Once upon a time, the though of exercising during pregnancy would make everyone around you gasp in horror. Apparently it was bad for you and harmful to your baby. Apparently.
We’re a bit wiser about such things now and although there are things that aren’t safe or aren’t as safe to do when you’re with child (certain sports, starting a vigorous training cycle when you’re not conditioned etc) but that shouldn’t translate into not doing anything active while you’re pregnancy. Heck, even walking daily is a great way to move your body and if your babies are like mine, that might be the only time they stop kicking the crap out of your insides and rest (looking directly at you 3.0-who is currently break dancing away in my belly).
Here are 5 things that will help you (and have already helped me) have as active and comfortable a pregnancy as possible:
1. Hydration: Important at any time during pregnancy, staying hydrated when you’re breaking a sweat (especially in the summer months) is crucial for both you and your baby. This is usually one of the easiest things for me because there is something about pregnancy that makes me crave ice water like you wouldn’t believe. I’m also a huge fan of infusing my water with fresh fruit to add some sparkle to it. For those who aren’t a fan of the plain agua, this is a fantastic option to add some flavor without adding sugars or syrups that may take away from the benefits of water. My favorite is to add lemon and frozen raspeberries. Do your research, look for hydraters that are safe for pregnancy. Discuss with your pharmacist and practitioner if you aren’t sure and be sure to have a sample showing the ingredients to ensure there’s nothing in there that may not be great for you.
2. Good Shoes/Clothes: These are important at any time to prevent chaffing, blisters, and to keep you cool and comfortable. When you’re pregnant, your clothes will definitely not fit the same so it’s important to find good maternity brands that will help you stay as comfortable as possible and as active as possible for as long as possible. Got that? Good!
I absolutely love my For Two Fitness tanks. The gathers at the sides guarantee that the top will grow with you and always keep you and your belly covered up. It helps that they’re super cute and come in lots of fun colours with fun sayings (I have a pink Running for Two and a Grey Toning for Two tank in my drawer). They fit nicely from the barely-there bump stage to the Holy Moly bump stage.
I’ve also recent discovered Running Skirts. I was looking at their fabulous skirts thinking that I would love one as a post-pregnancy incentive reward to encourage me to work hard after baby to get my running mojo back when I discovered they have a maternity line of skirts too! Bam! Instant purchase. They are adorable and comfortable and I know will come in handy through the hot, humid summer whether I’m running, walking or chasing my kids around. The band also gives me a buffer for my Gabaralla support band that I’ve started wearing so I don’t have to wear it over my tank but don’t have it rubbing directly against my skin.
And you thought pregnancy wasn’t stylish!
My shoes have stayed the same. So far, I haven’t had a ton of swelling or expanding of my feet, though I did go up half a size after my first baby. I’m still running in my Asics GT2000 and loving them to death. I really don’t think there’s another shoe out there that works this well with my feet.
3. Compression: One of the joys of pregnancy is the havoc it can wreck on your veins. After my second pregnancy, I had a most delicious varicose vein on my leg that when gently tapped, is quite the site to behold. I give you exhibit A:
Lovely isn’t she?
One thing I have relied upon this time around is my compression socks. I really got into wearing these last spring for recovery after my long training runs. I was absolutely blown away at how fantastic my legs felt wearing them. This time around, I’ve been using them and my legs have felt so good. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve built up a bit of a stash of socks to get me through. My go-to brand is Pro Compression. They are awesome! They have fun colours for the more adventurous, more subdued colours for the more conservative and pretty much everything in between. The marathon socks are fantastic recovery socks for me at any time, whether it be pregnancy or during a tough training cycle and I’m equally as obsessed with the trainer lows whenever I run. In all, I think I have 4 pair of each. The price can’t be beat if you’re not picky about colour because every month, they feature a sock of the month that’s 40% off. You really can’t beat that.
4. Encouragement: It is tough being pregnant and tougher to try and be active while pregnant. Some women can do it with ease and I
hate envy them for that. I certainly don’t fall into that category. I love being active but when I can’t sleep, my back hurts or I’m overcome with nausea for months on end, it’s hard to motivate myself to move, let alone actually do it. I’m thankful I have a supportive and encouraging community both in person and online that keep me pushing forward and reminding me that I’m doing the best that I can and at the capacity that I can. You really do need support and encouragement to keep you centered and not playing the comparison game with everyone around you. I know I do.
5. Your Doctor’s input: Always important. You should always, always, always keep your doctor informed about what you’re doing, how much and how often. Yes, it’s true that you may not get their approval and in some cases, maybe it’s a sign that you need to find a different doctor but regardless, they are in charge of you and your baby. They can only help you if they know exactly what’s going on with you. Keep them informed, let them know how active you were before you got pregnant and how active you’ve been while pregnant. You may be surprised (I know I was!) at how much they can and do stand behind us Fit Mama’s and what we’re out there doing for our health and our babies health.
What are some of your go-to items when it comes to maintaining a fit pregnancy?
Disclosure: Though I am an Ambassador for one brand mentioned in this post (For Two Fitness), the clothes I own from them were purchased or gifted by a friend before becoming an Ambassador. I have not been given any free product from this, or any brands mentioned in this post in exchange for advertising. All opinions are my own and all product was purchased with my money for my own personal use.