This conversation has come up a lot lately with my friends, so I thought it was time to discuss how you can prepare for a HEALTHY PREGNANCY! So I'm sharing my Top 2 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy! That's right, just two tips!
Yesterday I shared about setting goals and creating new habits, and doing them successfully. I shared how I created an entire new lifestyle after having my son in April 2014. But let's go back to my pregnancy. What was my lifestyle like when I was pregnant.
Let's just say it wasn't pretty!
Right before I got pregnant, I was up in weight from my "normal" weight. I was weighing closer to 160-163lbs, when I usually had stayed around 150. I was struggling, and miserable. I couldn't fit into any of my blue jeans. (that might be where my dislike for blue jeans comes from), and I remember a lot of clothes were just tight and uncomfortable. Which was very annoying.
So when I got pregnant I started off heavier than normal, and then gradually, and it felt slow, like it crept in. Overall I gained around 70lbs total in my pregnancy. Now I didn't feel giant or like I was obese, but in studying for the ACE exam I will be taking soon, I realized that the average weight gain for a pregnant woman is 25-35lbs, and I classified as obese.
Now many people will say, it's okay you were pregnant. Or who cares, you lost it all after. Which is all semi-true, but I didn't have a healthy pregnancy. Prior to being pregnant I was running (about to start training for a half marathon), and I was doing Yoga. When I found out I was pregnant, I slowed down on running, and then when the first trimester tiredness comas hit, I quit running all together! (BAD MISTAKE!) Because when you are a runner and enjoy running, and you can't run for 9 plus months! Wow, you miss it and regret letting the tiredness get the best of you those first several weeks!
TIP 1 FOR PRE-PREGNANCY AND FIRST TRIMESTER:
DON'T STOP! GET MOVING!
Keep moving! Whatever you have been doing, keep doing it! Get an accountability partner, your neighbor, friend, or spouse to help get you off the couch and move! Whether that's running, a workout class or the gym, GO! Move!
If you don't, and you take the first trimester off, then you are making it harder, or impossible to start back up once you gain energy back in the second trimester. For me and running, since I had a miscarriage before getting pregnant with Zander, I didn't feel like it was safe for me to try to start back up running once my energy returned and I had spent weeks not running.
So do it now! And if you aren't pregnant but might be in the future or want to be, the same goes for you! GET MOVING! Start getting healthy now, start exercising now! Get your body used to exercise so that when you get pregnant it's normal, and okay to continue! So that your pregnancy will be healthy from the beginning! Same goes for you, get a partner that will help encourage and motivate you to do so!
If you are wanting to get pregnant, you don't need to STOP what you are doing. It's safe and helpful to continue working out at the pace that you always have. It's late, later in the pregnancy where because of energy and extra weight you might need to cut back slightly. (that's more for intense workouts, like cross fit, weight lifting or marathon running. Not for general workouts).
Also in my pregnancy, I ate crap! I fell into the lie of..."I'm PREGNANT." Enough said probably. But somewhere along the way we are taught that because we are pregnant, we can have whatever the heck we want.
First I ate too many Dairy Queen Blizzards and too much ice cream, or let's just say desserts in general. And I've recently realized that I tend to resort back to childhood cravings when I'm sick, lonely, or feel sorry for myself. Or in the case of pregnancy get that..."I deserve it!" feeling. You know what I'm talking about right? Anyways, I tend to crave crap-processed food like what I ate growing up. Even recently when I was sick, all I wanted was a box of Captain Crunch.....but I resisted. During pregnancy, I went through phases of getting a new sugary cereal every week. Eating bagel bites and hot pockets, and I even ate some Spaghetti-O's at some point there. ALL CRAP!
TIP 2 FOR PRE-PREGNANCY & PREGNANT WOMEN!
EAT HEALTHY, STICK WITH YOUR HEALTHY LIFESTYLE!
If you aren't pregnant now, but know you will be or want to be, start eating healthy now! Don't wait to make the changes, get healthy now! For your sake and the sake of your future baby!
If you are pregnant, get rid of the mentality that you can eat whatever you want because, "I'M PREGNANT!" That does not mean your body can take crap and still feel good and be healthy! Pregnancy doesn't have to be 9 months of being miserable and having no energy! FUEL YOUR BODY right and I bet you will have more energy and feel better, plus your baby will be healthier from the start, and hopefully you will gain an appropriate amount of pregnancy weight which will benefit you post-pregnancy when trying to lose it.
Do the same thing you would do when you aren't pregnant. Set boundaries for yourself. Get your spouse to help keep you accountable when buying groceries! Find healthy snacks! If you need to, make 1 cheat day or cheat meal a week to eat something that's not healthy. Follow the 80-20 rule. Eat well 80% of the time and allow yourself to cheat/have slips 20% of the time! I wrote about the 80-20 rule and how to grocery shop in a previous post, get tips here! Learn how to make healthy snacks and desserts! I have an entire archive that I am constantly adding to full of yummy mostly desserts that are SUGAR FREE, and usually made with a healthy flour (i.e. coconut or almond flour). Learn to make these when you want something sweet. Even if it's every day! At least it's not full of sugar and crap! Get access to those HERE! I've already decided that for my next pregnancy I will teach my husband to make me some of these yummy goodies, so that he can make them for me!
[bctt tweet="Start now, get active and healthy and use these 2 Tips for a healthy pregnancy via @brittanysuell #fitpregnancy #fitfluential"]
I know that my next pregnancy will be a healthier one! I had an incredible birth experience, you can read the entire thing HERE. And I have no doubt that part of that happened due to the consistency of Yoga that I did throughout my pregnancy. I taught and did Yoga up until a week before giving birth.
I am excited to continue my healthy lifestyle and working out consistently (more than just yoga) through my next pregnancy and see how the birth experience compares. Even the pregnancy itself. I know that I will feel better, be able to do more things, etc. because I will continue working out and fueling my body with real foods!
I remember when I first gave up sugar in January I was afraid I would get pregnant and couldn't have sugar! hahaha Now I am excited. I am excited for the challenge of creating more recipes that are yummy, feed that sweet pregnant tooth, and are sugar free and semi-healthy!
So if you are pregnant, or will be in the future, I hope you will take my tips, and put them to use! IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE in your pregnancy and birth experience!
Let's start early and LEAVE A HEALTHY & ACTIVE LIFESTYLE even before our babies are here, or maybe before they are even created. Even if you are young and not looking towards a baby! Get healthy NOW! Make your life better for you to start with!
How was your first pregnancy? Healthy, or not so much?
What are you doing now to be healthy and active?