When it comes to pregnancy, working out may be the last thing on your mind;
You're tired, irritable, and perhaps suffering from some nausea.
But for some, exercise is a huge part of their daily lives and giving it up just seems like a big sacrifice!
So, can you work out while your pregnant?
For most typical pregnancies and purposes, YES!
(Ensure you check with you personal doctor first though, always.)
One of the main keys
is starting with very close to what you were doing before you were pregnant:
If you were normally running 5 miles a day, run 5 miles a day.
If lifting weights has been your thing, be safe, but keep it up.
If you are just wanting to start working out something
like swimming, walking, or yoga may be a lot better for you.
Just listen to your body. Be aware of pushing too hard. Stay very well hydrated.
And ensure you're eating well!
Whether you've been an exercise lover for a while or are just wanting to have a more healthy pregnancy, what are some of the benefits of working out while pregnant?
Better circulation which can improve constipation, backaches, bloating, and swelling.
Increase in energy.
(Yes, using energy can give you more)
Better muscle tone and less weight gain.
Can help prevent and/or treat gestational diabetes.
It also can help with labor and losing weight after baby is born.
Pregnancy is not the time to focus on fitness for weight loss purposes and if your doctor has given any indication you should not be working out, you definitely should limit activity as told.
But for most people exercise during pregnancy,
while trying to conceive,
or after baby
is a great way to improve your overall health!
Have a baby.
It'll be fun, they say...
It is all fun and games until you are peeing every time you sneeze
or every time someone says something too funny!
Not to mention jumping on a trampoline is a thing of the past...
Pregnancy and postpartum incontinence is the butt of many jokes and facebook memes,
but it is really frustrating and can be super embarrassing.
So, why exactly does it happen?
The main reason is because your pelvic floor muscles have taken a beating. Even if you have a cesarean, your muscles have stretched and held up quite a lot of extra weight and pressure for a long 9 months. Those muscles that typically help you start and stop the urine flow are just not what and where and how they used to be.
Hormones and your uterus shrinking back down, putting direct pressure onto your bladder can play a big factor as well.
So, what in the world can you do?
We've probably all heard of kegals by this point, but if not it is the exercising/ tensing of your pelvic floor muscles. Like stated above, incontinence is caused by loss of pelvic floor control and strength, these directly target those muscles to help get them into shape.
We probably all know what squats are as well. They help work the pelvic floor muscles in a different way than kegals do and are a perfect compliment. Just ensure you google some good form videos and are doing them properly!
Drink more water.
While it sounds counter intuitive, drinking less only makes you vulnerable to dehydration and UTIs, it doesn't help.
Panty liners and pads.
A lot of the time a small panty liner will be enough to take care of the little bit of a leak you may have, but if not some thin pads are a good option as well. There are so many super trim options out there at this point, no one will ever know and they are super fast absorbing.
Cross you legs.
While this isn't a long term fix, it does help in the moment.
Don't wait until you feel you really have to urinate. Set a timer on your phone and try going every 30-45 minutes and start spreading it out further and further each day. Sometimes we just have to retrain our bodies to help the physical connection.
Talk to your doctor.
They are your best starting off place for what may work more long term if it is an ongoing issue and also may have some treatments, ideas, and options for you.
Seek out a pelvic floor specialist.
Pelvic floor specialists used to only be used for serious issues, but more and more we are realizing what an amazing asset they are to every person post birth! If you don't know one ask your doctor for a referral, they can give you some of the best advice and tips and help you out with targeted exercises.
There's no quick fix for it.
There are medications out there that can help as well,
but once again, your best first line of defense is talking with your care provider about options and ideas.
It happens to nearly every person postpartum and while it may happen at the most inconvenient times,
it isn't just you and you're not alone in the struggle to cough without needing to be on the toilet every time!
There's one thing for certain...
Being tired and sore sucks!
Fatigue during pregnancy is a very typical complaint.
Whether it is the first trimester or the third, we hear it all the time:
Do you have any ideas on how to
not be so tired all the time?
Here's a few of our favorite tips:
This one seems a bit obvious, but make sure you're getting plenty of rest.
You need more than you used to, you're growing a human (or two, or three) for goodness sakes; don't skimp on the sleep and the naps! Having trouble sleeping? More pillows and one of those eye covers work wonders!
Drink plenty of water.
Being dehydrated can be a huge cause of fatigue (as well as a slew of other things). Check with your care provider to see how much they'd ideally like you to be drinking and see where you're at.
Change your plans.
I know, I know... baby is already changing things, but the truth is filling your schedule and being as busy as you used to be may just not work anymore! Try making sure you can be home and in bed at about the same time and remember it is okay to say "NO" to doing things.
This is another one of those obvious ones, but no one really craves carrots during pregnancy... Do your best. The vitamins and minerals your body needs are best from fresh fruits and veggies! (We wont judge your midnight ice cream though)
Yes, we just told you to take it easy, but moderate exercise (as long as you're cleared by your care provider) can boost your energy like crazy! You may also be thinking "how can I possibly work out when I'm already this tired!?" but thankfully even just a walk can help boost your energy.
Have your care provider check your iron, Vit B, and Vit D.
All these things can play a huge role in feeling down, so if you're really struggling ask if they thing you might have some levels off and see about getting tested and what you can do to help.
Fatigue caused by pregnancy can be a huge bummer,
but hopefully with some of these tips
and the support of your
care provider, family, and doula you can get through to the other side without falling asleep too many weird places!
You can see it.
The finish line is right there…
You hit your IPod volume and rock that last Eminem song on your playlist you so meticulously planned just for this Boilermaker Half Marathon.
You're singing along in your head because you certainly can’t breathe to belt those Berzerk lyrics out the way you want to, but it gives you that edge;
that feeling of power!
The sprint begins and you push harder than you ever have.
And then it happens:
You cross THAT line.
The tears swell in your eyes, you look up and see your husband and daughter standing there smiling and yelling, cheering you on. They hand you your water and those skittles that you’ve more than earned.
Finishing a race is an accomplishment many have achieved;
But to some it is so much more than just a run.
It is the culmination of hard work.
Thinking about: the gear, the fuel, the pace, the form, and how it will all play out.
It is so much more.
You can see it.
The finish line is right there… Your doula hits the playlist and that last AC/DC song comes on your meticulously planned birth playlist. You hear everyone singing under their breath because its exactly what you wanted to keep you going; to help you feel that power!
The Highway to Hell’s may seem a bit ironic, but to you they mean the time has come. They remind you of those amazing moments of your teenage years sitting in your old bedroom in Lafayette, just relaxing with your friends.
The push begins and you push harder than you ever have.
And then it happens:
You cross THAT line.
The tears swell up in your eyes.
You look down and see your beautiful baby laying on your chest.
You look up to see your husband and your daughter standing there smiling
and crying tears of pure joy.
Your doula offers you a drink of water, as your midwife delivers your placenta.
Childbirth is an accomplishment many have achieved,
but to some it is so much more than just a birth.
It was planned and prepared for.
You’re homebirth was planned.
Every detail: When to push, how to push, strategic non-hospital childbirth classes, breastfeeding, where to labor, how to labor, your playlist.
Hours of hard work.
You did it!
And you are a
Jessica Anne Dill
Mom of 5, Wife, Student, Professional Birth and Postpartum Doula, Placenta Specialist, and best friend of coffee and long naps!