There is nothing more exciting than finding out you're pregnant. Whether it is planned or a surprise, it is a discovery that will change your life forever. Other than expecting a new bundle of joy and everything that parenthood promises, one of the greatest upsides about finding out you are pregnant is that it instinctively kicks your body into gear to be healthier.
You have even more reason and motivation to live a healthier life now - for both you and your baby. However, as exciting as this sounds it can be quite tough to keep up a healthy exercise and eating regime during pregnancy. Pregnancy woes such as exhaustion, hormones and cravings can all be negative influences on your new healthy lifestyle.
It is important to listen to your body. If you feel like you need an afternoon nap, take it. If you want that extra piece of chocolate - don’t try stop yourself. Everything in moderation.
Regular checks with a doctor or midwife can help you be sure your weight gain and vitals are all on the right track.
During pregnancy, your body takes on a massive task. Not only looking after you, but now actually growing a new little human as well. For your body to be able to do this, it needs all the extra nutrients and vitamins it can get. You don’t even need to follow a healthy eating diet, simply cutting out bad food and replacing it with nutrient-rich pregnancy friendly food is more than good enough. Getting enough water in the day is also beneficial, and crucial to the wellbeing of yourself and your baby.
When it comes to exercise, it can do a world of good to try do some light, pregnancy safe exercise a few times a week. After your doctor gives you the go ahead, some light core work can really help ease some pain and stress during labour. This alone is enough of a selling point for mums who have experienced labour before.
If you are a mum already, why not take your kids out for a walk in the park twice a week. Not only is it great exercise for you and them, but it helps you find the time to entertain them and fit in your exercise.
Although each mum experiences pregnancy differently, there are common ailments that most mums deal with. Heartburn, exhaustion, back pain, swollen feet and sore breasts can appear randomly in pregnancy or follow you throughout. Luckily, there are many, many mums out there who have been through the same thing and can hand down some helpful tips and tricks to alleviate these ailments slightly.
Here are some ways to deal with different issues during pregnancy. Hopefully these will help you either prepare for, or deal with these nasty pregnancy side-effects effectively and quickly.
Exercise during pregnancy does not have to be intensive at all. Simply practicing some safe stretching and light walking is more than sufficient to keep your body active and healthy. Pick a time of day that suits you best and do some calm and refreshing exercise. Keeping your body active increases your blood flow, releases endorphin's and even helps ease labour pains on delivery day.
Luckily for pregnant mums, there is a vast amount of interesting and easy pregnancy meal plans on the web. There are also handy quick-fix snacks to make that are easy to eat on the go that provide all the right goodness for mum and baby. If you aren’t very good at sticking to meal plans, simply try and cut out fast foods and processed items, and replace them with lean meats, fiber and lots of fruits and veg. A good milk intake is also very important.
Being pregnant at work can be tough. If you work for a big company, they might not be as compassionate as a smaller family run business. If you are battling with being pregnant and still working, make yourself heard. Whether it is asking to sit somewhere quiet on your lunch break, or requesting a closer parking. You need to try and make it as comfortable for yourself in the last few months, as you don’t want to put too much strain on your body.
Having understanding friends who have been through the same thing before can make a world of difference. Stick to going out with friends you know won't be upset if you leave early, or who will accommodate you now not drinking. Try and take on easier social tasks like barbecues and beach days. Definitely avoid the nightclubs if you can!
New and changing hormones that appear during pregnancy can sometimes wreak havoc on your body. The hormone relaxin (which helps loosen muscles for childbirth) can sometimes cause lower back pain. While there isn’t much you can take for the pain, gentle stretching and hot and cold therapy can really help. Breast pain can be one of the first indicators of pregnancy for lots of mums. This pain is just your breasts adjusting to having to breastfeed in the near future. Buying comfy maternity bras can offer great support, as well as using our BodyICE Woman cold/ heat breast pads. Our breast pads fit inside your bra and around your nipple to provide the best relief and comfort. They can be used during pregnancy and after, for breastfeeding and pumping relief. These little extras can really help make your pregnancy much more enjoyable.
Pregnancy only lasts 9 months (if you are lucky). Making small adjustments to your daily life, your eating and exercising patterns can really make a difference in how much you enjoy your pregnancy, and will give you the confidence that you have given your baby the best start at life. Though it might seem like a little bit of an effort at times, you will feel so much happier at the end of the day. Although, don’t give up your couch days altogether - you need the rest!
For more tips, on exercise, recipes and recovery, check out our blogs.