by Stephanie Greunke, a Registered Dietitian who second-guessed everything during her own pregnancy.
As a Registered Dietitian who specializes in pregnancy and postpartum 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 this 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.
Of course, I consulted every source of information I could find, but it seemed like every pregnancy book gave me a different answer. Some of the books had decent general information about exercise or alignment, but had nutrition sections that did not fit with my personal nutritional philosophy. 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’m guessing you’ve experienced the same thing.
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) in order to feel comfortable with my decisions. And even after all of that, sometimes I still didn’t feel 100% confident.
Here’s an example. 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 from friends and family (which was pretty rough). At first, I was caught off guard by their judgment. Some people tried to mask it 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.
I learned to develop a harder shell and more confidence in my decisions, so that eventually these remarks just rolled off me. Even so, I couldn’t shake the feeling that all I wanted was a resource and a community that supported the choices I made, without making me feeling judged.
Enter Healthy Mama, Happy Baby
Throughout our pregnancies, Melissa (Hartwig) and I would talk to each other anytime we were struggling with decisions and needed support from someone else who shared the values of whole food nutrition, nurturing self-care, and community connection. When she suggested we take our expertise, research and personal experiences and create a program to help women like us navigate their pregnancies, my answer was an immediate “HELL YES.”
Because I struggled to find credible information without going crazy (and this is my field of expertise), I knew I had to do something to help other women. No pregnant woman should have to search that hard or feel so much judgment for her choices. After all, we’re all doing our best to have a healthy, happy pregnancy.
Healthy Mama, Happy Baby is our solution for pregnant women and women who are hoping to become pregnant. It is the program I wish was available to me when I was going through my first (heck, my second) pregnancy. Through the Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program we provide accurate, actionable information and community 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. (PS: YOU ARE.)
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 women, 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. With Healthy Mama, Happy Baby 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.
Stephanie Greunke is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition who specializes in women’s health. She is a certified personal trainer and prenatal and postnatal corrective exercise specialist. Stephanie guides and supports women locally and globally through her web-based private practice.