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Man do I love maternity leave. My babies are 20 months apart so my maternity leaves were fairly close together. Now that my second maternity leave is over, I can definitely say, it was even better the second time around.

  1. My hospital stay was brief.
    We were in the hospital for about 36 hours in all (compared to 92 hours with our first). It was nice to get home, sleep in our own beds, and start our life as a family of four.
  2. It was longer.
    Thanks to the holiday season, I ended up having 15 weeks off of work to spend with my baby. It was absolutely magically, especially because of the holidays, I insisted we put our Christmas tree up the first week of November so I had plenty of time to soak it all in.
  1. I got a Hulu account.
    Not only could I Netflix all day, but I could Hulu all night. My favorite shows were The Mindy Project, Bobs Burgers, Manhunt, Seinfeld, and Parks and Recreation.

4. My husband bought me a Keurig.
When I was in labor with my second child I told my husband the first thing I wanted, after delivery, was a cup of coffee. We ended up having multiple cups of coffee during our hospital stay so when we came home my husband replaced our coffee pot with a Keurig so I’d be able to make individual cups whenever I needed. My favorite K Cups are Starbucks Breakfast Blend, and Dunkin Donuts.

5. I was able to establish my milk supply.
I did not get off to a good start breastfeeding my first, it was an uphill battle for months. I was able to have skin to skin time with my second and she latched on like a champ. I let her nurse as much as she wanted which allowed me to have a well established milk supply. A fed baby is a happy baby, and happy babies have happy mamas.

  1. I exercised.
    At 4 weeks postpartum I felt ready to exercise. I’m a workout video type of person, I won’t push myself unless someone is telling me to do it, so I decided Insanity Max 30 would be best for me. I’m a huge Shaun T fan, he is so motivational and each of his workouts have a “modifier version” that I could follow. Over time, and with the help of a heavy duty nursing sports bra I was able to follow Shaun T more than the modifier. Each video is only 30 minutes long too so it was very easy to fit into my day, and very hard to come up with an excuse not to do it. Exercising made me feel so strong, it became the part of my day that I allowed myself to really be selfish. I loved it so much that when I finished the program I started all over again.

This picture was taken on the same day, it shows regular maternity leggings on the left, and Snapback leggings on the right.

  1. I had clothes to wear.
    After my first was born, I was stuck in clothing purgatory. I couldn’t fit into regular clothes, and I was terrified that continuing to wear maternity clothes would cause someone to mistakenly think I was pregnant, or that I may never stop wearing them. But with my second maternity leave I found a few “non maternity” staples that got me through the adjustments of my changing body without making me look like I just rolled out of bed (even though sometimes that’s exactly what had happened). I’m so thankful that I stumbled upon these postpartum leggings. The high waist hid my stomach when nursing, and held everything in nice and smooth under my shirts. They were also perfect for my workouts because the kept my stomach in nice and tight once I started doing jumps along with the workout videos. I got a couple of tunics from Marleylily.com. I seriously wore these shirts to bed, to dinner, to church, you name it they are so versatile. The best part though is that the stretchy material allowed me to nurse from the neck of the shirt. And they were monogrammed for free.
  1. I got sleep.
    My second baby is so much more chill than her brother was. She slept a lot better at night too thanks to her dockatot and zen swaddle and sleep-sack, (two things I didn’t have the first go-round). They both make her feel like she’s being held once I lay her down.
  1. I joined Weight Watchers.

During my first maternity leave I tried to use MyFitnessPal to lose the baby weight. I was always second guessing whether or not I was eating too much or not enough due to breastfeeding. But Weight Watchers has a breastfeeding program and I found so much support from moms just like me trying to shake the baby weight along side the chaos of life with little ones. I never felt hungry or deprived and my milk supply was never affected.

The left picture was taken 5 days after I delivered my second child, the picture on the right was taken 4 weeks later. I had already reached my pre-pregnancy weight.

  1. I got back to my prepregnancy weight fast.

Thanks to breastfeeding, Weight Watchers, and exercise. I got back to my prepregnancy weight within 5 weeks. I lost 40 pounds in 5 weeks. It took me five months to lose that same 40 pounds with my first. It felt so good to get that weight off.

11. I lost 50 pounds in all.
My mantra is you cant take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself first.

The pictures on the left were taken at the end of my first maternity leave in March of 2016. I was breastfeeding, using My Fitness Pal to track my eating, drinking 75 oz of water a day, with no exercise. I was actually proud of myself in the pictures and I had lost roughly 30 of the 40 pounds I had gained, but I still felt very uncomfortable in all of my clothes and extremely weak. The pictures on the right were taken at the end of my second maternity leave in December of 2017.

12. I trusted myself.
I was by far more confident as a mother the second time around. I trusted my gut and stood my ground.

Thank you so much for reading my post. What was your favorite part of maternity leave?

2 Comments

  1. Angela

    Thanks for a great article! I’m pregnant with my second child and had a difficult post-pardum with my first, I’ll be following your lead to make that period more enjoyable this time around.

    Reply
  2. Shannon

    Thank you for sharing! I’m pregnant with my first and while I’m trying to eat super healthy and stay active, I’m gaining quickly. You and I appear to have similar body shape (do you also find that you put on both muscle and fat easily?) and seeing your incredible rebound following your second pregnancy is so inspiring!!! Also, tips on how to spend Mat leave are so welcome. Great post!

    Reply

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Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

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