From the moment your baby arrives, you will have new opportunities to learn and grow as a parent. At times, you may feel overwhelmed with all that you are experiencing. Sometimes you will feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for your baby. At other times, you will feel overwhelmed with gratitude at this tremendous gift of new life.
One of the benefits of learning to live by Dr. Sears’ L.E.A.N. during pregnancy is that it prepares you for the challenges of being a postpartum mom. Healthy eating and exercise will help you get back into shape. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude will also help you adjust to your role as a new mother. Caring for your own needs during pregnancy is vitally important. This is how you take care of your baby!
Dr. Sears’ L.E.A.N. Expectations can help you do this. This program isn’t about being “skinny” or short-changing your baby’s nutrition. It’s not about “dieting,” either. It’s about being healthy so that you can sustain and grow a healthy baby. L.E.A.N. is an acronym that stands for Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, and Nutrition. At this stage of your life, while you’re nurturing and growing a baby inside your body, these words take on new significance:
L is for Lifestyle: How you choose to divide your time between work, relaxation, and sleep, as well as the choices you make regarding alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. These choices will continue to be important even after your baby is born, because taking care of yourself and making healthy choices will enable you to provide optimal care for your baby.
E is for Exercise: Being physically active is important for your physical, as well as mental, health. Particularly while you’re pregnant or adjusting to new motherhood, regular exercise can help you feel good about your changing body. It can help to regulate your sleep cycles, too.
A is for Attitude: Keeping your mind healthy and your outlook positive, especially while you are adjusting to the demands of motherhood, is important.
N is for Nutrition: You must begin to monitor your body’s intake of nutrients to foster optimal health. During pregnancy (and beyond, if you choose to breastfeed) your body will work to provide all of the essential nutrients for your baby, which means that you will have to be extra conscious of making sure that you say “yes” to healthy, nutritious foods, and “no” to foods that provide little or no nutritious value.
Pregnancy is an awesome experience. That little life starts growing inside you before you even know it’s there. After nine months comes the hard work of giving birth to that baby, followed by the
challenges and rewards of caring for someone who depends on you for everything.