Exercise and Pregnancy
While staying active during pregnancy is typical for some women, exercising while pregnant, even in a more moderate sense, is not always an option. We don’t get to choose how our bodies adjusts to creating a person. Some mothers will have pregnancy complications that limit their physical activity. For instance, I suffered from severe morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum, which makes lifting my head off the pillow without throwing up a challenge, how then would I have been able to manage working out?
Here are some other healthy ways to nurture your body during pregnancy without working out:
1. A Well-rounded Diet.
Whenever possible, especially when exercise is not an option, eat nutrient-dense foods like leafy greens, lean protein, calcium- and iron-rich foods, and plenty of fiber to increase your energy and ensure you are meeting your and your baby’s nutrition needs.
2. Keep Sugar-level In Check.
It is important to keep in mind that excessive caloric intake where there’s little to no exercise can lead to high weight gain during the pregnancy. The risk of developing gestational diabetes and birthing larger babies are also associated with the consumption of too much sugar. And some research has even pointed to putting the child at greater risk for developing heart disease.
3. Engage In Meditation.
Meditation is always a good way to relax and reduce anxiety, aside from hard workout and helps achieve mental clarity. Sustained, elevated stress levels in mom can negatively impact a developing fetus. Focusing on your breath and letting go of your thoughts, even for a few minutes a day, can help expecting moms stay calm, centered, and relaxed through the various stages of pregnancy (and beyond!). Also, taking a few minutes to think positively about your body is a good practice, too. You’ll need that positive energy when it comes to birthing your baby.
4. Drink up…Water.
Water helps your body to absorb and transmit essential nutrients. So when you’re dehydrated, your baby can’t get all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrient-rich blood cells it needs to develop. Pregnant women should aim to drink 12 to 13 glasses (8 oz. each) per day according to the Institute of Medicine, but in hot temperatures like Nigeria, when frequent sweating occurs, drinking more is essential. Bring a water bottle everywhere you go or set a timer to make sure you are drinking enough throughout the day. If you are feeling thirsty, it’s a sign that you may already be dehydrated. So drink up!
5. Get A Prenatal Massage.
A low-impact massage treats lower back pain that can be a menace throughout your pregnancy. It will also increase circulation and remove inflammation that causes swelling. How avoid a massage at the beginning of your first trimester. Most practitioners won’t accept women during this time as the chance of miscarriage is higher. You can get a message anytime up into your due date after that.
It’s always best to listen to your body especially when pregnant and consult your doctor before you continue with exercise even if you were an expert before getting pregnant and when you know exercise isn’t what you body needs, find what works. Have a safe and beautiful pregnancy.