YES! It IS possible! I have enjoyed every week of my pregnancy and some might say it’s luck but I say it’s because I made the most of it. Here’s a list of 10 way I managed to stay positive and feeling great over the last 40 weeks…..
- Exercise!! Sure there are many reasons not to and if you aren’t someone who exercises regularly it makes doing workouts during pregnancy a bit more challenging BUT I put the excuses aside and did what I could. On days I didn’t feel like working out, I didn’t, and went for a walk instead. In the first trimester I remember being super tired so my workouts were less intense and shorter, and I did A LOT of walking. But it always felt good just to move. My second trimester I had much more energy but still kept my workouts short, doing 3 strength training workouts a week with lots of walking. Third trimester my workouts thinned out a bit as I was experiencing quite a bit of pelvic pain but I never felt guilty putting the weights on hold as I knew my body needed the break. After all I wanted to save my energy for my clients and for our growing baby. No matter what type of exercise you choose to do, there are many benefits to exercising throughout your pregnancy-you’ll sleep better, have fewer aches and pains, boosted mood, healthy weight gain, and hopefully an easier and faster labour (I’ll let you know how that goes soon I hope!)
- Proper nutrition. I didn’t change much about my eating habits. Other than having a few more sandwiches than usual and I had some weekly treats. No ice cream binges or fast food dinners. I found I ate out more than usual but did my best to make healthy choices. The only time I had any food aversions was for a few weeks in my first trimester (chicken was disgusting) but other than that have been keeping up eating three balanced meals a day plus snacks when hungry. I noticed my hunger increased in my second trimester and has decreased since I got closer to the end (my stomach is being squished by baby!) If you continue to eat well during your pregnancy you’ll benefit from increased energy, less to no cravings, have extra healthy nutrition for baby and a healthy weight gain for momma.
- Lots of sleep- I’ve been making sleep a priority even before I got pregnant and what a difference it has made. I always made sure to get a nap in everyday (sometimes 2 during the 1st trimester, perks of my job/making my own schedule) and aimed for 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I was definitely lucky to have had ZERO trouble sleeping all throughout my pregnancy but I am grateful as I think that is one of the main reasons why I have been feeling so good the whole time.
- Hired a doula! My husband and I mutually agreed to hire a doula very early on in my pregnancy as I had heard nothing but positive things from friends of mine who had a doula. We met with the National Capital Doulas and felt comfortable and confident in their abilities that we decided to chose them. Amie has been amazing and what we have appreciated the most is that they came to our home to teach us our childbirth education and pre natal classes which is SO convenient as my husband and I have schedules that do not allow us to attend evening or weekend classes. We found the classes very informative and they hooked us up with some detailed reference material and lots of free goodies. We were also able to email them at any time with questions we had and they responded right away. The big day is fast approaching which is when our doula will be our birth coach and then she will come to visit one time post baby to make sure all is well, very excited to have her with us to help us get through one of the most exciting yet intense moments of our lives.
- Yoga. Not only is yoga a proven stress-reducer, its breathing and relaxation techniques should help me manage pain if used during labour. I tried my best to go to a prenatal yoga class at Rama Lotus once a week, plus did some of my own stretches at home on a regular basis.
- Visited a pelvic floor physio. Best. Decision. Ever. I learned about pelvic floor health when I attended a workshop that Kerri Mantel was running and when she told her story it inspired me to get checked out. Andrea Plitz who works at Back in Balance in Wesboro was highly recommended and I now know why. I learned so much about the importance of my pelvic floor and also learned that mine was tight. Everyone kept asking if I was doing my kegels when in fact Andrea told me to do the opposite. I was to focus on breathing techniques to help relax my pelvic floor (reverse kegels) and it has made a huge difference and will hopefully contribute to an easier labour and delivery. She also helped reduce my pubic bone pain which was a huge relief.
- Regular chiro appointments. My amazing chiropractor Dr. Lindsay Clement was a life saver. I visited her once every few weeks and more often as I got closer to my due date as my body was changing like crazy, I was having pelvic pain and needed some extra TLC to make me feel better. I was able to train my clients and felt great until the week before my due date because of her on going treatments. She is an excellent chiropractor who treats all populations but has done extra training working with pregnant women (she has special pillows so you can lie on your belly, such a treat when you’re pregnant!), post natal clients and even babies. She works at Gloucester Center Chiropractic Clinic
- Monthly massage treatments. Who doesn’t love a massage? My two fave massage therapists treated me throughout my pregnancy (yes they have special pillows too to make room for your pregnant belly). Kim Plewes (Vitality Massage on Maclaren St near Elgin St) and Janet Penny (Focus Massage Therapy on Gladstone near Bay St) if you are ever looking for a registered massage therapist, these ladies are my go to’s.
- A positive mindset. This is something that comes naturally to me so I truly enjoyed every minute! I know it seems crazy but for most of my pregnancy I didn’t even feel like I was pregnant. I think this was because I was SO excited and felt 100% ready for the baby to come. I also think about all the women out there who are struggling to get pregnant or have been told they can’t get pregnant, have had miscarriages or even a high risk pregnancy and this really helped me to see that becoming pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy is a BLESSING, not a burden. Also, if you’re someone who focuses on the negatives, for instance, your changing body, how your life is going to change, the sleep deprivation that comes with a new born, worried about whether you’ll be a good mom, freaking out about the birth, etc etc then it makes for a long and painful pregnancy. I focused on the miracle that was growing inside of me and was mentally preparing for how exciting and different my life was going to be. I swear that having a doula helped me feel super prepared and understanding what was happening at each stage of the pregnancy and birth and even what happens when you bring the baby home reduced any fears or anxieties I had.
- Modified my work load. Pre pregnant Les had a very hard time saying NO to training people who wanted to train at any time of the day. I also often over committed myself socially and barely had any time for myself. Pregnant Les (especially at the end of my pregnancy) made sure I wasn’t over working myself (trained less clients/day), really reduced my workouts, got ample rest (8 hours at night plus a nap most days), and made time for lots of ME time but also time to visit friends and family. I even finished working the week before I was due and ended up being a week late, BUT those last two weeks of doing NOTHING were so valuable and totally helped as I felt super rested going into the home stretch.
Wow what a list! Looking back, I definitely made myself a priority (maybe too much!) and spent a lot of time (and money) on self care but I don’t regret any of it as I was fully rested and felt physically, emotionally and mentally prepared for my baby when he arrived. Pregnancy doesn’t have to be as painful and dreadful as some women may tell you it is, although everyone has a different experience. At the end of the 10 months (and one 1 week my case!) we are all blessed with a beautiful baby who provides so much joy into our lives, so it is totally worth it if you ask any mom (and dad) out there.
Are there any moms out there who would like to share their tips that might help other women who are currently pregnant or might be one day?