Being pregnant is a different experience for everyone. Some of us are racked with fear and worry, others find it a blissful journey. Sometimes we need to deal with trauma, work or relationship stress and bodily discomfort, whereas others have a comfortable, happy pregnancy. While everyone’s experience is different, our strategy to eating should be somewhat similar.
Special considerations aside, a healthy pregnancy will be enhanced by a balanced and nutritious diet. For anyone who has been pregnant, you will know this is not always an option! Personally, I am accustomed to eating a highly nutritious diet, rich in plant based foods and very low in artificial additives or sugars. Yet in my second pregnancy, I was revolted by most veggies, preferring melted cheese on toast, rice based dishes, pasta and breakfast cereal. I went off meat and couldn’t get enough sparkling water. I had a 6 week period where all I could think about was cake – these ‘needs’ felt out of my control! My body needed energy and craved these starchy foods, which I normally did not eat so many of. Don’t beat yourself up – listen to your body.
The best time to be healthy is in the time leading up to conception. Lay down good foundations, take care of your health through a diet rich in nutrients and a lifestyle rich in rest, physical activity and low in stress (easy right?) Take a good quality pre-natal vitamin (preferably a practitioner brand) and take care of yourself!
Once you fall pregnant, it is vital to continue these good quality nutrients in your diet as much as possible. Many of us don’t have cravings as such, perhaps simply aversions, or possibly nothing at all. Either way, if your Caramello Koala cravings are epic, try and pre-face them with a nice balanced meal – think whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, lean meats and lots of water. Your little one will thank you! It is normal to feel hungrier than usual, so try to accommodate this in your food preparation. This will help for you to stay on track and avoid too many excess goodies.
A new mum, whether breastfeeding or not, still needs to take care of herself. Most likely you will be experiencing less sleep, more worry, heightened emotions and sometimes a strange feeling of displacement or mourning for your old life, along with the various heights of joy and happiness that come with snuggling your little one (mmm how good to babies smell?!). Whatever your situation, continue to consider your health. Take the time, wherever you can, to cater for fresh food options, rich in nutrients, similar to what you would consider pre-conception and during pregnancy. Pre-preparing meals and freezing them is great if you have found the time. Otherwise, take advantage of others offers to help and have friends help to fill your freezer. Take advantage of supermarket home delivery services and research some ‘one-pot’ recipes online.
Healthful treats are a great inclusion in your diet at any time, but especially if you are experiencing sugar cravings. Try to make some homemade snacks to have on hand so you can reach for those rather than the sugary variety. Here is one of my favourite snack recipes - try it and you will love it and all the health benefits:
* A little coconut water, if needed, for blending
Place all ingredients into blender, food processor or Nutribullet and pulse to combine, wiping down sides if required.
Serve on its own or with fresh fruit or shredded coconut.
Supporting women and other mum’s in their business and busy lives is a big part of what I do. As a mum of girls, sharing, supporting and empowering the journey of others is an important part of what we try and teach our children. Contributing to My Tiny Wardrobe is just one way to show support of all those mums working hard every day to look after their families.
Lucinda has been involved in the health and wellness arena for over 10 years. With a background in fitness and now as an accredited Nutritionist, she holds an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine, a Cert IV in Fitness, a Cert IV TAE and a Bachelor of Arts. Lucinda works with Nutrition clients from all backgrounds, is involved in course content writing, menu design, training and assessing and is also a regular contributor to women’s magazines.
You still get to travel
My husband and I love travelling passionately. It’s an integral part of who we are. We were determined that when we had a kid that our travel would resume as soon as possible. We didn’t expect parenthood to be as hard as it was, but we are getting on with the difficulties while still seeing the world. We don’t want to wait until Cheese grows up to see everything we want to see – we want to experience as much as we can while we are also still young and fit enough to enjoy it. As I write this, we are in Barcelona, about to head out for tapas lunch. Travelling with a little kid is obviously a lot different than pre-kid (goodbye lazy mornings and romantic nights fueled by sangria!) but it is still incredibly enjoyable. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t do it. Adapt to the changes and travel is still wonderful, with kids of any age.
Your kid grows up a world citizen
Cheese is an American and Australian citizen. As well as significant travel in these two countries, she’s also been to Canada, Mexico, Spain and soon London. And she’s only 3. She already adapts to different cultures easily and speaks handfuls of Italian and Spanish. She understands what different languages mean and is able to confidently interact with people no matter what they look like or what language they speak. She is already a world citizen.
The memories are priceless
The years we spent in New York are among the best in my life. Each trip we have taken has been challenging, but has created memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Cheese at 1.5 yrs stroking a dolphin in Hawaii. At 2.5 yrs dashing down a beach in Mexico. At 3.5 yrs dancing in a rainbow inside the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
Young kids are cheap
The younger your kid is, the cheaper it is to travel with them. Babies are free for everything, and kids up to a certain age get free transport/entry/hotel pull out beds. This trip to Barcelona, we’ve only had to pay for Cheese’s flight and food.
I won’t lie, it’s really hard work travelling with a little kid. Jetlag is a killer – the first few mornings in Barcelona we were all up at 4am. Having a little kid means there is no such thing as a relaxing time either, it’s constantly go go go to keep them entertained.
You see and do less
Travel with a little kid means changing your expectations of what you’re going to see and do in any location. Less galleries and historical walking tours and more playgrounds and kid-friendly outings like castles.
All in all, it’s worth it to us to travel while Cheese is still young. We have such itchy feet that we can’t seem to live any other way.
This weeks featured writer on the My Tiny Wardrobe Blog!:
Twenty bucks used to get me a great night out. A few moselles and orange, a smoky pub, dingy lighting, sticky carpet and it was fabulous. I was one classy girl! We stood around faking mild interest in the sweaty band belting out ‘original’ tracks wearing grubby Jim Beam singlets. We strutted back and forth hoping to be spotted by the popular, boozed up senior footballers who were lounging oh so cooly at the back bar.
Our all girl posse danced in circles, with the strobe lights darting across our purse pile in the centre. We queued. We queued in flimsy tops and coastal gales just to get in. We queued for drinks at the bar, seemingly invisible alongside the fancy pants patrons who flashed their $50’s and got served faster. Ultimately, we queued for taxis at 3am, praying for the ‘vacant’ golden light to appear. We whooped with drunken joy when one did, only to hurl spiteful abuse in desperation when someone else snatched it from further down the road. Now believe me when I tell you, these were bloody fantastic nights! We would be back again the following week with our twenty bucks and 3 quick pre going out spumantes swishing courage through our system. (Obviously we should all drink responsibly, my friends, but we were young and free and silly...once upon a time...!)
Gradually this evolved into DINK (double income; no kids) nights with a partner. Now the pubs were a little classier, the ‘eat you cheat’ mentality was replaced by trying out fancy restaurants and their degustation menus (a word I still can’t pronounce and inevitably always sounds too close to ‘disgusting’ to me). We sipped over-priced wine and pretended we knew the difference. The music (if any) was quieter and we often took turns driving; sheer madness queuing for a taxi in the cold.
Before long, the now Husband and I graduated to dinner parties. The cramped uni dwellings had now given way to a house with a dining table. He experimented with different, exotic recipes, (I kept it real with a Vienetta) and we decanted red wine into engagement gift crystal. I centred cuttings of rosemary and lavender and we listened to strange rhythmic music from CDs bought on overseas travels. Friends chatted about the ‘ridiculous’ expectations of overtime, the location of the best farmer's markets and compared the latest smart phones.
And now? Now Saturday night has become 'family' night. This might begin with takeaway or an early dinner somewhere that welcomes kids...places that are open at 5pm and have high chairs are rare and precious. Places that serve hot chips, wipe up spilt drinks with a smile and have TVs on kids channels are to be cherished.
Then it is home again with kids buzzed up on their special treat of soft drink. A bubble bath is splashed in, whilst curtains are closed, lights are dimmed and some cheeky wine is poured. Warm, flannel PJ’s are pulled on lovingly and the couch is slid out like a bed and covered in pillows and doonas. It is now 'movie' night. Not some highly acclaimed arty farty cinema release like the old days, rather it is now some PIXAR classic; something that shrieks, “Awesome,” in a loud, American accent, with oversized cartoon heads, talking vehicles and crescendo pumping movie music. Not quite perfection yet, as Princess still has the attention span of Dory, but we’re getting close. The fantasy is that we can finish the movie, then carry them off to bed as they slip into a full night’s sleep, dreaming of talking snowmen or meatballs falling from the clouds.
Often it is still a juggle between Husband and I to settle them as we crave for some adult “down time” together; simply to break out the hidden chocolate, giggle about the quirky adult spin on the kids movie we just watched, or to google the latest holiday packages we won’t be going on any time soon. Sometimes, rather than queuing for a taxi at 3am, we find ourselves stroking flushed faces, measuring doses of paracetemol or ventolin and plotting our bed/sleeping strategies.
When? When did Saturday night ‘party’ night become...well...Saturday night ‘movie’ night? Strobe lights have been replaced by night lights, and that just doesn’t sound particularly exciting...but quite frankly... most of the time I would much rather be attending to a low grade fever than dancing in tight heels with blisters. And when you find a really good burger joint or fish 'n chipper, that often beats those prissy restaurants hands down.
Give me a frozen Princess over foreign sub-titles any day! Hey; I am not in retirement just yet...you should see me rockin’ those 40th’s....and seriously, a date night every now and then is essential and ladies night is obligatory. But for now it seems that giggles, snuggles and freshly baby powdered kids, wins hands down against the waste of a perfectly good Sunday nursing Maccas and a hangover.
I’m gonna call it...
I think...I think I am a MUMMY!!
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