Friday, June 14, 2013

A Mom Runs This Town: Staying Fit While Pregnant (guest post)

Today's post is by awesome mom and runner Emma from A Mom Runs This Town. Be sure to check out her blog when you're done here!


Not only does someone Down Under like me, but an awesome mom is actually letting me take over her blog for a day!

Mary Ann is all about natural parenting, which I love and, DUH, cloth diapers.  She even has her own Etsy store!  I'm a natural eating fanatic, but have to admit, Gentry wears Pampers (sorry Mary Ann!).  I already wear a gas mask for those.

Mary Ann asked me to write a post about staying fit through pregnancy and beyond.

Before I begin- DISCLAIMER- I have always been a workout fanatic.  Starting in middle school, I don't think I've ever taken more than a week off from doing something active.  That's just the way I was raised.  And, if you remember my funny induction post, I had a VERY easy pregnancy.
staying fit while pregnant
This was about 5 months and 7 months.
Because of these two factors, working out didn't change too much for those 10 months, besides the usual pregnancy modifications.  Of course I was tired, had a sore back, just wanted to sit around and eat peanut butter sandwiches all day, but I knew this was the ONE time I could control and influence everything happening to my child...


to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle for her.

Another factor that enabled me to work out so long through my pregnancy - I followed the "You aren't eating for 2, but 1.1" rule.
staying fit while pregnant

(My daughter actually draws from that gene pool... scary)

I know that sounds crazy... And I definitely had my McFlurry moments...  But, creating a human being was enough motivation to keep me going on a healthy path.

staying fit while pregnant

If you put on too much weight during pregnancy, you increase your risk of gestational diabetes, backaches, high blood pressure and needing a cesarean birth because your baby is large (says WebMD).

My thoughts- eat what you crave (your body knows best) indulge a little (you do deserve it) but everything in moderation.  I mean, you are growing a human, reward yourself a little!
Dieting during pregnancy- definitely not.  Just use it as a chance to makeover your eating habits.

So what kind of things did I do to stay in shape while pregnant?

  • modified yoga
  • running (with the dog, who slowed me down considerably by "marking" every bush)
  • 5-10 lbs dumbbell circuits (Robert JonesJillian Michaels and Jackie were my personal trainers)
  • walks with the dog, other preggo friends and hubs, in that order
  • swimming (although it was a little more of just floating since Gentry was a July babe)
  • a little something EACH DAY
I always listened to my body.
Lay down, cuddle up in a blanket, proceed to eat as many Nutter Butters as possible
But when I felt overly tired and overly large, I'd ditch the run or circuit training and do a fast walk around the neighborhood... wearing the same Old Navy stretched out tank top and bra, of course.

Yes, I actually DID swallow a watermelon!

Cliche, but burning a little energy gave me much more.
When Gentry decided to be 10 (O.M.G) days late, I'm pretty sure I picked up my workouts even more.

Hello?  No, the baby is STILL not here...

There was even a tractor involved.  I just wanted her OUT and thought the more I bounced the quicker she'd come.  Joke was on me!

Throughout the whole process, I believed if I worked out during pregnancy, the birth would be easier (haha) as well as the recovery.

Insert Hollywood birthing scene here...

My birthing story is another post in itself, but I ended up having an emergency C-section; therefore, I can't really comment on the whole birthing being easier part.

Recovery, however, was a piece of cake.  I was up walking Day 1 and even ran my first 5K race Week 5.  Was it the working out while pregnant?  Guess I need to sit around and do nothing round 2 and get back to ya ;)
There's a lot of controversy over working out when pregnant. My doctor said my body would tell me when I pushed it too far.
Dumbbell peak
Definition of pushing too far.

I liked that theory.  I was tired of people telling me don't do this, don't do that.  I knew my body and what it could handle.
Baby helping mother lifting dumb-bells
Gentry was totally doing that in utero....

If you are pregnant, don't start a rigorous workout regiment now, lay the groundwork ahead of time.  But do get up and move!

Now that I no longer need to make modifications, I've really gone back to my regular workout schedule.  I always prioritize my workouts the night before to make sure I get them done.  I think that's been my biggest key to workout success.  I work out first thing in the AM because I know I can control when I get up and how much time I can devote to it (unless the babe decides to play earlier)
staying fit while pregnant

If that means going to bed at 8:30PM and up at 4:30AM, that's what I do.  It also helps to have a crazy Ironman husband that's on the same schedule!

On a final note, please remember, every pregnancy is different.  Just because I did it, doesn't necessarily mean you will be able to, or even that I will should round 2 come.  I am a huge advocate for staying as active as you can during pregnancy.  They say babies take in a lot more than we give them credit.  What better way to instill a life-long love of health than eating right and exercising while they're closest to you?


I loved reading this - thank you Emma! I had issues with Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) both pregnancies & failed to stay active for long. If there is ever a "next time around" I'll definitely be sure to refer back to these tips!

Edit (01/04/2014): to check out Emma's latest adventure, be sure to head over to Be Mom Strong
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