Motherhood Made Me Take Charge of My Health

This post is sponsored by Nutrimom

Healthy eating is something I have struggled with for most of my life.

As a child, my family didn’t know much about good nutrition and that, combined with a busy lifestyle, was a recipe for unhealthiness. I spent most of my childhood years overweight. A good portion of the food I ate was highly processed. Ready-made frozen dinners or snacks that were packaged in boxes were regular go-tos in our house and I spent a good chunk of my formative years feeling unhappy with my weight.

When I went to college, I decided that it was finally time to lose all that weight. I still didn’t know much about nutrition, so I subsisted on frozen weight loss meals, fat-free snack foods and lots of diet soda. I lost about 40 pounds, but I felt awful. My body wasn’t being fueled with real food. Even though the foods I was eating were low calorie, my body wasn’t truly healthy. I also started running, which I hated, but I wanted to be “skinny” so I did it anyway. Even when I did reach my goal weight though, I still struggled with my body image. I still felt dissatisfied.

Fast forward six years post-college. I married a wonderful man and was pregnant with our first child. It was at this point in life when a switch went off in my head regarding my health. I realized that my health was no longer about just me. I was growing a little person inside of me who was completely dependent on me. I was nurturing her right through the food I was eating and would very soon be nurturing her through the food I would be making with my body as I began our nursing journey. I was still kind of in the dark about nutrition, but I started doing a bit of research and trying my best to make healthy choices for myself and my baby.

This was the beginning of a realization for me regarding my own health. It started because I wanted to make the best choices for my little one, but in doing so I realized that I needed to make these good choices for myself as well. Since then I have experienced two more pregnancies (I have three children total) and through the process I have learned just how important healthful eating is…for moms, just as much as their babies.

Making healthy choices during pregnancy and postpartum felt a lot like I was walking blind most of the time. That first trimester was always especially tricky as I dealt with morning sickness and wanted to eat nothing but carbs 24/7…not exactly balanced. I struggled with borderline high blood sugars during my pregnancies with babies number two and three and had to cobble together healthy meal options from based on what information I could cobble together via Google searches. And when it came to breastfeeding I struggled like crazy with my first baby. I had chronic low supply that I now know was largely caused by inadequate nutrition. At the time I was just a new mom with no clue, living off of granola bars and coffee and just trying to survive and make this breastfeeding thing work. Little did I know, my diet was part of what was sabotaging me. I also struggled losing weight postpartum. I had no clue where to even start.

All of these situations felt completely overwhelming at the time as I tried to work my way through it and figure out how to make healthier choices than what I had grown up with. Eventually I discovered clean eating – eating whole foods (i.e. things not processed and put in packages) and found a balance that helped me to lose weight and boost my milk supply with my second baby (I made enough milk that he was positively plump!). I also found a form of exercise that I enjoyed and that made me excited about fitness (hint: it wasn’t the running that I used to dread).

While I did eventually come to a place where I sort of figured out healthful habits, it took a lot of trial and error to get there and it would’ve been so helpful to have someone who actually knew what they were doing to walk me through these times.

This is why Nutrimom exists. Nutrimom is an app that is committed to helping moms build healthier nutritional habits through their baby’s first 1,000 days of life with the goal of influencing a healthier future generation of babies – one mom at a time. Science shows that the first 1000 days of a baby’s life (from first day of pregnancy to age two) have a profound impact on a baby’s health over their lifespan. In fact, 80% of a child’s future health is influenced by their environment during this window of time, so while you can’t change genetics, you can control the way you choose to eat and the healthy habits that will set the tone for your little one.

In order to set this tone Nutrimom comes alongside to support women, who may be clueless like I once was, to support them during pregnancy, postpartum and beyond. Nutrimom members will receive access to science-based information to help them in their journey toward making the healthiest choices for themselves and their families and they will also have access to Registered Dietitians to answer any questions they may have along the way.

Something like this would’ve been completely invaluable to me as I worked my way towards a healthy lifestyle – someone to walk me through every step of the way. Members have access to chat live with Nutrimom’s Registered Dietitians who are certified by Cornell University in Maternal and Infant Nutrition, but even more importantly, each one of them is a real mom. The fact that these are real moms is of utmost importance, because it means that you will receive empathy from a mom who has been there and who knows that sometimes life (…morning sickness/sleep deprivation/toddler drama) get in the way of your best intentions. You will receive judgement-free support for all of your pregnancy and postpartum nutrition concerns. They can also guide you to meal plans, recipes and articles that are specific for your goals (i.e. conception, pregnancy weight gain, breastfeeding nutrition, postpartum weight loss, etc.) and your unique stage in life.

Tailor-made for you and your needs. One less thing to feel overwhelmed about, so you can focus more on this beautiful, crazy ride that is motherhood.

This post is sponsored by Nutrimom, the program of coaches and experts who believe that we can help moms build healthier nutritional habits through their baby’s first 1000 days of life. And by doing so, we have an actual shot at making the next generation healthier than this one. To find out more about the Nutrimom Program, check out their Android and iPhone App.