Pregnancy is weird. Your body goes through a million different changes during the human growing phase. Some are painless, others are annoying and a few are downright frustrating.
But, I’m here to tell you that pregnancy doesn’t have to suck. You CAN enjoy it. It is possible to possess that “pregnancy glow,” and really feel it.
I did spin class all 42, yep, 42 weeks of my pregnancy. I felt amazing the entire time. I attribute this to staying active; which by the way is now scientifically backed! Staying active throughout your pregnancy is ENCOURAGED. It is the number one best defense against those not so sexy preggo side effects like fatigue, bloating, gas, swelling and heartburn.
I am a nationally certified pre and post natal fitness trainer, so I might know a thing or two about sweating with that belly. Here are my top tips for a fit and healthy pregnancy!
1. Get in the best shape of your life (inside and out) before you even start sexing for a baby.
That means cut out processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, sugars and artificial sweeteners. Establish a workout routine that you can keep up with.
2. Don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to change your daily routine.
Workout, work, carry your own groceries, meet friends for lunch, clean up after the dog etc. Like my good girlfriend once told me, “pregnancy is not a disease.”
3. Stay active.
After a (bigger) meal, I usually stay active. If that’s marching in place for an hour (yes I did do this every day), hitting the mall for a stroll, or just running errands. It keeps your blood flowing, it fights heartburn, keeps digestion flowing (which slows tremendously during pregnancy) and is great overall.
4. Don’t eat 2 hours before bedtime.
This may be impossible some days, but it really helped me with indigestion and feeling too full. I made sure during the day to eat every 2-3 hours, small mini meals with protein and fat so I felt satiated until the next morning. Some good options are nut butters, avocado, Greek yogurt and granola.
5. SLEEP well (while you still can!)
I used (and still use) a white noise machine. Try to keep your room cool and try to wind down early. Training your body to sleep on the same cycle nightly will SAVE YOU. Because hello- my 2 year old still hasn’t ever slept through the night… So enjoy it while you can.
Regular sleep is also essential for the regulation of your vitals, and the health of your insides.
6. TRUST YOUR BODY.
We were built to reproduce. There is a reason why women who have emergency c sections at 24 weeks can still produce breast milk to feed their babies. It is a remarkable feat for our bodies to completely transform into a baby making and growing machine for about a year. Embrace it and trust the process…your body will take care of itself and the baby if you trust it and treat it right.
This baby making, birthing and child rearing process has been life changing for me. I have learned more about myself in the last almost 3 years than I thought was possible. The human raising thing is a remarkable science project that I feel lucky to partake in.
So stay active and healthy mama to be. Practice self care and self love. Sweat a little, drink water and eat mindfully. Your body (and baby) will thank you.
Rachel Lily Campbell is a single mom on a mission to inspire mommies everywhere to live their best lives, in their best selves. She is inspired daily by her sweet, active and curious little boy, Deuce. They reside in Austin, Tx where she also owns FIT4MOM Sunset Valley, a stroller based boot camp for new mommies.