When you get pregnant you hear all the warnings. Don’t really eat for two! Pregnancy is not an excuse to eat! But what few people prepare you for is the eating pitfalls that haunt you AFTER that baby arrives! Always wanting others to learn from my mistakes, let me share with you some major eating pitfalls I have discovered the hard way.
3 Mommy Eating Pitfalls to Avoid
Mommy Eating Pitfall No. 1: Beastfeeding. It ain’t breastfeeding—it’s beastfeeding, as in feeding that baby will turn you into a starving lunatic! As that wee little babe suckles your breast, you can almost feel the energy being sucked out of your body. If you co-sleep and your boob is an all-night pacifier and buffet, you will wake up at 2 a.m. so hungry that you will be crawling into the kitchen looking for a quick snack to keep the milk-making operation going.
This beast luckily can be tamed when you start adding solids to the baby’s diet and/or when you wean, but that’s often a long ways away. And you don’t want to pass on food when you’re hungry (even at 2 a.m.!) because you risk slowing your milk production (and you’ll have a hungry baby AND mama!). So feed the beast by always having some healthy snacks on hand and eating regularly. I always keep a protein bar on my nightstand for those overnight needs.
Mommy Eating Pitfall No. 2: Drive-thrus. When I was pregnant I had some weird cravings, like quasi-“Chicken” McNuggets. I gave in once or twice in the course of my nine-month gestation. No big deal. But let me tell you something: If you are not prepared when that baby comes out, the drive-thru will become your new best friend! That baby will always be in your hands or on your boob and you will always be hungry with no freedom to eat uninterrupted. But when you put that baby in the car seat and they fall into that deep car seat slumber, and you drive by those golden arches, a Big Mac starts to sound delicious because not only are you starving, but also the baby is asleep and you’ve got two free hands. When that hunger beast just cannot be ignored on the road, have a few healthier fast-food options in mind so you can make a healthier pick. We like Wendy’s chili for a filling, guilt-free option.
Mommy Eating Pitfall No. 3: Mommy Vacuum. When babies become toddlers, they start eating non-stop. Fruits, veggies, crackers. They are so cute that people start offering them food all the time. You soon become the living Hoover—following them around, picking up their crumbs or finishing their leftovers because the trash can is yards away and why should good food go to waste? You’d think these nibbles can’t be too much extra eating right? WRONG. Toddlers can eat breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an after-lunch snack, an after-nap snack, a before-dinner snack and a bedtime snack. Basically, any time is a good time to snack! And all of that mommy vacuuming adds up! So if it comes meal time and you’re not hungry, don’t fret—you may have just hoovered too much to be very hungry. Just make sure you’re listening to your hunger and not just eating because “it’s time to eat”—or because there’s a stray cracker.
What are some eating pitfalls that you’ve noticed since you became a mom? —Dara