One of my close friends just had her third son a week ago. As much as that yummalicious baby makes my heart go pitter patter, I am relieved that it’s her and not me.
Of course, if I were to find myself in the position of being pregnant at 41, I would be overjoyed by the miracle (but first, panic-stricken). The difference — my friend planned this pregnancy.
During my friend’s pregnancy (all stages), she hibernated. I rarely saw her. She doesn’t do pregnancy well. And now, she is a walking zombie, desperately trying to get her baby on a schedule.
As I brought dinner over to her whole family tonight, she was so thankful and appreciative. It felt great knowing that something that seemed so little to me meant so much to her. Poor thing was exhausted, with little energy. And it will only get worse.
It reminded me of a study I recently came across in the journal Pediatrics, linking new mothers to poor health. So much time and energy is devoted to children, that new mothers often fail to adequately look after their own health.
The study followed approximately 1,500 high school students in their mid-20s and found that those who became parents got far less exercise than their childless peers. The news get worse for moms. Unlike fathers, mothers tended to have a higher body mass index (BMI) and less healthy diets than women of the same age without kids.
The mothers in the study averaged about 400 calories more per day than other women. They also consumed more saturated fat, ate fewer green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, and drank nearly twice the amount of soda, sports drinks and other sugary beverages.
Typically, the mother is the primary caregiver in a household. While they may fix healthy meals for their children, they have little time to care for their health. Therefore, they are more apt to fall back on grab-and-go, processed food.
Whether you are a new mom, mom of five, or expecting mom, health needs to be at the forefront. It’s critical to our well being.
As for my friend, she’s working on flipping the baby’s schedule, which is currently … awake all night and sleeping all day.