a half. Grandpa takes baby Kate with him to the bank, and I use a small reserved energy to accomplish office tasks.

On on my way home from lunch around 1 I swing by the store. The checker comments on how healthy my diet is. LOL. If only she knew I had chicken wings, riesens & twizzlersfor dinner last night.

When I got home,my mom was walking with Kate to the playground. Guess grandpa & grandmother had switched. It’s sort of nice having all your family so close. (I basically live in a commune now. Lol.) but it’s AMAZING when you’re 31 weeks pregnant & been moving for the last week.

I whipped per up this lunch. Eggplant parm patties and lemon tahini kale. The patties are adopted from this recipe, but I threw on a handful of shredded Parmesan before forming it into balls. Also I cook it on the stove as patties rather than oven meatballs.) Then I continuously flatten & flip in the sauté pan because I like it that way!

While led that was cooking, I poured this lemon tahini dressing (I use grated Parmesan instead of nutritional yeast; but I’ve had it both ways, and both are good) over a bowl of chopped kale. I mixed it in and then threw all of it in a sauté pan and cook covered, adding water as needed. I take it out when it’s soft but still bright green. the kale is sort of adapted from this recipe.

I really want a cookie when I finish lunch. I am terrible when it comes to sweets during pregnancy. I have a handful of frozen grapes instead, and start my Piyo workout.  Today I did Strength Intervals and half of Core.  The core workout is so great for pregnant ladies.  The majority of the moves are in prone/plank or standing.  There’s only about 5 minutes of it that I can’t do because it’s on my back.  And it provides so much strength work to keep those abdominals tight and strong (good for bouncing back to a somewhat flat tummy postpartum and for PUSHING during labor.  Here’s a few other reasons why PiYo is awesome for pregnancy.  Seriously love the way this workout makes me feel!


Pregnancy PiYo - RunHoly.com
We had a salad for dinner with onions, tomato, cheese, carrots, romaine, avocado, and a little too much dressing.  At night when I am craving something sweet, I have some shakeology (any chocolate protein mix would probably work) protein brownie mix that I made kind of like these only I never shaped them into brownies, just ate it like batter.  I went to bed satisfied and feeling very accomplished that I went 24 hours without a cookie.

Hi, my name’s Lauren and it’s been 1 day since my last cookie.   

Here is my meal plan for this first week.  I may not stick to it exactly, but it gives me a foundation to work with.  I find it makes meal planning and “clean eating” easier when I use repeat meals. When the meals are creative, colorful, flavorful, diverse, etc… it doesn’t feel monotonous to me at all.

RunHoly Plant-based Meal Plan week 1

 

If for some reason, you want to download this meal plan, you can do that by clicking here: RunHoly.com plant based meal plan – week 1

 

 

 

 

 

Fit, Fat, Fun Pregnancy – What’s Your Pregnancy Style?

Fit, Fat, Fun Pregnancy – What’s Your Pregnancy Style?

2 approaches to pregnancy weight gain

About 8 months pregnant

Fit, Fat, Fun Pregnancy – What’s Your Pregnancy Style?  As I near the end of this, most likely my last, pregnancy.  I’m just reflecting on all three pregnancies and the 2 approaches to pregnancy as far as fitness, nutrition, and mind set. I’m wondering if this reflection might help someone in the future.

So I’m currently in the basketball belly phase of pregnancy. You know that one right after “beer gut?” and right before “Oh My God!”. Ya I’m beyond that phase where people tell me I “don’t even look pregnant” (subscript… just look fat). I am definitely pregnant-looking with the belly right out in front on display. And right before the next phase where I madly rush into the shower, avoiding all brief glimpses of my reflection and the alien level of stretching that my body does right between the 9th and 10th month of pregnancy. No matter how many times I’m pregnant, it still freaks me out.

Fitness During 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pregnancy
First “fit” pregnancy I ran several miles a day including a half marathon at about 6 months pregnant. I switched over to walking towards the end but still maintained a couple miles a day. I definitely took the first approach to pregnancy during this time.

The “fat, fun” second pregnancy, I was doing strength and HIIT training at the beginning. When I couldn’t do that anymore because of sports hernia (probably due to all the running my 1st pregnancy), I half-way committed to something called Battle Rope Training which is actually awesome during pregnancy.

Third “fat, fun” Pregnancy: This pregnancy is a little (actually a lot) different. Pretty much the entire second trimester, I was unable to even walk more than 1/4th mile without terrible pain. I started to get really depressed after a couple months and started looking for solutions. By wearing 2 different support belts, I was able to take my girls for short (2 mile max) walks. And I found PiYo! I made a calendar for 8 weeks and decided I would commit, no matter what, to doing these fairly easy workouts. I’ve kept that commitment for 2 weeks now. It just feels so great to be back sort of active and have that sense of “me” and accomplishment, however small.

Nutrition During 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pregnancy
First pregnancy, I remember that I wouldn’t eat vanilla wafers because I was afraid of what processed foods would do to the baby. That’s funny now. After the brief nausea period, I returned to eating salads and fruits. I ate a ton of frozen yogurt  and fruit when I craved sweets or ice cream.

Second pregnancy, I had a longer period of nausea. Honestly, I have no idea what I ate. I had a very young toddler…so think Cheez-Its. I think I tried to make healthy choices, but I pretty much just gave into the junk and sweets. Third pregnancy. Wow. Once the nausea subsided it was like a candy bar massacre by my bed every night until my body gained 10 lbs in a month. Then the junk cravings ebbed. Now, one of my other commitments is to have a shake like shakeology at least once a day. And to eat one plant-based vegan meal. The rest of the day is filled with junk. And I mean JUNK!

2 Approaches to Pregnancy Weight Gain and Recovery

First approach Fit Women take to Pregnancy: Fight your instincts. Stay Fit at all costs (to your sanity).

I think there are 2 approaches fit women take to pregnancy weight gain and recovery.  And I’ve taken both of them. I’ve seen the differences and there are positives and negatives to both. There is the approach where you delve deep into your self-control throughout the entire 10 months.  You tell yourself no to nearly every craving and appetite surge.  You force yourself to go for a run when you feel like napping.  The result is that at your 6 week postpartum appointment, you will receive looks of utter contempt when you walk in with your flat tummy and pre-pregnancy jeans.  I’ve been that girl. It’s sort of nice, but I don’t know if it’s worth fighting against God and nature for 9 months.  I remember a text that my brother sent me between my salads and 7 mile walks/runs. Sometimes guys say the simplest things that are so profound!

“Lauren, you realize you’re SUPPOSED to get FAT, right?”

2 approaches to pregnancySure I was smiling telling everyone about the joys of a fit pregnancy. But…I was fighting it hard. And it actually felt very unnatural. And actually… it is.  In a healthy pregnancy, you are supposed to gain 8-10 lbs just in body fat probably so that when you breastfeed, your body has something to pull from.  Otherwise you end up looking like a concentration camp victim in those months after pregnancy. I believe God made the system.  When you study all the hormonal changes that happen so that you will have cravings and overeat, you will see that He put some thought and work into the pregnancy process of making you get faaaaaat.  It’s actually a beautiful thing.  I see women with their cherub like plumb faces and full hips and smile thinking about how God feels about this season of our lives. He is happy about the sacrifice where women are willing to give up who they are for a season and embrace the beauty of baby making.

The negative…

  • You have to hold on so tight to control.  Putting so much energy into fighting your instincts. It can be frustrating and feel in ways like self-control bondage. You will probably be in a bad mood…often. Because you are hungry, in a constant state of self-denial.
  • You may lose a tooth or two.  I actually lost a tooth right after this pregnancy.  There was no saving it. The baby had taken what it needed.  No matter how healthy and nutritious you eat, not enough calories is not enough calories and it can do bad things to your body.  Along those same lines… Your face and skin will age.  Ever seen Hollywood celebs or those moms that stay skinny during/right after pregnancy and how they look about 10 years older?  This happened to me also. It took many months (and chemical months) for me to get some elasticity back and not look “aged”.
  • You will have haters.  See my next point.
  • You will be full of yourself. I remember taking this pic and putting it up on social media of me holding my weeks-old newborn, of course in a side-profile pose, so that everyone on social media could see that I looked like I hadn’t even had a baby (except for the obvious fact that I was holding a newborn).  What was I trying to prove?  Well I had denied myself and stayed pissed and frustrated for 9 months!!!! I wanted to show off!!  But what is the point of this? To boost my poor self-worth and identity by making others feel jealous, resentful or bad.  I see other moms taking these pics and posting them. And now, having been one of them, I just kind of grimace thinking how they will feel when they make this realization later themselves.

The positive…

  •  You don’t have to spend so much energy in the months after pregnancy.  You don’t have to fight for a restoration in your self-control.  You can maintain all of your working out and nutrition habits picking up right where you left off.
  • Your clothes and wardrobe.  Bye-bye maternity (if you even ever had to switch over to maternity).  Hello pre-pregnancy clothes…like within weeks of giving birth.  And actually after a couple of months, when you begin to look like that concentration camp victim, you can buy some new clothes fit for a runway model (like Kate Moss).
  • You will have confidence.  You did something really hard and maintained self-control in fitness in nutrition throughout.  (see above point on being full of yourself)

The Second Approach Pregnancy: Give in for a season. Get fat. Have fun. Then fight later to get back to fit.

This is the one that most (even fit women) women choose I think. Let go. Give into the junk cravings and hibernation instinct. Enjoy how awesome ALL food tastes (seriously one time I announced in normal conversation that food tasted even better than when I used to smoke weed! I have no filter when I’m pregnant…ugh), and a season of freedom (most of the time) from guilt.  Enjoy resting your body and taking a reprieve from intense workouts (or workouts at all).  Step out from under the pressure of a fitness life style for a few months.

The negative…

  • You will gain more weight and probably lose some muscle.
  • You will look at those smiling “fit pregnancy” blog posters and feel guilty. Don’t read those.
  • You will probably find satisfaction and pleasure in the wrong things: sweets, junk, and the chemical brain release these drugs will give you.
  • You will have to strap down for a few months after pregnancy.  Two-a-day workouts and a very clean (restricted) diet.  Many fit women are able to bounce back to their normal fit bodies within 6 months.
  • But… for 6 months you will feel strange in your own skin.  For 6 months you will be limited in wardrobe not wanting to continue wearing maternity but not fitting yet into your pre-pregnancy clothes.
  • Possibly another negative is for the baby. But as long as you are taking pre-natals and enough calcium, the baby will get all she needs and be more likely to be healthy if you gain too much than all the risks to her if you gain too little.

The positive…

  • You will be on the same journey that most pregnant women are on after pregnancy.  You will find community, friendship, and smiles in the doctor’s office at your postpartum.
  • You will give your body and person a rest.  A season to just have fun and enjoy being a fat pregnant lady. Rest your body, take it easy.  And take a break from society’s pressures.
  • When you get back to it…You will enjoy the thrill of working out again and shaping your body back into the sculpted shape it once was in.  It’s amazing how wonderful working out feels once you are able to again with new endorphin-driven energy.  You have your natural energy back and the thrill of working out that you used to enjoy is all the sudden new to you again. You fall in love with fitness all over again.
  • And with nutrition.   You get the chance to delve back into nutritious eating in a deeper and more satisfying way. It takes a little extra oomph to get back to where you were, and this results in learning new nutrition (and fitness) strategies that might have been left undiscovered had you not been faced with the challenge. After my second pregnancy (where I took this 2nd approach), I became plant-based, vegan.  I loved it.  I could feel my internal systems cleaning and becoming new.
  • You will embrace pregnancy and being a mom.  When you let go, you are not resentful of pregnancy robbing you of your fit body.  You disconnect your worth and identity from what you look like. You realize that people in your life, especially the new life you created, love and cherish you for the beauty that you are not what you look like. This clean slate experience allows you to enter back into your fitness journey afresh.  No longer is there a harmful connection to your worth, but you are merely having fun doing what you love (and cherishing the body God gave you).

Conclusion

There are probably some in between ways to approach pregnancy too.  Heck. You could take a couple years off afterward and just focus on being a mom, giving little thought to your nutrition and fitness.  I’ve seen some friends do this. For some, it was a vanity-crusher (in a good way) for some it was a soul-crusher causing them to feel depressed.  Some just let go a little during pregnancy, and then have a little less work to do afterward.  It’s actually just as aggravating (for me anyway) to go this route. And if I just go ahead and give into a craving to eat 3 candy bars a night for two weeks, my hormones adjust my appetite and cravings for the weeks after (where I naturally crave and eat less).

The funny thing is.  I’m on track to gain about the same this pregnancy as I did my last.  And this weight gain is only different than the first, restrictive-approach pregnancy by about 7 lbs.  The result is that I ended up actually a lot fitter 9 months after my second pregnancy than I was 9 months after my first pregnancy.  I ended up more humble too, in a better place spiritually.

The fat, fun approach to pregnancy definitely has had more positives for me. But maybe for some, the fit approach would be healthier.  I think the approach you choose to take is yours.  We are all wired differently and have different hang-ups and issues. You will probably find your own unique approach to pregnancy. It’s between you and God. Only He knows what is best.  I just wanted to give some feedback on my experience with both ways.

***But please….whatever you do…don’t take that early, post-partum, side-profile body pose picture. Everyone knows why you are posting it. You won’t get as many of the “I can’t believe you just had a baby!” comments you were wanting. If you are posting one of these or have, I highly recommend taking the FAT pregnancy approach next time if there is a next time. It’s probably what your soul/spirit needs.***

 

Peace and wholeness,

 

Lauren