“Babies like blood.”
That’s one of the things my new doctor had to say to me at our very first meeting, 13 weeks along with my fourth baby. There are only a few things expectant moms can (or need to!) physically do to support the growth and health of the tiniest of babies.
- Eat real food as much as possible, maintaining pregnancy weight as best you can.
- Take the recommended supplements.
- Drink lots (and lots!) of water.
- Exercise. Get the blood flowing!
I’m no exercise expert. Don’t know if I could run a mile if my life depended on it. I do know with relative certainty, though, that pregnant mamas who exercise regularly
- have fewer complaints during pregnancy
- are better prepared for the strenuous job of birthing the baby (Labor is hard work, people!)
- enjoy an easier postpartum recovery
- lose the baby weight quicker
All those benefits, plus babies like blood. That’s how they are nourished in the womb! Why would we not want to at least try to get some exercise during pregnancy?
Speaking from my own personal experience, I’ve exercised throughout all of my pregnancies, but especially during my second. No particular reason other than we were in a location near a Curves, and I took full advantage of my membership. Worth every penny!
After baby? I was right back to exercising at 3 weeks. (Yes, I took it easy!) He was healthy, I was healthy, and I know in my heart of hearts that the baby blues that tried to steal my joy for a few days were thwarted quickly, in part because I had been and continued to take good care of myself. Exercise for pregnant mamas has to be a priority if it’s going to happen, especially when there are other little people in the house.
Now, may I tell you a secret? I was a little afraid of exercise in the first trimester with this baby. So strange for me, with my history. My head knows that exercise doesn’t cause miscarriage. My head knows that I feel better when I get off my lazy rump and move around. My head knows that babies like blood. But I was still a bit of a chicken.
Or, maybe scared was just an excuse to nurse every growing ping and pang that comes with bearing my fourth baby at age 35. Oh, and maybe it was really my own way to rebel against movement in the dead of winter, choosing instead to cocoon up for a few weeks. And… well, I might have been feeling a little overwhelmed and icky and some of the other whatnot that the first trimester tends to bring.
Now that I’m well-past the excuses, here are a few ideas for exercising during pregnancy.
- Family walks/bike rides. (They ride, I walk.)
- Tons of different pregnancy workout videos (I don’t happen to know of any to recommend… do you?)
- Prenatal yoga. (Another thing I’ve never tried, but it sounds great!)
- Early morning walk. Just me. This is one of my favorites, because it gets all the kinks out and gets me ready for the day. I don’t run, but I can walk forever.
- Swimming. Three of my babies have been born in the summer: July, August, and now September. The swimming pool is a life saver! One dip in the water and the baby lifts right off of my achy hips. Immediate relief!
- Chasing the children around (and up and down) the playground.
Basically, any type of exercise (safety first!) that you enjoyed before pregnancy, you should be able to enjoy during. I’m a bit clumsy, so you won’t find me on a bike for 9 months. You won’t find me running, either, but not because it’s not safe… simply because I don’t like to run.
If you have no health concerns, if your doctor says it’s okay, then by all means… get to moving! Babies like blood!
What are your favorite ways to exercise during pregnancy? I might need some ideas for the next three months!
Linked to Works for Me Wednesday.