Pregnancy is an extraordinary experience for any woman, there is nothing else like it in the world. Your body goes through some amazing changes and you live every day of nine months knowing there is another small human growing inside of you. There are many different thoughts on what you should and shouldn’t do as a pregnant woman, especially when it comes to fitness.
My partner of 5 years has been asked in the gym before why she is still in the gym and lifting weights when pregnant and she always responds the same, ‘why not?’
She trained before being pregnant and now well into her third trimester she still keeps training. Staying active has helped her to keep healthy and within the recommended weight guidelines which is around 30 pounds. She says working out helps her postpartum recovery feel easier and getting her pre-pregnancy body back won’t be as difficult.
If you are currently pregnant and want to know a bit more about training, eating and supplements then keep reading
If you trained with weights before getting pregnant then it is normally safe to continue whilst pregnant. Current national and international guidelines recommend that healthy women should do resistance training throughout pregnancy, be sure to check with your doctor or midwife before starting though.
Lifting weights is important, strong muscles help you carry that extra person with you all the time. Having a strong back and legs will also help alleviate some pain associated with a growing belly. Improvements in overall body strength, core strength and posture can prevent musculoskeletal discomforts and help with labor and delivery.
When in the gym, make sure you listen to your body. You can’t get more fit whilst pregnant so adjust your mindset. Stick to maintenance instead of gaining or losing. If something doesn’t feel right then skip it. Exercises that call for you to lie flat on your back or lean your abdomen against a pad may start to become uncomfortable so look for alternatives. My partner loves to use dumbbells because she can work them around her kangaroo pouch.
She tends to decrease the weight she uses by 30-50%, she still wants a challenge but also wants to make sure she is safe. She tends to slow down her repetitions, does negatives or do more reps than normal. you still will feel the burn even with a lighter weight.
There is sometimes not enough time for yoga classes but because intensive training is important as normal, it is a good idea to explore it. Most people’s body’s love yoga.
As the baby gets bigger, the muscles will start to feel more tense. Stretching has helped many loosen up and keep them limber and ready for labor. The more flexible you are, the easier it is to move around. This is especially important in the third trimester when it is nearly impossible to bend over or reach anything below the knees.
A lot of people do not eat enough protein during pregnancy and crave carbohydrates, this can cause smaller babies as a result or born prematurely, lots of protein is the answer.
You can use Whey protein and protein bars to help up your protein intake, you can also eat plenty of carbohydrates, when not pregnant you can of course stick to a low-carb diet so eating as much fruit, quinoa, oatmeal and rice as you want can be pretty fun. A good variety of healthy vegetables like spinach, kale and other greens also helps. For healthy fat sources, try avocado, olive oil, salmon, nuts and coconut oil, your baby needs a balanced, varied and healthy diet to grow big and strong.
When pregnant, you share fluids with the baby so it is important to drink a lot of water. There is no reason to carry around a gallon jug, instead of those sodas or juices you usually drink, switch to water.
Supplements such as fat-burners and pre-workouts should be stopped as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test but that doesn’t mean other supplements can’t benefit you as well. A prenatal vitamin with folic acid should be the top of the list. Besides protein powder, you can also use fish oil as the DHA is important for the baby’s brain and eye development.
In 2010, the U.S. Department Of Health and Human Services dietary guidelines recommended that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consume 8-12 ounces of seafood per week or around 300-900 milligrams of EPA+DHA a day. Studies would suggest that children whose mothers consumed DHA during pregnancy have better problem solving skills.
Many women also continue to use BCAA’s which are safe when pregnant but it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before using them. High levels of BCAA’s in children may post a small risk, so if you already have enough protein via whole foods you may not need additional BCAA’s via supplementation.
A new baby is a magical process but it can also be scary and stressful. Do your best to enjoy your time and stop worrying about how you will lose the baby weight or if you have decorated the baby’s room enough, cherish all those kicks and punches and remember the pregnancy period is a short time in your life.
The bond with the baby begins while they are growing in your belly, whatever your way of bonding with your baby during pregnancy it is never too early to start, try out the red smoothie detox here for help getting the baby weight off.
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