by Stephanie Greunke, a registered dietitian who second-guessed everything during her own pregnancy.
As a Registered Dietitian who specializes in pregnancy and post-partum health, I thought it would be easy for me to create and follow the “perfect plan” during my own pregnancy. I quickly discovered this wasn’t the case. Turns out, pregnancy was the one time in my life when I second-guessed every decision I made, even if it made complete sense. It was easy for me to help other women navigate their pregnancies, but when it came to making decisions for myself and my own baby, I felt paralyzed.
Do I really need that many carbohydrates? Am I exercising too hard? Am I going to hurt my baby if I don’t thoroughly wash this apple before I eat it?
It. Never. Stopped.
Various pregnancy books all gave me different answers for every one of my questions. Some of the books had pretty decent general pregnancy information, but had nutrition sections that were pretty terrible. And Lord help me if I Googled something or jumped into a pregnancy forum. I’d leave feeling even more confused, or worse, believing I’d just done something horrible for my baby.
I wanted to be able to go to one place—one voice of reason, someone I could trust—and get all of the information I needed. Instead, I had to do my own research, pick apart studies, and consult with birth professionals (midwives, obstetrician-gynecologists, childbirth educators, and doulas) just to feel comfortable with my decisions.
After doing a ton of research, I decided to have a homebirth. That decision was met with skepticism from strangers (which I learned to shrug off), but also friends and family (which was pretty rough). At first, I was caught off guard by their response. Some people tried to mask their judgement by giving me a forced smile and saying, “Oh, that’s great…” while others had no problem telling me they thought it was a bad idea. Eventually, I developed a harder shell and more confidence in my decisions, so these remarks just rolled off me. But all along, all I wanted was to feel supported in the choices I made, without feeling judged.
Enter Healthy Mama, Happy Baby
Throughout our pregnancies, Melissa (Hartwig) and I would talk with each other when we were struggling with decisions during our pregnancy and needed support from someone else who understood.When Melissa suggested we create a program to help women navigate their own pregnancies, it was an immediate yes! (Actually, it was a hell yes.) I struggled finding credible information without going crazy, and I knew I had to do something about it. No pregnant woman should have to search that hard or feel judged for her choices.
Healthy Mama, Happy Baby is our solution. It is the program I wish was available to me when I was pregnant! Through the Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program, we provide information and support to other mamas. Because no matter how confident you are, sometimes you just need to hear a reassuring voice telling you that you’re doing a great job.
Our HMHB program is a virtual pregnancy handbook designed to guide you through every step of your pregnancy. It includes over 20 informative videos, handouts, additional resources, and simple action steps. We’ve also created a safe place for women to come together and support each other outside of the program. Our private Facebook page is a place where you can interact with other like-minded pregnant moms, our HMHB team, and me. It’s an opportunity to build your very own community, since it can be hard to find this kind of support in your local area.
I love interacting with our HMHB mamas, sharing the latest research, tips and tricks I used during my pregnancies, recipes, and so much more in this private group! Helping a woman find clarity and feel supported during her pregnancy is a mission I proudly accept and take seriously. There’s too much fear-mongering, judgement, and confusion out there. We want to end the confusion and give you the information you need so that you can enjoy this unique and special time in your life.
Click here to read more about the HMHB pregnancy handbook, and subscribe to the series.