The first lesson of the Beautiful Babies online course goes live today, and I’m giving you an inside look into today’s class. Each week’s lesson will feature a positive birth story, and this week’s is amazing. In the following excerpt from her story, you’ll learn how this mom prevented stretch marks with nutrition. And not only that, she was carrying twins!
But first, I need to announce that I’m extending the $50 savings for early registrations through November 15th, 2012! I’m motivated by the upcoming Wise Traditions conference. I’d like the fine folks I meet there to be able to get in on the savings, if they want to. (WOW! I can hardly believe that the conference is just two weeks away.) So, if you were hoping to enroll but couldn’t do so in time to get the $50 discount, you’ve now got two more weeks!
Now, back to preventing stretch marks. In our culture, we accept stretch marks as a given. We’re told by our OBGYNs that our skin is either elastic, or it isn’t. If it’s elastic, you get fewer stretch marks. If it’s not elastic, you get a belly full of them. And, we’re told most women will get stretch marks, no matter what they do to try to prevent them.
Well guess what? You can prevent stretch marks. Wanna know how? By increasing the elasticity of your skin! And that’s done through (you guessed it!) nutrition.
I have had four babies: two hospital births and two in a birth center. Of the two hospital births, one was an intervention-laden OB assisted birth and the other was a natural midwife assisted birth. The two in the birth center were twins, born naturally with the assistance of several midwives.
My first birth was one month before my 20th birthday. I was young and clueless about nutrition. I enjoyed the freedom to satisfy my pregnancy cravings at whim, which included a lot of junk food. A big bowl of Cocoa Puffs was a fairly typical meal for me. When my water broke three weeks early (poor nutrition!), I went to the hospital. I knew nothing and submitted to every order my OB gave. Since I had not started labor on my own, I was given Pitocin. The contractions started very quickly. I had never experienced pain of this kind in my life. Every 2 minutes for 14 hours, I had violent contractions, the kind I can now only liken with those a woman has in transition, and honestly, none in my subsequent pregnancies were ever as brutal as those Pitocin contractions were. The saddest thing to me is that as a woman, those contractions were more than I could take, but what about the baby who is being wracked from every side, for what must feel like an eternity? Knowing what I know now, I would never again submit myself or my baby to such torture. To finish the story, after several hours I was given an epidural and the rest of labor was easy for me. After many hours, I was told that I would most likely have to have a c-section since I wasn’t dilating as they had hoped. Thankfully, though, at the 14 hour point, I managed to dilate and efface enough to deliver on my own. I couldn’t feel my legs or hips, so pushing was challenging, but I did it. I was given the usual episiotomy (thankfully not as routine these days) and then had to be sewn back up (crudely) after the birth.
Fifteen years and another child later, I found out that I was expecting again – twins. I found that carrying twins was much more difficult than carrying one baby. Actually, I didn’t know I was carrying two babies until my first midwife appointment when I was four months along. THAT was the surprise of my life! Thankfully, I found an amazing midwife (we had only moved to Texas the month before I got pregnant) who would support me in having a truly natural (nobody pushing meds and IVs) birth. She told me on that first visit that sufficient protein intake is one of the most important things I can do to grow big, healthy babies (and strong bags of waters). A minimum of 150 grams per day was my goal. By this time in our lives, I knew about raw milk, pastured eggs and grass-fed beef (all organic, of course!), so eating well was simply a part of my life. Eating this much protein was not, but I made it my greatest goal. As the babies grew, in fact, and took up all of the space in my abdomen, it was all I could do to eat this much protein every day. But I did!
Thankfully, I was able to give birth to the twins naturally in a birth center assisted by midwives. Julia was 6 lbs 3 oz and Annelise was 7 lbs 7 oz (wow!). Here I had been nervous that they would be 2 or 3 lbs since they were born at 37 weeks! Eating all that protein really paid off! These were healthy babies, thank God. And I am one richly blessed mommy!
With my first pregnancy, although I only gained 25-30 lbs (standard for me during pregnancy, with one baby anyway!), my breasts and thighs were riddled with stretch marks. However, with my second and third pregnancy, even after having twins and growing an enormous belly, I never got a single stretch mark. Good nutrition is key!
And just to cement my stretch mark comment, here is a picture of me at the end of the pregnancy. I still marvel! The human body is amazing! Blessings, Angelina
Want to know more about which foods can help increase your skins elasticity? (Hint: foods high in collagen, Vitamins A C & E, and balanced in Omega 3:6 ratios). Get the full scoop inside the Beautiful Babies Online Course. We’ll cover preventing stretch marks in Lesson 5 when we cover the Traditional Fertility and Pregnancy Diet.
(photo by wendkuni)