So, your pregnant, trying to get pregnant or maybe you just know that someday you may want to have children. Whatever it may be, I’m sure one thing is true. You want to be as healthy before, during and after as you can. I am no doctor but I can say with a great deal of certainty that your pregnancy will not be the same as anyone else’s and will even differ from child to child. As I approach my third trimester of my first child, I do not have the experience with pregnancies like others but I do know that whenever the human body experiences stressors, changes take place and each body handles them differently. I see this happen every day in my work. Although those stressors I see at work are exercise, diet, and behavioral related, each client’s process through the change is different.
Here are a few exercise/health tips that I can now share with you that are a reflection of my pregnancy experience so far.
- The healthier you are before your pregnancy, the greater likelihood of a smoother sailing pregnancy. This does not mean that by being healthy you have eliminated all possible complications, it simply means your body will be in a better position if healthy to deal with the ever changing stressors presented to it.
- If something doesn’t feel right, DON’T DO IT! Our bodies talk to us every day, telling us to feed them, water them, stretch them. You know your body better than anyone else so listen to it.
- Be active. Active has a different definition depending on your levels of activity before getting pregnant. If before becoming pregnant, your exercise routine involved walking and light strength training, I don’t recommend running or Olympic lifting. Keep it to what you know, and realize that as you progress through the pregnancy, you will need to make changes. However, this does not mean you can be lazy during pregnancy. Being lazy will only make the labor and delivery of your baby harder (as I am told), along with recovering after having the baby.
- Make wise food choices. The old saying of ‘eating for two’ can cause excessive weight gain, again hindering you and your baby’s health. According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, a healthy diet can help prevent gestational diabetes, anemia, early child birth, low birth weight and improve healing after baby. Although you are feeding two people, yourself and baby, the average women needs roughly 300 extra calories a day to help with baby’s growth. 300 additional calories is not much at all. However, talk to your doctor, this number may be different for you and your baby depending on your current health and weight.
- Enjoy yourself! Moving into my last trimester, I can say I have had a great pregnancy. Other than the usual bouts of morning sickness during the first trimester and overall body tightness and aches, I have no complaints. These are all things I fully expected knowing I am making a small little miracle human in my belly. I owe a big thank you to my pre-baby healthy lifestyle and husband, Trenton, who makes sure I keep with the same healthy lifestyle at home. Also to my co-workers who are never afraid of giving me a pep talk or a ‘Suzi’ look (her clients know what I’m talking about) when I just want to be lazy.
Having a support system to hold me accountable to healthy choices can make all the difference. I, along with many other trainers at Performance have trained women who have hopes to become pregnant or are currently expecting. If you are expecting or plan to be, please don’t hesitate to ask a Performance personal trainer about the benefits of having a trainer guide you through exercising while pregnant. Bottom line, the process our bodies go through when pregnant is truly a miracle. The better you treat your body the better you will feel in return. Remember this not only when pregnant, but every day of your life.