With babies number one and two, I basically gave myself a get-out-of-jail-free pass as soon as I found out we were expecting. I stopped working out entirely — although to be fair I wasn’t really working out much to begin with — and I treated that whole “eating for two” concept as a personal challenge. I gained almost 50 pounds. Not only was I huge and uncomfortable, it took me forever to lose the weight after my babies were born (despite breastfeeding). But this time around, I decided I was going to have a fitter pregnancy. And I have been pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
I’ve continued exercising (mostly walking on the treadmill), and I’ve tried to make better decision when it comes to food. Not that I don’t indulge in a delicious cupcake or a big bowl of Blue Bell every now and then — because I totally do. But I am almost eight months along, and I’ve only gained 25 pounds. Pretty amazing, right?! Of course everyone, every body, and every pregnancy is unique. It just so happens that for me, this is a lot more reasonable (and a lot less gluttonous).
And YOU can have a fitter pregnancy, too! Here’s how:
1. Stay hydrated and make healthy choices.
Especially when it comes to food. But this tip really relates to any aspect of your pregnancy. (Or just life in general.) Many women have a hard time getting the extra protein needed during pregnancy through diet alone — particularly in the third trimester. Protiva Pregnancy is a clinically proven, all-natural protein supplement for pregnant women that provides 15 grams of protein in a daily drink. It contains no preservatives or artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Protiva is lactose-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and is non-GMO. It’s also DELICIOUS (especially blended with ice), which is always a plus. Two thumbs up from this picky #pregnantchick!
2. Consult a doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.
Most physicians will advise against taking up new exercise regimens once you become pregnant — a good general rule of thumb is to stick with what you know. If you were doing it before baby, you’re probably okay (but always double check). Talk to your doctor if something feels off — don’t be afraid to be told “no.” You have the rest of your life to become a Cross Fit Champion (if that is your dream).
3. Don’t exhaust yourself.
You have to slow down as your pregnancy progresses. Even the fittest mamas are not immune — I have a friend that runs marathons for fun. (This concept is still difficult for me to comprehend.) She normally runs approximately 10 miles a day. She had to stop running very early on in each of her pregnancies. She said it became very uncomfortable and unpleasant. As if you need any more of that when you’re pregnant.
4. Walking can be your best friend.
One of the best ways to have a fitter pregnancy is to simply walk every day! Walking is low impact (for your body and your joints), but can help to keep you active and in-shape. Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial.
5. Swimming is also your friend.
But your maternity swimsuit might not be…only kidding! I’m sure you look much cuter in a maternity swimsuit than I do. Think beached whale. 😉
6. Always warm up before engaging in physical activity, and properly cool down afterwards. Avoid exercising in very warm temperatures.
7. Don’t lie flat on your back — especially after 16 weeks.
At this point of your pregnancy, your uterus has gotten heavier and when you lie on your back, the weight of your uterus presses on the major vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart. Lying on your back for an extended period of time could make you feel dizzy. It could also interfere with the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta and your developing baby.
8. Don’t take part in contact sports where there’s a risk of being hit.
9. Don’t do anything that may cause you to fall.
The experts say it’s best to avoid horseback riding, downhill skiing, ice skating, gymnastics, or cycling (a stationary bike might be okay). No scuba diving allowed.
10. Instead, concentrate on pelvic tilt, pelvic floor, and stomach-strengthening (or lower back) exercises.
Your doctor or midwife may be able to give you a list of exercises to practice daily. I say this because mine did, and it never hurts to ask!
How are you working to have a fitter pregnancy? What’s your best piece of fitness advice for a newly pregnant mama? We’d love to hear! Fee free to share in the comments section below. Cheers (a tall glass of Pellegrino) to making good decisions! xoxo