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!
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Wow.

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...

MUHAHAHA....


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?

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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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