We asked three local moms for advice on staying healthy, stress free, and level-headed during pregnancy, plus tips on how to take time to pamper yourself (a must!). Our panel: Janette Pande, mother of Maya, 8, and Avi, 4, Leandra Hutchinson, mom to Hannah, 5.5, and Lilly, 2, and Nicole Hauser, mother of Gibson, 3.5, and Farryn, 7 months.
Q: Okay ladies, you’ve each gone through two pregnancies. What did you do to stay healthy?
Janette: With my first pregnancy, I was traveling to the West Coast weekly for work, so consistent exercise was an issue. I used the hotel gym elliptical trainer and at home I took yoga classes. With the second pregnancy, I had more time and consistently attended yoga classes and swam while my older child took swim lessons. During pregnancy, I did not consume caffeine and ate a balanced diet.
Leandra: With my first pregnancy, I became keenly aware of my health and well-being. I was no longer just taking care of myself, but a perfect new little person who was relying 100 percent on me for her health and future…. I became more aware of organic and natural foods, cut out most processed, artificial and high-sugar foods from my diet and overall became a “clean” eater. Don’t get me wrong, our household loves to indulge (especially sweets), but I believe in moderation not deprivation. I’m now healthier than before I had children.
Nicole: First pregnancy: I was really sick and tired. I walked for exercise during the second half. I did continue to eat healthy foods (fruits, veggies, plant proteins, some lean meats). I listened to my tired body and slept as much as I could (early bedtimes and naps after work). Second pregnancy: I felt much better. I had minimal morning sickness and didn’t feel so fatigued. I couldn’t run (my preferred cardio exercise), but I was able to continue doing Pure Barre and I walked quite a bit. Also, I indulged in a nap when my toddler napped.
Q: What did you do to keep your stress levels down and make time for you?
Janette: I had many pregnancy massages, got my legs waxed, indulged in pedicures, and made exercise a priority.
Leandra: I continued to work full-time during and after both pregnancies, which for me, offered a balance of family life and pursuing my professional interests. I found it critical to make time to relax and nap!
Nicole: Exercise is the best stress reliever for me so I tried to keep it in my daily life… even a little stretching helped me relax. I had pedicures, massages and a purchased a few new maternity items to make me feel better about my giant belly.
We always hear how vital it is to fill our own tanks before tending to everyone else’s needs.
Q: What words of advice do you have for new moms when it comes to taking care of themselves?
Janette: Start a routine early, make it a priority and ensure you’ve got a reliable source to watch your kids. Utilize a weekly sitter while you attend workout classes, a girls’ outing or pedicure, etc.
Leandra: It’s easy to quickly lose sight of your own needs and passions. Many people will say they don’t have time to prepare healthy meals, to exercise, for friends, or to pursue favorite hobbies. I believe in the opposite approach– you can’t afford not to. Making time for those things is what keeps us physically and emotionally healthy and balanced.
Nicole: Life changes with a newborn, but you just make modifications. They sleep a lot in the beginning and are quite portable. Ask for help when you need it… Give yourself a break! The better you take care of yourself, the better you will be at taking care of the little ones.