Month: November 2016

Post Pregnancy Plan Week 1

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe Jodie is nearly 3 weeks old! I should know from Frankie how quickly time flies (although it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s flying when I’m up feeding her at 3am!). She’s doing really well, gaining 1lb since birth. Frankie is loving her and insisting that she comes everywhere with him.

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I’ve just finished Week 1 of my 6 Week Post Pregnancy Plan. If you haven’t got time to read this blog post but want to know more about the plan then you can leave your details HERE and I’ll let you know all about it very soon. You can also follow my progress over on Snapchat.

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Firstly, I want to acknowledge that obviously my body is not in bad shape. As fitness is my job I was in pretty good shape prior to getting pregnant (although the madness of having a toddler had definitely taken it’s toll on me!). I also put it down to having a fit pregnancy. A lot of people commented during my pregnancy about how lucky I was to not gain much weight and how I made it look easy etc. but the truth is that I struggled with the same nausea and fatigue that a lot women get. However I chose to keep trying to eat relatively well and stayed active and that did stand to me during the pregnancy, labour and now in the post pregnancy stage.

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1 Week Post Pregnancy

I really, really don’t want other new mothers to compare their post-pregnancy bodies to mine. Like I said fitness is my job and so obviously my body will return to somewhere near it’s previous form quicker than a lot of other women’s bodies would. However that’s not to say that I don’t fully encourage all women to try and get back into some form of physical activity as soon as they get the go-ahead from their Doctor. Not to lose weight (although you are entitled to want to do that) but for your mindset, your self-care and your overall health and wellbeing. Being active and eating well this week has given me so much more energy and I’ve been feeling very positive most of the time. That’s not always the case when you have a new baby and I honestly believe that it is the missing link for a lot of women who do experience lows in the months after pregnancy.

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Pre Pregnancy & 1 Week Post Pregnancy

What I weigh doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Weight is not a good indicator of health and fitness or even body fat as it fluctuates for a number of reasons. Never is this more evident to me than post pregnancy. I think I was about 9st 10lb before I got pregnant with Jodie. When I brought her back to the hospital at 4 days old for her heel prick there was a scales there and out of interest I hopped up on it and wasn’t a bit surprised to see that I weighed 9st 9lb. This was despite the fact that I had obvious post pregnancy body fat and wouldn’t have had a hope of fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans or most of my clothes for that matter. I knew myself that my body fat was up just from the feel of my body and why wouldn’t it be considering I had just given birth? The reason for this drop in weight was because I have lost muscle tissue, which makes me weigh heavier normally, during my pregnancy as is also expected. I’m not a heavy weight lifter outside of pregnancy but was using even lighter weights during it and by the end was only using either my bodyweight or a resistance band so this is why I would have lost muscle tissue. Anyway bottom line is that while you would expect that with more body fat your weight would increase on the scales but this proves that that is not always the case and shows that the scales are not a reliable indicator of where you’re at.

Just because I don’t have a lot of body fat to lose doesn’t mean my concerns about my body are not legit. For me it’s about improving my posture and strengthening up areas that have become weak. Pregnancy, labour and breastfeeding really take their toll on my body. When I’m pregnant the muscles in my bum are strong and I tend to have a fairly decent sized one too but afterwards when I’m sitting down a lot I lose the muscle tone in it, it goes really flat and I get a lot of lower back pain as a result. The same happens with my shoulders and upper back to the point where I need neuromuscular therapy to help me avoid injury. My stomach is a lot softer this time than last and I have quite a lot of loose skin when I sit down too. So these are the things I’ll be concentrating on over the coming weeks but it is genuinely the feel-good factor that I’m looking for when following a plan like this.

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As I said in the last blog entry the plan starts off very gently and really does take the post pregnancy body into account in both the exercise plan and the meal plan. The meal plans are not about restricting calories. Instead they focuses on including healthy, nutritious foods that will help to give a new mother more energy and keep her feeling fuller for longer. They’re also not rigid and there’s plenty of room for real life (eg. my slight off-plan treat that I had with Frankie to celebrate him finally allowing his hair to be cut!).

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The plan takes breastfeeding mothers (of which I am one) into account too. It’s very important when you’re breastfeeding that you don’t restrict calories as it can affect your milk supply. For this reason I advise all mothers to adapt the meal plans to suit their own needs, adding extra snacks or increasing portions sizes where needed and NEVER allow themselves to get too hungry as this is a sign that they’re not eating enough to meet the needs of their body. I’ve taken my own advice this week and when I’ve needed more than what the plan says I’ve eaten it. For example, I get really hungry while I’m feeding during the night so I always bring up something to eat for that time, usually some overnight oats or granola and yogurt.

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While I really enjoyed the exercise this week and found it no problem to do, I did struggle at times with the meal plan. I had been in the mode of eating pretty much what I wanted during the previous weeks and it’s taking me time to get back on track. I find that when I’m eating like I was then I’m not eating out of hunger but out of habit and being tired makes this even worse. Following the plan this week has made me sit up and take notice of what I’m actually feeling but it still doesn’t take away the urge to pick at food, in the evenings in particular. I find that being organised and having a lot of my meals and snacks prepared really helps when I’m tired and more inclined to make poor choices.

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I’m so grateful for all the positive feedback and lovely messages and comments I’ve been getting from everyone across all of my social media outlets over the past fortnight. I read them all and they really encourage me every day. I can’t wait to launch this plan in January and am so excited to help lots of mothers feel really good.

Thanks for reading,

Bríd

 

 

Miss Jodie has arrived!

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The lady herself

Hi Everyone,

In my final pregnancy post I said I’d update again if I made it to Week 40 but thankfully our little girl arrived safe and sound a day before her due date weighting 7lb 2oz and is doing super. She’s being doted on by her big brother and all of our family and friends. I had found out at about 26 weeks that she was going to be a girl and was really glad that I did. Not everyone likes to know and I had no interest in finding out with Frankie but I felt that because we were heading into the winter I wanted to be prepared and not have to worry about needing to go out and get things for her. It also made the rest of the pregnancy very exciting too. If you were following me on Snapchat (@mrskbomb) you’ll know that I wasn’t exactly loving the life out of pregnancy the second time around. Between caring for a toddler and the unfortunate news that my mother had breast cancer I wasn’t feeling the best but knowing that I would get to meet my daughter at the end of it kept me going.

Her Arrival Into The World

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My last bump pic taken just before we headed into the hospital

She didn’t take too kindly to an attempt at early eviction at my week 39 appointment. I got a sweep but after a short burst of contractions and some bleeding she shut up shop again and wasn’t going to be budged. Because I’m rhesus negative I had to stay in hospital for observation and an anti-D injection but thankfully everything was fine and I took it as a sign to leave her be until she was ready. Just like her brother her actual arrival was very quick. I felt the first contraction at 10pm on Tuesday 1st and she was born at 5 minutes to 1am on Wednesday 2nd. Luckily we live close to the hospital! While my labour was fast it was fairly intense. When it happens that quickly you don’t get much time to rest between contractions and it can be a bit shocking to the system (as in I literally shook all over for about 3 hours) but obviously I’d prefer what I had to a very long and painful labour too. I chose not to take pain relief because I knew from my experience with Frankie that it would all be over quickly and that I would be able to bear the pain. Unlike last time, however, I did learn how to use the gas properly and LOVED IT. I nearly took the head off poor Dermot at one stage when he didn’t hand the mask to me fast enough. I spent the rest of Tuesday night and Wednesday night in hospital and was back home by Thursday evening. I went to Portlaoise hospital and can’t praise the staff there enough. It’s a very busy hospital but the care I got was second to none.

Our First Week

As with my last pregnancy I decided that as long as all of the factors needed for successful breastfeeding were there I would give it a go again. I fed Frankie until he was 6 weeks old. I had to go back to work and college at that stage and so didn’t feel I could continue with it as my supply was very low and expressing was really difficult. Things have started off fairly well with Jodie. After a tense couple of days waiting for my milk to come in, and sitting under her all day and night to let her get whatever was there, it finally did come and she has started to be fuller for longer. She had only lost 4oz at her first weigh-in which was well within the normal range and a lot less than Frankie had lost at the same stage so I was very happy with that.

She’s a week old now and is obviously demanding more. I’m struggling to meet her demands and so am open to the possibility of giving her a formula top-up at night but will wait it out as long as I can. Unfortunately a shoulder injury that I got when I had Frankie is flaring up again and the position of breastfeeding makes it a lot worse. Last time, when it got really bad, I could barely use my right arm and that’s just not something that I can sustain with a toddler to look after this time too so I’ll have to just play it by ear.

What’s To Come

While this week has been all about getting my supply up, resting and getting Frankie used to having a new baby around the house I am really looking forward to getting back to some form of exercise in the coming weeks. Throughout my pregnancy I had been working on an Online Post-Pregnancy Plan of 6 weeks duration. The plan includes:

  • weekly meal plans with simple recipes (all ingredients can be purchased in a supermarket). A detailed shopping list is also provided so that new mothers don’t have to waste any time thinking about what to cook or what they need to do so. The meal plans also take breastfeeding mothers into account too.
  • full-length exercise videos to follow. The first couple of weeks include very gentle exercises that take the post-pregnancy body into mind. They get a little harder each week but the emphasis of this plan is on restoring strength and fitness and improving your posture and general feeling of well-being.
  • a private Facebook support group that all members can join and that’s always a great space for sharing tips and motivation.

The course will be suitable for any mother returning to exercise for the first time since having her baby. Some may choose to start early on (although it will be a requirement for all mothers to have had their post-pregnancy check-up and have permission from their GP to resume exercising) but it will also be suitable for those who have an older baby too.

Follow My Progress

What’s great about this plan is that I get to test the whole thing out myself before it launches in January. I’m starting Week 1 next week and will be documenting my progress daily on Snapchat as well as regularly on my blog too. As detailed above it will be necessary for anyone who does my plan to have had their check-up and have permission to exercise. As a fitness professional who has already had a child and returned to exercise early I have the experience to be able to monitor my body to know what is and isn’t suitable. If I find that anything doesn’t feel good I won’t do it. While rest is vital after you have a baby I know myself well enough to know that too much inactivity is not good for my body and more importantly my mind. Anxiety is something that I have to take care with and exercise is one of the best ways for me to improve my mindset in a healthy way. Along with good food, exercise is a huge part of my self-care and I can’t wait to take some time for myself too.

If you would like to know more about my 6-Week Online Post-Pregnancy Plan and when it is going to launch please input your details here and I will keep you updated. You can also follow me on:

Snapchat: @mrskbomb, Instagram and Facebook.

My Private Pregnancy Fitness Group is still active on Facebook too and will continue to be until the new year. If you would like to join that you can send me a private mail through Facebook.

Thanks so much to everyone for all the lovely messages we’ve been getting for the last week. We read them all and really appreciate them.

Bríd