What’s life like as a mother of five, including a newborn? We sat down with YouTube personality Myka Stauffer to get her insights on pregnancy, motherhood, and keeping up with the kids.
Tell me about your life with a newborn. What are you doing to prioritize your own health while taking care of a new baby and your other children?
Life with a newborn is amazing. It has been lots of snuggles, and the No. 1 thing I have been doing since my little guy was born is setting things down and soaking in this time because he won’t be little very long. So, when it comes to keeping up with laundry and other things, Onyx wins every time!
Eating healthy postpartum is also super important to heal my body and stay energized to keep up with everything we have going on and also get back to my old self pre-pregnancy. I’m not perfect every day with what I eat, and that is OK too, because sometimes you have to just be human and enjoy yourself in this process.
What has your postpartum experience been like?
It was a bit of a rollercoaster at first with some drastic swings in moods. I found myself crying about literally everything as my body was trying to balance itself out. This lasted for the first two weeks, during which I would be happy with no worries and then all of sudden start crying my eyes out about something that wasn’t even real. Besides those moments, I have had probably the best postpartum experience this pregnancy.
During your pregnancy, what did you do in order to keep yourself healthy ahead of delivery? Do you have any favorite methods to prioritizing health that you used during this time?
I’m going to be real here and say that for me, pregnancy is hard. I had morning sickness all day, every day for 75 percent of the whole pregnancy, and because of that, my cravings and what settled my stomach won out the majority of the time. I always tried to be conscious of my choices and eat healthy, but I also listened to my body. During this time, I also made the choice to switch from a plant-based diet to meat again, because all I could think about was protein. I also allowed myself to stress that growing a baby is a lot of work, and when I would feel tired I would allow myself the grace to rest or just simply lay down. My body needed that more than anything.
Did you face any difficulties while pregnant? If so, how did you work through them?
Many. Like I mentioned, I had all-day sickness making me eat certain foods more often than I would like. I also started having horrible Braxton Hicks contractions when I was around 33 weeks pregnant, which was so hard because I spent a lot of time resting to ease the contractions so they didn’t turn into early labor. One of the big things that helped was connecting and being on the same page as my OB and having a great support system.
What advice would you give to other women and mothers about healthy living during and after pregnancy?
My advice is to be honest with yourself and be realistic about what your body is telling you. You don’t have to be perfect during and after. Do your best. It’s easy to beat yourself up and get into your own head, and that will only slow down your progress. Also, don’t focus on the scale. Allow yourself to indulge in your cravings from time to time, but also add healthy options into your meals as well.
Do something little every day. You don’t have to prep for a marathon or work out for 30 minutes every day, but take a small walk at the zoo or just get your body moving for a little bit each day. I would take the kids and walk the mall for 30 minutes and it really helped.
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