Exercising with Baby

Bemusings of a Baby Life

– 32 weeks pregnant

Just as it is important to eat right and eat well while pregnant it is important to not get lazy.  Let me tell you why…

Sure, there will be times when you feel downright terrible and it is acceptable to be a little lazy.  However, form too much of a habit with this and you’re not doing yourself or your baby any favors.  If you’re not taking care of yourself you will get heavier than you need to be which will make everything less comfortable and may make labor more difficult.  I tend to think of the 9+ months I’m pregnant as my time to train for the marathon of birth.

Since decided to start a family, note this is even before I found out I was actually pregnant, I have never been so motivated to intentionally “work out.”  I have never trained for a marathon nor do I have any desire to run in a race like that, but I am partaking in the marathon of birth; I intend to be as strong and conditioned for the big event as I can for the safety of me and my baby and for as speedy of a recovery postpartum as I can manage.  Here is what I’ve been working at…

  1. Conditioning

    This has changed forms throughout the pregnancy.  I started out with running and eventually that got frustrating because baby bounced on my bladder.  I would tinkle before my run and still feel the urge to pee throughout the entire trip.  So I switched to the elliptical machines at the gym and now that it’s getting warmer out I take my dogs for long walks outside.  The elliptical is great because it’s easier on my knees and the bouncing is less jarring so my bladder can rest in peace.  Walks are ideal because I get fresh air, the dogs get some exercise, and its nice and easy on all my ligaments and joints.

  2. Stretching

    Besides stretching for a while after I work on cardio I go to a yoga class at least once a week.  Yoga is incredible because I am getting body weight strength training (see below) and a good long stretch at the same time.  This stretching will not only aid me in delivery but it has significantly helped me move around without pregnancy aches and pains.  Before I started the class my back pain sat consistently at an 8 out of 10. I felt like an old person with all my muscles and bones shifting uncomfortably around trying to figure out how to carry the concentrated weight gain building at my midsection.

  3. Strength Training

    Up until recently I was able to do sit ups with every work out.  But now I am officially at a stage of pregnancy when my abdominal muscles have migrated too far from their regular location to actually aid me in siting up at all.  I could still do sit ups, but they were no longer good for me because in order to achieve that movement it was other muscles that had to compensate for my out-of-place abs.  So now I stick to the body weight strength training I get with my yoga.  Body weight training is awesome because it tones your body according to your body’s needs.  If you’re into lifting weights, that’s always an option too.  I highly recommend yoga because you’re doing body weight strength training and stretching at the same time, two very important things for labor and delivery, but it’s not for everybody and something like Pilates or Zumba will do you good this way too.

  4. Chiropractor

    So this isn’t exactly exercising but it is a great addition to my pregnancy wellness plan.  Back pain is very common and a big bummer in pregnancy.  With a once a week adjustment I move around still as if I’m not pregnant.  Before I started seeing my chiropractor by lower back pain almost knocked the breath out of me every time I changed positions and my hip joints were sliding in and out of place.  It is also said that since chiropractic work aligns the body as it should be, baby’s passage and orientation should be much more natural – if mom’s body is out of place it’s bound to be harder for baby to navigate through it.  If you think about it this way, it is much easier to sip out of a straight straw than one with a kink in it!

I highly recommend all pregnant women follow these four wellness tips.  I promise you’ll be glad you did!