Finding our you’re pregnant can be extremely exciting. You’re creating a life with your own body, and that’s amazing. However, it can also be quite a daunting, overwhelming, or even scary experience. Because you know, you’re creating a life with your body. And you’ll find that the body you are so used to and know so well begins to move, relax, and generally function completely differently. You’ll become larger, less flexible, and some tasks may be more difficult. While it sounds onerous, there are ways to be fit and healthy while you’re pregnant to ease some of the inconveniences.
Maintain Good Posture
Posture and the way we carry ourselves every day is important. Good posture signals confidence and self-assurance. However, during pregnancy your center of balance is shifted by the weight of your baby bump, causing most women to experience increased back pressure and pain. The good news is that making a conscious effort to maintain good posture minimizes the severity of pulls, aches, and pains that you experience in general.
Good Pregnant Posture When Standing
When you’re standing, make sure to keep your head up straight. Tuck your chin in and stand as though you’re a puppet with a string attached to your head pulling you upwards towards the ceiling. Try to center your head by aligning your earlobes to the middle of your shoulders. Pull your shoulder blades back and push your chest forward. Always try to keep your knees straight, but avoid locking them—this can cause discomfort and even fainting.
While in this position, keep your buttocks tucked in, but avoid actively tilting your pelvis forward or back. Try to keep your weight evenly balanced over both feet. Not only will this provide you with stability, but it’s good for your back, too!
Good Pregnancy Posture When Sitting
Sitting sounds like such a routine run-of-the-mill activity, doesn’t it? You’d think that you can just sit down on a chair and completely relax, and it might be tempting. However, if you’re sitting while you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to make sure that your buttocks touch the back of the chair. Try to keep your back as straight as is comfortable.
Pregnancy pillows can offer additional support, as well. They work best when placed near the lumbar of your back.
Maintain a Gentle Exercise Regimen
Some women can and do maintain their pre-pregnancy exercise routine. Under the supervision of a doctor, that may be completely fine. For many women, though, especially those who did not exercise extensively before pregnancy, maintaining a gentler exercise regimen is a great way to stay fit and healthy when pregnant.
Generally speaking, it is inadvisable that you carry out extreme or vigorous exercise. It is also typically inadvisable that you run when you’re heavily pregnant—a fall could prove extremely dangerous. Instead, try to keep to a gentle exercise regimen that is specifically designed for pregnant moms, like a streaming pregnancy workout. This will keep you active and mobile while minimizing the potential harm to either you or your baby.
Dealing With Cramps Effectively
If you’re pregnant, it’s highly likely that you’re going to suffer from some sort of cramp at some point or another. Cramps, whether from round ligament pain or a previous c-section incision, are part and parcel of pregnancy, unfortunately.
However, you may also experience cramps in your legs. This is particularly common during the third and final trimester. While medical professionals haven’t completely pinned down the reason that pregnant women tend to suffer from cramps more than usual, there are steps you can take.
To prevent leg cramps, try…
- Stretching your calf muscles regularly and especially before bed.
- Brace yourself against a wall and stretch your legs with slow, gentle lunges.
- Stay well hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to simply drink when you’re thirsty.
- Use a U-shaped or J-shaped pregnancy pillow to support your legs, hips, and back while you sleep.
Staying fit and healthy when you are pregnant can be difficult as you juggle a growing baby bump and complete even the simplest of tasks. But it’s important for your own sake and your growing baby that you prioritize your health and wellbeing throughout pregnancy!
The best advice I can give you—especially as a mom of three going through a particularly rough pregnancy—is to take it easy, listen to your body, and do your personal best to stay fit and healthy when you’re pregnant. Not every day will be a 10/10, but every day you focus on some aspect of your pregnancy health is a success.