Did you ever consider the unexpected during pregnancy? Like the fact that you could be employed as a drug dog with that crazy sense of smell? Or how about that new boob job you acquired without surgery? What about your skin reverting back to the 10th grade? Or that extreme case of fatigue that follows you around? And if you’re lucky enough, how about that 10 month incessant hangover? And how do you feel about that awesome semi-permanent marker line down your belly? Of course you expect some of the pregnancy side effects listed but all of these symptoms can often become overwhelming and your self-love starts to dwindle.
What’s a Mama-To-Be to do? Pregnancy is a time during which you want to make certain you are taking care of yourself to the best of your ability in order to grow another human. Good point and common sense, right? You’ve probably heard the analogy, “pregnancy is like training for the ultimate marathon.” Well, if you are going to train for a marathon, you don’t just tie up your shoelaces and hit the pavement on race day (unless, you are a unicorn). Instead, you prepare.
Prenatal Training Regimen (PART ONE):
- Develop an attitude of gratitude. Practice positive self talk, choose to discover “the good” in all situations despite the minor inconveniences you’re experiencing.
- Listen to your body. If you need sleep, SLEEP, girlfriend! You are growing a human and your body is working “like whoa” to make him/her. Starting to feel that morning sickness? When was the last time you fed yourself and what did you previously consume? Your body tells you many things if you just listen.
- Take advantage of ALL the zzzzzzzz’s you can get. Reread #2. Listen To Your Body and what ever you do, DO NOT feel guilty about sleeping! For non-pregnant adults 18 years of age or older, research suggests, we need to allow ourselves seven or more hours of sleep per night.
- Whatcha puttin’ in your body? Is your diet well-balanced and nutrient-rich? Not sure? Schedule a consultation with a Registered Dietician (RD) in order to ensure your nutrition is on the right track because, let’s face it… the media, social media and the rest of the internet throws all kinds of things at us and it’s easy to get lost out there. In the mean time, be sure to analyze nutrition labels (are there a ton of ingredients and/or are you finding difficulty pronouncing all of them? If so, it’s probably not the best choice.).
- Move. If your OB/Midwife has cleared you to do so, exercise at least 30 minutes/day even if it’s a walk or you have to break it up into three, ten-minute sessions. It’s imperative to continue (notice I wrote, “continue”) strengthening your muscles and getting some form of cardiovascular exercise during pregnancy. Some great examples of organized classes are Prenatal Fit4Baby, prenatal yoga, barre and spin, to name a few. If you cannot attend an organized exercise class, walk or run (if running is still comfortable) in your neighborhood, climb stairs multiple times and/or complete a YouTube exercise regimen at home. Research continues to support that prenatal exercise is beneficial to mom and fetus during gestation and benefits for the child persist into adulthood. Therefore, whatever you do, make sure you move on a daily basis.