Monday Musing: Social Expectations on Prental Vs. Postpartum Moms

Just popping in to share something that I’ve been thinking about recently.

 
I give myself permission to honor my hunger and cravings now AND after having Camden..jpg
 

Because I’m pregnant, I get a lot of questions about my weight, appetite, and food cravings. Yes, my eating has changed during pregnancy—I don’t want nearly as many vegetables and I crave a lot of savory foods over sweet foods, but I don’t really have any crazy cravings (other than the hotdog craving for awhile—I’m not the biggest hot dog fan) and the amount of food I eat hasn’t changed exponentially. Yes, my appetite has increased, with a noticeable difference the past few weeks, but it’s not a crazy amount (but know that this is my experience. If you ARE extra hungry a lot of the time, that’s okay—you’re body obviously needs more fuel. Hunger is not a bad thing) . When I hear people talk about pregnancy cravings, I wonder if it’s because of the social allowance that pregnancy is the one time in life you can truly eat what you want “without the guilt” (this is society’s view, not mine). I think restriction in the rest of their life and the social permission to honor cravings during pregnancy then results in going a little overboard. Because I honored my cravings and desires before getting pregnant, that hasn’t changed and I don’t have to “take advantage” of this time. I can honor my hunger and cravings after having Camden.

Then there’s the contrast in social expectations of moms after having their baby. While they are growing a baby in the womb, it’s perfectly fine for them to eat what they want, honor their hunger, and gain weight. BUT once that baby comes out, the expectation is for mom to start watching what she’s eating, to decrease food intake, and to lose weight. It blows my mind because once Cam comes and I’m breastfeeding, I’m going to have MUCH higher energy needs than I do now. Yes, I am growing a human right now, but he’s much smaller than he will be when he comes out and starts gaining weight and growing. I am eating for two right now, but I will really eating for two when he comes out. So why in the world should I be eating less after he’s born?? And in order to sustain a milk supply and feed this human, I have to have adequate fat stores, which means potentially not losing all of the baby weight that my body is going to lose until after he stops breastfeeding (I’m not putting pressure on my body to get back to what it was before pregnancy—I have no idea what my body wants to do after pregnancy).

 
What new moms really they need the permission and freedom to honor their hunger, respect their cravings, and have the adequate fat stores in order to feed their child and take care of their mental and physical well-b.jpg
 

It makes me sad that mom’s have the social expectation and pressure of losing a bunch of weight and getting back to their pre-pregnancy weight right after having a baby when really they need the permission and freedom to honor their hunger, respect their cravings, and have the adequate fat stores needed to feed their child and to take care of their mental and physical well-being.

P.S. If you’re a mom and you chose not to breastfeed your child or had complications doing so, I have no judgment for you. You also deserve to feed your body adequately, honor your cravings, and give it the time and rest it needs in order to nurture your baby and yourself.

And again, if you ARE hungry all the time, there is nothing wrong or broken about it. I’ve had days and weeks of noticeably increased hunger and then days and weeks of less. I don’t put judgement on either one, I just listen and respond accordingly.

30 week pregnancy update

Goodness! It's been 10 weeks since my last pregnancy update. It's crazy (and terrifying--we have so much to do before he comes) to me how quickly this pregnancy is going. But I'm also thankful we aren't pregnant for 22 months like elephants, my poor body wouldn't be able to handle it 😂.

This past Saturday I hit the 30 week mark as well as had my first baby shower. My sweet friend (and fellow RD), Aubrey, offered to throw me a baby shower in Tulsa. I know how much of an undertaking it is, so I was incredibly grateful for her desire and willingness to put it together to celebrate our baby boy. She, along with 3 other wonderful friends, threw me a beautiful book-themed baby shower. My friend Kayla had to have put soooo much time and effort into all the decorations. Aren't they the cutest?? 

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I had a hodge podge of important people in my life (church friends, best friend's mom, realtor, etc) come to the shower. Isaac and I are so grateful for loving and supportive friends who are celebrating with us and also providing us with necessary things for our little one. There's no way we could do this without the support of everyone around us. 

 
 My wonderful hostesses

My wonderful hostesses

 My mom on the left and my MIL on the right.

My mom on the left and my MIL on the right.

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I realize as I'm typing this that I haven't announced Baby's name yet to you all. I had THE hardest time committing to a name. We had this one picked out for quite awhile and had no other names in the running, but I was having major commitment issues 🙈. But we finally made the decision and are really happy with it. Sooooo...Baby boy's name is....Camden James. We both really liked the name James as a middle name because it flowed with so many other names we liked. When we realized that both of us have a grandpa with the name, it just seemed fitting that we would honor both of them through choosing it. And although we've picked out a name that we both like, I'm having a hard time switching his name to Cam in my brain instead of "Baby" haha.

Other updates: Baby is healthy and growing like a weed, as is my belly! Because of all of the growth, the past few weeks have become pretty uncomfortable. My lower belly and back hurt pretty badly by the end of the day. So I'm trying to take care of myself by modifying exercise, stretching out, wearing a support band, and getting realigned by a chiropractor friend. Like I said, it's a good thing I'm only going to be pregnant 9ish months. 

 
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Isaac and I are almost finished with the kitchen, which is something that has taken FAR too long. But with Cam on his way, it's provided the kick in the pants we needed. Here's a sneak peak of part of it (we aren't going to get all new appliances just yet...we're going to buy them as we can).

 
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Work on Cam's nursery has just started. Guys, we're the WORST!! Most people start working on their nursery before 20 weeks...but at least we're starting, right?? People have asked if we have a theme, but honestly I have no vision. Um, our theme is "whatever I see that I think is cute??" My brother and sister-in-law bought us triangle shelves and I am SO STOKED to get them up on the wall. They are the cutest (and made by some friends of ours). We bought a white wooden crib for suuuper cheap at an estate sale and family friends gave us a white wooden changing table. So it's coming together one piece at a time!

Welp, that's about it for now. Excited and nervous for what the next 10is weeks have in store for us!

What Does the Bible have to say about how god views food and our bodies? (handout available)

Hello hello!! A few weeks ago I worked on a handout for my clients about the Bible and what it has to say about our bodies and food. Honestly, I was only creating this for my clients to take home and work on in order to discuss later in another session.

I did this because I offer faith-based nutritional counseling and see clients who experience a lot of shame and guilt around food and their faith. It's multifaceted (shame around having an eating disorder or not being better "yet", guilt around overeating or thinking about food all the time, wanting to honor God with their food choices but feeling like a failure, etc.) and different people struggle in different areas. I believe God's Word is sufficient to address all of our struggles, but in this worksheet I focused mainly on what the Bible has to say about food. Several of the passages aren't actually about food, but I believe they reveal things about God's character or truths that can be applied to many areas, including the way we relate to food or our bodies. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about food, and that the church has perpetuated incorrect beliefs around food, our bodies, and morality/righteousness. Even our culture has created a religion of dieting/clean eating and food intake, and health is associated with a level of holiness and moral superiority. This is NOT at all a part of the Gospel.

 
What does the Bible have to say about how God views our bodies and food?
 

As I was working on the worksheet, I got super excited about what all God's Word has to say about food and our bodies. Guys, there are wonderful truths that apply to our relationship with food...and it is so FREEING! I snapped a screenshot of what I was working on and posted it to my IG stories. I got a lot of positive feedback saying how they were excited to read my post. Soooo...I decided to post this for you all. So here's what you can do, subscribe to my newsletter and it will send you a pdf of this worksheet I created. You are more than welcome to unsubscribe after if you simply want the pdf and no more. That's completely fine with me. You can subscribe on the "Home" page or on the "Contact Me" page. This is only going to be available for the next two weeks when you sign up because in the future people may be signing up simply to receive notifications, not for the pdf. 

I pray you find God's Word encouraging as you dive in!! (P.S. This worksheet is in no way a comprehensive list of verses on what the Bible has to say about food and bodies, but at least some to mull over and think about!) I challenge you to read through the surrounding passages as well. 

 
 A little preview of part of the handout/worksheet

A little preview of part of the handout/worksheet