Life Cycle Type
Your focus is on your body as a way to carry another life or that it has carries it and continues to sustain it. You feel like your body is no longer your own or that you are trying to claim it back.
Here’s what most people don’t know: pregnancy is one of the best things that can happen to a woman’s metabolism. That is, if you do it right.
What Happens During Pregnancy?
If the egg is fertilized and implantation occurs, HCG levels will rise and keep the corpus luteum around long enough for the placenta to take over progesterone production. Interestingly, HCG is the first hormone of pregnancy and is used clinically to diagnose pregnancy. After about 8 weeks the corpus luteum degrades and HCG levels fall off as the placenta takes on full-time duties of keeping estrogen and progesterone around.
Pregnancy is a unique time since it is one of the few times in a woman’s life that she remains progesterone dominant. The only other times are during the second half of the menstrual cycle and when a woman is breastfeeding. From pregnancy through breastfeeding is certainly the most extended period of progesterone dominance a woman experiences.
This has many implications, one of which is to increase glucose intolerance and promote insulin resistance. Remember, estrogen makes women more insulin sensitive, so when it is suppressed for any length of time, insulin resistance can result. This sounds bad, but remember that an insulin-resistant and glucose-intolerant metabolism means more food for the growing baby.
Of course, many doctors and health coaches completely get this wrong. The old advice of telling women to “eat for two” is very stupid. There is no need to do this at all. In fact, if you want to heal your metabolism and be better off after pregnancy than before, you will not follow this bad advice.
Your body is intelligent and will increase your hunger as needed without your conscious effort. By consciously going into pregnancy thinking you now have a license to eat as much and whatever you want, you turn a great metabolic opportunity into a disaster.
It is estimated that a growing baby only requires about an extra 300 (second trimester) to 500 (third trimester) calories per day. There is no extra caloric requirement for the first trimester. There is no real need to count these calories, as your body will naturally and gently increase its SHMEC (sleep, hunger, mood, energy and craving) signals, allowing you to adjust your intake without much thought.
What about breastfeeding?
Research tells us that women who choose to bottle feed end up losing weight a little faster than their breastfeeding counterparts, but after about three months they are quickly surpassed by the breastfeeding moms. Most importantly, breastfeeders are shown to have leaner bodies—especially bellies and thighs—at all points after about six months. And those changes last.
Breastfeeding Eating Style
After baby is born, things will change a little bit…
Research shows that the longer you breastfeed the healthier it is for your baby and future metabolism. The longer a woman breastfeeds, the more insulin-sensitive they become. Studies have shown that if you bottle feed, you may lose weight faster at first. But this slows down, and we know that most women lose more weight by breastfeeding longer.
Preganancy workouts should be the same as your prepregnancy workouts and just listen to your body. The intensity and weight will reduce as your pregnancy progresses.
Post partum workouts should be less intense, shorter and lighter. Start with long Walks- no power walks, easy walks in nature. Even break this up with 30 minutes twice a day with the baby.
Then you can add in light weights in a more traditional sense and after the initial 6-12 weeks you can revert back to your pre pregnancy workout schedule. Get advise from your doctor on when you are cleared to workout.
With a new baby or changing body sleep can be more challenging.
You may have difficulty falling asleep at night, so supplement this with short naps during the day. Research shows that even a 10-minute nap can undo much of the hormonal damage caused by sleep loss.
Prioritise bathing and drinking tea… with Epsom salts, lavender and tea tree and Pukka teas. Get into a daily bath and tea routine.
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