Nutrition and overall health are just as important, according to Nancy Williamson, a registered nurse and health coach, and Angel Woolever, a registered dietitian, at Logansport Memorial Hospital.
When setting up group classes for the new moms, Woolever and Williamson considered several ideas.
“We kind of took a look at the fact there are several things woman are concerned about and went from there,” Williamson said.
So far, the women have talked about nutrition and even how to deal with stress.
“Having children is stressful,” said Williamson. “It’s about how you handle it, though.”
Williamson said 50 to 80 percent of money spent on health care issues was related to stress.
While stress cannot be prevented, she said, some stressors can be eliminated, allowing the moms to learn to live with the rest in a constructive way.
The last two group nutrition classes will include a grocery store tour, which will teach the participants how to shop for healthy foods on a budget, and a woman’s health makeover.
“Women’s health in general tends to fall last on the list,” said Williamson. “We take care of the kids, the husband and as moms, we usually fall into the last category — or don’t even make it on the list.”
Another topic was portion distortion, which explained how portions have changed over the last 20 years. Williamson said the size of everything has doubled and there has been a large change in calorie intake.
A lot of people don’t actually measure serving sizes, Williamson said, and thus don’t realize how much they are taking in.
According to Woolever, the mothers were also given information to assess how many calories they are taking in and how many they should be eating daily. They were also advised how much to eat from each food group.
“The calories in have to be less than the calories they are burning,” Woolever said. “We are making sure they understand what the serving sizes are and what is appropriate.”
Woolever believes it can be overwhelming to digest all of the information on nutrition after listening to and reading conflicting information. Her goal is to make sure the moms understand the truth.
When Mommy Makeover first started, Woolever had the opportunity to meet with all three participants for a health screen.
The screen included height and weight measurements and a blood pressure reading. The moms were required to answer a series of questions. Each was given a wellness score and wwas told what she need to focus on.
“With the health screen, you learn a lot of new things about yourself,” Woolever said.
Taking care of one’s overall health is important not just for the Mommy Makeover participants, but for everyone.
“For all of us, a lot of diseases could be stopped, reversed or prevented with right nutrition, right exercise and the right care for ourselves,” said Williamson.
Over the last several weeks, Williamson said, the classes have gone well.
“The girls have been very receptive and ask reasonable questions,” she said. “They are obviously seeking knowledge.”
Asked whether they planned to keep up with their new diets and workout routines once the Mommy Makeover challenge is over, Williamson said, all three told her they had to stick with the lifestyle changes.
“I think it’s real important the mothers have all the knowledge they can get,” she said. “It’s important to teach the mother. They want to do the best for their children, but they need to take care of themselves first to pass that on to their children.”
Woolever hopes all three mothers take something valuable away from the experience.
“That it’s more than just the number on the scale,” she said. “It is about their health. Eating healthy can taste good, and I just want them to have a base knowledge of healthy nutrition for themselves and their children.”
• Denise Massie is a staff writer at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5151 or email@example.com