Pregnancy is a unique time for every woman. And although there are some commonalities most women have a different experience and some sail through the pregnancy whereas others have a very tough time.
But what is common is that most women gain pregnancy weight – which is totally healthy and normal. Some women gain a little and others gain a lot. There is no on size fits all and we absolutely do not believe in obsessing about how much you are eating or gaining in pregnancy and instead just focus on being healthy and happy and eating good foods (you can see some tips here on great foods to eat in pregnancy).
Of course many women have pregnancy cravings and again all of them are different. I know of mums who barely had any cravings and others who had cravings non stop every day!
Many women worry about the pregnancy weight gain but even though it may be hard to see your body change try and embrace the change and know the weight gain is your body’s way of looking after your baby and the weight is necessary.
And it is key to remember that pregnancy is a major event on your body and it can really take it out of you – which can also lead to weight gain as you are tired more often, can feel physically exhausted (which leads to eating comfort food) and you can often feel like not doing very much – all of which can push up the weight. But again, don’t worry about it. It is normal and natural and as long as you focus on eating really nutritious foods then having some treats is ok too – especially if it makes you feel a bit better!
I am currently pregnant and I have not weighed myself once. I know I have put put weight on and I know I am eating more than normal but such as life and I really don’t care! I have days when I feel energised and great and others when I just feel terrible and I just don’t believe in stressing about the fact that I am gaining weight and if I want some extra food then I eat!
I get asked a lot about what exercise I am doing now and I try and do what I can and it depends on my energy levels.
I go for a walk most days and I find getting out of the house is just so good for me – even when I am super tired – and then most of what I do is just incidental. I don’t have the time for a set exercise routine so I just fit what I can around my day – and that usually involves squats, leg lifts, horizontal leg lifts, walking (I love my pedometer for this), lifting arm weights when I am on the sofa and chasing after my energetic toddler! And when I go out for my walk and play time in the park I try and get some sun and Vitamin D on my bump!
Tips for exercising when pregnant
- When pregnant, your body increases levels of a hormone known as relaxin. This hormone works to relax your pelvic muscles during childbirth – but throughout the pregnancy, it also relaxes all of your muscles, so your body will be looser and therefore not as strong as it was before pregnancy, making you more susceptible to falls and injuries such as sprains. Therefore, you do need to be a little more careful when exercising than you were before pregnancy.
- The best exercises to do during pregnancy are gentle exercises that help to strengthen and support your entire body. Swimming is a great pregnancy exercise, as the water supports your body and will enable you to exercise without any pressure on any of your joints. Yoga is also good, as it strengthens your entire body and will also help you through the labour. However, just a walk in the park or walking to the shops can help to keep you fit during pregnancy.
- You also need to keep moving when exercising. If you stay in one place, for example when you lift weights or when you perform yoga poses, this can decrease blood flow to the uterus and can cause blood to pool in your legs. This can make you feel dizzy and nauseated, which is not good for you or your baby. If you keep moving around, this prevents this from happening and will keep you and your baby safe.
- As a general rule, when exercising during pregnancy, you should be able to hold a conversation. If you are out of breath and unable to talk during exercise, then you are more than likely exercising too strenuously. However, just because you are unable to exercise strenuously does not mean that that exercise is not beneficial – any exercise you do will be benefiting you and your baby. You should also always warm up before exercise to lower the risk of straining your muscles and ligaments.