Tell us a bit about yourself, The Wellness Platform, and your why behind your offerings.
Hey I’m Libby - I live in Wellington with my partner and his two daughters. The Wellness Platform is my business and was born 5 years ago after I came back from the UK having studied a course focusing on the mind-body connection and how we can use that to influence our health. It’s morphed over time, I did my yoga teacher training and some nutrition study, I now have a podcast (i’ve interviewed the Mitchells founder, Rob!) I offer corporate speaking and workshops, do online coaching and share wellness and life balancing tips on my instagram too.
2022 was your first full-time year with The Wellness Platform alongside falling pregnant in July (congrats!), what were some learnings from stepping into and managing this?
It started off great and my learnings initially were to forecast the upcoming months and backfill the work/income. I had to switch into more of a business mindset rather than a manifesting, going with the flow mindset!
Pregnancy was exciting news, but it did wipe me a lot more than I ever expected it to. I had a vision of glowing and thriving when I was pregnant, but that was not the case. From about October-Jan I was very sick and unable to properly keep generating work, I kept the bookings I had and managed through them, but yes a big learning was dealing with uncontrollable circumstances.
You’re in the last few weeks of your pregnancy. Tell us about the sweet and not so sweet moments of the pregnancy portal for you?
I now have a lot more compassion for pregnant women especially those who experience constant vomiting and have jobs where they have to keep working through it. Being self employed I was very lucky to be able to take it easy.
The sweetest moment for sure has been the third trimester, the sickness has completely gone away and I feel so relaxed and at peace with everything.
As you shared, the first half of your pregnancy was no easy feat. You experienced hyperemesis, finding it hard to keep any food or liquid down. Any helpful tips and tools that got you through this?
It was a challenge for sure, but it’s funny how quickly you forget! I went to A&E a few times it was so bad and now I think back and go “Oh I could do that again, it was fine.”
Helpful tips that got me through were the reassurance from people that the baby takes nutrients from your stores so to just focus on getting through the days in whatever ways that you can.
I took a prenatal supplement that I got prescribed from nutritionist Gina Urlich and I love following her work, she's a wealth of knowledge when it comes to women's hormones, pregnancy and nutrition.
A product called Nausyn drops by Weleda helped me quite a lot.
Lastly, a doctor suggested I try to drink shakes as they often stay down (thick shakes from McDs they said), but I started making my own and would keep it simple with a liquid, some ice cream and Mitchells Bone Broth Protein (Vanilla or Salted Caramel). I had such a strong aversion to anything healthy tasting but this simple recipe meant that the shakes were super creamy and sweet, but I knew I was getting some nutrition in from the collagen in the protein. One day, I was sick 36 times…. So I knew I needed that bone broth to be trying to heal the gut lining the best I possibly could.
How has your knowledge and practices in the brain-body connection supported you throughout your pregnancy?
I’ve been able to keep positive in my mindset through rewiring thoughts and not letting it get me down too much. Being able to keep a sense of humor helped me and also being able to appreciate the breaks in between. Now with the birth approaching, I’ve started reading a few books that are about this - just about how we process fear in our brain and how this translates down to our bodies. Focusing on breathing to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, trusting the process, and my body.
Did pregnancy change your daily rituals and self-care practices? How?
I’m not one to ‘push through’ so I haven’t done any high cortisol workouts or anything too strenuous. I’ve made sure to do 20 minutes of something a day, a youtube pilates or meditation or a walk with our dog.
Binaural beats were a great thing to listen to in the background too in the most nauseous times as well. The strongest thing was the aversion to vegetables and healthy food so that definitely changed my self-care practices of cooking well. It was deep fried and beige takeaways for months for the whole family.
What key supplements and dietary/lifestyle approaches have you lent into to support your pregnancy? Can you share a couple that you have found particularly helpful here.
2. Relaxation - binaural beats, meditations, listening to yoga nidra.
3. Lymphatic drainage - practices that I love regardless of being pregnant. Things like body brushing, tongue scraping, gua sha and pregnancy massages have helped me to keep things moving and keep inflammation down.
4. Prenatal vitamin - I used the brand called NaturoBest.
5. Iron stores - Having small amounts of beef liver and keeping an eye on iron levels through blood testing.
If you were to give 3 tips to any new mumma as she steps into pregnancy, what would they be?
I can’t speak to being a new mum just yet but for pregnancy, I would say 3 things that helped me
1. Be gentle on yourself and your body, rest and say no to things.
2. Personally I found it helpful not to overwhelm myself with info, there is an abundance of gadgets, baby shops, books, podcasts, birth tales, courses out there and I found it best to take the pregnancy in stages and not overload myself.
3. Low impact workouts with ankle weights or light weights or resistance bands have kept my strength up (I think!) and kept me mobile, without putting any extra stress on my body.
Keep up to date with Libby on IG at @the_wellnessplatform
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