Prego Talk: The Workout, The Diet, and Everything in Between

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Never have I ever thought I would post a workout and nutrition "how-to" while 9 months pregnant, yet with blogging friends asking for tips and tricks, I thought why the heck not! 
I was asked some very specific questions, so I wanted to outline the scenario: helpful tips {from someone who's been there} on how to maintain "you" while pregnant...keep in mind, I am no doctor, no dietician, nor do I claim to be, but I am speaking from my experience and what worked/didn't work for me.  
You’re pregnant…what you should do to prepare your body!
First up, the diet, and by diet, I mean general nutrition...
a. If you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant, start taking prenatal vitamins ASAP. My doctor recommended this to me last year and I ran out and bought some that day. There are a variety of options, but I prefer the gummies {childhood calling} from Target. They taste great, offer DHA which is a necessity, and don't make me sick. Make sure you are diligent in taking your vitamins each and every day. Great for ensuring you're receiving the right nutrients, especially when it comes to the all-important folic acid.
b. Next up, don't assume you need to start devouring anything and everything in sight. For the 1st trimester, I was told to increase my daily caloric intake by 100 calories, for the 2nd/3rd trimesters, increase that to 300 extra calories. This helps the baby grow, and get the necessary nutrition he/she needs to develop properly. Personally, I use the My Fitness Pal app to track anything and everything I eat/drink/etc so I know how much more/less I need to consume to reach my daily allotment. The app is great for keeping track of your exercises, too.
{P.S. most women are advised to gain between 25-35 pounds while pregnant, but can differ based on your BMI (pre pregnancy) and your height: here is a great website to track weight gain bi-weekly to see how you measure up}
http://indiacurry.com/women/pregcalc.htm
c. Another thing you must consider is cutting back the caffeine if you're a lover of cokes/coffee. I was told to keep it under 150MG a day, though I rarely go above 100. I allow myself 1 cup of coffee in the morning and that helped get me going. If you have a hard time downing the 64+ ounces of H2O you need to drink each day, try Crystal Light packets or Mio--they taste great and are easy to keep in your purse while on the go. A wonderful link for tracking caffeine is here.
d. Remember to heed your doctor's orders when it comes to what you can/cannot eat and drink. The hardest things for me to forego have been sushi, the occasional alcoholic drink {I'm being brutally honest}, and sliced deli meat. Visit this site which includes a list of what to avoid while pregnant.  
e. Finally, be cognizant of what medications are allowable. The best bet is to ask your doctor/pharmacist, but this link is helpful, too!
Working out while pregnant...yes, call me crazy!
When you spend months working to get your body to that place where you can finally say you're happy with how you look, yet find yourself pregnant a few months later, the last thing you want is to let all that hard work go to waste. Well, that was how I felt at least. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I asked my doc if I could continue my workout routine. Once we met up for the initial prenatal consult, she gave me the OK to continue with a few limitations...
a. I was told to keep my heart rate under 140 bpm. Totally doable, yet that meant having to decrease my running pace to a light jog. For me, I ran up until the end of my 1st trimester, and then moved to the elliptical. Running just felt awkward and I wanted something with a little less impact. So, my pregnant workouts have primarily included 2-3 miles on the elliptical machine.
b. Now, on to the strength training--this stayed pretty constant from day one. Instead of lifting every other day, I decreased my weights to 2 times a week. I still do most of what I did pre-pregnancy, {with a few exceptions} yet I lowered arm weights from 10 to 8 pound weights. I found this REALLY helped keep the definition in my arms, too. The one thing I did quit cold turkey were my ab workouts...I'll be honest, after about the 8th week, it felt strange and I realized toned abs wouldn't really matter as my bump grew.
c. Last, but certainly not least, I have been diligent about keeping my pre-and post- workout stretching routines, which will hopefully be beneficial VERY soon...I know continuing these stretches have helped keep my muscles loose.

d. As for the workout wear, I wear skorts and breathable tanks. I had to go up a size in my sports bras since the upper half of me grew, and the tank size had to go up, but I didn't buy any "maternity" clothing for working out. I've always been a big advocate of both the C9 brand from Target and the workout clothes from Old Navy. Easy on the wallet, comfortable, durable, and still cute, too.
Let's be honest, everyone's bodies react diffferently to pregnancy and this is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth. I wasn't trying to run a marathon, increase my muscle mass, etc...I simply just wanted to stay active as I've been told this helps with labor and post-delivery recovery.
I fully intend to start my "normal" working out routine as soon as I am given the OK after Caroline comes, so with that will soon begin the journey to get back to my happy weight. I promise to keeep you updated and will share any advice/tips and tricks along the way!

- 25 Comments

  1. I think you did it the "right" way! :) We go hiking around here and there have been a few instances where my fiance' and i saw EXTREMELY pregnant women hiking very rugged trails ALONE. We both would exchange glances like is this for real? why would someone that far along go ALONE and on a mountain? Not smart!

    Anyhow....How's all that down time at home treating you? Enjoy these few lasting days/weeks!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are seriously inspiring. Good for doing you while still being pregnant. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such great advice! I am so relieved to hear you had a cup of joe every day. That is one thing I won't be able to give up. Cut back, sure. Give up, no way.

    Did you work out in the mornings or after work? Does it make a difference. I know being preggers makes you exhausted ALL the time, so kudos to you for getting to the gym!

    PS - post your arm workout. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Christina--so glad you asked...for the majority of the time, I worked out in the mornings. It helped wake me up and by the time I had finished working at night, I was too tired.

    Arm workout to come in my next fitness (pre-wedding) post ;) promise!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just found your blog- and I am obsessed! You are the cutest thing ever. I love your health tips while pregnant. I will def have to remember them in the coming years. :)

    XO,

    Sam
    www.ThePeakofTresChic.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love that you shared this! I'm working on getting to my goal weight, but its such an inspiration to see how you've stayed active and healthy throughout your pregnancy, and helps me think that when I get there, I will too. So excited for little Caroline to get here!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm currently trying to get in the absolute best shape possible and maintain an active lifestyle. That way, I hope to stay as active as you have when I get pregnant!

    Btw- had NO idea you can't eat deli meat when you're expecting?! What will I do???? lol

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post! Every woman is different. With baby #1, I worked out three times a week and still gained 32 lbs. He took 2 hrs to get out. With Baby #2, I had no time to work out, only gained 18 lbs and he took 10 mins to get out (and was BIGGER than #1)! Best of luck to you! And by the way, you are super cute!

    ReplyDelete
  9. i loved reading this! thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good to know all of this. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. All of these tips are awesome...thank you! I should get back into stretching and light weight lifting. I was doing barre once a week, but that has stopped...so now it's up to me! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. these are wonderful, very realistic tips. I will definitely be bookmarking this post for when we get pregnant =)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for posting this!! One of my friends told me I shouldn't be working out in fear of doing damage...well, I don't really want to gain 50lbs like she did, and would like to be in decent shape! haha.

    ReplyDelete
  14. do you, or did you ever do yoga or hot yoga? do you plan on doing baby yoga with little cc?? :) so excited for you and i'll admit, i'm dyyyying to see some updates and the "i'm in labor" type of statuses!! ow!ow! c'mon sweet caroline!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That was a great post! I think I'll have a hard time giving up specific foods too!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I loved reading this Natasha! You shared some great info...love that you are still working out. I definitely will use alot if this advice when I have my first little bambino!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great advice! I'm just ending my first trimester and this was really helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is great advise, I punched in my info to see how much weight I should gain (for fun, not pregnant) and I was scared. I think the weight gain is going to be hard for me to deal with. Even though I realize it's just a number.

    ReplyDelete
  19. These are great tips! It's definitely possible to stay in shape while pregnant. You'll have such an easier time after the baby comes, too!

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've been following your blog for a while now and am such a huge fan! My morning routine is to check out my favorite blogs- before even getting out of bed, and I always look forward to yours! You have great tips on pregnancy and decorating that I hope to use in the coming years! I'm a baby nurse, and I have to say I think your very prepared and are going to make a wonderful Mom!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for the tips. I'm 26 weeks pregnant today, so I've really enjoyed reading your blog and can't wait for your little girl to make her debute!

    ReplyDelete