A day or two after Max was born I realized I was famished. Starving. And very, very thirsty. I felt as if I hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink in days when in reality I had a full meal an hour before. The sensation was nothing new; after all, I’d just finished growing a baby. But, this was different. I think I even wrote something on my Facebook wall about how I was far more thirsty and hungry during the initial weeks of breastfeeding than I was when I was while pregnant.
My diet has never been ideal, but when pregnant and nursing I’m more aware that food is a way to nourish my body. When you’re body is growing a baby and/or creating milk to feed another, you become acutely aware that food has a purpose beyond tasting good. Because, I’ll be honest, when I’m not “eating for two” I have a less than a stellar diet. I tend to eat food because it tastes good and not because it’s good for me. For example, I’m pretty sure I existed exclusively on Baked Lay’s and Mike and Ikes during law school. While those still rank among my favorite foods, they are sadly not found in my diaper bag.
Instead, my favorite breakfast is now oatmeal with brown sugar, almonds and dried cranberries. A vast improvement over eating nothing, I’d say. And my snack of choice is… whatever is in the pantry. I try to plan ahead and keep peanut butter crackers or something similar in my diaper bag for when we’re out and about, but I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I hit the Starbucks drive through for a delicious decaf coffee drink when I need a quick something. They’re surprisingly filling, totally addictive and, I realize, horrible for me.
I try not to worry about the number on the scale or even how big I feel when pregnant. Now that I’m struggling to fit into regular clothes… who am I kidding? I’m totally still wearing maternity pants, but I am nearing the point where I need to consider what I’m eating, not just for baby but also for me. After all, a healthy, happy mama is a good mama.