I am so excited to share Lyzz Kirk’s Mama Story with you today!
Lyzz is one of my main partners-in-crime in the world of maternal health and wellness, and today she is sharing how, as a self-proclaimed “health and wellness junkie,” she figured out how to hone in on what REALLY made a difference for her postpartum well-being.
She get’s real about figuring out what you DON’T want as well.
I’m a holistic health and wellness junky.
I watched “The Business of Being Born” long before I’d even considered the possibility of getting pregnant.
I knew all about the ridiculously high rate of c-sections in the US, and in my new home country of Mexico.
I was planning a home birth and nothing was going to stand in my way.
I was fit, eating right, exercising, doing yoga and practicing squats (the “right” kind) every day.
I interviewed my midwife when I was barely 2 months pregnant.
And why shouldn’t I have a natural home birth? I knew way too much to have it be any other way.
Except in the final hours of a Wednesday night at the end of September, 2013 I was on my way to the hospital where I knew a c-section delivery was inevitable.
My dreams crumbled around me as I came to terms with the fact that virtually everything about this birth was now out of my hands.
So, my biggest word of advice for anyone who is pregnant or hoping to become pregnant is plan for anything, and hope you don’t need it.
I often hear stories of women who have planned natural or home births and whose care providers didn’t even bring up the possibility of a c-section.
So when the time comes to move to a hospital or enter the O.R. they are completely unprepared.
I’m grateful my midwife gave me a little bit of preparation. It made a ton of difference.
What does this have to do with postpartum care?
If your birth doesn’t go exactly as planned, it can affect you for days, weeks or even years afterward.
It took me a long time to come to terms with my birth experience, and I’m not sure I’ve completely accepted it.
The things that I found most important for my wellbeing in the postpartum period also apply to those who don’t have a c-section.
There are some things about life with a newborn that are just universal.
Have you tried eating a salad or soup with an eight-pound loosely packed flour sack nestled in the crook of your arm? It ain’t easy.
Meal planning, or even meals period, can be somewhat challenging.
Find easy ways to stay fed and hydrated
Green smoothies were one of my go-to meals in the early days as they were easy to slurp down and ensured I was getting plenty of protein, greens and healthy fats for me and baby.
I also ate a lot of rice and beans, it’s what is widely available down here and also easy to eat without danger of spilling everywhere.
Don’t worry so much about calories or nutrients.
If you’re eating regularly and focusing on whole-foods and variety, you’ll be just fine.
You don’t need the added stress!
Take a few minutes and think about what your favorite meals and snacks are that will not only stick to your ribs, but stick to your fork.
Think about how you truly want those first few days or weeks with your little one to be.
I was lucky, I have an angel of a husband who was at my beck and call 24/7 and does an amazing job of meeting my every whim.
I had my mother in law very close and my parents flying down for several weeks, but my husband and I agreed we wanted the first three weeks to be just us and the baby.
I knew that for my own confidence to set in as a new mother I wanted that space to be able to figure things out and get comfortable knowing that we could do it.
Everyone will want to offer advice (often conflicting) and letting my instincts handle the situations was wonderful.
But we also weren’t completely alone.
My midwife was there every other day in the beginning, and a bit less often over the first month.
And she was a text or call away if I needed anything or had any questions.
Give yourself time to settle into this thing called motherhood.
We become mothers in an instant, but that doesn’t mean it’s second nature.
Some things you can’t really know until you’re in it.
Allow yourself the time to expand and grow into the new role.
Don’t worry about reading all those parenting books while you’re pregnant.
You won’t need them the first few weeks anyway, and you’ll need something to occupy the many hours you spend with only one hand to use while your adorable little bundle is sleeping or eating.
I do recommend reading up on the fourth trimester, I loved the book“The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Harvey Karp, and the companion DVD.
Every baby is different, every family is different, and every experience is different.
Take the pressure off you and your partner.
Know that whatever you thought it was going to be like, it is going to be both better and worse.
Trust yourself and your intuition.
Trust your partner.
Trust your baby.
Lyzz Kirk is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, speaker and author of the upcoming book: “Think First or End Up Last: A guide to thinking your way to success”. At 25 she found herself sick, overweight, unemployed, and with three ex-husbands. She realized something needed to change, and it was probably her! In addition to becoming a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach, she’s spent years devouring information on personal development, nutrition and alternative health & wellness and now brings this hard earned knowledge through coaching, speaking and writing. If you are interested in learning more about private health coaching, please visit www.lyzzkirk.com.