Good Habits to Start and Bad Ones to Leave Behind, according to a New Mom

Early in my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Late in my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with gestational hypertension. It was a bad combination for my sweet tooth and snack-loving self, as I was restricted from eating both sweet and salty food. While some pregnant women would eat to their heart’s desire, I would be cautious with what goes on my plate, monitored by my husband who dutifully echoes everything my OB says.

When my pregnancy hunger kicked in one afternoon, I realized that most of what I used to eat contributed to my condition – chocolates, fries, and canned goods for breakfast (toasted luncheon meat, corned beef with potatoes, and Spanish sardines, please!). I felt deprived. Then again, I had to think about the tiny human being, then still inside me. Since my food intake would have a direct effect on her, I had to learn to change my mindset and my habits.

Now that she’s already out of my tummy, and while I have more leeway in terms of food intake, I also learned that I don’t want to wait for another diagnosis before I restrain myself again of something.

Needless to say, my first pregnancy taught me a lot in terms of food intake and beyond, and I wish to incorporate these into the good habits I wish to continue as we enter the New Year. Here’s hoping that this list will help you, too!

Good Habits to Start and Bad Ones to Leave Behind, according to a New Mom

Less Impulse, More Intention

As an impulse or force of habit, every meal I had pre-pregnancy was punctuated with either coffee or a bar of chocolate. I was so used to doing it that I did not mind the repercussions these would have on my body. At first, I didn’t think I could do without them! But would you believe I got used to making myself a snack of sliced apples, cheese, and nuts, in the middle of my pregnancy? As we usher in the new year, I want to be more intentional with what goes into my body, my home, and my mind, and what goes out of my wallet, my mouth, and my mind.

Less Overthinking, More Focusing

As a first-time mom, I had (and still have) a lot of worries and fears. I admit that having them is normal and can’t completely be eliminated. However, I don’t want to spend too much time on them anymore. Sometimes, I catch myself wasting so much time overthinking that before I know it, I’ve already spent hours that I could have spent instead on working on an article or cleaning an area of the house. I need to learn to divert my attention to things that would help build me up.

Less Idling, More Moving

During my third trimester, I had to walk around a lot. When I was nearing my due date, I was advised to increase the duration of the walk from 30 minutes to an hour. An hour of walking! I didn’t even have 30 minutes to do some exercise pre-pregnancy, then I suddenly had to set aside an hour in my schedule to move. Then again, it was essential. So into the new year, what is 30 minutes each day to move and help my body have the exercise it deserves?

Less Isolating, More Connecting

I’m the type of person who, at some point in an overwhelming situation, would just cocoon and spend my time alone, trying to figure out how to get of it out on my own. But when I was pregnant, I learned all the more the importance of communicating and connecting! Opening up to someone is very humbling, and it allowed me to learn from other people’s wisdom I otherwise wouldn’t have heard! All the moms from my family and circle of friends and colleagues were all helpful, and I promised myself to pay this kind gesture forward to other moms and moms-to-be. When I connect more with others, I don’t only learn a lot, I also easily get rid of unnecessary thoughts and save myself more time from overthinking. Don’t we all want peace of mind as the new year begins?

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