Kim Winter, Mother of Lucas, 2 years old, pregnant, and Doula, NYC

1. This is your second pregnancy, how is it it different from the first one?

Physically it’s been so similar to my first pregnancy with my son Lucas – plenty of hormones raging in the beginning making me more emotional and reactionary at times, but hardly any morning sickness. It’s true what they say about the bump appearing sooner with the second – it was definitely harder to hide in the early months! Now at halfway through my pregnancy my belly is the size it was at 8 months with my first.
Mentally, it’s been so different. I’ve just had so much more on my plate this time around. In my first trimester we moved house, planned a big wedding, and travelled a lot. That combined with constantly running after a very active toddler has made this pregnancy so much more exhausting! I now realize how luxurious and glowy that first pregnancy was for me. So much more “me” time, lots of meditating on my new creation, prenatal massages and baby apps. This time around I’m just so focused on my first child that I hardly remember which week of pregnancy I’m in.

2. What has been the best part so far?

I really loved being pregnant the first time around, I have such a profound curiosity and respect for the process that I was just in awe about every change and growth. I never ever cared about gaining the pregnancy weight or not fitting into my normal clothes. I saw it as such a beautiful and fleeting moment in time that I wanted to revel in every minute of it!
This time around, I still hold all of that awe of pregnancy as well as now having already experienced the end result. The birth, the emergence of a new human being, a new little personality. I can’t even express how much I am looking forward to those things. For me the birth is a rite of passage that I just can’t wait to dive back into, the challenge and the wildness of it.

3. What has been the most difficult part so far?

The most difficult part of this pregnancy so far has been juggling any tiredness while caring for my 18 month old who gets up at 6am ready to play. I had really forgotten how exhausting the first trimester is and that has carried on into my second trimester so I’m just learning how to balance getting some good rest in so that I can be 100% as a mother. I also can’t say that I recommend planning a wedding and being a bride while three months pregnant!

4. You always look so fresh and pretty. Can you share your beauty routine? Are there any favorite products you use?

Before becoming a mother in 2015, I would spend more time getting ready every morning than I would on “maintenance” – facials, etc.
This changed completely after my son was born, and I realize it paid off way more to spend the time on really good skincare versus makeup.
I quite literally wear makeup one day a month (if that) but I invest in things like eyelash extensions and monthly facials at Christine Chin in order to not have to wear any makeup and still feel fresh.
As for products – I love everything from Christine Chin because her products are so gentle, the Vernix night mask from Biologique Recherche (which my husband also loves!), and right now I’m obsessed with the new ‘Super’ serums from Glossier. The only makeup you’ll find me wearing all day is Glossier’s Boy Brow and a touch of Clé de Peau’s stick concealer if I have a blemish.

5. How did you bounce back so fast after Lucas, and how do you manage to stay in shape through this second pregnancy? I am sure you learnt a lot from the first time around already.

I kept pretty active throughout my first pregnancy – prenatal yoga once a week and a trainer at Equinox twice a week, although at around 32 weeks I gave up all formal exercise and just walked a ton – like three hours a day some days. This definitely helped me prepare for the marathon of labor – I stood for 18 hours and birthed my son standing up – and it helped with my stomach muscles afterwards. I took it super, super easy after he was born – I was told not even to climb the stairs in my apartment for many weeks – but everything kind of went back into place quite quickly due to breastfeeding and then it was just a matter of toning up. Pilates is a dream for postnatal women! I was amazed at my results.
For this pregnancy I kept up my twice or thrice weekly pilates for the first trimester and now in my second I am doing prenatal yoga twice a week and barre classes twice a week. For me personally, it is so important to stay fit during pregnancy, especially since I know that I need so much physical strength for labor – I just cannot sit or lay down at any point during contractions! Exercise also helps me stay sane and provides me with the energy I need to run after a toddler.

6. What has been your favorite things to wear the first pregnancy and now the second? Did you give into maternity clothes at all? (they are pretty awful no?)

I only ever bought maternity jeans in my first pregnancy, and I hated them so much. Some people find them so comfy, I found that the ones under the belly get too tight and the ones above the belly just make the jeans slip down all the time. A nightmare! I also really don’t like the look of leggings all day as regular clothing so I’m trying to figure out other options as pants for when it gets cold.
In this pregnancy, my regular jeans haven’t fit me for months already so I’ve been living in dresses and high skirts. I did find that regular Frame jeans are stretchy enough to just buy one or two sizes up with a bump, so that’s what I’ve done pants-wise thus far! I also just bought the maternity denim overalls from Hatch which I’m looking forward to wearing.
I think pregnant bellies are just the most beautiful thing in the world and so I am trying to show mine off a little more this time around! I’m definitely bringing out the mid-length body-con dresses with sneakers!

7. You are already the mom of a toddler, Lucas, and just started a new business. Its a lot of adjusting, how do you manage to find a bit of time for yourself? Are there any spots in NY you go to to relax? Maybe a Spa? I

I primarily use exercise as my time alone and it does wonders for my relaxation. I’m also lucky to have a really wonderful husband who treats me to prenatal massages and spa nights. We love going to Aire in Tribeca followed by a delicious dinner in the area. Getting some alone time with my husband is quite rare these days and it always makes me feel more relaxed and special.

8. What are your favorite things to do all together as a family? Any favorite spots, parks, activities in NY?

I am such an outdoorsy person so anytime that I’m outside with my family is a success in my eyes. We tend to take really long walks exploring new areas of the city and letting Lucas run around in the greenest areas we can find.
Since we recently moved to Brooklyn we are loving the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Dumbo with its gorgeous waterside parks and carousel, and the open air food stands in Williamsburg.
One of my favorite things about having children has been the way in which it inspires you to get out of the house and explore. I can’t wait until Lucas is old enough to really enjoy all of the other museums of NYC too.

9. Favorite places to shop for Lucas?

I mostly buy clothes for Lucas in Sweet William, Zara Kids is also great and easy, and as a Swede I’m obsessed with Mini Rodini and Polarn O. Pyret.

10. You and your husband travel A LOT! What tips would you like to share to new parents to make it as easy as possible? What do you pack in your bag?

My biggest travel tip for new parents is GO GO GO! Traveling with a newborn is so easy. Lucas was an absolute dream flying to Ecuador, Sweden and across the USA from as tiny as 8 weeks old.
It got a little more difficult once he started wanting to move around more but I found that breastfeeding, new toys given at each hour, and fun snacks make it really ok. Before Lucas could walk, I used to let him crawl all around the airport terminal floors to tire himself out for the flight ahead and now he just runs everywhere like a lunatic in order to get it out of his system. As long as you keep a relaxed attitude your child will mirror that… I learned that from my very chilled husband.
I am also absolutely not afraid of giving my son the iPad. You’re stuck in a metal cylinder surrounded by strangers for hours on end, no one’s having the best time, a little screen time is not going to hurt!

11. So motherhood seemed to have affected you a lot, so much that you decided to become a certified Doula and now started your business as one. What made you want to do that? What do you love the most about it?

I have always been fascinated with pregnancy and birth, and in university a lovely friend showed me The Business of Being Born and introduced me to all of Ina May Gaskin’s books. When I got pregnant with Lucas I immediately knew what type of birth I wanted and I just dove into researching what my options were. Quite frankly, I was so disappointed in the over-medicalized, fear-based attitude of most OB-GYNs in the city that I switched to a midwifery and never looked back. With my midwives, I had beautiful hour-long visits where they truly asked me how I was feeling, where I felt I was being listened to and respected. Although my birth was hard, hard work, I felt so incredibly supported the entire time and I was constantly made to feel that I was completely safe and able, by myself. I have never felt stronger than I did giving birth to my son, and I have never had such an incredibly mind-blowing experience!
I decided to become a Doula after that when I really knew how important constant support is before, during and after giving birth. Not everyone is so lucky to find amazing midwives and so many women here are left alone with beeping machines in freezing cold hospital rooms while their doctors pop their heads in every couple of hours. Everybody should feel respected, loved and supported the entire time while they are giving birth, no matter how they decide to do it. That’s what a Doula is there for. I am there to humanize birth again, to hold you, to love you and show you that you are powerful no matter what.
I love knowing that I can make a positive difference in one of the most important experiences one can go through in life. The reaction of my clients afterwards is so deeply heartwarming, nothing could ever beat the feeling of being a real help to someone when they most need it.

12. What main tip would you like to share to any woman going through her first pregnancy, especially when giving birth not in their hometown which can be super scary! And what tip would you like to share to new mommies?

My main tip for anyone going through their first pregnancy is to not let yourself give in to fear. And if you are scared, ask yourself why that is. Is it a lack of information? Is it a lack of support from your care provider? Unfortunately we live in a country where pregnancy and especially birth have somehow become things to fear, when it’s what our bodies are naturally programmed to do. There are some amazing resources out there such as midwives and doulas, new mom groups and breastfeeding support groups. Surround yourself by a good support system, people you can trust and who make you feel safe. Try to take a deep breath, a step back and admire how amazing your body is for creating new life. The more you know the less ‘scary’ it will become!
Another tip for new moms would be to invest in postpartum support. This type of help is so underrated and no one ever talks about it. Whether it be a lactation consultant visiting your home in the first days after birth, a postpartum doula, or a great nanny, these people can literally change your entire experience of motherhood and make it so much more positive and thriving. Never say no to or feel ashamed about having extra help. You should not be moving a muscle other than to care for your newborn in those first months after you give birth.

13. What do you love the most about motherhood?

Motherhood is and will continue to be the greatest and most valuable lesson of my entire life. Nothing will ever be more difficult yet more rewarding than being a mom. It’s so hard to say what I love the most – but I can sum it up as that “feeling” of being a mother. The intense feeling you get when your child looks into your eyes and you just see the absolute pureness of their love and dependence on you. It’s overwhelming and so utterly fulfilling all at once.

Learn more about Kim and her Doula service here.

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