Before pregnancy, I was one unhealthy woman. I was lazy to exercise and I let go of my healthy diet and got my body accustomed to junk food. As skinny as I was before pregnancy, my lipid profile showed that my cholesterol was out of control. I also skipped breakfast, did a lot of midnight snacking, slept late (around 12mn to 2am). Talk about major bad habits, I had them!
The only thing I was proud of was that I did not smoke (I quit this one about 10 yrs ago), and also I did not really drink alcohol except on special occasions. But on the overall I was not healthy. Then, unexpectedly, I get 2 lines on the pregnancy test. This means fixing up my life. Now that I am providing nourishment to a baby in my womb, it made me decide to drastically change my lifestyle.
The good thing was my body started to crave for breakfast and so I had that back on my diet. Also fried food made me sick, so this made me want boiled food, steamed dishes, proteins and vegetables. I had to discipline my body to avoid junk food. Though I wont lie that I had several occasions I cheated. Ok… it was with Cheetos and chocolates (mommies admit that you can relate!). But I discovered that fruits replaced these cravings.
Since I got pregnant at a much later age and having no exercise, I really felt the age of my body. I decided to do yoga for pregnant women at home. That helped support my body for the weight, but really the back aches were no longer preventable on the last trimester. In my wishful thinking, I could have been more prepared for the pregnancy. But who knew I would even be pregnant after 7 years of waiting!
There were also foods that a pregnant woman is refrained from eating… Such as raw food – fish or meat (sashimi to prosciutto) because it can cause bacteria that can make a mother sick. Also having a balanced control of patries and sugar-filled food can prevent getting gestational diabetes.
After child birth, being healthy is still required for those who plan to breastfeed. Since my son is getting all his nourishment from me, I have to ensure I eat healthy to provide what he needs. That means staying away from caffeinated drinks (because it keeps your baby awake even when he is tired), away from too much sweets (because it depletes the milk), staying away from chocolates (it can cause allergies to your baby), staying away from too spicy foods (because it causes gas and reflux to your baby), and away from a lot of preservatives (because it gets passed on to the baby).
Ever since Joshua came into our lives, he has been my motivation to stay healthy. I pray I get to maintain this even after he weans. I have never felt this good about my body and its all thanks to motherhood!
The bible has a similar account about being healthy in motherhood. The story of Samson’s mom:
There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children. Then the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing
- (Judges 13:2-4 NASB)