I can’t believe it’s already been 14 weeks!
Time has been flying by (as evident by my absence) BUT I did a big girl thing this week and hired an assistant, so I “should” be able to get my act together over the next couple weeks to get caught up with all the things I need to do.
With that being said, I have clearly been focusing my attention on my family and my mental and physical wellness.
I compiled a really LOW quality video, pulled from all my instastories, with all my postpartum body and mind updates! Check it out to see how my body handled recovery and postpartum this time around with babe number 3, and then come back over here to read the DETAILS!
It’s funny because after I put the video together, I almost didn’t post it. It wasn’t as educational as I had envisioned and hoped it would be. Throughout this pregnancy and recovery I wanted to be real, honest, open, and help YOU gain the knowledge you need to lose that baby weight and find self-love throughout all the stages of your postpartum journey.
Here’s the lowdown on some of the details from my journey so far.
This has HANDS DOWN been the BEST recovery and postpartum journey I have ever had. AND I owe it all to my pregnancy. I know it’s a bit hard to tell in that pic above but I felt so fit and healthy physically and mentally, and I WAS, especially compared to my other 2 pregnancies.
I share ALLLLL my secrets, tips, wellness recommendations, and workouts in my MATERNITY HEALTH AND FITNESS GUIDE – available in my SHOP!!!
But let’s move on and start at the beginning. Henry was my biggest babe by over a pound and I didn’t have any vaginal tearing, I did have a little labia tear but that healed very quickly (TMI for some but I want to make sure you understand fully what I have been experiencing.)
I also encapsulated my placenta this time around and really felt that helped with my emotional well-being and with my milk supply. I was very skeptical of this initially, especially being a labor nurse and hearing all the myths and stereotypes behind it. BUT, this time around I was more open and willing to try things that really benefited my body, mind, and soul. I talked to some amazing friends that had done it and read some articles and ultimately came to the conclusion of, WHY NOT!? I found a women locally through friend recommendations and she came to the hospital, picked it up, and dropped it off the next night to my home with instructions. She even sat down with my mom and sister and answered all their questions about encapsulation. She explained that the placenta was made by you, for you. It wasn’t YOURS and it wasn’t THE BABIES. It was made to help for a time and holds nutrients and hormones our bodies need after delivery. I keep them refrigerated and still have quite a bit left. You aren’t suppose to consume them when you are sick as they tend to “feed the disease” (crazy, I know) and because I dealt with mastitis 3 times within those first 6 weeks, I took them on and off as I felt my body needed. They really were great for me, they gave me energy and I believe, they helped my emotional well-being. I am not sure how much of my mental wellness I can contribute to the pills verses the overall state of balance that my body was in because of my practices during pregnancy. You can email me and I will give you the contact information of the lady I used, if you are in the SLC area.
I also stopped bleeding after only 1 week and was able to go on walks almost everyday after that. For the first 4 weeks, I went on walks at night or to and from school to pick up Reagan, I also made sure to do my pelvic floor/transverse abdominus workouts. Although I only had a 2 finger ab separation at 4 weeks postpartum, I wanted to make sure to ease my pelvic floor and abs back into workouts to ensure that I didn’t damage or worsen the Diastatis Recti. You can learn more about this topic and what it is on this post. I have a program that I am working on BUT until it is released, if you are curious what these movements are, I would search, “Diastatis Recti workouts” on YouTube. @realheidipowell has a great video with some of the most important movements that can help your recovery as well. Along these same lines, I wore a few different wraps to help my weakened muscles and ligaments get back into their proper alignment and place. I started at 1 week postpartum but I really recommend you start even as early as the hospital. The faster you wrap the better it will help and benefit. You can find my favorite wraps and a review on them HERE.
At 4 weeks I started slowly back at the gym and worked in some at-home CrossFit inspired workouts. I really wanted to make sure to transitioned my body slow and steady. I felt ready faster than expected, simply because of my workout regimen while pregnant. My goal was to do something active each day and listen to my body. You can check out my FREE At-Home CrossFit Inspired 6 week Workout Plan and download it to see what my workouts typically looked like. I also started back into yoga at about 6 weeks postpartum and have been doing that about 2-3 times a week. They are a lot of things you can do to stay active. Find what works for you and what you love. Just make sure you are cleared by your doctor AND that you slowly transition back so you do not injure yourself!
As far as my nutrition goes…for the first 2 weeks I had amazing friends and family cooking and bringing me meals. I ate a full, yummy, balanced diet, keeping sugar and processed foods in my diet. When my milk came in, the SUGAR CRAVINGS flooded in as well! I think I was more hungry those first few weeks than I had been during pregnancy. At about 2 weeks postpartum, I went to a nutritionist to help me with my nutrition and eating. (even if you don’t live in Utah, ask for Taylor at @maxmusclecottonwood and he will take care of you!) I knew if I was going to breastfeed and lose weight, I needed to consult with someone who could give me a plan that would ensure my milk supply stay right where it is. I had done a MACRO diet before getting pregnant and knew it was what I wanted to do to lose the baby weight. MACRO dieting is simply breaking up the calories you are eating each day into specific amounts of fats, carbs, and proteins, to ensure you are not only eating enough but that you are eating the right nutrients per calorie. This particular way of eating is not only so perfect for breastfeeding, but it also gives you the food freedom you wish to have as well as the healthy relationship with food that you need. Whole grains, cheeses, proteins, fruits. A lot of really great clean, fresh, whole foods. When I was breastfeeding I was consuming about 2000 calories a day and my macros were high in proteins. Because I am not breastfeeding anymore, I am consuming about 1500-1700 calories a day (depending on my protein after my workout). My breakdown is 148g carbs, 140g proteins, 35g fat) Eventually, I will get around to posting pics of what I eat each day. I don’t plan to do MACROs forever. Just until my weight is off. I have 15 pounds left. Once I lose the rest of my baby weight I plan to go more toward an intuitive eating plan, where I stay eating clean and much like my macros, but I won’t measure and weigh all my food. It’s hard work and worth it because you see results the RIGHT WAY, BUT, I will be excited when I don’t have to do that all the time. I will say it again, to all my breastfeeding mamas that want to lose weight, find a nutritionist and get on that MACRO wagon. You can keep your supply up while working out too.
OKAY, now to the topic that I have kept private for a while now. Breastfeeding. I was planning on breastfeeding Henry for at least a year. It’s such a tender, sacred, beautiful thing that I am blessed to have experienced. My milk comes in full force and I have enough to feed a village. It’s worth the cringing latch pain, the engorgement, the scabbed nipples, and tender breasts. It’s worth it all. After you get past those first 2-3 painful weeks, you think you’ve regulated and gotten past the rough part. Or at least I did. I mean, this isn’t my first rodeo. I breastfeed Reagan and Baylor, so I knew what I was in for…or so I thought. I was stubborn and determined. Even through 3 rounds of mastitis. Rubbing out hot spots, antibiotics, and fevers. I wasn’t going to stop. Until about 7 weeks postpartum the visual migraines started. I had never had a migraine before, but now I get why people hate them so much. In my situation, I would randomly start seeing white spots and then my entire vision on my right side would go out, followed by nausea, light sensitivity, and a headache like never before. It didn’t matter what I was doing, they started to happen randomly and frequently. I was nervous to drive and when I got them, I couldn’t function. It was confusing to me. I had felt so incredible physically and my recovery was so amazing. Why was I experiencing this? Long story short, after talking with my doctor, getting a few blessings from my husband, many prayers and meditation, I knew the migraines were related to hormones and breastfeeding. I knew my body was telling me it was time for me to stop. I knew it was right, but it was hard. Mentally I was a mess, I was dreading that first bottle. I held him close and placed it to his lips. He immediately latched onto the nipple and guzzled down 4 ounces. I watched with tears streaming down my face as he ate and ate and ate. It was a tender mercy saying to me, “SEE, he will be just fine Sadie, in fact, he will thrive. This is okay.” AND IT WAS. And I knew that. How many mothers had I helped breastfeed, how many felt like failures when they had to supplement? How many put pressure and stress on themselves? I KNOW, as a labor nurse, that breastfeeding is absolutely the best thing for our little babies, but I also know that formula is wonderful as well. You HAVE to think about your well being as a mother. I don’t wish to make this a discussion, I just wish to share my story, the good and the bad. I wanted SO BADLY to breastfeed him longer, for a million reasons, but also to share my experience with my readers and show them how to lose weight while breastfeeding. My visual migraines stopped the second I weaned him. He’s been growing, loving, and bonding with me and my husband. I look back now and know it was just a little hiccup. Something that seemed so stressful, so painful and sad, but now I see it’s all okay.
Sometimes things don’t always go as planned. As mothers, this is a hard pill to swallow. Especially as new mothers, with tender little babes who rely on us for survival. I hope you know it’s okay. It’s okay to struggle. To find what works for YOU and YOUR BABY. To work on yourself. To become present as a mother and as an advocate for yourself.
Whatever you are struggling with, just know, that this too shall pass. AND if you feel as if it will never end…it will. The storm is passing. The clouds are moving.
This postpartum journey is FAR from over but I am so glad I get to share it with all of you. It’s a beautiful journey filled with ups and downs.
HAVE GRACE with yourself. Have PATIENCE.
Take time to breathe, to stand in front of the mirror and appreciate and LOVE your body for what it just gave you. For what it just did. For how beautiful it is. In every stage. Take time to breathe out the negativity and breathe in the positivity. Take ONE DAY AT A TIME. Repeat this phrase EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
MY WEIGHT HAS NO POWER OVER ME.
Because it doesn’t. It will come off. Don’t compare your journey to another women’s journey.
You are doing an incredible job.
You are beautiful, strong, kind, smart, and an amazing mother. Don’t ever forget that.
If you have questions about my postpartum journey, email me, or comment!