5 Tips for a Happier and Healthier Pregnancy by a lactation specialist, Sarah Lang
MilkSprout was founded by Sarah Lang, a lactation specialist, to help ease and empower mothers through breastfeeding. We caught up with Sarah to learn more about her journey to MilkSprout, as well as learning to put herself first and love herself in order to love her family even more.
Pregnancy and motherhood have changed me forever. A change I am learning to welcome and embrace over the past 5 years.
When I got pregnant with our first child, many people shared with me the negatives of what happens to your body during pregnancy. "Your body will be ruined forever." "It will NEVER be the same." "Kiss your abs GOODBYE." "Hello mom arms and saddle bag thighs." Others also made motherhood sound desperate using phrases like, “You’ll never sleep again,” or “I’ll see you again in 6 years!” You know what? Part of me believed them...a big part of me. That part hung on to those words, to those lies for a long time.
I am currently carrying our 4th little miracle and I can tell you that my body has changed. I mean, I’m growing a HUMAN inside of me (how COOL is that?!), of course my body is going to change. My hips are wider, my boobs not as perky, a couple stretch marks grace each hip, sleep is cherished and date nights and evenings with friends (though few and far between) are welcomed memories I am forever grateful for. There are many things about my body and life that are not the same. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.
After our 3rd child, our daughter, was born a little less than two years ago, I was at an all-time low and struggled to find the balance in all areas of my life; physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. As a mother, it felt natural to give up my wants and needs and put them behind everyone else’s. Everything came first; my kids, husband, work, friendships, church, etc… From that desperate place of neglecting to care for myself (because I thought that’s just what motherhood entailed, right?), everything and everyone else was impacted. I knew I had to get out of that place immediately and that change started with caring for and investing in my WHOLE self so that I could pour into those in my life intentionally.
For me, beginning to care for myself physically overflowed into every other aspect of life. Once I found a way to care for myself that actually worked, life began to be filled with color again. I was happier, healthier, and had more energy to love my family and others and tackle daily life. I know at first, it may seem impossible to begin. I had every excuse too. “I don’t have time.” “We don’t have the money.” “I’m too tired.” Yada Yada Yada! I promise, once you get past your excuses and choose to invest in you physically, every other area of whole health will begin to improve. A happier and healthier mamma is the best kind of mamma. Here is one of my mantras: Forgive your past, Embrace your present, Change your future.
I would love to share with you my top 5 tips to get started.
1. Find your WHY
What makes you want to change? Your spouse, kids, self-confidence, family, and work, (to name a few) are all great reasons to want to pursue better. Find your WHY, write it down, and place it somewhere visible for a daily reminder. If your not sure where to start, find a WHY that speaks to something physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Pull out a journal and let your thoughts and feelings flow freely.
2. Just get started
Whether it’s taking a walk, finding an at home workout, joining a gym, or finding a fun new fitness class, just get started. It may be 10 minutes or it may be an hour. Every mom starts somewhere and every journey looks different. Wherever you are and whatever you can do, lace up your shoes and do your best.
It takes time to establish a new routine so challenge yourself to commit to 30 days. Show up every day, the good and the bad, and commit to doing your best each day. Big picture and long term goals can be so intimidating that they actually cause us to not start at all. When you reach a goal, make a new one. Small steps turn into big dreams!
4. Give yourself Grace
As your adjusting to this new phase of life, cut yourself some slack. Not every day will go according to plan, you won’t get everything done on your to-do list, and some days may feel totally out of control. Embrace the change knowing that every day will get better, easier, and feel more manageable. Practice makes progress right?!
Accountability is probably one of the most important pieces to the puzzle that will help you reach your goal(s). Tell someone or ask someone to join you in your journey whether it’s your spouse/SO, family member, best friend, or online community. Invite them to push you, challenge you, and hold you responsible every single day. Everything is always more fun with a friend!
There is one last little nugget of love I want to leave you with. One of my favorite quotes, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” Everyone follows a different path along their own journey. Find what makes you happy, what works for you, and what you can commit to. Ultimately, be YOU beautifully.
Sarah Lang is a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist and founder of MilkSprout, a lactation consultation service to empower moms to care confidently by providing breastfeeding education and support both online and in-person.