For many soon to be or new mothers, pregnancy might be the first time we have the opportunity to tune in and connect to our bodies. For most of our lives prior to pregnancy, we navigate a world that is saturated in scripts around how our bodies should look and feel and often wander through our experiences of living in our bodies being disconnected. We live from “the neck up” and often fail to deeply connect to how our bodies feel, how to truly listen and how to nourish ourselves physically.
Arriving into pregnancy leads us full force into becoming aware of the changes in our bodies — bellies and breasts swell and every part of us seems to grow and change. During birth, our body might surpass every limitation we previously held about its abilities and help us cultivate a new level of listening to our bodies. And lastly, as we arrive into postpartum, finding a rhythm with our babies requires careful attunement to being in touch with ourselves.
Motherhood can often be the impetus for us finally taking the plunge into getting “into” our bodies and truly learning to listen to and nourish ourselves. This can be a challenge if you have struggled with your relationship with food and body image prior to and during pregnancy and postpartum, but is deeply impactful. The scripts we used to follow around how much we should eat, exercise, weigh etc, all begin to unravel as we arrive into the understanding that our relationships with our bodies are a mirror for how our children will feel towards their bodies.
If you are just getting started in learning how to practice to listen and tune in to nourishing your body, here’s some things to examine.
The foods you choose to eat, how you eat them, when you eat them
What if instead of rigid guidelines around how much to eat, when and what to eat, you were able to tune into getting curious around what sounds nourishing to your body? Cultivating awareness around hunger and fullness cues, identifying appetite, and seeking satisfaction in your meals can all be a result of increased awareness around listening to your body.
How and why you exercise
Finding a rhythm with exercise can be a challenge if you have struggled to listen to your body before. You might consider checking in with the type of activities you engage in, the intensity and duration of the activity and how it truly leaves you feeling after. In pregnancy and postpartum, tuning into this is critically important as your body may wish to change the pace of intensity you once held. A good pause for listening to your body about exercise is to explore — if exercise had no impact on changing my body or my weight how would I choose to move my body?
The clothes you wear and how you feel in them
Listening to our bodies might shift what we decide to wear and how we feel! Especially during pregnancy and postpartum, comfort and functionality are often top of mind but tending to other aspects that make us feel confident, sexy and feminine can also be nourishing as well. During pregnancy and postpartum, clothes and lingerie don’t have to be confined to function but can be a way to honour and care for yourself and body. At Cake Maternity, we believe that maternity and nursing wear can coexist as beautiful and functional and can be a way to nourish yourself.