Jeanne's story - intuitive eating in the postpartum period
17 days ago this body gave birth to a beautiful 6lb 9oz baby boy. And two days ago, it brought me to tears. Those of you who know me know that my first child was growth restricted, and then continued to grow slowly after birth. She’s still small compared to her peers, but she’s healthy. I nursed her for 38 months to try to “make up” for my body failing her when she was on the inside.
Getting pregnant and giving birth a second time brought all of my feelings of inadequacy right back to the forefront. The feeling that maybe my body just can’t grow a “normal” sized human. That maybe my body isn’t enough for my children.
But Tuesday we had my son’s 2 week checkup and he’s not only back at his birth weight, but he’s surpassed it by 17 ounces! All on my breastmilk!!
I don’t know why this time is different. Maybe it’s him. Or maybe it’s me. I do know that I’ve been much more intentional this time around. I ate clean and nourished my body during pregnancy and postpartum with my daughter, but I followed a dogmatic approach to nutrition. It was paleo, or nothing.
This time, I’m following an intuitive approach to eating. I eat whole, organic, seasonal and local (when possible) foods, while listening to my body. That meant adding non-gluten grains and goats cheese during my pregnancy, because my body said I needed them. Not surprisingly, these are all rich sources of magnesium, a deficiency of which several studies have linked to growth restriction in utero.
And now, during this postpartum period, my body seems to NEED healthy fats. Butter coffee. Homemade avocado cacao mousse. All the nuts. So I’m listening. And something is working, because my son is not only growing, but he’s far surpassing the average for breastfed babies.
Take care of your body; it’s the only one you’ll ever get. Listen to it. Take it’s lead. The body is designed to work as a single unit. And food is meant to nourish that unit. If you listen closely, your body will tell you what it needs.
I’m listening this time. And I’m in awe of what it’s saying: I am enough.
You can find Jeanne on her website