Being pregnant is no easy feat. Really and truly. Making life is not for the faint hearted and anyone who tells you any different hasn’t been through it.
Approaching pregnancy can only be done with a healthy mind, followed by a healthy body… Pregnancy can be a very anxious time whether you’re a first timer or on number 3, like me – a veteran producer of life 🙂
Quite honestly, and this is the absolute truth, this is probably the most ‘scary’ of all three of my pregnancies. Why you ask, if I’ve been around the block a few times? Numerous reasons. One being exactly that actually – I’ve been around the block a few times! I know what to expect. Age (I am now 35 – ssshhhhh). And knowing that one needs a strong mind to fight cravings so that the recovery (at 35) won’t be too challenging… I had to approach this from the healthiest of places. So, at 30 weeks along and feeling strong (until 5pm when I could fall face first onto my bed) that’s exactly what I have strived to do. So below I have written a very basic personal approach to this pregnancy. Everyone is different but I really believe if you follow a few natural, healthy ideologies, the rest of the time can be spent decorating the nursery 🙂
To start, I haven’t changed a thing regarding my eating plan. What I ate prior to pregnancy, I eat now. You don’t eat for two. You eat for one (and a teeny bit). I know it’s very appealing to think that “nows the time to eat what you want, you’re pregnant” but 1. It’s not necessary and doesn’t benefit the health of the baby and 2. Your post pregnancy recovery will take ages and ultimately make your job far harder. Because if you think you’ll have all the time and energy in the world to train and gym when baby arrives, uuuuh, I’m going to say no, no you don’t.
Stating the obvious, balance your diet. Make sure that what you eat is beneficial to you both. Avoid empty calories! If you eat a burger a day, it’s you who has to fight that off afterwards. It doesn’t just disappear into the pregnancy body abyss (no matter how much we convince ourselves otherwise)… Here is an example of a days meal plan, for me:
If I plan on exercising that day I will have a banana and small bowl of oats with honey and chia seeds. After my exercise, I’ll have 2 eggs,some avo and baby spinach. Occasionally I’ll have a slice of 100% rye with smashed avo, smothered in lemon juice, coriander and chilli. I do miss the runny egg but I make up for it post preg. Another nice option is fruit (mango, grapefruit, papaya or something high in Vita C) with full cream plain yoghurt, fresh granadilla and chia.
I’m gluten intolerant so I have to substitute the convenience of a sandwich or something similar. I try get my carb option in at this meal. Salad with roasted butternut or a brown rice salad with chicken. Soup, especially home-made, is also brilliant because you can add all the goodness you want – meaty or veggie!! Options abundance.
This I try and keep lighter because I struggle with heartburn while pregnant and towards this stage in the pregnancy, things are getting awfully squashed in there so my meals need to be kept smaller and earlier so I don’t go straight to bed and exacerbate the burn!
So for dinner, I’ll have a protein of sorts with green veg and/or salad. If I crave something sweet I’ll grab a handful of raspberries or rooibos tea and honey or a fruity yoghurt.
I’ll also snack during the day. Often, seeded crackers and hummus, fruit, nuts or a hard cheese like cheddar. The soft, oozy Camembert is also one of the items I enjoy making up for post pregnancy!!! I also like having a green juice a day – loaded with goodness.
Remember to take a prenatal vitamin daily because even though you may eat well there are always bits on a daily basis that you may not be getting quite enough of.
Bare in mind, all our bodies are different. Pregnancy doesn’t change that. So, don’t expect miracles other than the one you’re growing in your belly! You can’t fight genetics, so if you know you’re eating right and healthy the rest is out of your control and natures way of preparing your body for what it’s working so hard to produce. Give yourself a break too. Rest.
For me, it’s exercising. 4/5 days a week of moderate activity. The endorphin rush you get just from walking is enough to help you feel happy. Make sure you chat to your Obstetrician before you do anything though. The general rule of thumb is if you were doing it beforehand, it’s okay to maintain that during (within reason of course)… Don’t over exert yourself. If you’re lacking oxygen, so is baby!
Pilates and/or yoga twice a week, I like to spin once a week and walk once a week (you shouldn’t run after a certain point with all your ligaments loosening up but again, follow the advice of your OB – they will advise you best).
Eat well, sleep well, drink loads of water and listen to your body!
Remember, you are an absolute machine and capable of so much. Your body will surprise you if you look after it.