Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman’s life. But, it can be challenging to get your body ready for pregnancy, especially when you’re worried about how you’ll come back to your pre-pregnancy body, and lose weight quickly and safely.
The key here, say experts, is to stay active and motivated. Here are a few steps to make the process easier:
Take A Deep Breath; Drink Lots Of Water
The body is very clear about what it needs to support the growth of the baby inside the womb. There used to be the idea that a woman must ‘eat for two’.
Dispelling this notion, prenatal fitness expert and Essentia Water Hydration Specialist Desiree “Desi” Bartlett says, “People often said that pregnant women need double the amount of food. In actuality, women usually need about 300 extra calories (which is just an extra snack).”
She adds, “Instead of eating for two, I encourage women to breathe for two. Take deeper belly breaths that help to bring oxygen to your baby. Oxygen is also carried to the baby through the umbilical cord to the placenta; and is necessary to sustain life. Water is also a great source of oxygen–drink lots of it.”
Bartlett recommends eating a ‘rainbow of foods’ at every meal. Each color of fruit, veggie, and grain source represents a different vitamin that both the mother and baby need. Green leafy veggies have folic acid, and oranges have vitamin C. “I encourage women to follow their instincts when it comes to eating and drinking, and to remember that both they, and their babies, deserve the cleanest, healthiest foods available.”
Fitness expert Holly Del Rosso, who is also a pre/post natal certified trainer, says you will have an easier time working out during pregnancy if you had been working out before you got pregnant. “Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity each day, which could be a combination of strength and cardio training, depending on your fitness level.
Each person is different–listen to your body while working out. If you are a runner, you may still run during your pregnancy with your doctor’s approval,” she says, adding that she personally loves elliptical machines as they don’t put pressure on your knees and keep your heart rate in a safe cardio state.
In The Case Of Pregnant Women, Exercising:
- Helps prepare the body for delivery
- Aids in post-natal recovery, so you bounce-back quicker
- Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
- Reduces weight gain
- Improves psychological well-being
- Prevents gestational diabetes
Know When To Stop
“Mothers-to-be should stop or avoid exercises that cause nausea, dizziness, stomach pain, prolonged shortness of breath, bleeding or fainting,” says Maurice Williams, owner of Move Well Fitness.
While it is safe to exercise during your pregnancy, make sure you take all necessary precautions before doing so.
Avoid contact sports, such as hockey, basketball, and soccer. Also avoid scuba diving, as it can put your baby at risk of decompression sickness, a serious illness that results from changes in the pressure surrounding the body.
In the end, you need to remember that by being careful, eating healthy and staying fit, your pregnancy will be smoother and the recovery, quicker.