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Maternity Leave: The Next Time Around

Photo Credit: My mom:-)

Don't get excited. There's no bun in the oven yet! But I have often thought about what I'd like to do differently the next time around. With my first pregnancy I feel like my husband and I did an amazing job with actually preparing for the baby. We had everything! Nursery prepared, diapers and all of the supplies, clothes...I mean you name it we had it. But when the actual baby came we were thrown for the biggest loop. We as in ME! Aside from the crazy hormonal changes happening, there were things that I missed that likely would've made my maternity a little bit easier. But you live and you learn right! lol

The next time here's what I will be sure to prioritize the next time I'm on maternity leave:

1. GO OUTSIDE!- Because of couple of risky contributing factors, I'm considered high risk. Therefore, I had a scheduled c-section. After three days in the hospital I made the mistake of coming home and locking myself in the house for days. Cabin fever set in quickly. And I'm sure if I had stayed in the house any longer I would've experienced a case of postpartum depression. After a few seemingly long days--maybe even a week--I finally got out of the house. My husband and I quickly went to get an order of sushi. With my next pregnancy, I'm going to make SURE that I leave the house and at least take a walk sooner rather than later. Doing simple things like this makes a huge difference mentally.

2. Get out and do something without the baby- Speaking of getting out of the house. Go and do something without the baby. It should be something that you can do regularly to give back to physical and mental self. Whether it be getting your nails or hair done, massage, or facial you definitely deserve it. You've given birth to a whole human! And I know that it looks really....picturesque to push your brand new baby in a stroller but honestly you will have plenty of time to be with the baby. This is the time to start creating a list of things you do separately from the baby. Remember, you're still you!

3. Workout- So, prior to pregnancy I'd started a rigorous workout routine where I worked out with a trainer and attended group classes for over two years. I was preparing my body for pregnancy and I thought I was preparing myself for the "snap back." Now, full disclosure I lost about 30 pounds throughout my pregnancy until about my eighth week of maternity leave. But because I was overwhelmed and learning how to take care of a baby I worked out but I didn't have the time or energy to be able to adjust what my new fitness routine would look like with a baby in the mix. With the next pregnancy I'm definitely splurging on a trainer that's coming to my home to give me practical ways to incorporate workouts within the confines of my home. My trainer met me at the gym six weeks postpartum and gave me great workout moves to do while in a gym setting but I'd definitely need to do the same thing but with a home gym in mind. Because the chances of leaving the house are slim to none...Covid or not! lol

4. Meal Prep- So remember, how I said at the beginning of this post that my husband and I did everything right in preparation for our baby. Well, we did everything except prep food! It's not that we forgot we just automatically assumed that with my husband being at home for two weeks that he'd have the energy and time to cook. Plus, I'd purchased a ton of groceries. So we were set right?! Wrong! Looking back, I think this one of the reasons why I wasn't able to keep my weight down. Trying to breast feed along with a raging appetite and no food prepped, I'd regularly reach for just about anything. I'd eat some healthy stuff but I definitely had my fair share of junk. With the next maternity leave I would definitely offer to not only have healthy and hearty meals prepped but I would also sign up for a meal delivery service. This would relieve the pressure of either one of us having to think about food.

5. Send the kiddo to daycare sooner- Yep! I said it. With my daughter I wanted to spend endless amounts of time with her because I knew that we would spend time apart once I went back to work. But what I didn't know is that my baby wouldn't sleep through the night until her first day at daycare which happened to be two days before I went back to work. The next baby will definitely go to daycare sooner so we can all get into the swing of having a true evening routine and sleep through the night. Three months without sleep to recharge is not healthy. It wasn't healthy for me or the baby.

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