So friends, I have been trying to get pregnant for four months now and it just isn’t happening. I am really trying to stay positive and not let it get to me, but it’s hard. That is why I decided to have a conversation with doula and dietician Sarah Arend from Mind Body Doula, to see if she could help me figure out what’s going on. We also talked a little bit about doulas and what to expect throughout pregnancy and postpartum. You can watch the whole Instagram Live or read this quick summary of everything Sarah and I talked about.
What is a Doula?
Doulas provide continuous emotional, physical and informational support for moms and their partners during all stages of pregnancy. There are different types of doulas. Sarah is a birth doula which means she supports women throughout pregnancy. She educates them through prenatal appointments, helps them create a birth plan, and then attends the birth to help make those birth wants and wishes come true the best she can. She also makes herself available to answer any questions or concerns clients may have along the way.
There are also postpartum doulas that come after the baby is born. Postpartum doulas are especially helpful if you don’t have a big family or lots of friends around to help you right after the baby is born. They can cook for you, hold the baby while you shower, help you figure out breastfeeding, really anything you need during those first few weeks.
The Link Between Nutrition and Getting Pregnant
Sarah said that although she isn’t a fertility specialist, as a dietician she has seen that nutrition and fertility are connected. She said that she isn’t a fan of any specific cleanse but mentioned many of the things I talked about in my pre-pregnancy cleanse video: looking at toxins in your environment, cleaning up your diet to include high quality foods like grass-fed meats and full-fat grass-fed dairy. She also said that it is important for women to make sure they are eating enough so that we are nourishing our bodies and allowing them to thrive.
Another important thing to consider is your menstrual cycles. Are they regular? If not, you may want to look into possible causes. You should also consider your stress levels if you are having trouble getting pregnant. I have been learning so much about stress lately and how it affects my body. If you’d like to learn more check out these posts:
It’s Time to Talk About Mental Health
Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
How to Let Go and Trust the Universe
Another interesting tip she mentioned was not drinking caffeine on an empty stomach. She said it’s OK to have a little caffeine while trying to get pregnant, and during pregnancy, but you always want to drink it with food or after eating to keep your cortisol levels steady.
To keep your blood sugar from dropping too low, it is important to eat within 30-60 minutes of waking up and then every three to four hours after that. All meals and snacks should include a high quality protein. You also want to avoid processed foods and added sugars.
Is it OK to do Spinning Workouts While Trying to Get Pregnant?
A long time ago, I read that spinning while trying to get pregnant was harmful. Sarah said she hasn’t read any studies about that to be able to say if it is harmful or not. She did say that intense cardio every day isn’t a good idea but 15-20 minutes daily is probably OK. A lot of the people tuning into the IG live wanted to know more about this one so I will be doing some research and letting you know soon!
How to Stay Body Positive During Pregnancy
One of my fears about getting pregnant is that I won’t like my body with the extra weight or that I won’t bounce back postpartum. Sarah reminded me that although it is normal to gain weight during pregnancy, you aren’t really gaining that much fat. You are growing an entire human and that packs on some pounds but not because you are getting fat. You are growing a placenta, a human, your boobs are filling with milk, your blood volume increases, there is so much more to that weight gain than fat!
When the baby is born, some of that weight comes off immediately because it wasn’t actually weight you gained, it was the baby. If you are breastfeeding, that will also burn a lot of calories which can help you get your body back. You have to remember though that after the baby is born, the main focus should not be to try to lose weight. You need nourishment and so does the baby. So, focus on nourishment and rest instead of weight loss. It takes an entire year for your body to heal from having a baby so be kind to yourself and be patient. One thing I tell women I train after giving birth is, if it took you 9 months to gain the weight, it will take at least 9 months to lose the weight.
What to Expect During the Postpartum Period
When you first have a baby you are excited and filled with adrenaline. Even though you might want to show off the baby to everyone, Sarah recommended waiting a few weeks. She said that only the people who are helping you care for yourself and the baby should be visiting at first because too many visitors will overstimulate the baby and exhaust you.
So, it turns out that whole cuarentena idea isn’t such a bad idea. You should take at least that long, 40 days, to rest and let other people take care of you. You don’t necessarily have to stay in bed but you do need to let yourself heal. If people come to visit you, don’t feel bad asking them to bring a meal, do some dishes, throw in laundry, or something else that you need help with.
How Do You Help the Baby Daddy Bond with Baby?
For babies mom is everything: their food supply, comfort, their world. The good news is there are lots of ways Dad can bond with the baby too. They can hold baby skin-to-skin and enjoy those sweet baby cuddles.
Another great way to get dad involved is giving him something to do. Sarah’s tip was to tell Dad he is in charge of feeding mom. He can also help change diapers, bring the baby to mom when it is time to breastfeed, and really help with anything that mom needs. Her job is to rest and heal and dad’s job can be everything else.
That was the gist of our conversation. It was great and I learned so much! I will probably be reaching out to Sarah again to get some help with my nutrition and I will definitely let you guys know what I learn. If you are interested in finding out more about the other topics we talked about, make sure you are subscribed to my YouTube channel so that you get all the information I’ll be sharing with you throughout my journey and if you are looking for a personal trainer while at any point during your pregnancy journey, I’m your girl.
Change more than just your body