Pre-natal exercise

A friend of mine asked me about pre-natal exercise a few months ago. She is due in about 6 weeks so I sincerely apologize that it has taken me so long to write about this. As a disclaimer, I do not have my pre-natal certification so I am not an expert on the topic. Being that I was pregnant not that long ago though I do have some experience in the field.

There has been so much talk lately about Kim Kardashian and her expanding body and I have to say that I feel for her. I found this offensive picture below in a quick google search. Being pregnant is such an interesting time. It’s the only time in our lives when it is a good thing to put on weight. In the beginning of our pregnancies we may even celebrate the pounds gained. We are growing a tiny little person and it’s so exciting! As our bodies continue to morph and only slightly resemble what they used to look like it can be a difficult thing to deal with. When I was about 7 months pregnant, my husband and I went to Mexico for a wedding and it felt so strange to wear a bikini. I wore a bikini in the end of my pregnancy too but I always felt like apologizing to everyone around me. I felt like I was somehow offensive. It weighs on your self- confidence despite knowing that you are doing exactly what you should be doing. I can’t imagine being a celebrity and having the whole world commenting on your growing figure. No thank you!

This picture is off of Perez Hilton’s website. I did NOT add the words.

When I was pregnant I read a book called, “Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy”. It is a very funny and light-hearted book and I was glad that I read it.  The only thing that I disagreed with was that the author recommends not exercising during pregnancy. Personally, I think this is crazy. I’m not suggesting that you run a marathon while pregnant but exercise is good for you and what’s good for you is good for your baby. I remember Chris and I went to the gym on July 3rd. I told him that I was going to take it easy since I felt like the baby was going to come soon. I did 40 minutes on the elliptical trainer. The following night (the 4th) I went into labor.  I gave birth to a perfectly healthy 7 lb, 5 oz baby boy on July 5th.

What’s most important with exercise during pregnancy is that you listen to your body. If you are feeling really fatigued or if something doesn’t feel right then slow down or stop what you are doing. In the beginning of your pregnancy the only really limitations are staying out of hot yoga or exercising in really hot climates. Regardless though, I was exhausted in my first trimester so I took things easy. I continued lifting weights throughout my pregnancy but used lighter weights than I normally would. I jogged and did spinning classes until I was about 7 months pregnant. I also did yoga, the stair climber, the elliptical trainer, and plank throughout my entire pregnancy. Keep in mind that you don’t want to be in the supine (flat on your back) position after your first trimester. Also, you don’t want to do any activity that could harm you or the baby. This is probably different for everyone but for me I kept off wheels- no bikes, roller blades (I can’t roller blade anyway) and obviously no extreme sports.

I consistently worked out 4-5 times per week throughout my pregnancy. This helped make me feel strong and capable. It helped me keep my self confidence up and my mood swings in check. There is no doubt in my mind that it also helped me to have a relatively easy labor with no complications.

So even if you can barely see your feet, lace up those tennis shoes and get moving! Even a short walk is beneficial for you and your baby. I guarantee you’ll feel better when you are done.

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