What Pregnancy Has Taught Me About My Body
I learned so much during my pregnancy, and in this blog I share my personal experience.
Ahh pregnancy, the greatest feeling on earth…or is it?
I’ve never felt like it was my life’s mission to become pregnant. However, I would sometimes wonder what it would be like to look down and see a big ol’ belly and what pregnancy would actually feel like. I’ve heard good stories and just downright terrible stories. If I’m being honest, I’ve heard more bad than good, which can be scary to anyone! So I’m here to tell you about my personal story of being pregnant and what it has taught me (I am now 37 weeks pregnant). This does not mean that what I have experienced is what you will experience, but consider it a little lesson from the road on what pregnancy has taught me about my body.
Check out my other blogs in my “Fit Mom To-Be Series”:
1) Life pre-pregnancy will somewhat predict life during pregnancy
Now before some of you mothers out there get outraged saying, “I had to deal with x, y, and z for 9 months and couldn’t control it, are you kidding me?!” let me explain. There are many things that will happen during pregnancy that you cannot control, but what you can control is how you treat your body pre-pregnancy.
What I mean is if you took good care of your body before pregnancy, as in working out, eating well, staying hydrated, keeping stress levels low, then pregnancy will likely be easier for you than someone who didn’t. Research shows (and I am proof) you will not gain an exorbitant amount of weight, you will feel, and look better. And more than likely, you will have an easier delivery (still waiting on that one!)
2) Train for pregnancy like a sport
I’ve said it probably 100 times and I’ll say it again, pregnancy is hard work!! Your body is literally creating another life inside itself! The baby eats your food and takes your energy so that it can grow over those 40 weeks. This means your energy levels will decline, sometimes significantly like mine has, and you will not be able to do everything you used to do. Not to mention, you’re now carrying around extra weight, which makes everything harder!
I cannot imagine if I didn’t workout 4-6 days a week pre-pregnancy, how I would manage to workout at all during pregnancy! You see, it’s harder to start working out from nothing as it is. Compound that with zero energy, hunger, extra weight, and a belly that prevents you from moving as well. It’s going to take a toll on your strength and your energy levels even more! Not to mention, you shouldn’t start a workout program during pregnancy if you haven’t already been doing that form of exercise prior. So what happens?
It’s harder to keep up with the demands pregnancy will place on your body, you lose strength and muscle (due to inability to keep up with your normal routine) and then you wind up sitting around instead because you can’t do anything else. So… You gain a lot of weight, feel worse, and now you really don’t have energy because you’re carrying around 20 extra pounds over what you should be! Then when it comes time for the baby to be born, you don’t have strength to deal with that! The moral of the story is to workout and get in shape before becoming pregnant.
3) If you ate crap pre-pregnancy, you will crave crap during pregnancy
We’ve all heard it a million times…you will have crazy cravings during pregnancy. I’ve been told, “You just can’t control cravings during pregnancy.” “Cravings and eating are the best parts of pregnancy!” As cliché as it sounds, I’ve craved mostly fruits, veggies and icy, lemon water during my pregnancy. I truly believe that my diet before (filled with lots of these foods) has impacted my cravings, or lack thereof during pregnancy. Only one time did I oddly crave coconut cream pie but the craving was like any other one in life- take a few bites and you’re good!
Now I have to say that if you have a poor relationship with food prior to pregnancy, this will certainly affect food intake during pregnancy! So that means if you’re thinking about getting pregnant, get help now! Anyone can make the excuse, “I’m eating for two.” But the reality is that the baby will only ever weigh a very small fraction of what you weigh, so no need to eat like you’re eating for two of you! The flip side to this is you have to realize you will gain weight and this is healthy. I was pretty scared of this myself but luckily I have taken the weight gain with strides.
4) I am not superwoman
I am a go, go, go type of a person. If I don’t have 20 things to do at once, I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself. Pregnancy has taught me that I can’t keep up my same level of activity during pregnancy, as much as I’d like to think so. This means, I can’t workout 5-6 days/week lifting super heavy weight back to back. I can’t work 60 hours a week and cook, and clean, and…everything. Pregnancy is a time to listen to your body and do what you can. If it hurts or doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. Breaks and naps have been my best friends!
5) Pregnancy is not a time to sit around and just be pampered
I’ve also been told that the best part of pregnancy (aside from eating) is being able to sleep all the time and have everyone do everything for you. Now you may not be able to do everything yourself (as I sadly found out), but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything! I’ve been scolded for picking up a 5 lb dumbbell, moving a bosu ball, even walking down the stairs! C’mon people, that’s just absurdity! If you don’t do anything for 9 months, how do you think you’re going to be able to do anything once the baby is born?! This combined with giving into all your cravings and emotional eating spells a recipe for disaster!
You may be saying to yourself, “you just had it lucky.” But the truth of the matter is I’ve had my moments of eating things I’ve shouldn’t, skipping a workout for no good reason, and being so tired that I felt like I was going to puke! However, that has been the minority, not the majority, and I truly believe that life prior to being pregnant has influenced that.