Are you pregnant and looking for some ways to make the most of these 9 months? Your body goes through more changes during pregnancy than a man’s will in his whole lifetime! I am 26 weeks right now with my second baby so I am on this journey with you :) Here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned to help with all the ups and downs and changes that happen during this time that can create a healthy, happy pregnancy:
Those first 14 weeks… Just survive the first trimester! Let’s face it - those first few months can be awful. From extreme fatigue and nausea to anxiety over the pregnancy, you just want to make it to the second trimester. Eat whatever you can tolerate and do what you need to make it through the day. If that means going to bed at 7 o’clock and eating only bread for a week straight - you do what you have to do, right?! Soon (hopefully!) you’ll be feeling better, be able to eat more balanced meals, and start feeling like a human again. Even though exercise is probably the last thing you want to do, it actually made me feel better! Do the best you can and you will get through it.
Food. Once you can stomach regular food again and your appetite returns (probably with a vengeance in that second trimester!) eat small meals often. This will keep something in your stomach at all times, preventing nausea and that uncomfortable bloated feeling. Find a few favorite healthy snacks to keep on hand at all times for when those hunger pangs strike. Some of my favorites: oatmeal energy bites, apples, mini banana muffins, and turkey and cheese. A well rounded diet will ensure you and baby are getting the proper nutrients, as well as allow you to gain the appropriate amount of weight throughout your pregnancy. While you should watch what you eat, I also believe it is okay to indulge once in a while - as long as indulgences don’t make up the majority of your diet!
Exercise! ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommends being active for at least 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week during pregnancy. Luckily for me, I have a job that makes me do this (even when i don’t feel like it :)). Some great options for prenatal exercise are Fit4Baby and Stroller Strides. These programs are taught by instructors who are trained in teaching pre- and postnatal clients. Some other great options are walking, jogging, and swimming! Also, as long as you have a healthy pregnancy, whatever you were doing for an exercise regimen before becoming pregnant should still be fine with a few modifications and exceptions. (Always have approval from your doctor before/starting any exercise program while pregnant.) Pregnancy is not a time of disability, but rather a time of great health! Your body is doing amazing things and you should treat it with care and respect. I could write a whole separate post about all the benefits exercise gives the pregnant woman, but for now I’ll just say make it a goal to stay fit and healthy, and you and your baby will be better off for it!
Sleep. A full 8 hours. Go to bed early. And nap. If you already have kids, when your toddler naps, take a quick snooze! You’ll be able to complete the rest of your day with more energy if you do. Since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve learned to simplify my life and not to make it overly busy. This means knowing when it’s ok to say no to things - whether that be putting off a household chore until later or turning down an invitation to do something. Sometimes staying home and taking it easy is “just what the doctor ordered”.
Lastly, just enjoy this season of life. Try to soak up every moment from the mundane to the exciting. It all goes by so fast. Sometimes it can seem like you’re pregnant forever, but really it goes by so fast and it truly is a miracle!
Have a happy, healthy pregnancy! :)
FIT4MOM Grand Rapids Instructor
[Disclaimer: I am not a doctor- nothing can replace the advice/orders he/she gives you. These are just my humble opinions and personal experiences :) ]
To check out a Fit4Baby prenatal class, head to http://grandrapids.fit4mom.com/classes/fit4baby