Thursday, March 4, 2010

Healthy Pregnancy

Yesterday I finished my course in “Optimum Performance Training for the Prenatal Client.” I thought it must have been fated that I blog about pregnancy when I checked my email inbox this morning and saw that a friend of mine sent me an article called, “I’m Pregnant, I’m fat and I hate it”. It was too much of a coincidence that I would finish learning all about what a woman should be doing during her pregnancy and then read about what real women face during and after pregnancy, not to write about it!

First off, I have never been pregnant. I can’t relate to all of the physical and emotional hurdles that women have to face during pregnancy first hand, but after training a few pregnant clients and chatting with a couple pregnant friends, I have an idea of the craziness that women have to face. There are the hormonal changes (hi, mood swings), the body aches, the skin stretching, the indegestion, hemmroids, stretch marks, morning sickness…and that’s just during the pregnancy! After the baby is born, I imagine that a new found struggle begins where you have to navigate this new body that you now reside in and figure out what to make of it. My recommendation to you if you’re going through all of these crazy changes is to read the article “I’m pregnant, I’m fat and I hate it” for someone to comiserate with!

What I can do, however, is give a little advice about what I know and what I feel on the subject of health during pregnancy. My number one recommendation is to make sure you exercise during these 40 weeks. It is SO important to keep up some sort of activity. Doing so will result in less discomfort during the gestation period, more energy, lighter moods, less need for medical interventions, and when you are ready to start losing the post-baby weight, it will be SO much easier to get back into higher intensity workouts more quickly. I know that there will be days when you are so tired that you can’t even think about getting out of bed. Maybe on some of those days, you can give yourself permission to rest. On others, get out of your house and at least walk around the block. If you can walk around the block twice, do it…If you can walk yourself to the gym and get on the bike for a while, lift some weights or head to a yoga class, even better. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to sit on the couch and eat ice cream all day.

Oh, and did you know that in your second and third trimesters, it is recommended that you only consume 300 extra calories a day? So many women take the opportunity to settle into the mindset that they can eat whatever they want and throw caution to the wind when they have a bun in the oven. Since I’ve never been there, I don’t know what it’s like to have all of the crazy cravings I’ve heard so much about (and I can imagine it’s intense). I’m sure that McDonald’s could certainly call your name three times a day. If you answer that call, however, the 25-35 pounds youshould be gaining could turn into 45-65 (or more) pounds. When the fun of being pregnant and hungry is over, you’ve got this 30 pound tire that still remains. Believe me,working that off will not be as fun as putting it on! Try your best to still watch your food intake.

All that being said, enjoy your pregnancy and give yourself permission to be a new woman after it’s all over. You will definitely have a different looking body and some postpartum “stuff” to get rid of, but hey! You just made a freaking PERSON in your body! Cut yourself some slack and enjoy being a mom for a second. THEN get to the gym and feel great about getting back into your skinny jeans, even if it takes a little while. Be well!

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